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News Archives for March 2016

Battlefield 5 to Feature World War I Setting

Posted: March 1, 2016 @ time: 02:40AM
Author: gebraset

According to a listing of Battlefield 5 on a German website, it looks like the latest installment of the Battlefield series from DICE will feature a World War I setting. Although the listing has been removed since its initial discovery, the screen shot of the web page shows the description of the game as "Mehrspieler Taktik Shooter im 1. Weltkrieg," which in English translates to "Multiplayer tactical shooter in WW1." The German listing also notes that the game will be available on a total of three platforms, which includes PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and will be released to the public on October 26, 2016.

Source: ThinkComputers


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Super-Light Solar Cell Made

Posted: March 1, 2016 @ time: 08:46AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Miniaturization has been essential for many technologies to succeed and achieve ubiquity. Integrated circuits are one example as many of us are walking around with small computers in our pockets. In the future we may see solar cells become just as common, thanks to researchers at MIT who have developed a manufacturing process that can make cells so small and light that they will pop bubbles when placed on them.

While a great deal of focus might be on the tiny solar cells, it is the process that is the real accomplishment here. What the researchers figured out was how to grow the substrate, the solar cell, and the protective overcoating all in one process. It also can be done in a vacuum chamber at room temperature, unlike conventional solar cells that require high temperatures and harsh chemicals. This makes the manufacturing much easier and safer. The process starts with a carrier material, glass in this case, that a film of parylene, a somewhat common plastic coating, is grown on to serve as the substrate. The light-absorbing layer of DBP, an organic material, is deposited on the substrate and then another layer of parylene is put on top, protecting the cell from the environment. Once the process is done, it can be lifted off of the glass, producing a light, thin, and flexible solar cell.

At such a small size, these solar cells do not produce much power, but then this is a proof of concept that can work with other, better materials. Still, these solar cells have a tremendous power to weight ratio of 6 Watts per gram, which far surpasses the 15 W per Kilogram for silicon based modules. Potentially we could see these lightweight cells used in aerospace missions, where weight is an issue, or used to laminate existing structures, since the solar cells can be easily bent to match unusual surfaces.

Source: MIT


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, March 1, 2016, Edition

Posted: March 1, 2016 @ time: 09:45AM
Author: bp9801

March has arrived at long last, with several items along the way to welcome it. We start with a review on the Corsair VOID Surround Gaming Headset, which features both an analog 3.5mm and a USB connection to fit whatever system you hook it up to, from PC to console and smartphones. There's also the ROCCAT Kava Gaming Mouse, featuring an improved design and new enhancements, including an integration with Alienware technology, to give a new way to control your games. We have a couple of things for PC gaming, like how Microsoft is changing up its Windows Store to features some games that are only available there, some FCAT results with Ashes of the Singularity, and how Microsoft is merging PC and Xbox One gaming. We wrap up with a look at 20 of the worst PC setups seen during the month of February.

Keyboards/Mice
ROCCAT Kava Gaming Mouse @ Madshrimps

Speakers/Headphones
Corsair VOID Surround Gaming Headset @ Neoseeker

Gaming
PC Gaming Shakeup: Ashes of the Singularity, DX12 and the Microsoft Store @ PC Perspective
Microsoft plans to merge PC and Xbox gaming @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
20 of the Worst PC Setups - February 2016 @ ThinkComputers


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Dying Light Patch Adds NVIDIA PCSS

Posted: March 1, 2016 @ time: 09:52AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last year we saw the release of Techland's open world, zombie-survival game Dying Light and last month its expansion, Dying Light: The Following released. Today it has received a patch adding NVIDIA's Percentage Closer Soft Shadows (PCSS) to its graphics options. This technology softens the edges of a shadow based on its distance from the shadow caster, increasing the realism of the virtual world.

To enable PCSS, the Shadow Map Size has to be set to High or Very High, and then NVIDIA PCSS needs to be toggled on, prompting a game restart. Dying Light already features NVIDIA's HBAO+ and Depth of Field technologies.

Source: NVIDIA


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GeForce Game Ready 362.00 WHQL Drivers Now Available

Posted: March 1, 2016 @ time: 10:10AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesdays typically bring new game releases, but today they also bring new NVIDIA GeForce drivers to get your games running their best. The GeForce Game Ready 362.00 WHQL drivers are now available to download, offering game ready support for Far Cry Primal, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition. Far Cry Primal arrived last week for console, but it's available today for PC, bringing with it higher fidelity visuals to soak in the world better. The new drivers bring performance optimizations and an SLI profile, giving you the best experience from the start. Launched late last year on Xbox One and now available today for PC, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition features remasters of the first three games and some new multiplayer features. The PC releases also has higher quality graphics, NVIDIA HBAO+ shadows, and the ability to bump the resolution to 4K. It's also the first Windows 10, DirectX 12-exclusive title, with the drivers offering a smooth gameplay experience. Recently launched is Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition, which not only gets the boost from PCSS, but driver optimizations to give you an even better zombie killing time.

The GeForce Game Ready 362.00 WHQL drivers can be downloaded from within GeForce Experience or on GeForce.com.

Source: GeForce


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Harmonix Starts Crowdfunding Campaign to Bring Rock Band 4 to PC

Posted: March 1, 2016 @ time: 10:57AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Back in 2007 the first Rock Band game released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and then in October Rock Band 4 was released for the current generation of consoles. Since the first game, Harmonix has been asked about making a PC version, and now that might just happen. Today Harmonix has launched a Fig crowdfunding campaign to raise $1,500,000 to make the PC version. The developers actually estimate the cost of making the new version at $2,000,000 but will contribute the remaining half million themselves, if they can raise enough from pledges and investments. The company chosen to go with Fig for the campaign, feeling it to be the "logical evolution of crowdfunding" and it allows people to invest in and receive a share of the game's potential profits.

The actual work to bring Rock Band 4 to PC will be done by Sumo Digital, with support from Harmonix's engine team. By going with an external developer, it allows Harmonix to work on some new features, including the return of the Rock Band Network (RBN). Originally part of Rock Band 3, this system allowed people to add their own songs to the game, and sell them to other players, but was shut down in 2014 due to the amount of work it required to maintain its infrastructure. By utilizing the Steam Workshop, a lot of overhead can be removed, as well as the fees RBN required, while still allowing people to sell their tracks to other players.

