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Intel Drones Assist in the Preservation of the Great Wall of China

Intel has sent drones to researchers to assist in the preservation of the Great Wall of China; specifically in the Jiankou section. By conducting surveys and taking thousands of high quality images, the drones have been instrumental in helping the preservationists to monitor the current state of the wall. In other drone news, utilities in Europe are mapping energy grids and checking for damage to pipelines by using long distance drones that can travel 50 km. They are expected to invest $5.6 million into the technology.

"It’s a real game changer," Michal Mazur, partner at consultancy PwC, said of drones. "They’re 100 times faster than manual measurement, more accurate than helicopters and, with AI devices on board, could soon be able to fix problems." In-sight drones cost around 20,000 euros each and BVLOS ones will cost significantly more, according to executives at tech companies that make the machines for utilities, and a fleet of dozens if not hundreds would be needed to monitor a network.

Posted by cageymaru July 16, 2018 3:26 PM (CDT)

AMD vs NVIDIA Drivers....FIGHT!

AMD commissioned QA Consultants to do stability testing on its GPUs and drivers compared to NVIDIA's. AMD video cards in the test included Vega 64, RX 580, and RX560 cards. NVIDIA cards included GTX 1080 Ti, GTX 1060, and GTX 1050. AMD came out ahead of NVIDIA by a 10% margin overall. The full detailed report can be read in this PDF. There are charts that show every failure logged starting on page 6 of the PDF. Let the fanboy arguments begin!

In May 2018, AMD commissioned QA Consultants to independently evaluate the stability of several of the latest graphics drivers from both AMD and NVIDIA. A pool of 6 AMD and 6 NVIDIA graphics accelerators were subjected to 12 days of 24-hour stress testing using CRASH from Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Lab Kit (HLK). Gaming and Workstation products from both graphics vendors were equally represented. The aggregate of AMD products passed 93% of scheduled tests whereas the aggregate of NVIDIA products passed 82% of scheduled tests (See Figure 1).

Posted by Kyle July 16, 2018 11:06 AM (CDT)

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 $489.99

Both Amazon and Newegg have the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 on sale today for $500. Amazon is sans rebate for $499.99, and the card on Newegg does have it for $489.99 after $10 MIR.
Posted by Kyle July 16, 2018 9:27 AM (CDT)

Mom’s Defense of "Cheating" Fortnite Kid Fails

A judge has ruled that Epic can continue its copyright infringement lawsuit against a 14-year-old Fortnite cheater despite his mother arguing that the EULA wasn’t legally binding, nor was he given consent for playing the game. Epic reasoned that "minors can’t void contractual obligations while keeping the benefits of the same contract." Thanks cageymaru.

The accused cheater now has two weeks to file a formal response to the complaint. If that doesn’t happen, Epic Games is likely to ask for a default judgment. Based on previous cases, the game publisher is not likely to demand a high damages claim. Instead, its main goal appears to be to stop the cheaters’ infringing activities, and prevent others from doing the same.

Posted by Megalith July 15, 2018 2:45 PM (CDT)

"I Used an Android Go Phone for a Month, and It Was Terrible"

Due to the ubiquity of inexpensive Android phones already on the market, many questioned Google’s intent for Android Go, a stripped-down version of Android designed for spearheading cheaper handsets. Android Police decided to give Google the benefit of the doubt by adopting one Go phone (Alcatel 1X) for a month, but ultimately agreed the idea is pointless: not only do they run bad, many are priced higher than cheaper models with better performance.

Android Go's current hardware and software offer a very limited experience that I wouldn't wish on anyone, and the ~$100 price associated with at least some of the more marketed handsets is far too much. OEMs have been able to make less expensive non-Go phones with better specs, and the virtual shelves of eBay and Swappa are lined with older but higher-end devices at the same price.

Posted by Megalith July 15, 2018 1:20 PM (CDT)

Judge Jails Defendant for Failing to Unlock Phones

A Florida man is behind bars for telling a judge he didn’t know the unlock codes for his cell phones despite being served a warrant. His attorney, Patrick Leduc, is calling the case a fishing expedition: his arrest merely regarded not properly yielding and a small amount of marijuana, yet detectives insisted they needed to know what was on his phones.

Leduc says what happened to Montanez could happen to any of us. "If they arrest you for anything -- whether it’s drugs, guns, you name it -- and an electronic device is nearby, they can get a search warrant and search it. And if you don't provide that information to search it, to unlock, because you want to keep the information private, we'll put you in jail," said Leduc.

