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Monday June 18, 2018

Free i7-8086 Got You Down - Trade it for a Threadripper 1950X

Would you want to trade your free Intel i7-8086 for a free 16-Core Threadripper 1950X? It looks like 40 folks will get to burden themselves with that exact question. Let me help you in your decision, but I will not take sides here. All I have to say is, "Don't be stupid." Take that to mean what you will. You can see all our CPU reviews here if you need more help than that. Thanks Peter A.

Our competitor recently kicked off a sweepstakes to celebrate the first 40 years of the x86 processor by giving away 8,086 limited edition processors. We appreciate the advancements they’ve helped drive with the x86 architecture over the last four decades. But, we’re ready to take it from here. That’s why we’re giving 40 performance-hungry enthusiasts in the U.S. an opportunity to celebrate the next 40 years of high-performance computing by trading in their commemorative processor prize for our CPU that enables you to work, play and create with heavy metal. The first 40 U.S.-based winners of the Intelآ® 8th Gen Core i7-8086k Limited Edition Sweepstakes (which opened on June 7, 2018 and closed on June 8, 2018) ("Competitor Sweepstakes") to complete certain steps will be offered the opportunity to exchange their new, in-box prize processor for a flagship 16-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor built for the gamers and creators who need a processor that can do it all. Those steps will be communicated on this webpage on June 25 at 1:00:00 PM EDT. Check back on June 25 at 1:00:00 PM EDT for complete details on how to participate.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 11:45 AM (CDT)

GamersGate Promos This Week

GamersGate promos this week. Ubisoft, 2K, Unreal, and others.
Posted by Kyle 11:07 AM (CDT)

Youtube Piracy Filter Blocks Content Owners Own Content

TorrentFreak is pointing out some oddities happening over at Youtube today. It seems that Youtube's piracy filter is blocking content that is owned by the channels it is actually hosted on. I have been watching this for a while this morning, and have seen some of MIT's vidoes go from blocked to unblocked to blocked. Youtube still hates Blender though.

Several popular YouTube accounts, including those belonging to 'MIT OpenCourseWare' and the 'Blender Foundation,' have had all their videos blocked. People who try to access the videos are informed that they are not available in their country, suggesting that YouTube's piracy filters have been triggered. It's unclear, however, who or what is to blame.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 10:44 AM (CDT)

Blockchain for Dummies

Reuters Graphics has published a visual guide entitled Blockchain Explained. If you are not up to snuff on what exactly blockchain is, this is actually a very good starter pack that even your grandmother is likely to understand....did I mention it has lots of pictures?

A blockchain is a database that is shared across a network of computers. Once a record has been added to the chain it is very difficult to change. To ensure all the copies of the database are the same, the network makes constant checks. Blockchains have been used to underpin cyber-currencies like bitcoin, but many other possible uses are emerging.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 10:12 AM (CDT)

NVIDIA SLowMo Even Better than Real SloMo

NVIDIA is using its neural network to interpolate frames in video to produce smoother slow motion playback, and quite frankly the results are tremendously impressive. It even gets more impressive when NVIDIA takes slomo video and made it even slomoer. It has to be some of the most slomoest slomos ever slomoed. Thanks @cageymaru.

Researchers from NVIDIA developed a deep learning-based system that can produce high-quality slow-motion videos from a 30-frame-per-second video, outperforming various state-of-the-art methods that aim to do the same.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 8:53 AM (CDT)

Influence Buying Comes Under Fire

After riding "influencers" advertising into the ground, and decided it has been abused as much as possible, one of the world's largest advertiser is getting out of the buying influence business, or so they say. At least we are safe from this kind of a abuse in the computer hardware enthusiast category. You will never find any products being "covered" by Youtube talking heads, without ever being tested in any way, even if they are using these components to put in their own personal computers. Thanks @cageymaru.