The target for release is Fall 2016 and the PC version will include all of the content and features the console versions currently have and will be updated alongside the console version. The Rock Band Network will be a PC exclusive, though Harmonix might bring some RBN songs over to console. The Fig campaign runs for 35 days.

 

 

Source: Press Release and Fig


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The Annual OCC Contest Has Arrived!

Posted: March 1, 2016 @ time: 03:43PM
Author: bp9801

The calendar may say March, but we here at OverclockersClub like to give back to the community no matter what. That means it's time for our annual contest, offering a ton of prizes even if we're a little past our typical Christmas timeframe. We have cases, power supplies, keyboards, mice, hard drives, SSDs, and more to give away this year. Prizes from Corsair, Noctua, OCZ, AMD, Phanteks, Zalman, Seagate, ID-Cooling, Azio, and XTracGear are all available to win, as are some donations from the staff at Neoseeker and OCC, plus an assortment of games. It's quite an extensive list, really, so be sure to hit up the contest thread to see it all!

Our contest is open to everyone worldwide, including staff at OCC. All you need to do is send an email to [email protected] (subject "Annual OCC Contest") with your user name; your full name; full shipping information, including your complete street address and phone number; and your full system specifications. We're also asking you to answer the following question: "What is your next purchase for your PC going to be?" Once you have everything in your email, send it off to us and you're in it for the running. Please be sure to include everything in your initial email, as incomplete or multiple entries will result in a disqualification.

The Annual OCC Contest will run until March 21, so be sure to get your entry in by then! Good luck to everyone who enters, and thank you for supporting us in the past year!


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Remote Play for PC and Mac Coming Soon to PS4

Posted: March 1, 2016 @ time: 05:02PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A closed beta test for the Sony PlayStation 4 will begin sometime this week featuring "a lot of social features, including notifications for when your PS friends come online; the ability to change your status to offline; and scheduling future online gameplay sessions with friends," and "live streaming integration for video site Dailymotion." Unfortunately, the beta test won't include the Remote Play feature for PC and Mac announced in November, but Sony added that "you can look forward to it soon." When Remote Play is finally added, gamers can look forward to an experience similar to streaming from the Xbox One to Windows 10 or Steam in-home streaming.

Source: PC World


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Homefront: The Revolution Goliath Edition and Pre-Order Bonus Detailed

Posted: March 1, 2016 @ time: 05:06PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On May 17 Homefront: The Revolution releases in North America and globally on May 20, for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. For those in North America who want more than just the game, you will soon be able to pre-order the limited Goliath Edition. This edition comes with a boxed copy of the game, the Expansion Pass, the Revolutionary Spirit pack (which comes with every pre-order), a 32 page art book, an exclusive Steelbook, and a radio-controlled scale replica Goliath Drone. The drone features working lights and six-wheel suspension, like the in-game version.

Besides the Goliath Edition, we also got information about the pre-order bonuses for different North American retailers. Pre-orders at GameStop will get you the Guerrilla Care Packer, which comes with five 'Resistance Crates' containing random weapon blueprints, attachments, equipment and more, as well as the Combat Stimulant Pack. Amazon customers will get the Wing Skull Pack, which includes a Wing Skull motorbike skin and the Silver Pistol skin in the campaign. Best Buy pre-orders get you the limited edition Steelbook. All digital pre-orders come with the Liberty Pack, which gives the player the Liberty Body Armor and the KPA Shock Trooper Helmet to personalize your Co-Op character.

Source: Press Release and Homefront: The Revolution Game Website


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Raspberry Pi 3 Now Available

Posted: March 1, 2016 @ time: 05:10PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Raspberry Pi 3 is the latest version of the extremely small computer to hit the market. The Pi 3 is powered by a 1.2GHz, 64-bit, quad-core ARMv8 processor featuring HDMI, Ethernet, and four USB ports. The system also adds new features in the form of built-in wireless and Bluetooth 4.0. The price remains at just $35 despite the new features and represents a solid choice for anyone looking to get started with a small form factor PC.

Source: Venture Beat


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AMD Provides Crossfire Profile for Far Cry Primal in Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.2.1

Posted: March 2, 2016 @ time: 04:21AM
Author: gebraset

AMD seems to be on a roll lately with its beta driver releases, as the company has just pushed out Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.2.1 hotfix to gamers. The updated driver comes just days after AMD released version 16.2 of its Radeon Software Crimson Edition driver, which provided gamers with various performance improvements and bug fixes. Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.2.1 hotfix is a much smaller update for the company, as it focuses on delivering a Crossfire profile for Far Cry Primal, which was just release by Ubisoft yesterday.

Source: AMD


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New Laser Created That Covers Challenging Frequencies

Posted: March 2, 2016 @ time: 09:15AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Our eyes allow us to see a wealth of colors, but the frequencies they represent span a very small section of the spectrum. Wavelengths outside the visible range can have many, powerful uses, but can also be challenging to produce. On example of this is the mid-infrared area of 3.1 and 3.2 microns, which lasers have struggled to work with before, but now researchers, as reported by The Optical Society, have created a new kind of laser that is able to emit in that range.

There are many different kinds of lasers out there, such as gas and fiber lasers. Gas lasers tend to be bulky and inflexible, which limits their applications, while fiber lasers are actually made in small, flexible optical fibers. The problem with fiber lasers for mid-IR wavelengths though is that the silica the fibers are made from absorbs emissions past 2.8 microns. Quantum cascade lasers, which are also able to produce mid-IR, do not really work until you reach 3.5 microns, leaving a gap. The new laser the researchers created is a hybrid of both gas and fiber lasers, but differs quite significantly from fiber lasers because they are hollow-core fibers. Traditional optical fibers have a solid core that the light travels along. With these hollow-core fibers, the light will actually travel through an open space with bubble-like structures surrounding the region. When the light strikes these structures, it will reflect back, remaining trapped in the fiber. This prevents the silica from absorbing the light, which is produced by exciting acetylene gas. This gas is already known to emit in the mid-IR, when stimulated by external sources, such as more traditional lasers.

