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Wednesday June 20, 2018

Poohskyy in the Swamps of Hunt: Showdown

Poohskyy is pooh-tatoing through the Hunt Showdown swamps tonight! And while I give him a hard time about pooh-tatoing, he is a great Hunt player. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can link that your Twitch account, and use it to subscribe to your favorite streamer. HS Discussion.
Watch live video from Poohskyy on www.twitch.tv
Posted by Kyle 9:11 PM (CDT)

The New Old Pencil Trick for 8th Gen Intel

The old pencil trick so many of us Thunderbird owners remember is new again.....kinda. Over at Taobao.com, you can order a set of Kapton stickers for 8th generation Intel processors that will allow you to use those on 100 and 200 series chipset motherboards. You will need a modified UEFI however, so don't go crazy with your $15 just yet. They do seem to be selling the UEFI hacks needed to do this as well. Don't let the magic smoke out. Thanks @cageymaru.
Discussion Posted by Kyle 6:18 PM (CDT)

Unlock and Start Your Car with Your Phone

Digital Key Release v1.0 is upon up. Soon you will likely be able to use your smartphone, to unlock and start your car if you have Near Field Communication enabled, and of course with the correct software. With this tech, you would also be able to "digitally loan" someone your car keys as well. Audi,General Motors, and BMW are giving this technology support. The Car Connectivity Consortium is behind Digital Key, and has a whole host of open standard technologies that they are pressing forward with.

Given extensive interest from automotive and smartphone manufacturers as well as the supplier ecosystem, CCC has begun work on the Digital Key Release 2.0 specification. This specification is under development in collaboration between CCC’s charter member companies including Apple, Audi, BMW, General Motors, HYUNDAI, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, and Volkswagen, and core members including ALPS ELECTRIC, Continental Automotive GmbH, DENSO, Gemalto, NXP, and Qualcomm Incorporated.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 6:02 PM (CDT)

$32M in Bitcoin Stolen from Seoul Exchange

Bithumb, a South Korean cryptocurrency that is the largest in the nation with more than 1M customers, has let its user base know that over $32M in Bitcoin was stolen. As to how it exactly happened, no details were given. Bitcoin's price dropped a tad on the news (about 20 hours ago), but the bottom certainly has not fallen out on this bombshell. It is stayed rather flat. Back on the 11th, when $37M worth of crypto was stolen from a Korean exchange, we saw a bigger drop in Bitcoin. Thanks @Crackinjahcs.

Bithumb, which has more than 1 million customers, is the largest virtual currency exchange in the South. "It has been confirmed that virtual currencies worth 35 billion won ($32 million) was stolen through late night yesterday (Tuesday) to early morning today," the exchange said in a statement. All deposits and withdrawals were suspended indefinitely to "ensure security", it said, adding the losses would be covered from the firm’s own reserves.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 4:37 PM (CDT)

Twitch Getting Twitchier - Youtube Gaming Smelling Gamier

If you do not know much about the world of streaming games, The NYT has a fairly extensive article about how Twitch is seemingly getting a stranglehold on the market over Youtube Gaming, and not much is really said about Facebook's foray into the game streaming world. And while everyone is always talking about the "big guys" when it comes to streaming, some sites are even focusing on streamers that have never been seen....by anyone. As you know, HardOCP has a affinity for streamers that are pushing shooter games that have beautiful engines that stress graphics cards like Hunt: Showdown. As we have gotten more active in supporting that community, it turns out that it is a pretty good community to be part of. Thanks to TheRabbleWrangler for the linkage.

