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Friday November 16, 2018

Microsoft to Release a Disc-Less Xbox One in 2019 for $199 [RUMOR]

Brad Sams says that Microsoft is going to release a disc-less Xbox One S for $199 in 2019. Users of the console will be able to take their physical games and trade them in for digital entitlements. Then they will be able to download their games direct to their consoles. For increased value, gamers will be able to play 100 games via Xbox Game Pass for $9.99 a month. Microsoft will also introduce a cheaper Xbox One S console that trims some features, but keeps the disc drive.

The Scarlett devices are Microsoft's next-gen consoles and are not expected until 2020 but in 2019, the company is planning to release a disc-less console. And if this is making you nervous because you have a large collection of physical discs for your current Xbox, Microsoft has you covered. In addition to the new console, there will be a 'disc-to-digital' program that, as the name states, turns your physical games into digital downloads. The idea is that you can take your disc to a participating retailer (like the Microsoft store) and trade in your disc for a digital download.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 5:31 PM (CST)

Pixel 3 Lite Spy Photos Show a 3.5mm Headphone Jack and Snapdragon 670 [RUMOR]

Russian tech blog Rozetked has leaked spy photos of the upcoming Google Pixel 3 Lite codenamed "Sargo." Instead of glass, the body of this budget Pixel uses plastic, but it retains the same highly rated camera from the flagship models. The processor in the smartphone is reportedly an 8-core Snapdragon 670, made on a 10 nm process and uses the Adreno 615 graphics chip. 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage are available, but there is no microSD slot. Of course the big deal is the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack and the low price of $400 - $500 compared to the $999 flagship models. The screen is a 5.56-inch IPS-display with a resolution of 2220 x 1080 pixels - 444 dots per inch. Many details and images of the phone are in the article.

Battery capacity 2915 mAh. Information about charging speed is not available, but the installed processor supports Quick Charge 4+. The main camera is one with a resolution of 12 megapixels and a double flash, the front one is 8 megapixels. Considering that our source has already become familiar with the device, there is a verdict - the camera is the same as the regular Pixel 3 and is not inferior in quality. The expected cost of Pixel 3 Lite is $ 400-500. Perhaps the novelty will be shown at the end of the year or in the first quarter of 2019.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 5:00 PM (CST)

SpaceX Receives FCC Approval to Launch Low Earth Orbit Internet Satellites into Space

SpaceX has won FCC approval to launch 7,518 Starlink low Earth orbit internet satellites into space. These satellites will initially create a blanket of internet coverage for the USA, but the program is expected to expand worldwide as SpaceX seeks to broaden the network to 12,000 units. Kepler Communications and LeoSat also won FCC approval to place low Earth orbit satellites into space. The Ku-band and Ka-band satellites from SpaceX will be created in-house. Half of the satellites must be placed into space within 6 years and the rest within 9 years. For fun, I am including a video of the SpaceX Es'hail-2 Mission satellite launch to provide internet for the Middle East and North Africa that was done yesterday.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the constellations that advanced today are evidence of a major shift in space activities, since the number of approved satellites nearly equals the 8,126 objects that have been launched into space since Sputnik in 1957. "Do the math: it adds up to a next generation space race," she said. "New commercial models, players and technologies are all coming together and rapidly multiplying the range of satellite services. With these new services come all kinds of opportunities." Of the four, SpaceX is by far the largest with 7,518 satellites constituting what it calls a "very low Earth orbit," or VLEO constellation that would operate slightly below 350-kilometers. At that altitude, SpaceX says atmospheric drag would pull spent satellites down in one month, assuaging concerns about the magnitude of debris that that many satellites could create in higher orbits.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 4:15 PM (CST)

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Expansion Announcement

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringer expansion was announced today and has an early summer 2019 release date. The trailer insinuates that the story will have a huge plot twist where the Warrior of Light becomes the Warrior of Darkness. New mechanics in the game include raising the level cap from 70 to 80, a couple of new areas to explore and quest in, a new playable race and Blue Mage job, new tribes and creatures, new dungeons and raids, and more. The best new features from the announcement are the ability to play on any world on your data center and the end of support for Windows 32-bit operating systems. Previous adventurers who haven't logged in the past 30 days can login for free and play for 4 days to test the game out again. There is a free trial for new adventurers.

