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Saturday June 24, 2017

Sharp to Start OLED TV Panel Production

LG may not be the only game in town when it comes to OLED TV panels in the coming years, as Sharp has announced that it will spend $516 million to build production lines for such displays. The company happens to run some of the most advanced plants in the world and is a pioneer in panel production, so I presume that everything will go according to plan. Now here is the part where I whine about how there are still no OLED monitors: I just read a comment about how companies are more worried about getting rid of their huge, crappy TN backlog.

...Sharp confirmed it could begin producing OLED TV panels at its Sakai factory in Osaka, Japan, in "coming years." Currently, only LG Display is producing OLED panels suitable for consumer television production, and it sells some of those to Sony, Panasonic and others for those brands’ 4K OLED TVs, now sold in various markets around the world. Due to high prices and limited availability, OLED’s share of the overall television market remains small. Global OLED TV shipments are expected to pass the 2 million unit mark in 2017, according to market research estimates.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 1:40 PM (CDT)

Texting While Driving Now Legal in Colorado, in Some Cases

Colorado lawmakers think that texting while driving is perfectly acceptable, so long as you aren’t doing it in "a careless or imprudent manner." I don’t know what that actually means, or how cops will determine what is careless and what isn’t. The article reiterates the fact that cellphone use is still banned for drivers younger than 18, though some other guy in the state wants to ban kids entirely from using smartphones.

Tim Lane of the Colorado District Attorney’s Office confirmed the softening crackdown on all texting and driving. "The simple fact is that if you are texting while driving but not being careless, it’s no longer illegal," he said. What constitutes "careless" driving is up to the discretion of each individual law enforcement officer. Cellphone use of any kind is still banned for drivers younger than 18. Teens caught with a phone in hand while driving will be slapped with a $50 fine.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 1:20 PM (CDT)

Bethesda Accused of Bleeding Gamers Dry with Skyrim VR

I thought this whining would concern Creation Club (an alternative to paid mods), but now people are angry at Bethesda for "milking" Skyrim: the company recently unveiled yet another version of the 2011 Elder Scrolls title, with VR support, but they are asking gamers to pay $59.99 for it. Did converting the game take more effort than one would think, or is Bethesda just being your typical greedy publisher?

This is a problem I’ve had with the gaming industry in general for years. Games seem to be constantly rereleased, drops of blood extracted from their bodies until they’re downright anemic. But Skyrim has been rereleased four times in six years, which is extreme even for this industry. Let me be clear (again) that I’m not bashing Skyrim because I dislike it or think it’s a bad game. I’ve logged hundreds of hours in it, and I enjoyed most of them. But it’s just one game. No game on the planet deserves this many bites at the apple, at least not without more meaningful overhauls than what it’s received.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 1:00 PM (CDT)

US House Pushes for Creation of Military "Space Corps"

America could soon have a new branch of the military protecting outer space: the US military is being asked to establish a dedicated fighting force for space by lawmakers. The Air Force - which already holds responsibility for national security space programs through "Space Command" - apparently hates the idea, claiming that resources are already very limited and this would just complicate Pentagon matters. Maybe they should hand it over to the Navy, just so we get the space marines we were promised from all that sci-fi.

...backers say the creation of a Space Corps would elevate the priority of space as a war-fighting environment, as countries like China and Russia develop weapons that could neutralize the advantage America now enjoys from its vast network of communications, targeting and navigation satellites. That network includes the Global Positioning System, or GPS, which is currently operated by the Air Force. Rogers said on Thursday that he was "outraged" by the pushback on the proposal from Air Force leadership.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 12:20 PM (CDT)

Galaxy Note 8 Will Launch in Late September for over $900

Writers appear to be shocked at the upcoming Note’s price, but I could have sworn that Samsung’s last attempt was close to $900 as well. Evan Blass has revealed that the Note 8 will drop in September, and, contesting previous reports, the fingerprint reader placement will actually be similar to the Galaxy S8, which is a little disappointing. Samsung has also stepped down from the Note 7’s 3500 mAh battery to a 3300 mAh one: I wonder why they did that...