Even with the rise of live streaming, gamers have continued to do big business posting recorded videos on YouTube’s main site, which reports 1.8 billion "logged in" users a month, across all types of content. That makes it much larger than Twitch, which claims around 100 million monthly viewers. Mr. Wyatt, the YouTube executive, noted the full scope of YouTube’s gaming content, which includes the videos posted on the main site and the live streams on YouTube Gaming, in comparing it with the Amazon-owned platform.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 3:38 PM (CDT)

Canary and 4K HDR

Canary is Google's bleeding-edge Chrome browser where they test new features. We thought you might want to be able to view this 4K HDR in Chrome without the greyed and washed out colors. You can test it with the video below. Make sure you enable HDR in the Display Settings first so that the HDR tage shows in the Youtube video as a playback option. Of course you will likely want to have an HDR 4K display as well. Thanks @cageymaru.

Not for the faint of heart - Canary is designed for developers and early adopters, and can be prone to breakage.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 2:49 PM (CDT)

Polymega Retro Gaming System

Polymega is currently what looks to be an idea around putting all your retro gaming consoles in "one" system that will use hardware modules that will emulate the old systems on its new console hardware. Their are modules that support NES, SNES, Genesis, Neo Geo, Sega CD, and Playstation games. Not word about impending lawsuits are listed on Polymega's FAQ however. Thanks to @Riccochet for the heads up!

POLYMEGA Element Modules provide you with an infinitely expandable library of classic game consoles in one tidy package that’s easy on the eyes. Just insert a module for a system you love, plug in a game and controllers and start playing using Hybrid Emulation technology. Supported Element Modules in the launch window will include NES, SNES, Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, and more. It’s not an illusion. POLYMEGA features a built-in optical disc drive that can play your collection of classic disc-based games. Just insert a CD and start playing - no need for complicated configuration steps. It’s compatible with games for systems like PS1, TurboGrafx-CD, Sega CD, Neo Geo CD, and there’s more to come. So, why not invite some friends over to party like its[sic] 1999?

Discussion Posted by Kyle 2:26 PM (CDT)

AMD Talks Radeon FreeSync on TVs with PCPer

Ryan and Antal sit down and shoot the bull about FreeSync usage on TVs. Variable Refresh Rates on an open platform are a thing of the future....hopefully. The biggest problem with VRR is the fact that until you see it and use it in person, it is very hard to appreciate just how big a deal VRR is. Same thing with HDR. You have to see it to understand it.

Interested in new gaming displays? Interested in new gaming displays that can also do HDR? Then you are going to want to watch our live stream with AMD about its plans for the future of FreeSync. AMD will be discusses changes to FreeSync at our event, with maybe an additional surprise or two along the way.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 10:37 AM (CDT)

PUBG Moves to Reclaim Lost Player Base

A couple of weeks ago we discussed PUBG losing its player base at a staggering rate. Today we see it put the game on sale for the first time, on Steam for $20, as a "Thank you to our 400+ Million Players." Get while the gettin' is good!

To celebrate these new milestones, we’re putting PUBG on sale on Steam from June 19th (later today!) through July 5th. If you want to pick up the game for the first time or gift it to a friend, you’ll be able to grab it for just $19.99 (33.33% off the normal price).

On the other side of that coin, free-to-play Fortnite, brought in $100M on iOS in its first 90 days. Maybe time for PUBG to rethink its business model? Discussion Posted by Kyle 10:29 AM (CDT)

SHOCKER - Autopilot Buddy Deemed Unsafe

A little device that tricks Tesla's Autopilot into thinking you are actually paying attention to the car you are driving has been deemed unsafe by the Feds. The people that do this crap should be drawn and quartered. If you don't want to drive, fine. Take an Uber.

"A product intended to circumvent motor vehicle safety and driver attentiveness is unacceptable," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King. "By preventing the safety system from warning the driver to return their hands to the wheel, this product disables an important safeguard, and could put customers and other road users at risk."

Discussion Posted by Kyle 9:16 AM (CDT)

NVIDIA Swamped with Extra Inventory

An anonymous writer at Seeking Alpha says that Chalie at SemiAccurate says that someone told him that NVIDIA is holding back its next-gen GPUs due to a massive overstocking inventory problem. And you can take that to the banks's bank's bank.