New Playable Race -- While the identity of the new race was not specifically stated, director and producer Naoki Yoshida hinted at it being Viera with the Bugs Bunny on the back of his t-shirt. Patch 4.5 will also hint at this race.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 2:48 PM (CST)

The Definitive iPad Pro Durability Test

JerryRigEverything is at it again bending and torturing electronic devices. Today he puts the Apple iPad Pro through a durability test that replicates the damage a child could do to the tablet or an adult accidentally sitting on the device. He also probes into the performance of the Apple sapphire glass and notes the weak points found on the all metal casing.

Apple says their New iPad Pro is a magical piece of glass that does everything you need, any way you hold it. (As long as you are gentle of course.) Today we are going to find out how durable Apples new piece of glass really is. How good is the drawing on the iPad? We'll be testing that out with Art Class With Jerry. (Which side did Apple want us to draw on again? I forget...) And finally we will finish off with the New iPad Pro Bend test, this will tell us realistically how much force the iPad Pro can withstand while it is in your backpack or book bag, or while being accidentally sat on.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 12:52 PM (CST)

U.S. Navy Tests Foldable Drone Launched from a Tube

We already have guns designed to take out drones, but now the U.S. Navy is working on drones that can be shot from a "gun". The Nomad UAV has 2 counter-rotating propellers that fold up, and is about 3 feet tall. The whole thing fits inside a launch tube, which is pressurized with CO2 to shoot the drone out. Right now, the Navy intends to use it as an active decoy, but they're also encouraging other companies to find creative uses for it.

But the Nomad's patent application points out why its design is so awesome. "Relative to other tube-launched equivalent fixed-wing options, the (Nomad) has more payload volume, ability to hover and station keep relative to slow-moving targets, and the ability to point independent of vehicle velocity," it reads. "Compared to other tube-launched rotary-wing aircraft, (Nomads) have a larger more efficient rotor diameter, increased modularity, and can be deployed in higher relative winds and airspeeds due to the much larger rotor blade separation."

Discussion Posted by alphaatlas 12:18 PM (CST)

Sony Announces the Fifth Anniversary of PlayStation 4

In a new blog post, Sony Senior Vice President Eric Lempel announced sales statistics to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Sony PlayStation 4. The video game juggernaut has sold 86.1 million hardware units, in addition to over 777.9 million software units worldwide. Two of the top selling PS4 titles are Call of Duty games and two more are FIFA games. Grand Theft Auto V is also on the list of the top 5 best selling games. The most popular titles on PS4 sees the addition of Fortnite, and the list for the most downloaded PlayStation Plus titles highlights Destiny 2, Just Cause 3, and Mafia III.

Once again, I'd like to thank all of our incredible fans, whose passion inspires us every day to make PS4 the best place to play. We look forward to welcoming all those who will be joining the PS4 community this holiday and beyond.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 11:58 AM (CST)

Star Citizen is Free to Try for a Week Starting November 23

In celebration of the game's anniversary, Roberts Space Industries announced that Star Citizen will be free between November 23 and December 1. This isn't the first time the game has had a free trial period, but with the launch of the Alpha 3.3 patch a few days ago, it's probably the first trial that will run well on most PCs. While the patch notes don't particularly emphasize it, users are reporting that 3.3 dramatically improve's the game's previously rocky performance.

To celebrate the release of Hurston, Star Citizen's first explorable planet, and commemorate our anniversary, we're launching a Free Fly event of unprecedented magnitude. From Nov 23 through Dec 1 you'll have the chance to try out every flyable ship and operable vehicle in the game for free. Here's how it works: During the promotion, anyone can join Star Citizen's Persistent Universe for free. You'll be able to experience Star Citizen first-hand, but to get out there and start exploring, you're gonna need a ship. Starting on November 23rd, every day at 8am PST, a different ship manufacturer in the game will make its entire flyable fleet available for a 24-hour test flight period.

Discussion Posted by alphaatlas 11:37 AM (CST)

Just a Reminder...

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Discussion Posted by Kyle 11:24 AM (CST)

How A Hacker Obtained Motorola Source Code with a Few Phone Calls

Motherboard uploaded a video showing how Kevin Mitnick managed to obtain a Motorola cell phone's source code with a couple of phone calls. And, just for fun, he hacked Motorola's network afterwards, and obtained older versions of the source code as well. This just goes to show that, no matter how secure a system is, humans on the phone are sometimes the only weak link a hacker needs. Check out the video below:

In this episode of 'Greatest Moments in Hacking History,' Kevin Mitnick is a fugitive hiding out in Colorado. In an attempt to avoid detection from the authorities, Mitnick decides he wants to hack a cellphone so he can hide his location while using the device. To do this, the hacker sets up a social engineering attack against Motorola to fool them into giving him the source code to the MicroTAC Ultra Lite cell phone so he can break into it.