Posted by Megalith July 15, 2018 11:15 AM (CDT)

Intel Board Partners Add Support for Next-Generation CPUs to Z370 Motherboards

Major manufacturers have released new BIOS updates for their Z370 motherboards, and these happen to include support for Intel’s next-generation CPUs. The expected target is Coffee Lake Refresh, which includes an 8-core model (Core i9-9900K).

With the actual 9th-generation core, codenamed "Ice Lake," still far away from launch on desktop PCs, it looks like the 9th-generation branding will be coming to desktops early but in the form of Coffee Lake Refresh. This lineup is also expected to feature the much awaited 8-core option from Intel which will put them next to AMD’s Ryzen processors in the mainstream desktop segment.

Posted by Megalith July 15, 2018 10:25 AM (CDT)

AMD: Native 4K Resolution at 30fps with PS4 Image Quality Requires 7.4 TFLOPS GPU

According to AMD developer Timothy Lottes, a 7.4 TFLOP GPU would be required to run the average PS4 title at 4K 30fps. Interestingly, both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro fall below this spec, which offer 6 TFLOPS and 4.2 TFLOPS of power respectively. Xbox fans are quick to mention that their console offers numerous native 4K 30fps titles, such as Forza Horizon 4 and Gears of War 4.

Lottes did, however, mention that that brief description is an oversimplification of a very complicated and layered process. That complication, of course, comes in form of stuff like supersampling, checkerboarding, and temporal reconstruction, which are means that developers in some cases use to have less than 4K pixels on the screen in terms of pixel count in their games, and then fill in those gaps through those techniques.

Posted by Megalith July 14, 2018 2:30 PM (CDT)

Adobe to Launch Photoshop for iPad in Strategy Shift

Adobe is planning to launch a full version of Photoshop for the Apple iPad, which will be unveiled in October and release sometime next year. It is part of the company’s plan to make its products compatible across multiple devices and allow professionals to edit their work anywhere, as well as capture more casual users.

The new tools will have mobile-friendly interfaces more familiar to these audiences, rather than being replicas of the existing desktop versions. The app won’t immediately be a replacement for Photoshop, which has been around since 1990, but will be offered alongside it, people familiar with the project said.

Posted by Megalith July 14, 2018 10:35 AM (CDT)

PC Shipments Grew for the First Time in Six Years

According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments grew for the first time in six years during the second quarter of 2018. This was driven purely by the business market and the Windows 10 upgrade cycle, not consumers, many of whom have switched to smartphones for daily tasks. Analysts warn that the market will weaken again in two years.

This is the first quarter of year-over-year global PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012. All regions experienced some growth compared with a year ago. While the results are a positive result for the PC industry, Gartner analysts said this sign of market stability is not enough to declare a PC industry recovery just yet.

Posted by Megalith July 14, 2018 9:40 AM (CDT)

GENKI: Bluetooth Audio for the Nintendo Switch

The GENKI: Bluetooth Audio adapter for the Nintendo Switch by Human Things features an USB-C connector and is compatible with Bluetooth 5. According to the Kickstarter page, this allows users of the Nintendo Switch to use up to two pairs of Bluetooth headphones with the console at the same time. When only using one set of headphones, the GENKI device only exhibits 40 ms of latency to keep your gaming audio perfectly synced with the console. It only draws 0.02 watts of system power and doesn't use batteries. The Kickstarter has exceeded the requested funding, but remember that there is always a chance that the development of the device will fail and there are no guaranteed refunds.

GENKI follows the Nintendo’s USB audio protocol and therefore receives power directly from your Nintendo Switch. But don’t worry, it only draws 0.02 Watts. To get an idea that’s like 1% of your Nintendo Switch’s battery, which is less power than if you had used the built-in speakers. This means you don’t ever have to charge GENKI. And because a battery isn’t needed, there is absolutely no risk of bricking or damaging your console like third party docks.

Posted by cageymaru July 13, 2018 2:50 PM (CDT)

Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Free For Red Faction Guerrilla Owners

I don't know how many of you own Red Faction Guerrilla, but for those of you that do the developer is giving you a free copy of Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered on Steam. I checked my Steam library and I found my nice new shiny edition of Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered. Some of the changes are new high-res textures, better lighting and 4K native support. Go check it out and blow some stuff up! Here's the announcement trailer if you missed it a few weeks back.
Posted by Montu July 13, 2018 12:30 PM (CDT)