Too Much of It - Nvidia has overestimated pent-up gaming demand and underestimated the impact of declining mining demand. How badly have they miscalculated? - Enough to have to agree to take back 300k GPUs from a 'top 3' Taiwan OEM. This is quite notable news as Nvidia usually exerts massive influence over its partners and can be quite ruthless with allocations of new GPUs if partners step out of line. The fact that this partner returned these GPUs says a lot about the current state of supply in the channel. The report also cites Nvidia aggressively buying GDDR5 as evidence that they now have an excess stock of lower-end GPUs that need to be made into boards as well as other insiders/sources citing an inventory buildup. When you factor in manufacturing lead times at TSM and the current supply on hand, Nvidia really has no choice but to wait if they want to avoid expensive price protection payouts.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 8:35 AM (CDT)

The EU Hates Memes

The EU Legal Affairs Committee has voted to push further its tougher copyright laws in order to get a hold of companies like Google, Facebook, and MySpace. OK, maybe not MySpace. The big clenchers here are Article 11 and Article "We hate political memes" 13. Article 11 could hold companies responsible for allowing copyrighted content on their services, such as when Facebook allows 6M people to watch a pirated copy of Deadpool. Article 13 is the EU's way of dealing with all those nasty memes that are destroying the world. All in all, the EU is putting the responsibility on the companies that own these platform, but rest assured the new filtering that we will soon see will not be used in any type of political slant.

German lawmaker Julia Reda, part of the Greens group in the parliament, opposed the EU proposal and said the measures would break the internet. "People will run into trouble doing everyday things like discussing the news and expressing themselves online. Locking down our freedom to participate to serve the special interests of large media companies is unacceptable," she said in a statement.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 8:18 AM (CDT)

Alexa, Send the Nigerian Prince the Balance of My Bank Account

Associated Press is telling us that banking is coming to those always-on voice activated personal assistants that everyone loves so dearly. Australia seems to already be all over this. We don't trust partying at the Marriott with Alexa. Good luck with giving her all your banking information.

Big banks and financial companies have started to offer banking through virtual assistants — Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant — in a way that will allow customers to check their balances, pay bills and, in the near future, send money just with their voice. And with the rapid adoption of Zelle, a bank-to-bank transfer system, it soon could be possible to send money to friends or family instantly with voice commands. But the potential to do such sensitive tasks through a smart speaker raises security concerns. Virtual assistants and smart speakers are still relatively new technologies, and potentially susceptible to being exploited by cyber criminals

Discussion Posted by Kyle 8:02 AM (CDT)
Tuesday June 19, 2018

Gearing Up for Threadripper 2990X Cooling

You might have noticed our excitement about AMD's Threadripper over the last year, both in terms of performance and cooling. Given that AMD will soon be rolling out its 32-Core 2990X processor, we have been getting things in line for it in terms of overclocking and cooling. We have two more dies down on the substrate this time around so assuredly we will be dealing with larger package power peaks and heat to deal with. For our cooling testing, XSPC sent over its all metal Raystorm NEO Water Block. The block is of the same design than we have used so much in the past, sans the acrylic top. The rest of the top performers that we will run through testing again are the Watercool Heatkiller 4, the Koolance 400A-S v2, and the Phanteks Glacier C399A. These four blocks were our top performers within a few degrees of each other in our 4GHz overclocked Threadripper 1950X testing.
You might be wondering why we are not seeing redesigned blocks since we are moving from 2-Dies to 4-Dies. The fact is that all of these water blocks are already built "correctly" in terms of cold-plate and micro-fin footprint, and how these move coolant across the tops of the dies. I do not think these companies knew that a 4-Die Threadripper was upon us, but building these the way they did actually made these appropriate for EPYC cooling as well. It was also likely more cost effective in terms of the machining processes too. Now, AMD, bring on the 2900X Threadripper! Discussion Posted by Kyle 2:45 PM (CDT)