Discussion Posted by alphaatlas 11:11 AM (CST)

2015 White House OPM Hack is Still Largely Unfixed

Back in 2015, the White House Office of Personnel Management was hit by a big hack, and the government response was pretty slow. The Government Accountability Office, which recently released a scathing report on the security of U.S. weapon systems, issued several recommendations after the hack, and just recently went back to check on the office's progress. The results of the report (PDF warning) aren't good. According to the GAO, the OPM followed up on some of the requests, but failed to "demonstrated that it had fully implemented" others. The accusations including failing to "reset all passwords subsequent to the breach," failing to install critical security updates in a timely manner, and failing to stop the use of shared administrator accounts. Public scrutiny may be accelerating the agency's security efforts, as many of the recommendations were implemented this quarter. Thanks to pek for the tip.

However, the agency had not provided sufficient evidence that it had implemented the other 16 recommendations. These recommendations included avoiding the use of the same administrator accounts by multiple persons, implementing procedures governing the use of special privileges on a key computer, encrypting passwords while stored or in-transit across the network, and installing the latest versions of operating system software on network devices supporting a high-impact system.

Discussion Posted by alphaatlas 10:34 AM (CST)

Coolso Technology Reveals Muscle Bio Sensors for VR and AR at Trade Show

Coolso Technology has unveiled its new muscle bio sensors that allow everyday gestures to be interpreted as commands in virtual reality and augmented reality. The company's founder Jack Wu says that they have many uses beyond gaming and medical applications.

At the 2018 Meet Taipei Startup Festival running November 15-17, the company has released two new devices. One of them is fitted with muscle sensing module and inertial sensor, can conduct wireless data transmission through Bluetooth low energy (BLE) and Bluetooth 4.0 technology, and can be utilized with AR and multimedia for collaborative control. In addition, the device can be connected with rehabilitation robots for medical applications. The second device can transmit digital signals through optical sensors and Bluetooth 2.0 technology. It can be connected with HTC Vive Tracker to show VR gaming contents, allowing users to experience man-machine interface applications.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 10:21 AM (CST)

Jaguar Land Rover Tests Traffic Light Connection Technology

The prediction of red lights and green lights is almost a myth among many drivers, but Jaguar-Land Rover is trying to turn it into a reality. The company is testing "Vehicle-to-Infrastructure" technology that will help drivers avoid red lights, while the "Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory" shows drivers the perfect speed to approach red lights at. Check out a video of the tech below:

Jaguar Land Rover has also addressed time lost to searching for a parking space by providing real-time information of available spaces to drivers and developed an Emergency Vehicle Warning to alert motorists when a fire engine, police car or ambulance is approaching.

Discussion Posted by alphaatlas 9:59 AM (CST)

AAA Says Driver Assist Systems Are Deceptively Unreliable

"Self driving" tech is all the rage, but a new report by AAA says that consumers should be more cautious. says testing done by the company shows that "electronic driver assist systems on the road today may not keep vehicles in their lanes or spot stationary objects in time to avoid a crash." In spite of this, many diving automation systems use the word "pilot" and other terms that make some drivers believe the cars can drive themselves. Responding to the report, auto manufacturers stress that those systems are supposed to be assistive, but AAA seems to think the message isn't clear enough.

The auto club tested the systems on four vehicles that had adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking. Vehicles tested included the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S Class, the 2018 Nissan Rogue, a 2017 Tesla Model S and a 2019 Volvo XC40. In addition to Tesla's Autopilot, Volvo calls its system "Pilot Assist," while Nissan's is named "ProPilot Assist"... AAA says the vehicles drifted out of lanes and hugged lane markers, struggling with moderate traffic, curved roads and streets with busy intersections. Three of the four would have failed to avoid a crash when the vehicle ahead of them changed lanes and a simulated stopped vehicle was ahead. "As a result we had to take evasive action," said Brannon. Only the Tesla system brought the vehicle to a complete stop in all five track test runs, but driver intervention was needed for the others, the AAA report said.

Discussion Posted by alphaatlas 9:28 AM (CST)

Graphene Pixels Could Lead to High Speed Reflective Displays

Reflective displays, like those found in e-books, offer higher efficiency than the traditional, emissive displays you're probably reading this article on. But current reflective displays suffer from a limited color gamut and slow pixel response times. However, researchers from the Deflt University of Technology claim to have used graphene to create small pixels with a high refresh rate. The "Graphene Interferometric Modulator Display," or GIMOD for short, was officially tested at 400hz, but the researchers claim that the pixels should work at up to 2000hz. Dr. Cartamil-Bueno said "Our GIMOD prototypes would have a resolution of more than 12K if we make them the size of a smartphone display." The scientist's recently released research paper says that the graphene pixels would eliminate the need for RGB subpixels, as they can "generate natural colors in the full spectrum and in a continuous manner." They claim the new displays would be especially useful in AR/VR applications. has a video of the 0.5", 2500 PPI prototype in action, but time will tell if this technology makes its way to real displays.