Internally, while the Note8 will utilize the same top-of-the-line Exynos 8895 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipsets as the Galaxy S8 and S8+, it will be paired with a more generous 6GB of RAM - making it only Samsung’s second handset, after the Galaxy C9 Pro, to exceed the 4GB threshold. It will also be Samsung’s first phone with dual cameras on the back, each of which features a 12-megapixel sensor and independent optical image stabilization for the lens. The lenses are said to be configured horizontally, situated to the left of the flash and heart rate sensor.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 11:55 AM (CDT)

Modern Warfare: Remastered Heads to PS4 on June 27th

The Call of Duty channel has uploaded a new Modern Warfare Remastered trailer to celebrate the standalone release of their classic title, which is due for PS4 next week. Unfortunately, there seems to be no word on when the PC version is coming - though if you’re desperate enough, you can still get the Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition. I wonder how many years I will have to wait for it to drop to a reasonable price on Steam ( how is Black Ops II’s sale price still $29.99? ) .
Discussion Posted by Megalith 11:30 AM (CDT)

FCC Proposes "Blue Alert" for Threats against Law Enforcement

Vigilantes, rejoice: the FCC intends to establish a national system that notifies the public of ongoing threats to law enforcement in their area through broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline video outlets. Basically, these will function like Amber Alerts, but for crime in your area: it’s great news for those who want to play Batman or Punisher.

The new alert was proposed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in May and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was released for the Commission to consider at today's meeting. In a press release, the FCC said, "Blue Alerts can be used to warn the public when there is actionable information related to a law enforcement officer who is missing, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, or when there is an imminent credible threat to an officer. As a result, a Blue Alert could quickly warn you if a violent suspect may be in your community, along with providing instructions on what to do if you spot the suspect and how to stay safe."

Discussion Posted by Megalith 11:00 AM (CDT)

Hackers Leak 32 Terabytes of Secret Windows 10 Code

Yet another story reducing Windows morale: heaps of Windows 10 internal builds and private source code have leaked online. The data was meant only for Microsoft, hardware manufacturers, and select customers, but now unscrupulous types have an excellent avenue for finding new security vulnerabilities and Windows exploits. While they are in the process of being removed, Microsoft has confirmed the files to be a portion of the source code from the Shared Source Initiative, used by OEMs and partners.

The data - some 32TB of official and non-public installation images and software blueprints that compress down to 8TB - were uploaded to, the latest load of files provided just earlier this week. It is believed the confidential data in this dump was exfiltrated from Microsoft's in-house systems around March this year. The leaked code is Microsoft's Shared Source Kit: according to people who have seen its contents, it includes the source to the base Windows 10 hardware drivers plus Redmond's PnP code, its USB and Wi-Fi stacks, its storage drivers, and ARM-specific OneCore kernel code.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 10:45 AM (CDT)

Word Macro Used to Break into the "More Secure" Windows 10 S

Remember when Microsoft said no known ransomware could run on Windows 10 S? ZDNet decided to put their claim to the test by hiring a security researcher to hack it, and he actually succeeded in doing so in a little more than three hours using Word as the attack vector. While the hack is not guaranteed, it does show that W10 S is not bulletproof.

Bottom line: If it's not in the app store, it won't run. Cracking Windows 10 S was a tougher task than we expected. But one common attack point exists. Hickey was able to exploit how Microsoft Word, available to download from the Windows app store, handles and processes macros. These typically small, script-based programs are designed to automate tasks, but they're also commonly used by malware writers.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 10:15 AM (CDT)

GTA V Mod OpenIV Returns after Rockstar Softens Stance

OpenIV and other single-player mods are back in business: Rockstar Games held discussions with Take-Two and managed to convince the publisher to leave modders alone. Apparently, their animosity toward mods stemmed from how they could affect multiplayer. OpenIV, however, never touched GTA Online.

Following a strong backlash from the community, developer Rockstar has stepped in to get Take-Two to soften their harsh stance against mods. Take-Two’s main issue against OpenIV and other tools was the threat they posed against the GTA Online mode, and their potential for cheating and harassment. Their letter to the mod’s developers threatened legal action if the tool wasn’t taken offline, which the team did comply with, leaving a significant number of players unable to use their customizations. However, OpenIV was only used to modify GTA 5‘s single-player game, and never touched GTA Online.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 9:40 AM (CDT)

SpaceX Relaunches Used Rocket

CBS news reports the previously used Falcon 9 rocket has successfully launched the first stage rocket on its second flight, sending BulgariaSat-1, the first Bulgarian satellite into orbit from Kennedy Space Center. The rocket landed on a offshore droneship a few hundred miles east of Cape Canaveral. That same rocket was first used in January to help send Iridium satellites into space and landed on a different droneship. With this current launch it brings the companies success rate to eight rockets in a row since last June, but who's keeping score.
A second test flight for a new Falcon 9 is scheduled for Sunday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, so make sure you're awake to witness it at 4:25 p.m. EDT.

"Rocket is extra toasty and hit the deck hard (used almost all of the emergency crush core), but otherwise good," Musk tweeted.

