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Signing out One Last Time

Today is the last day that I'll be doing the news on Hardocp and I just wanted to tell everyone that it was an honor to be allowed into your workplaces and homes through a few humbly written articles. I hope that my writings brought a little joy and happiness to my friends here; yes, I consider us all friends. I was taught by my parents to show love to others by sharing and I hope my articles entertained the Hardocp audience. The questions, answers, and lively debate that they generated certainly entertained me. Thank you @Kyle_Bennett and the [H]ardocp family for giving me a chance. Thank you, KG Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 22, 2019 6:32 PM (CDT)

Sound BlasterX G6 Review

Audio Science Review has tested the Sound BlasterX G6 and found it to be surprisingly good for a budget device in a feature-filled package. During DAC testing it was discovered that the device's SINAD would rocket up to 112 dB if the level was dialed down by 2 dBFS (digitally.) Linearity was spot on but intermodulation distortion was a concern. Amirm discovered that dialing down the device by 2dBFS fixed the issue. He speculated that "The G6 is USB powered and likely doesn't have enough capacitance in its DC input to ride out the lasting peaks at low frequencies." The headphone amplifier measured great, and the output was decent but "there is no sensation of infinite power and you would be operating near or at max volume" when using the amp with a pair of Sennheiser HD-650 headphones. The last issue that irritated him was the lack of a properly working ASIO driver on Creative's website. He really liked the Sound BlasterX G6 and the review is full of charts and measurements conducted with a $28,300 Audio Precision APx555.

ADC Audio Measurements I was pleased that feeding the G6 2 volt, resulted in 0 dBFS showing no overflow. Performance though is not all that great with SINAD in the high 70s. We have lots of distortion components together with mains leakage. Compared to high-end products, we are short some 40 dB! Definitely not splitting hairs here.

Posted by cageymaru March 21, 2019 7:32 PM (CDT)

AT&T Raises Prices Again

According to recent reports, AT&T is raising subscription prices for their DirecTV Now streaming service. Citing their own sources, as well as an official confirmation from AT&T, Cord Cutters says that emails about the $10 price hike are supposed to go out today. AT&T also raised U-Verse and satellite subscription prices earlier this year, which wouldn't be particularly surprising were it not for the AT&T's controversial Time Warner acquisition last year. The company argued that the acquisition would make AT&T a more "competitive" company, and allow them to lower prices, but it seems that the DoJ's fears of price hikes during the case were well founded.

The principal reason is simpler: the government did not even begin to make a credible case that the merger would likely harm competition, substantially or even just a little. There is no sound evidence from which the Court could fairly conclude that retail pay-TV prices are likely to increase, that there will be coordinated withholding of content from virtual MVPDs, or that distributors will be unable to use HBO as a promotional tool. There is no proven harm at all-only proven benefits. And because there is no proven harm, there is no basis in law for any remedy, equitable or otherwise.

Posted by alphaatlas March 12, 2019 11:42 AM (CDT)

Tesla Raises Prices to Keep More Retail Stores Open

Tesla has announced that is going to raise prices 3% to keep more of its retail locations open. Some stores in high visibility locations will be reopened. These stores will have fewer employees, but test drives will be available. Some stores are under review and a decision will be made over the coming months to close or keep them open. As a result of keeping significantly more stores open, Tesla will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide.

Potential Tesla owners will have a week to place their order before prices rise, so current prices are valid until March 18th. There will be no price increase to the $35,000 Model 3. The price increases will only apply to the more expensive variants of Model 3, as well as Model S and X. To be clear, all sales worldwide will still be done online, in that potential Tesla owners coming in to stores will simply be shown how to order a Tesla on their phone in a few minutes. Stores will also carry a small number of cars in inventory for customers who wish to drive away with a Tesla immediately.

Posted by cageymaru March 11, 2019 3:25 PM (CDT)

Capcom Ships 4 Million Units of Resident Evil 2 Worldwide

Capcom has announced that 4 million units of Resident Evil 2 have shipped worldwide. The platforms that Capcom released the survival horror game onto include the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Cumulative sales of the games in the series now total 90 million units since the first title debuted in 1996. The game's audio features horror effects brought to life by Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 and real-time sound image rendering that utilizes binaural technology. Capcom has continued to support the critically acclaimed title with the release of "The Ghost Survivors" on February 15th for free.

Originally released in 1998, Resident Evil 2 went on to achieve cumulative sales of 4.96 million units, making it the fourth best-selling game in the Resident Evil franchise. More than 20 years later, continuous support from the passionate fan base across the globe makes it one of Capcom's flagship game series.

Posted by cageymaru February 27, 2019 8:37 AM (CST)

Surf the Web Like It's 1990: CERN Rebuilds WorldWideWeb, the First Web Browser

There’s no better way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the development of the WorldWideWeb by firing up the original 1990 browser, and CERN has made that easy by rebuilding the first web browser and editor as an in-browser app (queue Xzibit Yo Dawg meme). Once upon a time, users had to double click on links.

In December 1990, an application called WorldWideWeb was developed on a NeXT machine at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (known as CERN) just outside of Geneva. This program - WorldWideWeb - is the antecedent of most of what we consider or know of as "the web" today. In February 2019, in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the development of WorldWideWeb, a group of developers and designers convened at CERN to rebuild the original browser within a contemporary browser, allowing users around the world to experience the rather humble origins of this transformative technology.