Dr. Cartamil-Bueno, the inventor and researcher that fabricated the graphene displays, shares his experience as entrepreneur bringing the GIMOD technology to the market. "We showcased GIMOD prototypes of 2500 pixels per inch (ppi) in the Mobile World Congress, and many players from the display industry reacted quite enthusiastically. While participating in several business contests in Germany, I have been preparing the team and securing capital. In few weeks, we will launch the startup to commercialize GIMOD components, aiming to tackle the VR market because that is where GIMOD outperforms every other technology."

Discussion Posted by alphaatlas 8:56 AM (CST)

Sony Drops Out of E3 2019

Sony told Game Informer that it is dropping out of E3 next year. The exact reasoning behind the decision was rather nebulous, as many PR statements are, but when asked if Sony would host an event off-site like EA has done in the past, they said "We will not activate or hold a press conference around E3." Sony also canceled their annual Playstation Experience event, and as of now, there's no publicly announced replacement to either event. In a separate press release, the ESA, which is behind the E3 Expo, published quotes of confidence from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Epic Games, and confirmed that Square Enix, Take-Two, Ubisoft and other industry giants will all be attending the event. Why Sony chose to drop out is anyone's guess, but Game Informer speculates that the news will "escalate the feeling among many that E3 has simply lessened in importance in recent years."

"PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to innovate, think differently and experiment with new ways to delight gamers. As a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can't wait to share our plans with you."

Discussion Posted by alphaatlas 8:04 AM (CST)

Darksiders 3: Fury's Apocalypse Countdown to Launch Trailer

Here is the Darksiders 3: Fury's Apocalypse Countdown to Launch trailer. The game launches on November 27, 2018. Thanks @Blade-Runner .

Fury's apocalypse is set to rain down. The long-awaited action-adventure sequel arrives on November 27.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 6:25 AM (CST)

Here Is the Sunset Overdrive Windows 10 PC Launch Trailer

Here is the launch trailer for the PC version of Sunset Overdrive for Windows 10. The game releases today and is $19.99.

The city's overrun with mutants. Problem? Not for you. Sunset Overdrive is an open-world playground of post-apocalyptic possibilities. Vault, grind & wall-run while using a deadly & unconventional arsenal. With hyper-agility, unique weapons, & customizable abilities, it rewrites the rules of shooters while delivering an irreverent adventure. Coming November 16th!

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 6:10 AM (CST)

SMACH Team Releases New SMACH Z Alpha Prototype Footage

The SMACH Z alpha prototype for the upcoming handheld PC-based console is showcased in this video. The input control system for the device screams 'Steam Controller' as it features dual trackpads, HD haptic feedback, dual-stage triggers, back grip buttons, and fully-customizable control schemes. Players can create their own control mappings or download mappings from other players just like a Steam Controller. Also the controls are configurable so gamers can use other control schemes such as old school arcade layouts with the handheld console. The company says that the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 running at 3.6GHz with AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics has 2.6 TFLOPS of power to play any current AAA PC game. Here is some additional footage of the device at the Tokyo Game Show from a press release.

This simple yet magic solution will permit you to play with a real D-Pad on your SMACH Z, add a second stick or add more buttons. There are plenty of combinations! The basic set of Z-Pads includes the D-Pad, 4 buttons and a joystick. The retro set includes 7 Z-Pads inspired in retro consoles to play emulators as with the original consoles. The Air Z-Pads set includes 4 Z-pads can be used with the touchpads at the same time, adding a new layer of possibilities.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 5:30 AM (CST)
Thursday November 15, 2018

NVIDIA Releases Its Financial Results for Third Quarter Fiscal 2019

NVIDIA has reported revenue for the third quarter that ended on October 28, 2018, of $3.18 billion, up 21% from $2.64 billion a year earlier, and up 2% from $3.12 billion in the previous quarter. CNBC is reporting that NVIDIA shares are down 18% in after hours trading, after the miss on revenue, as analysts predicted $3.24 billion. NVIDIA expects $2.70 billion in revenue in the fiscal 4th quarter and that is below the Refinitiv consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. The NVIDIA gaming business did not meet FactSet consensus estimates.

