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John "TotalBiscuit" Bain to Be Inducted into Esports Hall of Fame

John Bain, otherwise known as TotalBiscuit in the gaming community, will be inducted into the Esports Hall of Fame at ESL One Hamburg 2018. He will be the first non-player inducted. TotalBiscuit was well known for his gaming reviews on YouTube, gaming podcasts and WoW Radio. The "Cynical Brit" formed a professional StarCraft 2 team called Axiom and was involved in the esports industry with various roles. He passed away earlier this year after a long and public fight with cancer.

A true gaming legend will be inducted into the Esports Hall of Fame presented by paysafecard during ESL One Hamburg 2018 at the end of October - John Peter "TotalBiscuit" Bain. His influence on the esports scene can not be understated as his passion and support helped drive various competitive titles towards the heights they reached today. He left behind a body of work unmatched by any other while still managing to give a voice to indie scenes and breakout players.

Posted by cageymaru October 19, 2018 4:20 PM (CDT)

Industry Groups Representing Internet Providers Sue Vermont over Net Neutrality Law

Vermont is the latest state to be sued by multiple industry groups representing the cable industry and internet providers. The trade associations filed the lawsuit to block states from being able to write laws that adopt Net Neutrality. "The lawsuit argues that states cannot regulate 'indirectly through their spending, procurement, or other commercial powers what they are forbidden from regulating directly.'" California is facing a similar lawsuit.

Scott said he was disappointed the lawsuit was filed against the state "for taking action to protect our citizens and our economy." The Republican governor said he believed Vermont residents "have a right to free and open access to information on the internet. In the absence of a national standard to protect that right, states must act."

Posted by cageymaru October 19, 2018 3:02 PM (CDT)

Human Augmentation Biohacks Become Mainstream

Humans are augmenting their bodies with biohacks; chips and other devices inserted under the skin that give new functionality to the individual. These range from simple chip insertions that allow an employee to enter an office building without having to remember to bring their security badge, to sex toys that implant vibrators into the pelvis. From simple magnets implanted under the skin to Tesla CEO Elon Musk raising $27 million for Neuralink Corp to develop brain-computer interfaces; humans are just starting to scratch the surface of hacking our bodies to add more functionality to our everyday lives. The following video is of Moon Ribas; a dancer with implants that allow her to feel earthquakes from around the world.

Digiwell is one of a handful of companies offering similar services, and biohacking advocates estimate there are about 100,000 cyborgs worldwide. "The question isn't 'Do you have a microchip?' Kramer says. "It's more like, 'How many?' We've entered the mainstream." Biohacking raises a host of ethical issues, particularly about data protection and cybersecurity as virtually every tech gadget risks being hacked or manipulated. And implants can even become cyberweapons, with the potential to send malicious links to others. "You can switch off and put away an infected smartphone, but you can't do that with an implant," says Friedemann Ebelt, an activist with Digitalcourage, a German data privacy and internet rights group.

Posted by cageymaru October 19, 2018 2:04 PM (CDT)

Atlis Electric Truck Battery Charges in 13 Minutes

As part of their effort to make the first fully electric pickup truck on the market, Atlis claims to have broken the charge time record for electric vehicles. The startup charged a 3kwh battery in just 12 minutes and 35 seconds, beating Porsche's time of 15 minutes for an 80 percent charge. Interestingly, the company's truck is built on an open electric platform other companies could use to build anything from "RVs and box trucks to vans and entire fleets." You can download the full press release here.

"This was the key to proving our technology - recharge times for batteries is still one of the largest obstacles to wider adoption of electric vehicles." The prototype battery is a lithium-ion cell with a unique cooling system for optimum temperature management. "Properly managing cell temperatures is still overlooked by many electric vehicle manufacturers but is one of the most critical components to battery performance and longevity. Ignoring temperature management, or just providing mild surface cooling of the cells is insufficient." Hanchett added.

Posted by alphaatlas October 19, 2018 12:14 PM (CDT)

Cryptocurrency Mining is Fading in China

According to a report by the Commercial Times, the Chinese mining craze is starting to fade away. A halt on Bitcoin trading in the country certainly didn't help things, and the falling prices of alternative cryptocoins means miners are struggling to make a profit. According to the report, many miners are quitting the business, and used hardware is flooding the market.