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990X Rumors

Rumors from HKEPC point to the new 32-Core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990X having a 3GHz base clock with a Precision Boost 2 clock of 4.2GHz. Nothing shocking there based on what we already know about the 2700X. TDP is listed at 250W. They are saying that it overclocked to 4.1GHz on all cores under water cooling. Trust me, we will let you know for sure when we get samples in our hands. We will also be taking the top three water blocks from our testing, and put those to the test on the new 2990X. Also, we have all of Noctua's Threadripper air coolers in hand to see just how well those will work out.
Discussion Posted by Kyle 11:51 AM (CDT)

Father of Larrabee Failure Back at Intel

Tom Forsyth, the father of the Larrabee "GPU," is back at Intel working with Raja Koduri. He explains that he took the job at Intel, but does not know what he will be working on yet. Insider rumors point to him being "Executive Director of What Not to Do This Time." While we are big fans of Raja here at HardOCP, we do have to believe this position is likely redundant.
Discussion Posted by Kyle 11:42 AM (CDT)

GameStop In Talks with Buyout Firms

GameStop has allegedly been linked to talks with Sycamore Partners as the private equity firm has expressed interest in the company according to Reuters. Anonymous sources have been quoted as saying that GameStop has now hired a financial adviser to assist in the discussions. The past year has been a tumultuous time for the company as their CEO J. Paul Raines stepped down late last year due to medical reasons and passed away in March. His replacement, Michael Mauleronly, only lasted three months on the job before resigning for personal reasons leaving the leadership of the company to former Microsoft XBOX executive Shane Kim. I wonder how GameStop's business model will continue to be profitable in the new digital video game economy. Microsoft's XBOX and Sony's Playstation both have digital downloads services for new games and have bundled their respective older titles into paid monthly streaming services. I think their best bet is to reinvent themselves as the Netflix of game streaming and use that company's business model of charging a monthly rental fee for physical discs exchanged through the Post Office.

The retailer’s stock has slid more than 32 percent over the last 12 months, bringing its market capitalization to $1.42 billion, down from about $9.4 billion in 2007. While its used-game niche has helped the company, this model has also been challenged as games developers including Electronic Arts Inc, Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp have each launched plans to offer monthly streaming services for many of the older titles they own.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 10:57 AM (CDT)

ACER Announces 49" and 55" 4K HDR Monitors

ACER has announced 49" and 55" IPS 4K HDR monitors to be released on June 28, 2018 and June 21, 2018 respectively in Japan. Pricing isn't known on these yet. The 49" EB490QKbmiiipfx and 55" EB550Kbmiiipx displays share similar specs other than size. The HDR10 implementation on these monitors is only 300 cd / mآ² but the rated response time should be decent as it carries a 4 ms rating. You can read about the Japanese specifications here. The most interesting thing about these monitors is the fact that the translation says that they are "flickerless" which could possibly mean FreeSync support but the input terminals only list HDMI 2.0 x 1 (HDCP 2.2 compatible), HDMI 1.4 x 2, DisplayPort 1.2 x 1 as connections.
Discussion Posted by cageymaru 10:55 AM (CDT)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Alleges Sabotage by Employee in Company Email

Elon Musk allegedly sent a company wide email that detailed acts of sabotage by a Tesla employee who was angry over not receiving a promotion. The employee is accused of making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false user names and exporting Tesla's sensitive data to third parties. He goes on to explain how other corporations will cheat emission laws so what would stop them from cheating in other ways. CNBC has the email in its entirety on their website. They also added information about another incident involving a factory fire and subsequent direct email from Elon Musk that was confirmed by a Tesla spokesperson in which employees were warned to be vigilant and to "Please be on the alert for anything that’s not in the best interests of our company." That email can be found here. Industrial espionage is a huge crime right now on a worldwide scale. Many times you will hear about foreign entities hacking computer systems to steal the secrets of a corporation, but this is a reminder that it can happen here at home also. The business world can be a cruel and cutthroat place especially with a company like Tesla suddenly competing against the establishment. I am sure that they have rocked a few boats while making waves innovating.