"AI is advancing at an incredible pace across the world, driving record revenues for our datacenter platforms," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "Our introduction of Turing GPUs is a giant leap for computer graphics and AI, bringing the magic of real-time ray tracing to games and the biggest generational performance improvements we have ever delivered. "Our near-term results reflect excess channel inventory post the crypto-currency boom, which will be corrected. Our market position and growth opportunities are stronger than ever. During the quarter, we launched new platforms to extend our architecture into new growth markets -- RAPIDS for machine learning, RTX Server for film rendering, and the T4 Cloud GPU for hyperscale and cloud."

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 5:18 PM (CST)

Official Nintendo Mario Kart 8 Livestream Features Cursing and Employees Getting Fired

Nintendo of Russia boss Yasha Haddaji might be in hot water after he lost his cool during an official Mario Kart 8 livestream. The poorly run event was being livestreamed when Yasha Haddaji enters the stage area to complain that it isn't being streamed to a particular Nintendo page. He starts calling employees derogatory names. Then he cursed some of them out and fired a few of the employees on the spot. When he finds out the stream is live, he continues to berate employees while the hosts play Mario Kart 8. Nintendo fans in Russia have launched a petition to have him fired.

The video's introduction states it has been made public now to demonstrate Yasha Haddaji's character and illustrate how Nintendo of Russia's management is a "shambles". An associated petition, "Save Nintendo Russia from its CEO", is nearing 1000 signatures at the time of writing. It calls for Nintendo of Europe to step in and replace Haddaji. We've asked Nintendo for comment.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 3:52 PM (CST)

NVIDIA Help Hombres Hit Homerun with HardOCP

We have have done an awful lot of reporting about NVIDIA and its dying RTX cards lately, but there will be no complaining about this. We reached out to NVIDIA online chat support yesterday afternoon, and let them know that our RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition card had bit the dust. Support explained to me that the RMA department would follow up in 24 hours. Here we are less than 24 hours later and we just got a message from NVIDIA RMA.
NVIDIA has shipped a replacement card that will be here via FedEx in the morning before 10:30am. We also got verification of the shipment through FedEx as well. NVIDIA RMA also supplied a return label for our failed card, and we have 15 days to return it. Now that is what we call support for a $1200 video card. Did your RMA go as well? Discussion Posted by Kyle 2:52 PM (CST)

AMD Announces New "Raise the Game" Bundle Included with Select Graphics Cards

AMD has announced a new Raise the Game bundle of AAA+ video game titles for purchasers of select RX Vega, RX 590, RX 580, and RX 570 graphics cards. AMD RX 580 and RX 570 buyers will have a choice of 2 of the games in the bundle, while consumers who purchase a RX Vega or RX 590 will be eligible to get all 3 games for free. The 3 games in the "Raise the Game" bundle include Tom Clancy's The Division 2, Resident Evil 2, and Devil May Cry 5. Click here to learn why the XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy OC+ sat on the EVGA GTX 1060 SSC during the AMD Radeon RX 590 launch review here on Hardocp.

Fend off marauders, survive an apocalypse or teach demons a lesson with AMD Radeon RX Vega, RX 590, RX 580 or RX 570 graphics. Take to the streets of Washington D.C. as the world struggles to recover from a deadly virus outbreak in Tom Clancy's The Division 2 or take a trip back to the terrifying streets of Racoon City in the all-new reimagining of horror-classic Resident Evil 2. Play as Dante, Nero and the mysterious V in Devil May Cry 5. Hack and slash your way through the series' craziest game yet. Get the ultimate gaming experience and performance, only with Radeon RX graphics. Raise the game with Radeon.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 2:36 PM (CST)

TechSpot Tests the Battlefield V DXR Ray Tracing Performance and Implementation

Techspot has tested Battlefield V to see how the Microsoft DirectX Ray Tracing implementation in the WWII shooter affects performance. They tested all 4 DXR settings in-game to see how they differ in looks and performance at various resolutions. The NVIDIA graphics cards used include the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, and RTX 2070. It is important to note that DICE is planning a patch to fix the Medium DXR setting as it is not properly applied in-game at this time.

The RTX 2070 deserves a special mention, because this card can barely be classed as ray tracing compatible. Delivering performance barely over 30 FPS at 1080p with DXR reflections set to low, it's clear that 36 RT cores and 6 gigarays per second of ray tracing performance doesn't cut it for actual real time ray tracing. We’d be bitterly disappointed if we bought an RTX 2070 for ray tracing, only to be left with that sort of performance.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 2:28 PM (CST)

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