Many mining machines have been available on second-hand trading websites in China priced less than a quarter of those of brand new machines, the report said.

Posted by alphaatlas October 19, 2018 10:42 AM (CDT)

Der8auer Delids 9900k and Investigates TIM

Der8auer noticed that his 9900k was running hotter than it should, especially when compared to an 8700k with inferior TIM. While the extra two cores definitely account for some of the heat, der8auer delidded a 9900k and took some measurements. As it turns out, the 9900k's die is significantly taller than the 8700k. As the CPU sits at the bottom of the silicon "stack", there's more material for that heat to go through. Sanding some of that material off resulted in a significant temperature decrease under load. The full video is worth checking out, which you can see below:
Posted by alphaatlas October 19, 2018 9:52 AM (CDT)

Ubuntu 18.10 "Cosmic Cuttlefish" Has Been Released and More Linux News

The latest version of Ubuntu 18.10 "Cosmic Cuttlefish" has been released. Along with the new version of Linux, Canonical has released statistics from users that opted in to complete a survey when installing 18.04 LTS. Phoronix has a list of some of the highlights that users should look forward to in the 18.10 release. AMD Radeon gamers should also be excited about better SteamVR support and overall performance from the improvements in Linux 4.19 and Mesa 18.3-dev in the current version of Ubuntu 18.10. The Intel i9 9900K review features 15 processors from AMD and Intel under Ubuntu 18.10. Don't forget the AMD Dual EPYC 7601 benchmark blowout against some of the finest Intel Xeon processors on Ubuntu 18.10 server. If gaming under Linux is part of your plans, don't forget the latest versions of Proton and DXVK for Steam Play. Feral Interactive has announced new Linux ports of games such as Life is Strange 2, Total War: Three Kingdoms and XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. DXVK has implemented Stream Output to fix compatibility issues with some Linux ports such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The latest NVIDIA 410.66 Linux x64 (AMD64/EM64T) Display Driver can be found here. Developer Ethan Lee has announced that he is working on Proton in partnership with Codeweavers. Here is his portfolio of work. There is a new version of elementary OS 5 Juno out which of course is Linux based.

Overall, Ubuntu 18.10 "Cosmic Cuttlefish" is quite a modest six-month upgrade for being the first past the Ubuntu 18.04 cycle. Exciting me the most, of course, is simply the package upgrades with riding Linux 4.18 + Mesa 18.2 for a much better Linux gaming experience and having moved on now to GCC8. What didn't get achieved for the Ubuntu 18.10 cycle is the long-awaited data viewer to the Ubuntu software/hardware survey introduced in 18.04 LTS... As of writing there's still no public means of being able to view the statistics on these opt-in Ubuntu survey installations. Additionally, the plans for better Android phone integration with the Ubuntu 18.10 desktop by means of bundling GS Connect also didn't happen as planned for the Ubuntu 18.10 cycle.

Posted by cageymaru October 19, 2018 9:41 AM (CDT)

AMD Addresses 9900k Controversy and Outlines Benchmarking Practices

In response to the recent controversy surrounding the 9900k benchmarks by Principled Technologies, AMD passed out some slides outlining problems with those benchmarks, as well as general "best benchmarking practices". Aside from the numerous issues with the first round of testing, AMD also noted issues with Principled Technologies 2nd, updated round of testing. According to AMD, the Multicore Enhancement auto-overclocking setting was still unclear, the memory timings were still "suspect," and testing methodology specifics and other relevant system configuration settings still weren't addressed. In addition to the criticism, AMD outlined good, general benchmarking practices. AMD says that reviewers should make sure to sanitize the OS before running benchmarks, make sure the CPUs are running at their stock, warrantied specifications, and run repeatable, consistent benchmarks at least five times, among other things. Check out the full slides by clicking the images below:

Never stop asking: "does this config, test, and result make sense to me as a consumer?"