Late last night we had another strange incident that was hard to explain. Small fire on the body-in-white production line. No one was in the area and there were no injuries or significant equipment damage, but it was enough to stop the body production line for several hours. Could just be a random event, but as Andy Grove said, "Only the paranoid survive." Please be on the alert for anything that's not in the best interests of our company. If you aren't getting a response from the emdesk email, please send me a note directly.

Discussion Posted by cageymaru 9:25 AM (CDT)

Seriously Sammiest 4 Yet - Pre-Alpha Gameplay

Some people love wave shooters, some folks do not. If nothing else, this pre-alpha gameplay footage from Serious Sam4: Planet Badass looks great for the stage it is in. And of course you get to drive a combine harvester over hordes of enemies.
Discussion Posted by Kyle 9:18 AM (CDT)

Rooms at Marriott Complete with Spying Devices

I know all HardOCP readers will be excited to find out that when you stay at a Marriott hotel in the near future, you can look forward to an always-on Alexa device in your room listening for your every need, the recording all your activities and sharing it will hotel employees for their amusement. Marriott's No-Privacy feature however will not take video of you.

Alexa for hospitality would assist in providing services ranging from ordering room service to requesting housekeeping or calling the concierge for dinner recommendations without picking up the phone. The company said the partnership will start this summer at Marriott’s select properties and the service will be available by invitation to other hotel chains.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 8:05 AM (CDT)

IBM Whips Out its Master Debater

IBM has been working on its Project Debater since 2012. The AI powered technology is looking to help people reason by providing arguments free of emotion, bias, or ambiguity. Until you can get your significant other installed with this technology, just face it, you are not going to win the discussion.

We designed a method to determine whether a given claim supports or contests a new controversial topic. Our model breaks down the complex cognitive process of determining stance into a sequence of simpler sub-tasks. We identified effective AI solutions to these sub-tasks, which can combine to predict claim stance with high precision.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 7:50 AM (CDT)

Android Gets Messages for Web

Google announced earlier this year that Android Messages users would soon be able to send and receive text messages from your PC desktop. That feature is rolling out this week, if you don't already have it on your Android phone. This page has the full instructions on this which uses a QR code. I certainly know that not having to pick up my phone 20 times a day while using my PC will be a welcomed addition to Android functionality. All you have to do is open Messages on your phone, tap the options menu and select Messages for Web, and scan the QR code with your phone. My Pixel 2 has not yet gotten the feature rolled out to it, so I did not have a chance to try it out.

You can use your computer to chat with your friends through Messages for web, which shows what’s on your Messages mobile app. Messages for web sends SMS messages using a connection from your computer to your phone, so carrier fees will apply, just like on the mobile app. Note: The QR code for Messages for web is unique to your computer and pairs the mobile app to that computer. You can pair your Messages account on multiple devices, but only one will be active at a time. When you open Messages for web on a computer, your conversations on any other computers or browser tabs will become inactive.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 6:58 AM (CDT)
Monday June 18, 2018

Mars Rover Takes Selfie During Dust Storm

The Daily Mail is reporting that the Curiosity Rover took a selfie in the middle of the martian dust storm that covered nearly seven million square miles. The $2.5 billion nuclear powered research vehicle took the image while in the Gale Crater, a valley in which scientists think may have once been a huge lake. Amazing

While Curiosity seems to be weathering the storm, Opportunity fell silent on June 12, when engineers attempted to make contact with the 15-year-old rover but did not hear back. In a press conference on June 13, scientists involved in the Opportunity mission confirmed the rover has 'fallen asleep' as it waits out the storm that has blocked the sun - effectively cutting off its power supply. The storm has been growing since the end of May and now covers 14-million square miles (35-million square kilometres) of Mars' surface, or a quarter of the planet.

Discussion Posted by rgmekanic 5:36 PM (CDT)


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