Lasers operating in the 3.1 to 3.2 micron range could be used in spectroscopy, environmental sensing, and explosive detection, but this discovery has more uses than that. This new type of laser could be used with other gases, expanding the range of frequencies that can be emitted, and potentially allowing for new interactions between lasers and gases.

Source: The Optical Society


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No Early Access for Reviewers of The Division

Posted: March 2, 2016 @ time: 10:38AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Next week the highly anticipated The Division will be launching with its seamless online experience, allowing players to go it alone or to group up for missions and the Dark Zone. This flexibility has been part of the game's design since the beginning, and because of how much it can affect the gameplay experience, Ubisoft is not giving reviewers early access to the game. At 00:01 AM Australian Eastern Daylight Time on March 8, the servers will be turned on and everyone will get their first crack at the game, outside of the betas.

Source: UbiBlog


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Lian-Li Holding Keyboard and Mouse Giveaway

Posted: March 2, 2016 @ time: 05:11PM
Author: CheeseMan42

In celebration of the launch of its first keyboard and mouse bundle, the TerminAl, Lian-Li is holding a giveaway on Facebook. To enter, simply navigate to the Lian-Li Facebook page and cast your vote for favorite color of TerminAl. The contest runs until March 25 and one of each color bundle will be given away every seven days. The bundle is available in green, red, blue, gold, silver, and black and is constructed from brushed aluminum.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, March 3, 2016, Edition

Posted: March 3, 2016 @ time: 09:45AM
Author: bp9801

March is starting to pick up steam, with several items coming along with it. There is a look at the refreshed AMD FM2+ lineup on both the APU and CPU side to see just what's been done to it. To keep things cool, both the Reeven Okeanos and Brontes CPU coolers get reviewed, offering a large dual-tower cooler and a smaller C-type cooler to fit whatever type of build you have. We have a review on the OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD, which can be won in our contest, to show off what kind of speed it can bring to your system. Ending things for today is the MSI GS40 Phantom 6QE Gaming Laptop, featuring a 14" display, Intel Core i7-6700HQ, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M.

CPUs
AMD Refreshes FM2+ Lineup for APU and CPU @ PC Perspective

CPU Cooling
Reeven Okeanos and Brontes @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD @ Benchmark Reviews

Laptops/Tablets
MSI GS40 Phantom 6QE Gaming Laptop @ TechSpot


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Mass Effect: Andromeda Delayed to Early Next Year

Posted: March 3, 2016 @ time: 10:52AM
Author: bp9801

The next entry in the Mass Effect series takes us to the Andromeda galaxy, but it now looks like we might be waiting a little longer to get there. Speaking during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, EA's CFO, Blake Jorgensen, mentioned Mass Effect: Andromeda will launch during the company's fiscal fourth quarter, which ends March 31, 2017. So this means Mass Effect: Andromeda will miss its original holiday 2016 launch date and won't be here until sometime between January and the end of March, 2017. It's not a huge delay, but if it means a bit more time to refine the RPG, all the better. You can read Jorgensen's full quote below, which gives an idea on some other titles EA has planned.

We've got a great year ahead... we've got our Battlefield first-person shooter game coming in the third quarter, and our third-party title that Respawn, our partner, built, it's called TItanfall, it's the second title that they brought into that brand. Both of those are first-person shooters and will be targeted around the fast, action-driven shooter market, as well as the strategy-driven market in that quarter... We have our Mirror's Edge runner game this first quarter, and then we have Mass Effect, which is a sci-fi action game, in our fourth quarter. So big year ahead and we're pretty excited.

That provides us an insight on EA's launch plans this fiscal year, with Battlefield 5 and Titanfall 2 slated to hit by the end of 2016. Mirror's Edge: Catalyst is scheduled to launch at the end of May, with Mass Effect: Andromeda bringing up the rear early next year. It's a little something for everyone, even if we're waiting a little longer to explore the Andromeda galaxy. Mass Effect: Andromeda will arrive on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

To help tide you over a little, some renderings of the "Pathfinder" character from Mass Effect: Andromeda were shared on an online 3D modeling community late last year, but only recently discovered. The renderings are made in ZBrush and show off just the male character model (female is an option in-game, too), but if this is our new protagonist in Mass Effect: Andromeda, as seen in the trailer, we're decked out in some sweet armor.

Sources: NeoGAF and VG247


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Dead Island Definitive Collection is Coming For You

Posted: March 3, 2016 @ time: 11:14AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Techland has been busy lately. Earlier this week its game Dying Light had NVIDIA PCSS technology patched in, and now the Dead Island Definitive Collection has been announced. The collection includes both Dead Island (released 2011) and its stand-alone expansion, Dead Island: Riptide (released 2013) with all of the previously released DLC and will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The new mini game, Dead Island Retro Revenge is also included. It features a retro look to its melee-based combat, power-ups, super attacks, a combo system, leaderboards, and achievements.

To bring the titles to the current crop of consoles, both Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide have been rebuilt on Techland's next gen Chrome engine and will feature several improvements. The game textures have been redone at a higher resolution, models and geometry assets have had their quality increased, the lighting system has been improved to be more photorealistic, and Chrome engine's physically based shading technique is being employed to make the models and objects look better in various lighting conditions. A more sophisticated anti-aliasing system has also been added, for the benefit of console players, and HBAO and motion blur effects have been added. The UI has also been updated to provide a more consistent look between the two games and a fan favorite unofficial PC mod is being added to both titles, so you can punch your way through the games.

The Dead Island Definitive Collection is set to release on May 31 for $39.99. If you only want one title, Dead Island Definitive Edition and Dead Island: Riptide Definitive Edition will be available separately for the Xbox One and PS4 at $19.99 each, on the same day. Dead Island Retro Revenge is only included with the collection.

 

 

Source: Deep Silver


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Post-Release Plans for The Division Revealed

Posted: March 3, 2016 @ time: 11:58AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Tom Clancy's The Division releases next week and like many games, it will continue to receive new content, and now more details of its Year One plan have been revealed. In April it will receive its first free update which will introduce the game's first incursion, an end-game activity designed for squad play that will grant high level weapons and equipment. If you want what you friend got though, do not worry because this update also adds the loot trading system. In May the second free update will be released with new Dark Zone features and a new incursion set in Columbus Circle.