The rapid-fire launch schedule over the past two months reflects SpaceX's drive to work off a backlog of satellites delayed by earlier problems, including a Sept. 1 launch pad explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 and its satellite payload at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Discussion Posted by seth 5:14 AM (CDT)

Tesla Looking To Build Factory in China

The Verge mentioned that Elon Musk paid a visit to China two months ago and now Tesla has confirmed that the company pursuing the possibility of opening a factory in the Shanghai region. Although you would figure it is to build more cars in that region of the world, but the company hasn't discussed exact plans as the company produces electric vehicles and energy storage. Who knows for sure, but even the potential of a Gigafactory is astonishing with that land mass. The current factory set to open in Nevada is pretty massive.

Tesla produces all of its cars in the US. However, if the company hopes to increase its production to 500,000 vehicles a year - that's a six-fold increase over 2016 numbers - and reach more consumers in Europe and Asia, it will have to open factories closer to those customers.

Discussion Posted by seth 4:39 AM (CDT)
Friday June 23, 2017

Hot Monoprice Product Deals for the Weekend! - 6/23/2017

Google to Stop Scanning Your Emails for Gmail Ads

Diane Greene, SVP Google Cloud, is blogging that Google will very soon stop reading your emails in order to advertise to you even inside the free version of Gmail. But have no fear, Google will use all its other data to figure out what needs to be advertised.

G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service. Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change. This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products. Ads shown are based on users’ settings. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization. G Suite will continue to be ad free.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 1:24 PM (CDT)

Beyond Good and Evil 2: E3 2017 First In-Engine Demo

I know we have a lot of folks excited about Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Ubisoft is sharing some in-engine footage from the upcoming game. Possibly the 2030 Game of the Year! I think you will notice one of the game's fanbase sitting in front of the display. All joking aside, the engine looks to have some very good legs and this is coming to PC .

Beyond Good and Evil 2 is the spiritual successor to the cult classic, a prequel that will transport players into a profoundly multicultural world, capturing the spirit of the original with grandiose decors and intense dramas that play out across a vast universe. Through the Space Monkey Program, Ubisoft Montpellier will be developing the game alongside its community of fans.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 12:39 PM (CDT)

Open with Incognito and Privacy Modes

I am not sure why anyone would ever want to do this, but How-To Geek shows us how to start a few of our favorite browsers in por...privacy mode without ever opening up a auto-logged in browser window.

Most people won’t want to use private browsing mode permanently. You will have to log into the websites you use each time you open your browser, as your browser won’t save the cookies that keep your login state.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 12:27 PM (CDT)

[H]ardware Roundup


MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Preview @ OCaHolic ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe review - Guru 3D Review: Asus Prime X299-A @ Hexus Review: MSI X299 SLI Plus @ Hexus


Intel Core i9-7900X 10-Core Processor Review @ Think Computers Charts CPU Performance Content Creation: 16 CPUs tested @ OCaHolic


CORSAIR HX750 Power Supply Test (French) @ CowCotLand Which Power Supply do you need? – Seasonic showcase 2017 @ Kit Guru SEASONIC PLATINUM 760W POWER SUPPLY TEST (German) @ OC Inside




Does Memory Speed Affect Gaming Performance; An Intel Question @ Overclockers Club

Mice & Keyboard:

Das Keyboard Prime 13 @ TechPowerUP


Rosewill RGH-3300 Pro Gaming Headset @ TechPowerUp
Posted by Kyle 11:20 AM (CDT)

Ethereum Hashrate Performance Drop Might Be Coming

Nathan "Numchuck" Kirsch of Legit Reviews fame has an article up today addressing some of the questions that are on Miners' minds. The first and foremost being, "Did I just drop a huge amount of money on a Radeon based video card for no reason?" I know I unloaded two of the RX 480 cards that I bought for VR Reviews this month for $380 each. I think it is the first time in my entire life that I sold a piece of computer hardware for more than I paid for it. As my dear friend Mr. Sheen would say, "Winning!" Maybe I got out of my 480 cards at exactly the right time.

AMD might be able to work some magic on the driver side. AMD and NVIDIA are both rumored to be working on bringing dedicated mining GPUs to market here soon, so now that they are spending money to focus on miners we can likely assume that driver support will be improving. If a magic driver fix is not possible get ready to see people selling Radeon RX 400/500 series cards and switching to GeForce GTX 1060 and GeForce GTX 1070 models!