LONDON (Reuters) - Consumer goods giant Unilever (ULVR.L) (UNc.AS), the world’s second-biggest advertiser, is cutting ties with digital media "influencers" that buy followers, saying it wants to help make advertising more transparent. The practice of buying followers risks eroding trust and therefore damaging one of the fastest-growing areas of advertising - the billion-dollar-a-year market now known as "influencer marketing" - and Unilever says it wants it to stop.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 8:26 AM (CDT)

iPhone Will Give Exact Location to 911 Soon

Apple has now decided to let the caller's exact location to be transmitted during 911 calls, just like every other app on your phone.

Under the new system, iPhones will send their exact location to a RapidSOS dispatcher, which will then forward the coordinates to local emergency response centers. That should make it easier for ambulances and paramedics to reach callers and shave precious minutes off response times, potentially saving 10,000 lives per year, according to federal regulator estimates. The new feature will be packaged as part of iOS 12, an iPhone software update due later this year.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 8:12 AM (CDT)

Computers Returned in Walmart Scam

This is why we can't have nice things at Walmart, but this is also why you can get really cheap computer hardware deals on Craigslist. This guy was buying computers from Walmart, pulling hardware from those systems, then returning the computers for a full exchange. Apparently he did this more than once as well as the grand total of the fraud amounts to $1.3M.
Discussion Posted by Kyle 8:01 AM (CDT)

Cyberpunk 2077 was Really Real this Year

The game Cyberpunk 2077 draws a lot of criticism as being vaporware. Dark Side of Gaming is coming out with this article today letting us know that it was a real game running on real hardware, and we did actually get the system specs that it was running on. Live gameplay was only shown to invited press. We of course were waiting to get a release date, which of course we did not. Our "official" Cyberpunk 2077 discussion thread, was started in 2012. Yep, it's still going. Destructoid has a write-up on everything it learned about the game this year at E3.

At the official Discord server, CD Projekt RED’s community manager "Alicja" confirmed the PC specs of the machine that was running Cyberpunk 2077’s E3 2018 demo. According to Alicja, the demo was running on an Intel i7-8700K with 32GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1080Ti.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 7:26 AM (CDT)

You're Sick

The World Health Organization has officially added "Gaming Disorder" to its list of mental illnesses, in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases. Don't worry, just because you stayed up last till 2am last playing your favorite shooter, and have work this morning at 7am, does not exactly lump you in with the classification. But it might. This will however open this illness up to be treated by insurance plans and governmental health services worldwide.

Gaming disorder is defined in the draft 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior ("digital-gaming" or "video-gaming") characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.

Discorder Posted by Kyle 7:04 AM (CDT)
Sunday June 17, 2018

SkriptedByGrace' Hunt: Showdown Down Under

SkriptedByGrace is playing Hunt: Showdown today and showcasing his skillset. He can give you some good tips on how you should be playing. 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 skriptedbygrace on
Posted by Kyle 7:42 PM (CDT)

AMD’s Navi Will Be a Traditional Monolithic GPU

David Wang, the new SVP of engineering for AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), has clarified that Navi GPUs will remain a traditional, monolith design, as the gaming world lacks software to make a multi-chip module (MCM) made possible by Infinity Fabric worthwhile. Wang likens it to doing "Crossfire in a single package," but independent software vendors and dwindling multi-GPU support are blocking the way forward.

That infrastructure doesn’t exist with graphics cards outside of CrossFire and Nvidia’s SLI. And even that kind of multi-GPU support is dwindling to the point where it’s practically dead. Game developers don’t want to spend the necessary resources to code their games specifically to work with a multi-GPU array with a miniscule install base, and that would be the same with an MCM design.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 3:50 PM (CDT)

A Machine Has Figured Out Rubik’s Cube All by Itself

They seem to be getting smarter every day: one deep-learning machine has managed to teach itself to solve a Rubik’s Cube, proving that humans aren’t the only ones capable of tackling complex problems. Stephen McAleer and colleagues from the University of California, Irvine made it possible with a new kind of deep-learning technique called "autodidactic iteration."