In June we will see the first of the three paid expansions release, which had some details revealed in January. The first expansion is Underground and will let the players explore New York City's underworld. Survival will be available this summer and will challenge players to survive in a hostile environment while gathering essential supplies. The third expansion, Last Stand will release next winter and will have players and their squads fighting a "relentless foe."

 

 

Source: Press Release and UbiBlog


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Steam Making Changes to Game Bundles

Posted: March 3, 2016 @ time: 04:54PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Game bundles have been a highlight of Steam sales for as long as I can remember, but they have been plagued by one potential negative. When purchasing a bundle, if you owned one or more of the games already in the bundle you wouldn't receive an extra key for that game. Valve has decided to switch things up and going forward bundles will be discounted if you own some of the games in the bundle. Valve described the move to developers stating, "With Steam Bundles, if a customer already [owns] some items in the Bundle, they will pay for and receive only the items not already in their account. This allows the best fans of your series or franchise to 'complete the set' and get a deal on the remaining items in the Bundle." The decision has not been confirmed by Valve yet, but the article noted that some bundles are "already available on some bundles in the wild." Hopefully it will be rolled out to all bundles in time for the next big sale.

Source: PCGames N


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Intel Working on Augmented-Reality Headset

Posted: March 3, 2016 @ time: 05:24PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Intel is working on an augmented-reality headset powered by its RealSense technology. Intel is planning the headset as a "reference design for other manufacturers, rather than an end product in itself." RealSense provides depth-sensing capabilities and high resolution image capture, providing a possible competitor to Google Glass and the Microsoft HoloLens. Augmented-reality is different from virtual reality, working by "superimposing virtual elements onto the real world."

Source: Fortune


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F3 Wi-Fi Router Released by Tenda

Posted: March 4, 2016 @ time: 06:28AM
Author: gebraset

Tenda Technology, a subsidiary of Shenzhen Tenda, has officially announced a slim and low-profile 300Mbps Wi-Fi router known as the F3. The latest product offering from Tenda comes with a high-end Broadcom networking chip as well as three external high-gain omni-directional antennas, which combined allow users to experience excellent Wi-Fi range and speed. The Tenda F3, which is able to utilize IP-based control settings to effectively manage bandwidth, also makes use of an excellent user interface that is usable for both novices as well as tech-savvy individuals.

The Tenda F3 boasts a quick 30 second setup time and is able to be purchased from Amazon for just $24.99.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, March 4, 2016, Edition

Posted: March 4, 2016 @ time: 10:01AM
Author: bp9801

The end of the week is here, with a few items to help you welcome in the weekend. There is a review on the Lexar JumpDrive M20c USB 3.1 Type-C Flash Drive, which offers quick speeds and the reversible design to fit however you place it. A new case mod takes the In Win D-Frame Mini, packs in a whole host of water cooling, uses the frame as the reservoir, and is just something to see. Ending things for today is a new podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Storage/Hard Drives
Lexar JumpDrive M20c USB 3.1 Type-C Flash Drive @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: L3peau @ ThinkComputers
Podcast #389 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Scalable Quantum Computer Designed and Built

Posted: March 7, 2016 @ time: 06:48AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Quantum computers are an amazing technology that have existed within science fiction and scientific theories for a long time, but over recent years have actually started becoming reality. By leveraging the curious phenomena of quantum mechanics, these computers can quickly perform operations modern classical computers could require millennia to finish. One potential use for quantum computers is factoring large numbers, like those used to encrypt data, and now researchers at MIT and the University of Innsbruck have developed a quantum computer that should be scalable.

First developed in 1994, Shor's algorithm is capable of very efficiently factoring large numbers, and for that reason it grabbed the attention of many researchers. It is also the most complex quantum algorithm to date. Previous attempts to build quantum computers that can run it have typically required 12 qubits, or quantum bits to successfully factor 15. This new design, however, is able to do it with just five qubits. These qubits are each single atoms that are held in a superposition of different energy states simultaneously. By removing an electron from each, giving the atoms a charge, and holding them in an electric field, the researchers are able to track where they are located and use laser pulses to perform operations on them. Four of the atoms actually have the operations run on them, while the fifth is used to store, forward, extract, and recycle the results, which is what allows so fewer qubits to be used.

The scalability of this design comes from how the atoms are held close enough together that they can interact with each other, but do not cause their quantum states to collapse. As technology improves, allowing more atoms to be held in this trap and more laser pulses to be used simultaneously, the computer can grow in size and power. It will still be a long time before a quantum computer will be able to factor the large numbers we use today for encryption, but that day is a bit closer now than it was.

Source: MIT


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, March 7, 2016, Edition

Posted: March 7, 2016 @ time: 09:45AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is here, with several items to kick it off. There is a look at the ASUS Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 motherboard, which features an updated version of the TUF Thermal Armor and the ability to RAID the PCIe x4 M.2 slots. We also have a couple looks at the Toshiba EXCERIA microSDXC cards, as the EXCERIA M301-EA 128GB and EXCERIA PRO M401 64GB cards get put to the test. If you're in need of a new laptop, perhaps the Lenovo Y700 Touch 15" Gaming Laptop, with its Core i7-6700HQ and GeForce GTX 960M, giving you that extra boost on the go. Wrapping things up is a guide on shortcuts for a number of OSes and browsers, so you can speed up the time spent navigating.

Motherboards
ASUS Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Toshiba EXCERIA M301-EA 128GB microSDXC Card @ Madshrimps
Toshiba EXCERIA PRO M401 64GB microSDXC Card @ Madshrimps

Laptops/Tablets
Lenovo Y700 Touch 15-inch Gaming Laptop @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Shortcut Extravaganza: Windows, Chrome, Android, iPhone and More @ TechSpot
 


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Fable Legends Canceled, Microsoft to Close UK and Denmark Studios

Posted: March 7, 2016 @ time: 10:12AM
Author: bp9801

In a rather stunning turn of events, Microsoft has decided to cancel development on Fable Legends and is discussing the closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK. Microsoft is also closing Press Play Studios in Denmark and ceasing work on Project Knoxville. Lionhead Studios is best known for the Fable and Black & White series, but now after 20 years it faces closure. Press Play is relatively new and was only brought into the Microsoft family in 2012, and previously worked on Max & the Magic Marker, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, and Kalimba. Its Project Knoxville was meant to be a third-person survival game, while Lionhead's Fable Legends was the next step in the series, with players assuming the role of a Hero or Villain and experiencing the story in single player or multiplayer (including cross-play between Windows 10 and Xbox One). Fable Legends had been in closed beta for a while and received an update as recently as 10 days ago.