Posted by Megalith February 24, 2019 4:50 PM (CST)

Thousands of IoT Refrigerators Worldwide Are Using Default Passwords

Refrigerators worldwide featuring temperature control systems from Resource Data Management still have the default password "1234" as their login. "These systems all use the unsecured HTTP protocol and the 9000 port (or sometimes 8080, 8100, or even simply 80)." Israeli security activists Noam Rotem and Ran L from Safety Detective research lab discovered the vulnerability in refrigeration systems at hospitals, supermarket chains, pharmaceutical companies, and more. In total, a search on Shodan revealed over 7,400 devices worldwide with vulnerabilities. The researchers were initially criticized for contacting the company via email and social media, but later on a RDM representative told Safety Detectives that it is up to the customer and installer to change the default password.

To clarify the situation from RDM we would confirm that the default passwords must be changed by the installer at the time of setup. RDM does not have any control over where our systems go and who install them. We clearly state in our documentation that the default passwords MUST be changed when the system is installed. Its similar to an off the shelf router with default user names and passwords Admin Admin.

Posted by cageymaru February 08, 2019 3:28 PM (CST)

Intel to Discontinue the Last of the Itaniums

The Itanium line will soon be coming to an end: Intel announced this week the last chips on the market, the Itanium 9700-series (Kittson) processors, would be discontinued in 2021. Few tears will be shed, as the "Itanic" is considered a failure by most, having scared away vendors with its complex instruction word architecture. "At this point, the only systems that actually use Itanium 9700-series CPUs are the HPE Integrity Superdome machines."

The first Itanium processors were supposed to ship in 1998, but despite the fact that Microsoft and other operating system vendors committed to supporting it, it turned out that Itanium’s very long instruction word (VLIW) architecture was too difficult to implement while maintaining the competitive prices and performance of other architectures, including the 32-bit x86 architecture. The first Itanium chip was delayed to 2001 and failed to impress most potential customers who stuck to their x86, Power and SPARC chips.

Posted by Megalith February 03, 2019 9:40 AM (CST)

Samsung Electronics to Replace Plastic Packaging with Sustainable Materials

Samsung has proudly announced the company will replace plastic packaging materials with environmentally sustainable alternatives such as recycled/bio-based plastics and paper. Holder trays for mobile phones and tablets will now comprise pulp molds; even the glossy exterior of chargers will be made matte to reduce the use of plastics. "By 2030, Samsung aims to use 500 thousand tons of recycled plastics and collect 7.5 million tons of discarded products"

"Samsung Electronics is stepping up in addressing society’s environmental issues such as resource depletion and plastic wastes," said Gyeong-bin Jeon, head of Samsung’s Global Customer Satisfaction Center. "We are committed to recycling resources and minimizing pollution coming from our products. We will adopt more environmentally sustainable materials even if it means an increase in cost."

Posted by Megalith January 27, 2019 2:55 PM (CST)

Rogue One Writer Blasts EA for "Catastrophically Mismanaging" the Star Wars License

Following the Battlefront II microtransaction controversy and the recent cancellation of another potentially epic Star Wars title, Rogue One writer Gary Whitta appeared on Kinda Funny Games this week to blast Electronic Arts for "catastrophically mismanaging" the Star Wars license, which it earned in 2013 but has been pissing away since. Whitta can’t believe how hard EA fumbled with Battlefront (the first didn’t even have a campaign) and is stunned at the shelving of Amy Hennig’s "Star Wars Uncharted" project. "If I was an EA shareholder, I’d be f*cking furious."

Whitta criticized EA for publishing the first Battlefront without a story, and for the "embarrassing fiasco" surrounding Battlefront II‘s microtransactions, which prompted Disney executives to step in. He also blasted the company for cancelling Amy Hennig’s Star Wars project (codenamed ragtag), which he thinks would have turned out fantastic with one of the best writers in the industry at the helm. The Rogue One writer went on to suggest that if he was at Disney and there was some kind of a "get out" clause in the contract with EA, he would revoke the license and "pull the plug."

Posted by Megalith January 19, 2019 12:20 PM (CST)

Netflix Raises U.S. Prices

Reuters reports that Netflix is raising prices for U.S. subscribers by "13 to 18 percent." The standard plan will now be $12.99 instead of $10.99, the basic plan is getting a $1 price bump to $8.99, and the premium plan that allows for 4K HDR streaming is now $15.99 instead of $13.99, but those new prices aren't reflected on Netflix's website yet. Interestingly, and perhaps a bit counter-intuitively, Netflix share prices are up 5% following the announcement, though they are still significantly lower than their peak prices in June and July of this year. Some might think higher prices would turn Netflix subscribers to competitors, but investors apparently see it as an opportunity for more revenue.

The price hikes will be applied to all existing members over the next few months and to all new members immediately, Netflix said in a statement. This is the first time since October 2017 that Netflix has raised prices for its U.S. subscribers.

Posted by alphaatlas January 15, 2019 10:19 AM (CST)

"Aquaman" Will Cross $1 Billion at Worldwide Box Office

As a character who is best known for talking to fish, Aquaman has been the brunt of many jokes, but Warner Bros. and director James Wan are the ones laughing now: with its current earnings of over $940M, film finance experts say the aquatic hero’s silver-screen debut will cross $1 billion next weekend. (Despite starring the most famous comic duo of all time, WB’s Batman v. Superman "only" managed $873M.) Female audiences evidently loved the film, while fans credited Wan for creating a regal underwater world.

He’s a bigger deal overseas where WB officially reports what we’ve all been expecting for days that the the DC superhero has scaled to $940.7M WW with $681M overseas. Nancy reported that’s the best overseas haul for a DC pic abroad. On a global basis Aquaman is ahead of DC’s Batman v. Superman ($873.6M), Sony/Marvel’s Venom ($855M), Warners/DC’s Wonder Woman ($821.8M), and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($863.7M). Film finance sources believe it’s inevitable that Aquaman crosses $1 billion next weekend.

Posted by Megalith January 06, 2019 1:45 PM (CST)