Given an unsolved cube, the machine must decide whether a specific move is an improvement on the existing configuration. To do this, it must be able to evaluate the move. Autodidactic iteration does this by starting with the finished cube and working backwards to find a configuration that is similar to the proposed move. This process is not perfect, but deep learning helps the system figure out which moves are generally better than others.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 3:10 PM (CDT)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Soul Calibur VI 4K PC Gameplay

NVIDIA is teasing what is in store for Tomb Raider and Soul Calibur fans with beefier rigs. The framerate in Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks a little rough at times, but the coastal environment seems thrilling enough to look at. Weapons-based fighter Soul Calibur VI, rightfully, appears to offer a rock-solid 4K 60FPS experience.
Discussion Posted by Megalith 2:50 PM (CDT)

Large Hadron Collider Upgrade "Could Upend Particle Physics"

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is getting supercharged with a $950M upgrade that will help physicists unravel the universe by making the contraption more sensitive to subtle quirks in the laws of physics. The machine works by "slamming subatomic particles together at close to the speed of light": these collisions will be five to ten times greater after it is upgraded.

To ramp up the number of collisions at the LHC, engineers will fit powerful magnets to squeeze the protons into finer, more dense beams. They then plan to fit devices called crab cavities that use an electromagnetic pulse to give bunches of protons a little sideways kick as they enter the LHC’s detectors. This makes the protons rotate a smidgen the moment before they strike protons coming the other way, which drives up the number of collisions.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 1:50 PM (CDT)

Kurt Russell Is Going to Be in a Cryptocurrency Movie

Hollywood, full of fresh ideas, is joining the cryptocurrency craze with a new money-laundering thriller, "Crypto." Featuring Kurt Russel and Alexis Bledel, the flick revolves around an anti-money laundering agent investigating a case of corruption and fraud. The producers say that it is "The Firm" and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" with a cryptocurrency-focused twist.

Crypto may be one of the most high-profile films to date to center on the world of cryptocurrencies. Last year, it was reported that the Coen brothers -- the filmmakers behind movies like The Big Lebowski and No Country For Old Men -- were working on a movie about the Silk Road, the now-defunct dark market that used bitcoin as its central currency.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 1:30 PM (CDT)

Carmel, Libra, and Andromeda Are the Next Wave of Surface Devices

According to internal documents acquired by Thurnott, three new devices are joining the Microsoft Surface family. The first is the Surface Pro 6, internally known as Carmel. The other, all-new products are Libra, a low-cost Surface Tablet, and Andromeda, a pocketable computing device rumored to release this year.

Before anyone asks, there was no release date mentioned for a Surface Laptop or Studio update in the documentation. That being said, the Laptop is mentioned several times as being key to brand and I fully expect that it will be updated in the near future. As for the Studio, I can’t imagine Microsoft abandoning that product at this time and it’s likely that its future was detailed in the documentation that I have yet to see.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 1:10 PM (CDT)

PC OEMs Are Selling Laptops with Optane Cache Drives and Claiming It’s Memory

Intel’s Optane cache drives are not DRAM, but PC OEMs would prefer to think otherwise: in one example, Dell is selling a G3 15 laptop that lists 24GB of RAM. Closer inspection reveals there is only 8GB of actual (2666MHz DDR4) DRAM, however, as the other 16GB is Optane memory, which serves to "accelerate a conventional hard drive’s read/write performance in a manner that’s similar to using an SSD cache to perform the same task."

Optane cache drives connect to their host systems via an M.2 port, which means they connect over the southbridge-attached PCIe bus. They are not attached to the system via its RAM slots like an NV-DIMM. They are not identical or equivalent to the Optane Persistent Memory DIMMs that Intel announced a few weeks ago.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 12:40 PM (CDT)

Theaters Add Strobe Light Warning to "Incredibles 2" after Epilepsy Concerns

Those with epilepsy or other light-sensitive conditions may have to avoid the long-awaited sequel to The Incredibles, which debuted this week. The movie is "filled with tons of strobe/flashing lights," which could be dangerous to those who suffer from migraines, vision impairments, seizure conditions, vertigo (specifically flicker vertigo), autism, ADHD, and PTSD. Disney has asked theaters to warn patrons of such scenes, one of which lasts for at least 90 seconds.