Now both of these titles are canceled and the fate of Lionhead Studios does not look good (Press Play is already shuttered). Microsoft made the decision to cancel development not as a reflection on the studios, but rather to "focus its investment and development on the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play." That might be a little bit of a damning remark that fans don't want another Fable or survival game, but either way, these two titles are no more.

Microsoft says it still remains committed to the UK and European game development market, despite the closure (or impending closure) of these studios. It still has Quantum Break, Rare's Sea of Thieves, and Halo Wars 2, among others still in development, with all three of these titles also coming to Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft plans to help the teams at both Lionhead and Press Play to either find jobs at other Microsoft studios or elsewhere in the industry. As for Fable Legends and its closed beta, it will still run until April 13, although no new players will be admitted and anyone who purchased gold will receive a full refund.

Sources: Xbox Wire and Fable Legends


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NVIDIA Adds Game Ready Drivers for The Division and More

Posted: March 7, 2016 @ time: 04:21PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The latest batch of Game Ready drivers from NVIDIA, version 364.47 WHQL, are now available. Game Ready support has been added for The Division, Need For Speed, Hitman, and Ashes of the Singularity and will "ensure the best possible experience." The Division releases tomorrow and Need For Speed will be available a week later, while Hitman releases March 11 and Ashes of the Singularity is already available. Since the release of the new drivers, some users have reported having problems when using multiple monitor configurations. NVIDIA has acknowledged the problem and released a statement regarding the problem, "Initial investigation suggests the issue is isolated to multiple-monitor configurations. Should you experience issues, you can either disconnect one monitor during the driver installation (and reconnect once completed) or you can uninstall the driver through Windows Safe-Mode and revert to a previous version. Our driver team is actively investigating the issue and we will have more information shortly."

Source: WCCF Tech


Complete Story


Apple Fights Back Against KeRanger Ransomware

Posted: March 7, 2016 @ time: 04:39PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Ransomware is a type of malware that operates by encrypting your files and then asking for a ransom, typically in some form of crypto-currency such as bitcoin, in order to regain access to the files. The KeRanger ransomware was first discovered by Palo Alto Networks and operated through two infected versions of the Transmission BitTorrent client. The hackers were looking for one bitcoin, which currently equates to around $400. Apple was alerted to the malware on March 4, and the quick fix applied by the company could ultimately prove to have saved a lot of people a good chunk of money. The malware itself "was signed with a valid Mac app development certificate, which is how it was able to skirt around Apple’s Gatekeeper protection mechanism." Apple has since revoked the certificate and updated the XProtect software while Transmission has also updated its software and is advising users to upgrade.

Source: Tech Crunch


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Novel Security Vulnerability Discovered for 3D Printers

Posted: March 8, 2016 @ time: 08:33AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For just about any manufacturing company, securing intellectual property is of the utmost importance. This is especially true during the prototyping phase where we are seeing 3D printing technologies being used to reduce costs and speed up fabrication. While the files directing 3D printers can be encrypted for protection, researchers at the University of California, Irvine have discovered the sound produced by the printer can be used to steal the design being printed.

The researchers found this while actually studying the relationship between information and energy flows. It follows from fundamental laws of physics that energy is converted, not consumed. Sometimes the form energy takes one carries with it information we can gather and translate into something useful. In this case, the acoustic signals from the printers can be captured and processed to discover the precise movements of the printer's nozzle. From that it is possible to re-create whatever the object was being printed.

As any smartphone could be used to record the audio of a 3D printer, this could be a significant security issue. The researchers suggest finding ways to jam the acoustic signals, such as by adding white-noise devices, to obfuscate the information behind random sounds. On a more basic level, preventing people working in factories from carrying smartphones near 3D printers could also work.

Source: University of California, Irvine


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, March 8, 2016, Edition

Posted: March 8, 2016 @ time: 09:47AM
Author: bp9801

The week keeps rolling along, with a few new items to start off the day. We have a review of the Phanteks Eclipse P400S case, which offers a simplstic yet striking design and a large window to show off your new build. We also have the BitFenix Pandora ATX case, a larger version of its original Pandora case that retains its styling, with support for even more hardware inside. Our final item is a look at the coming state of VR and what games to look forward to on both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Cases
Phanteks Eclipse P400S @ Benchmark Reviews
BitFenix Pandora ATX @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Fresh start for VR: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive games to look out for in 2016 @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Corsair Introduces SFX SF600 and SF450 PSUs

Posted: March 8, 2016 @ time: 10:02AM
Author: bp9801

Corsair, one of the leaders in most computer hardware categories, has a couple new entries to its line of power supplies. The company has introduced the SF series of power supplies, its first ever line of SFX form factor PSUs that are perfect for small form factor cases. Each SF PSU features a fully modular design, 80 PLUS Gold certification, and 100% Japanese capacitors, bringing the quality you expect from Corsair in a much smaller size. The SF600 provides 600 watts of power, while the SF450 is a mere 450W. Both feature a 90mm cooling fan, the only consumer SFX PSUs with one, and a Zero RPM Fan Mode to keep things nice and quiet when you're not under a heavy load. The result is a small PSU that provides plenty of power and minimal noise to help make sure it isn't the loudest part of your new small PC.

The Corsair SF600 will be available soon, while the SF450 is available right now. The SF450 will set you back just $89.99, while the SF600 bumps it up to $119.99. Each one offers a seven-year warranty, providing plenty of peace of mind for the life of your systems.

