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AMD Talks 3D Stacking at Rice Presentation

AMD has talked up their "chiplet" based approach used in their upcoming products, and according to some reports, Marvell is already selling products based on the chiplet concept. But the next logical step from that approach is to move from 2D to 3D, where different dies are "stacked" on top of each other. In a recent presentation at Rice University, AMD confirmed that they're working on 3D stacking techniques in their future designs, and that it's a necessary step to keep the improvements coming, but didn't elaborate much beyond that. Check out the memory and stacking talk in the presentation below:
Posted by alphaatlas March 19, 2019 10:47 AM (CDT)

Intel Delivers First Exascale Supercomputer to Argonne National Laboratory

Intel Corporation and Cray Inc. have announced that a Cray "Shasta" system will be the first U.S. exascale supercomputer. This $500 million Aurora supercomputer will be coming to the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in 2021 and will have a performance of one exaFLOP - a quintillion floating point operations per second. In addition, this system is designed to enable the convergence of traditional HPC, data analytics, and artificial intelligence -- at exascale. The program contract is valued at more than $100 million for Cray, one of the largest contracts in the company's history. The design of the Aurora system calls for 200 Shasta cabinets, Cray's software stack optimized for Intel architectures, Cray Slingshot interconnect, as well as next generation Intel technology innovations in compute processor, memory and storage technologies. Intel's Rajeeb Hazra detailed some of the futuristic technology coming to Aurora including a future generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, the recently announced Intel Xe compute architecture, and Intel Optane DC persistent memory. "Today is an important day not only for the team of technologists and scientists who have come together to build our first exascale computer -- but also for all of us who are committed to American innovation and manufacturing," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "The convergence of AI and high-performance computing is an enormous opportunity to address some of the world's biggest challenges and an important catalyst for economic opportunity."

The Aurora system's exaFLOP of performance -- equal to a "quintillion" floating point computations per second -- combined with an ability to handle both traditional high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) will give researchers an unprecedented set of tools to address scientific problems at exascale. These breakthrough research projects range from developing extreme-scale cosmological simulations, discovering new approaches for drug response prediction and discovering materials for the creation of more efficient organic solar cells. The Aurora system will foster new scientific innovation and usher in new technological capabilities, furthering the United States' scientific leadership position globally.

Posted by cageymaru March 18, 2019 3:24 PM (CDT)

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)

Nokia 9 PureView: The World's First Quintuple Camera Smartphone

Because one, two, three, or even four cameras isn’t enough, Nokia has announced a new PureView phone that boasts five rear sensors: "ZEISS optics on the back, two of which are RGB and the other three - monochrome." These work in unison, capturing lighting, detail, and color data to stitch a 12MP image. "According to HMD, taking a single photo results in at least 60 MP of imaging data being processed."

This is made possible with a dedicated image co-processor, which helps out with the heavy task. Every picture is HDR, can have up to 12.4 stops of dynamic range, and ends up with a full scene 12 MP depth map. Yes, this means that you will be able to use a depth editor to specifically adjust bokeh effects after the photo has already been taken. It'll even allow you to tweak colors and contrast between different depth fields. And yes, it can shoot RAW.

Posted by Megalith February 24, 2019 11:25 AM (CST)

Obsidian Talks About the Style and Setting of The Outer Worlds

While reading reviews about and commentary on Fallout 76, one of the most common opinions I run into is "We just want more Fallout: New Vegas." In other words, it seems that many players crave the stories and character-based worldbuilding that the single player Fallout experiences delivered, and that Fallout 76 largely skips. In a previous interview, Obsidian mentioned that The Outer Worlds is basically the New Vegas sequel they always wanted to make, and two recent interviews from Game Informer really drive that point home. The first, which dives into the universe of The Outer Worlds, reveals that the game will feature a Fallout-esque constructed world and similar over-the-top jabs at society, and the "1930s Dieselpunk Deadwood" theme mentioned in another interview could easily describe the Mojave desert in New Vegas.

The Outer Worlds is first and foremost a rollicking outer space adventure, but like the original Fallout that Cain and Boyarsky helped create, one of the magic ingredients is a healthy dose of social commentary (often couched in absurdist humor)... Boyarsky: Dieselpunk is very 1930s, and I was like "That's unfortunate, because that almost feels like what we want." I just threw out "Dieselpunk Deadwood," and then we were like, "That's what we have to somehow encapsulate." ...This is where we, as far as the environment goes, really hit where we wanted to go with the project.

Posted by alphaatlas February 21, 2019 11:42 AM (CST)

Plans for First Chinese Solar Power Station in Space Revealed

The Chinese are reportedly working on experimental solar power stations that would be launched into space to generate electricity. Planned for launch as early as 2021, they will provide "an inexhaustible source of clean energy for humans," reliably supplying energy "99 percent of the time, at six-times the intensity of solar farms on earth." The final plan is a Megawatt-level space solar power station for 2030.

Pang said technical challenges to be overcome include the weight of a power station, expected to be 1000 tonnes, greater than 400 tonnes of the International Space Station. Researchers are examining whether a space factory using robots and 3D printing technology could construct the power station in space, avoiding the need to launch a heavy structure from earth. Solar energy would be converted to electricity and a microwave or laser beam would transmit the energy to earth.