Discussion Posted by Kyle 10:44 AM (CDT)

YouTube has 1.5 billion Monthly Users Logged on Google Accounts

YouTube was kind enough to share some new metrics at this years VidCon. About 1.5 billion users have logged onto YouTube monthly using a Google account, that's well over China's population of 1.371 billion from 2015 stats with India trailing at 1.311 billion. Mobile users that are currently on the video site are spending an average of 1 hour per day, that's a lot of time wasted watching cat videos at work or on the can.

"When we compare that [metric] to TV, people - in some countries like the U.S. - watch up to four hours per day, so we think there’s lots of room to get people to watch even more YouTube," CEO Susan Wojcicki said onstage.

Discussion Posted by seth 3:15 AM (CDT)

Tesla Pursuing Music Streaming Service

Apparently, Tesla, the automaker, is in talks to expand its business into a music streaming service according to Recode. Sources from inside the music industry are saying the company have talked to the major label about licensing. Tesla is planning to pursue bundled services offering multi-tiered packages for each car sold. As for competition between the top 2 leading companies, Apple and Spotify; each have 27 million and 57 million, respectively. I say "the more competition, the better" or did I hear that from someone else.

"We believe it's important to have an exceptional in-car experience so our customers can listen to the music they want from whatever source they choose," a Tesla spokesperson said. "Our goal is to simply achieve maximum happiness for our customers."

Discussion Posted by seth 2:53 AM (CDT)

US Copyright Office Wants to Permanently Legalize the Right to Repair

Good news for all the tinkerers out there. Motherboard reports that the US Copyright Office is recommending the US government to take action to allow the repair of any item you own, including bypassing software. According to article, consumer rights groups had to go through an exemption process to Section 1201 of the DMCA every three years, requesting permission on what circumventions are deemed lawful, decided by the Library of Congress. For years, manufacturers have been arguing that bypassing software locks are in violation of current copyright law and should be illegal. Although this is merely an advisement from the department, the fact that they are acknowledging the issue because of not wanting to deal with the issue is remarkable. The less bureaucracy the better, right? Of course that still doesn't really solve the issue of some current tech being a pain in the butt to repair, but baby steps. I guess now I won't have to think twice about opening my Roomba and repairing the freakin' side brushes every other month or just use it for beer pong instead.

"The growing demand for relief under section 1201 has coincided with a general understanding that bona fide repair and maintenance activities are typically noninfringing," the report stated. "Repair activities are often protected from infringement claims by multiple copyright law provisions." The office said it's received a huge increase in the number of public comments it's received about repair in the last several years, which "reflects the increasing use of access controls on a wide range of consumer devices containing copyrighted software."

Discussion Posted by seth 1:48 AM (CDT)
Thursday June 22, 2017

Textalyzer Development Moves Forward

For any that missed the news on this, there is a new device out there that will potentially allow police officers to determine if drivers were texting while driving. Developed by Cellebrite, the tablet-sized device can track the last usage periods of the driver right before an accident. Texting and driving is currently illegal in 47 states and the device aims to crackdown on activity. As of now, the only way for law enforcement to retrieve cellphone data is through a search warrant. Check out the vid.

Cellebrite says police won't have the device until states pass legislation allowing it. A measure currently before New York lawmakers would allow authorities to suspend your license if you refuse to hand over your phone. Similar legislation is underway in New Jersey, Tennessee and Chicago.

Discussion Posted by seth 11:55 PM (CDT)

New HardOCP Mobile Site

Need your HardOCP on the go? Check out our newly revamped mobile site that will work out well with your phone or tablet. Please feel free to mail us your feedback or hit us up on the HardForum. Posted by Kyle 4:20 PM (CDT)

Steve Jobs Made the iPhone Because He Hated Some Guy at Microsoft

Steve Jobs is not the only one that the fruit party should thank for their beloved iPhone: evidently, Microsoft played a substantial role, although it was more of a hostile one. An MS executive bragged about how the company was going to rule the world with new tablets and pens, and it pissed Jobs off enough to abandon his own related project for what would become the iPhone. He thought that they were "idiots" for using a stylus, and this belief led him to pursue fingers and capacitive touchscreens. But, Apple Pencil...

"It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft. That's the actual origin of it," said Forstall. "Any time Steve had any social interaction with this guy, he'd come back pissed off." It wasn't Bill Gates, noted Forstall, but a Microsoft executive who was the husband of a friend of Jobs' wife, Laurene Powell Jobs. Apple had been working on a tablet project and at the time touchscreens relied on resistive touch. Jobs' apparent frustration with this executive's bragging about a stylus and tablet drove him to look at fingers and capacitive touchscreens.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 3:25 PM (CDT)

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