Source: Press Release


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Seagate Unveils Fastest Ever SSD at 10GB/s

Posted: March 8, 2016 @ time: 10:18AM
Author: bp9801

Solid state drives keep trying to reach new speeds, but right now, Seagate has taken the cake in that regard. The storage giant has showcased a production-ready model of its fastest-ever SSD, which features a throughput of 10GB/s. It also meets Open Compute Project (OCP) specfiications, which is perfect for hyperscale data centers requiring the fastest SSDs and sustainable standards. The 10GB/s speed of the new SSD is more than 4GB/s faster than other models, and it works with any system that supports Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe). NVMe was developed in part by Seagate to replace SATA and eliminate bottlenecks, so it's no surprise that Seagate has acheived these speeds. The 10GB/s SSD accomodates 16-lane PCIe slots, which helps give it that fast throughput. Seagate is also working on an eight-lane PCIe SSD, which only tops out at 6.7GB/s, but still puts it as the fastest eight-lane PCIe SSD around. The 10GB/s SSD is perfect for companies where speed and/or processing data for object storage are the most important factors, while the 6.7GB/s model is great for those that need speed yet are constrained by cost or power requirements.

Seagate plans to show off the 10GB/s and 6.7GB/s SSDs later this week during the Open Compute Project Summit in San Jose, California. A launch date for these SSDs is expected later this summer.

Source: Press Release


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NVIDIA Showcases GameWorks Technologies in Tom Clancy's The Division

Posted: March 8, 2016 @ time: 10:36AM
Author: bp9801

Tom Clancy's The Division arrived today for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, bringing Ubisoft's online, open-world shooter to life. It did suffer from some connectivity issues as players were unable to connect to the servers, making you wonder just what two stress test betas were for, but Ubisoft did work quickly to get things rolling. If you're playing the game on PC, you'll be able to take advantage of some NVIDIA GameWorks technologies, including one that makes its debut with The Division. The NVIDIA ShadowWorks for NVIDIA HBAO+ (Horizon-Based Ambient Occlusion) and PCSS (Percentage Closer Soft Shadows) are in the game, as they are in several others, while something called NVIDIA HFTS is the newbie. HFTS stands for Hybrid Frustum Traced Shadows, which "interpolates between geometrically correct hard shadows and percentage closer soft shadow." Basically, it's a hybrid approach that combines frustum tracing, screen-space anti-aliasing, and variable penumbra soft shadow filters to smoothly transition between hard shadows and soft ones in real time. It should make for much more lifelike shadows as you explore a ravaged Manhattan.

New NVIDIA drivers arrived to help give The Division a boost in performance, as well as the upcoming Need for Speed and Hitman, plus the recently released Rise of the Tomb Raider. The ones that launched yesterday, 364.47, have been replaced by today's 364.51 after some users encountered an installation issue. Tom Clancy's The Division is out now for the aforementioned systems, and anyone purchasing a GTX 970 or above, or laptop with GTX 970M, 980M, or 980, will receive a copy of the game for free.

Source: Press Release, GeForce.com, and PC Gamer


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Corsair Revamps the Sabre RGB Gaming Mouse With a 10,000 DPI Optical Sensor

Posted: March 8, 2016 @ time: 10:53AM
Author: bp9801

A couple years ago, Corsair introduced its Sabre RGB gaming mouse, bringing a lightweight option to fit a range of grip styles. Today Corsair has improved the Sabre RGB mouse with a new optical sensor that hits 10,000 DPI. It's a big jump from the 6400 DPI optical sensor of the original, and even the 8200 DPI laser version (the new model is optical-only). If 10,000 DPI is a bit too much all the time, you can adjust it all the way down to 100 DPI, or anything in between. You still get four-zone illumination with 16.8 million colors, eight programmable buttons, and a lightweight design that clocks in at just 100 grams. The eight buttons can be reprogrammed with the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) to fit whatever you need, from a keystroke to complex macros. The lighting can also be customized in CUE to fit your own style or even match your Corsair RGB keyboard, if you have one on your desk. The Sabre RGB also features an ergonomic design for comfortable gaming long into the night, a 1.8 meter braided cable with easy-flex design to avoid snags, and a 1000Hz polling rate.

The Corsair Sabre RGB gaming mouse is available now for $49.99.

Source: Press Release


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Microsoft SQL Server Coming to Linux

Posted: March 8, 2016 @ time: 04:44PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Microsoft has announced plans to make its SQL Server database software available to Linux users for the first time. A move like this indicates that Microsoft "is now prioritizing the sale of its database software over the sale of the operating system running beneath it." This sentiment was echoed by CEO Satya Nadella who stated, "Our most strategic asset is not the server operating system." Users can start evaluating the software with a preview version now, with a full release expected during the middle of next year. The move could help Microsoft better compete against the many other offerings that are available, both open source and proprietary, a thought shared by IDC's enterprise infrastructure VP Al Gillen who "would expect this will also accelerate the overall adoption of SQL Server."

Source: The Verge


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Latest NVIDIA Drivers Add Vulkan API Support

Posted: March 8, 2016 @ time: 04:59PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The latest WHQL drivers from NVIDIA, version 364.47, were released yesterday with Game Ready support for multiple upcoming games. Absent from our post yesterday is the fact that NVIDIA also added support for version 1.0.3 of the Vulkan kernel. Vulkan is the successor to OpenGL created by the Khronos Group, with version 1.0 made available just last month. As the API was just recently released there aren't many games that take advantage of it, but with this release "Nvidia has positioned itself advantageously against the competition as a result of being the first company to support both DirectX 12 and Vulkan in a complete, non-beta state."

Source: Digital Trends


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NVIDIA Pushes New Driver to Fix Installation Issues of GeForce Driver Version 364.47

Posted: March 9, 2016 @ time: 06:36AM
Author: gebraset

It was revealed yesterday that the latest GameReady driver from NVIDIA successfully added Vulkan API support to the mix. Unfortunately, a wealth of users were reporting critical installation issues with version 364.47 of the GeForce driver when doing an "Express" installation. In order to remedy this, NVIDIA has pushed out version 364.51 of its GeForce driver. Although the driver is currently in a beta state, it has been submitted to Microsoft for WHQL certification, and will be updated as being WHQL certified in the near future. NVIDIA is recommending that pending installations of version 364.47 not be installed, and that users should instead utilize the new 364.51 beta version, or wait for the driver to be WHQL certified.

Source: NVIDIA Support


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Old Technology Could Return to Generate Cheap Power

Posted: March 9, 2016 @ time: 10:59AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Sometimes the march of progress can take you to the past to address new problems. A pair of researchers have recently joined Berkeley Lab's Cyclotron Road program to hopefully bring back thermionics. This technology was developed in the 1960s and '70s, and thanks to technological advances since then, might be making a return.