So far, no incidents as a result of watching "Incredibles 2" have been reported. In 1997, 685 children were sent to hospitals in Japan after an episode of "Pokemon" flashed red and blue lights to animate a scene in which Pikachu blows up missiles in cyberspace. Nintendo’s stocks took a hit after the incident, which became known in Japan as "Pokemon Shock," and the show was taken off the air for nearly four months.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 11:50 AM (CDT)

4K, 144Hz Monitors Reportedly Use Chroma Subsampling When Running in 144Hz

Asus’ and Acer’s new PG27UQ and X27 4K 144Hz monitors have been criticized for being expensive, loud, and power hungry. Now, r/hardware is warning prospective buyers of another deficiency: chroma subsampling (4:2:2) is reportedly in play when the monitors are running at 144Hz, which means a softer, blurrier image. Ideally, any display for desktop use should support full, non-subsampled resolution (RGB/4:4:4).

Chroma subsampling reduces image quality. Since chroma subsampling is, in effect, a partial reduction in resolution, its effects are in line with what you might expect from that. Most notably, fine text can be affected significantly, so chroma subsampling is generally considered unacceptable for desktop use. Hence, it is practically never used for computers; many monitors don't even support chroma subsampling.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 11:15 AM (CDT)

Gamer Threatens to Blow Up Nintendo World NYC over Super Smash Bros. Games

New York’s finest is investigating an email sent to Nintendo World NYC by a disgruntled gamer, who threatened to bomb the store for removing its Smash Brothers kiosks. It appears to have just been a bluff, however, as the threat was actually sent two months ago, yet the store is still standing. Nintendo unveiled the latest entry to the franchise at E3 this week, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which will be due out in December and includes all past characters.

Cops are investigating, although, since nothing has exploded over the last two months, it’s not believed the gamer will make good on his threat, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the case said. A manager at Nintendo World NYC declined to comment about the threat. "I have nothing further to add," she said.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 10:25 AM (CDT)

World of Warcraft Classic Will Be Built on Patch 1.12 "Drums of War"

In an update elaborating on the development of the classic version of the MMORPG, Blizzard revealed they would use Patch 1.12 "Drums of War" as the foundation for World of Warcraft Classic because "it represents the most complete version of the classic experience." This patch was released in August 2006 and introduced cross-realm Battlegrounds and World PvP.

Once we had our starting point, we began taking stock of what we had in the source code and what we could make available, which included restoring the original development database from archival backups. After stitching various key pieces together, we had a locally rebuilt version of Patch 1.12 running internally. The team could create characters and do basic questing and leveling -- and dying, which we did many times. For testing purposes. Obviously.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 9:50 AM (CDT)

Grab a Free Copy of Quake Champions and For Honor before It’s Too Late

Bethesda and Ubisoft made the early access version of Quake Champions and the starter edition of For Honor available for no charge this week. That promotion expires tomorrow, so those who are interested in adding these to their Steam and Uplay libraries should visit their respective store pages sooner than than later.

Quake Champions is a weird one. When this fast-paced arena shooter exits Steam Early Access, a free-to-play version of the game will become available. Until then, it costs $30 -- but not right now. If you claim Quake Champions for free between now and 10 a.m. Pacific on Monday, June 18, it’s yours for keeps. Not a bad deal, that.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 9:25 AM (CDT)
Saturday June 16, 2018

Microsoft’s Next-Gen Xbox Will Arrive in 2020

According to Thurrott’s sources, Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox, codenamed "Scarlett," will be released in just two years. It isn’t clear whether it will be a brand-new console or update in the vein of the Xbox One X, but a family of devices will reportedly be introduced, some of which would presumably extend the functionality of the core system.

Considering how much effort Microsoft has put into backward compatibility, I would expect the Scarlett devices to support current gen games but offer more advanced features and align possibly with Microsoft’s upcoming game-streaming services. As with any leak this far out, timing and plans can change, but I was able to verify the information I viewed as being authentic and fully believe that the company is on track to release the new console in two years.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 4:00 PM (CDT)

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