Posted by alphaatlas October 19, 2018 9:27 AM (CDT)

Micron Buys Itself Out of Flash Partnership With Intel

Micron is officially ending their flash partnership by buying Intel's share of IM Flash for $2.5 billion. Micron is shelling out $1.5 billion in cash for the acquisition, and is taking on another $1 billion in debt. The company says it can start the acquisition process in early 2019, and that it could take 6 to 12 months to close the deal. Micron and Intel jointly developed 3D Flash and 3D Xpoint as part of the agreement, and going forward, they have plans for sharing that technology.

In July 2018, Micron and Intel agreed to conclude their joint development of 3D XPoint technology after the completion of the second-generation node, which is expected to occur in the second half of Fiscal 2019. The two companies will independently drive their own future technology roadmaps. Micron is currently collaborating with ecosystem partners to introduce 3D XPoint products in late calendar 2019, with revenue ramp starting in calendar 2020. Joint manufacture of 3D XPoint memory will continue at the IM Flash facility in Lehi, Utah until the transaction is closed. Based on prior agreements, Micron will sell 3D XPoint memory wafers to Intel for up to a year after close. At the close of the transaction, IM Flash will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Micron, and all IM Flash employees will become part of the Micron team focused on supporting technology development and manufacturing efforts in Lehi.

Posted by alphaatlas October 19, 2018 8:22 AM (CDT)

China to Launch an Artificial Moon

Local, state-owned newspapers in Chengdu, China announced a plan to launch an artificial moon above the city in 2020. The satellite would reflect sunlight to an area between 10 and 80 kilometers in diameter, and shine 8 times brighter than Earth's own moon. The plan is to at least partially replace street lights with artificial moonlight, which could save a substantial amount of electricity and provide illumination during blackouts. China is trying to bring their space program up to par with the U.S. and Russia, and this is definitely a step in that direction.

The paper added that testing the illumination satellite started years ago and all the technology and design had been finalized. The man-made moon has a highly reflective coating to reflect light from the sun with solar panel-like wings whose angles can be adjusted to realize "precise lighting." The 14,300-square-meter city of Chengdu would be the primal focus of the light from the man-made moon, and astronomers throughout China and overseas should be able to spot the glowing star at night. But no further specifications of the spacecraft, or its launch date, were available. Chengdu officials expect the city to reel in more tourists when the artificial moon is up and shining.

Posted by alphaatlas October 19, 2018 7:47 AM (CDT)

Epson Pushing Firmware Upgrades That Disable Third-Party Ink Usage

Epson has been accused by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) of issuing firmware upgrades that disable the ability for Epson printers to use 3rd party ink supplies. Many consumers used 3rd party sources for their ink to save money and conveniences such as upgrades to a continuous ink supply. After a printer has been upgraded with the newest firmware, the customer loses the ability to use 3rd party ink cartridges and supplies. The EFF letter addresses the complaints from Epson customers that they weren't informed that the firmware upgrade would disable 3rd party ink solutions. Also Epson printer owners say that they purchased the printer because it allowed for 3rd party ink supplies to be used.

It is not clear that customers were informed when buying an Epson printer that their ability to use third-party ink options could or would be later disabled. Moreover, it does not appear that Epson informed customers when it sent the firmware update that it would disable third-party alternatives to Epson cartridges. Epson's conduct may therefore be misleading or deceptive within the meaning of the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Posted by cageymaru October 18, 2018 3:28 PM (CDT)

Federal Agents Can Access Deleted Data from Car Infotainment Systems

Federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are now adding car infotainment systems to search warrants to seek evidence in criminal cases. When you connect your phone to a car's entertainment system, it stores all of your data and never erases it. Even if you have it reset, the memory inside the unit continues to stores your data as it just deletes references to the information. Vehicle forensics companies such as Berla specialize in dumping the entirety of the data stored in the memory of the vehicle's infotainment system.

Because mobile devices typically hook up to in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, a whole host of information might be available, the agent wrote. That included passwords, "voice profiles and other biometric identifiers," contacts, call logs, GPS locations and Web histories. "I know that even after a previously connected mobile device is removed, much historical live and deleted data may remain within the digital storage capabilities of the IVI system," Pitney wrote. "I also know that live and deleted data recovered from IVI systems may show evidence of current or ongoing, future and past criminal activity."

Posted by cageymaru October 18, 2018 2:28 PM (CDT)