Thermionics is a means to convert heat to electricity by exploiting differences in two materials' work functions. The work function is a measure of how well a material holds onto its electrons. By placing two plates with different work functions next to each other and heating one of them up, electrons will evaporate from that plate and travel to the cooler one, generating an electric current. It was developed in the 1960s for use in the space-nuclear program, but the program was shut down in 1973, taking thermionics with it.

By using modern materials and microfabrication methods, the hope is to bring back thermionics and reach the 30% or better efficiency the technology can achieve. One of the technologies helping bring thermionics back is the spin-polarized low-energy electron microscope (SPLEEM), which is able to detect a material's work function and improve our understanding of exactly how thermionics work. Eventually we may see modular thermionic devices made that can scale from watts to megawatts, efficiently converting heat to electricity around the world.

Source: Berkeley Lab


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HyperX Impact Line Grows with Larger Capacity Modules

Posted: March 9, 2016 @ time: 01:55PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today HyperX announced new members of its HyperX Impact DDR4 SODIMM line with the addition of 16 GB modules. Previously the Impact DD4 line was comprised of 4 GB and 8 GB modules, with kits reaching 16 GB. With these new modules though, the line now has 32 GB and 64 GB kits at 2133 MHz and 2400 MHz frequencies, to satisfy the needs of gamers and enthusiasts. Voltages are set at 1.2 V and are XMP ready, and with plug-and-play functionality built into the modules, it is even easier to get the best performance out of your machine.

Source: Press Release


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Microsoft Using Security Updates to Push Windows 10

Posted: March 9, 2016 @ time: 04:22PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Microsoft has been aggressively pushing Windows 10 to users of older versions of Windows. I am regularly encouraged to upgrade when starting my computer, no matter how many times I say not interested. It appears that the latest tactic out of Microsoft is the inclusion of an ad generator in part of the most recent Patch Tuesday update targeting Internet Explorer. Fix KB 3139929 "resolves several reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage in Internet Explorer… Additionally, this security update includes several nonsecurity-related fixes for Internet Explorer." The last part of the quote is where the generator is included. The ad generator works by adding a blue banner on new tabs that states, "Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10."

Source: Info World


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AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 Arrives; Adds Vulkan API Support

Posted: March 9, 2016 @ time: 05:33PM
Author: bp9801

Hot on the heels of Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.2.1 comes 16.3, the latest version of AMD's new graphics driver initiative. Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 provides support for the upcoming Hitman game, which arrives this Friday in the first of its episodic adventures. If you're planning to pick up the newest way to step into the shoes of Agent 47 and own an AMD card, Crimson Editon 16.3 is the driver for you. It also has an updated CrossFire profile for Hitman and The Park, a first-person horror game released late last year. AMD also has some better performance figures in Rise of the Tomb Raider and Gears of War Ultimate Edition compared to Crimson Edition 16.2/16.2.1, with Rise of the Tomb Raider seeing a 16% bump on Fury X hardware and Gears of War 60% on Fury X and 44% on R9 380 cards.

Along with the gaming side of things, Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 adds support for the new Vulkan API, much like NVIDIA's latest GeForce drivers; Eyefinity with just two displays instead of three; a status indicator for CrossFire that provides a visual indicator on the desktop when running CrossFire; per-game display scaling; and more. Various issues are also fixed in the new driver, while some other issues are highlighted so users can be aware if they happen. You can check out the full release notes and download Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 at the source below.

Source: AMD


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R7 360 Green iCooler OC Introduced by HIS

Posted: March 10, 2016 @ time: 04:17AM
Author: gebraset

Hightech Information System Limited, an internationally acclaimed graphics cards company, has officially introduced its R7 360 Green iCooler OC graphics card. The new product is geared toward maximum energy efficiency, as it comes with a TDP of just 50W compared to the usual 100W TDP that AMD recommends for the Tobago based card. The R7 360 Green iCooler OC uses high-grade VRM components that are more energy efficient than ones used on traditional R7 360 GPUs and relies entirely on power delivery from the PCIe bus. While the card does feature 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 6.0GHz effective, HIS has included a slight 20MHz core clock speed increase from the R7 360's reference 1050MHz.

Source: TechPowerUp


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Laser Grown Directly On Silicon Substrate

Posted: March 10, 2016 @ time: 08:53AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Satisfying the consumers desire for ever faster devices, manufacturers are starting to turn to new means of transporting data. One alternative is to use light to efficiently and quickly carry information throughout a device, but building a light source into a chip has proven difficult. However, researchers at Cardiff University have successfully grown a laser onto a silicon substrate, which is a step toward lasers on silicon-based chips.

Currently the communication within a computer is done by shuttling electrical currents along wires. While this works, its effectiveness is negatively impacted by the length of the wires and each wire can only carry so much information. Photonic systems that use light instead are far less affected by the distance they have to cover and support much higher bandwidths. By building an electrically-powered laser on a silicon substrate, we are significant step closer to realizing silicon photonics and the potential of ultra-fast communication systems within computers and between electronic systems. The laser the researchers created operates at a wavelength of 1300 nm, at temperatures up to 120 ºC, and can last for up to 100,000 hours.

Source: Cardiff University


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, March 10, 2016, Edition

Posted: March 10, 2016 @ time: 10:51AM
Author: bp9801

A new day is here with plenty of items for you to check out, so let's dive right in. There is a review on the BIOSTAR RACING B150GT5 motherboard, which is a mainstream model that has plenty of features to appeal to anyone planning a new build. To help house a new build, perhaps the Corsair Carbide 400C case, with its large side window and simplistic design, is for you. We have a look at the Reeven Justice CPU cooler, a single tower model with six heat pipes and a 120mm PWM fan to keep things from burning up. For those needing a way to help control your games, maybe the Cooler Master Xornet II mouse will help seal the deal. Wrapping things up is the WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra 8TB NAS, an affordable option for the home user to help greatly expand their storage.

Motherboards
BIOSTAR RACING B150GT5 @ Madshrimps

Cases
Corsair Carbide 400C @ PC Perspective

CPU Cooling
Reeven Justice @ ThinkComputers

Keyboards/Mice
Cooler Master Xornet II Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra 8TB NAS @ TechSpot


Complete Story


The Division Breaks Sales Records

Posted: March 10, 2016 @ time: 12:28PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On Tuesday, Ubisoft launched Tom Clancy's The Division, a title many people have been looking forward to since it was announced. Apparently it was actually a great many people because, according to Ubisoft's internal estimates, the game sold more copies in its first 24 hours of availability than any other Ubisoft title. It also set the company's record for total digital full game sales in a single day, across all platforms.

When these internal estimates are compared with data from NPD and GFK Chart Track, it puts The Division in the top four of most successful new game brand launches. The other three are Watch_Dogs, Assassin's Creed (both Ubisoft titles), and Destiny. Needless to say, Ubisoft is very proud of these achievements and the work its employees have done.

Source: Ubisoft


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Ashes of the Singularity 1.0 Releases March 31

Posted: March 10, 2016 @ time: 02:42PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Ashes of the Singularity is an RTS game that many have been looking forward to and many have been enjoying as an early access title. One of the reasons the game has had so much interest is because its Nitrous 3D engine takes advantage of 64 bit, multi-core processors and multiple DirectX 12 features, including asynchronous compute and explicit multi-adapter rendering. This allows it, and the games built using it, to support far greater complexity in both visuals and gameplay than other engines by better utilizing the hardware components it has access to.

Now, after being an early access title since October, the 1.0 release has a launch date of March 31. With this release will come new features, including the ability to edit maps and the Ascendancy Wars campaign. This campaign will be non-linear, but if you want a different experience, there are also single player scenarios and skirmishes with the multi-core RTS AI powering the bots, as well as ranked multiplayer, and custom matches with friends and AI.

 

 

Source: Ashes of the Singularity Forum


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Opera Now Includes Built-in Ad Blocking

Posted: March 10, 2016 @ time: 04:27PM
Author: CheeseMan42

There are a number of popular methods for blocking ads in web browsers, with Adblock Plus arguably the most popular and well known. Opera has announced that it will begin bundling ad blocking software with its web browser, making it the first major browser to do so. The motivations behind ad blocking include "faster loading Web pages, increased privacy and security and a less intrusive web browsing experience." An Opera spokeswoman delved further into the reasoning, stating "Ad-blocking technology is an opportunity and a wake-up call to the advertising industry to pay attention to what consumers are actually saying." The technology will first be added to a version targeted at developers and early adopters with plans to move to its mainstream browser later. Perhaps this move could help the browser make up some ground on the four browsers ahead of it in usage.

Source: Venture Beat


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Google Joins Open Compute Project

Posted: March 10, 2016 @ time: 04:52PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Open Compute Project "was started by Facebook six years ago as a way for end-user companies to get together and design their own data center equipment, free of the unneeded features that drive up costs for traditional vendor products." At the OCP Summit on Wednesday Google announced that it would finally join the effort, joining existing members such as Microsoft. As its first contribution, Google designed a server rack that operates on 48V rather than the traditional 12V, allowing for improved efficiency due to lower conversion loss. Google has already deployed the design internally alongside shallower racks. Google already has its eyes on more changes including developing a replacement for the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) which senior VP of infrastructure Urs Holzle described as "outdated for a while," adding "I think there's an opportunity to define standards in a way that will let every operator use the same one, and then every vendor to export their data in the right way."

Source: PC World


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Multiple Photons Entangled with High-Dimensional Quantum Property

Posted: March 11, 2016 @ time: 09:56AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Quantum mechanics describes many unusual and counterintuitive phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement. By finding ways to cause these phenomena, advanced technologies can be created, such as quantum computers, unbreakable encryption, and a quantum Internet. Now researchers at the University of Vienna and more have successfully entangled three photons with a high-dimensional quantum property, which has been described on paper before, but this is the first time it has been achieved.

Entanglement is the phenomenon whereby multiple particles can have some property connected or shared between them. No matter how separated a pair of entangled particles are, measuring the state of one, tells you the state of the other. What the researchers have achieved is entangling three photons together, so one can tell you about the other two, and this was done by combining two pairs of high-dimensionally entangled photons. The high-dimensionality means that there is more than a single property entangled between the photons, so one photon can carry more than one bit of information. Additionally this experiment allowed for asymmetric quantum entanglement, as two of the photons could have another property entangled between them.

The applications for this discovery for now are limited to future experiments studying quantum mechanics, but as technology advances, more things become possible, such as building a quantum Internet. By entangling more than just two particles together, this Internet could connect more than just two people. Also the researchers developed a new cryptographic protocol that could be used with these photons to allow for multiple layers of information to be securely shared with multiple parties.

Source: University of Vienna


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, March 11, 2016, Edition

Posted: March 11, 2016 @ time: 10:03AM
Author: bp9801

The week is nearly wrapped up, with just a few items to help get you to the weekend. We have a look at a new piece of software that may help properly monitor and record the frame time data for DirectX 12 and even UWP games. If you need a new smartphone, perhaps the review of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge might help make the decision for you. Ending things for the week is a new podcast covering the latest news and reviews.

Mobile
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge @ TechSpot

Miscellany
PresentMon: Frame Time Performance Data for DX12 / UWP Games @ PC Perspective
Podcast #390 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


NVIDIA VXAO Comes to Rise of the Tomb Raider

Posted: March 11, 2016 @ time: 10:16AM
Author: bp9801

A few months ago, Rise of the Tomb Raider was mentioned as having an unknown NVIDIA GameWorks technology called VXAO. In yesterday's patch for the game, everything was finally revealed, and VXAO is now ready to hit the world. VXAO stands for Voxal Ambient Occlusion and is the highest quality level of ambient occlusion available in games today. It works by voxelizing the scene in order to provide superior image quality, a smoother camera motion response, finer details, and greater accuracy than screen-space solutions. VXAO is a world-space AO algorithm, so it should help make Rise of the Tomb Raider and any other games that take advantage of it something to behold. The latest video driver, 364.51, supports the new patch in Rise of the Tomb Raider, so be sure to grab both (especially since it brings DX12 to Rise of the Tomb Raider) if you want to see what VXAO is all about.

If you're going to be attending GDC 2016, NVIDIA will offer a session on Advanced Ambient Occlusion for Modern Games, where it explains both HBAO+ Ultra and VXAO. The session runs from 5 to 6pm on Wednesday, March 16.

Source: Press Release


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