Posted by Megalith February 16, 2019 3:40 PM (CST)

"I Don't Want Your Respect": NetherRealm Responds to Mortal Kombat "Going Woke"

There is a growing subset of Mortal Kombat fans who aren’t pleased with the artistic direction in which NetherRealm Studios is taking series. Specifically, they allege the female roster has had their "sex appeal" taken away, a controversy that was reignited this week after NetherRealm revealed a ghastly looking, covered-up Jade. NetherRealm’s community manager has punched back against one fan who called it "disgusting" and how the developer should make the girls "sexy" in order to earn his "money and respect," calling such comments "truly awful." Even female gamers are beginning to agree the characters have been "censored," however.

@Draka_: For a "community manager" you don't seem to get how this thing called "community" works and how ridiculously godawful your communications skills are. If you start acting butthurt bc of one negative comment, you ain't exactly helpful to the "community" or the company you represent. @laope_: Gore = Core Values, CG tiddies = TOO OFFENSIVE! @irxson: You don't want your customers respect? I'm less inclined to buy the game now. Of course I will wait and see but I have to agree, Character designs are bad and I loved the older designs, my favorites being from MK9. It is sad to see the team is not going to consider our feedback.

Posted by Megalith February 16, 2019 1:05 PM (CST)

This Website Uses AI to Generate the Faces of People Who Don't Exist

Will the real-life version of Skynet model its Terminators after real people? That’s up in the air, as currently existing AI is already capable of crafting convincing faces all on its own. Software developer Philip Wang has launched a website called thispersondoesnotexist that proves this, allowing visitors to generate incredibly convincing but falsified human heads on every page refresh with the help of a powerful GPU and NVIDIA machine learning code. "I have it dream up a random face every two seconds, and display that to the world in a scalable fashion," Wang says. "Nothing fancy."

The website uses an implementation of machine learning known as Generative Adversarial Networks, or GANs. These programs "learn" from a large number of training inputs -- say, real human faces -- in order to produce new examples. uses code previously released by Nvidia researchers on GitHub. "Most people do not understand how good AIs will be at synthesizing images in the future," website creator and software developer Philip Wang told me in an email.

Posted by Megalith February 16, 2019 11:00 AM (CST)

Tesla Model X Receives Industry First Perfect Crash-Test Rating for a SUV

The Tesla Model X has become the first SUV to receive a perfect safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) SUVs are generally safer than cars due to their increased size, but a higher center of gravity causes the vehicles to rollover during tight maneuvering situations or a side impact accident. According to statistics, "rollovers happened in 1% of serious crashes in passenger vehicles but accounted for one-third of collision-related deaths." The Tesla Model X was designed to have a lower center of gravity due to its large battery pack located in the floor of the vehicle. This design choice, along with the larger front crumple zone, allowed the vehicle to receive a perfect rating from the NHTSA. In other Tesla news, Dog Mode has been enabled on Tesla vehicles. This displays a message on the screen in Tesla vehicles that shows the temperature of the car for passersby to know that they don't need to worry about the animals in the vehicle. Tesla also added a Sentry Mode to their cars. When customers enable Sentry Mode, the electric vehicle constantly monitors its environment from a "Standby" state like a home security system works. When the vehicle detects a break-in in progress, it will start recording the event with its cameras, sound the car alarm, blast loud music through the stereo system, and warn the owners of the incident via the Tesla mobile app on their phones. Video of the incident can be downloaded to a USB drive.

If a minimal threat is detected, such as someone leaning on a car, Sentry Mode switches to an "Alert" state and displays a message on the touchscreen warning that its cameras are recording. If a more severe threat is detected, such as someone breaking a window, Sentry Mode switches to an "Alarm" state, which activates the car alarm, increases the brightness of the center display, and plays music at maximum volume from the car's audio system. If a car switches to "Alarm" state, owners will also receive an alert from their Tesla mobile app notifying them that an incident has occurred. They'll be able to download a video recording of an incident (which begins 10 minutes prior to the time a threat was detected) by inserting a formatted USB drive into their car before they enable Sentry Mode.

Posted by cageymaru February 14, 2019 8:52 AM (CST)

Apex Legends Hits 25 Million Players and 2 Million Concurrent Peak in Its First Week

Vince Zampella of Respawn Entertainment has announced that Apex Legends has surpassed the 25 million player mark in its first week. Also the peak number of concurrent players during that week was 2 million over the weekend. He also announced that Season One starts in March and there will be a Battle Pass as well as new Legends, weapons, loot, and more. Events planned in the near future include the Twitch Rivals Apex Legends Challenge which starts on February 12, 2019 and resumes on the following Tuesday, February 19th. 48 of Twitch's biggest personalities will compete on those days. Valentine's day will have limited-time, appropriately-themed loot drops.

What a week! Since we launched Apex Legends last week on Monday we've seen the creation of an Apex Legends community that is excited, thriving, and full of great feedback and ideas. Our goal is to build this game with you, our community, so keep giving us your feedback because we really are listening. From everyone here at Respawn, thank you. The community's excitement for Apex Legends is electric, and we feel it here at the studio. We couldn't have gotten where we are without you and look forward to having you on this journey with us.

Posted by cageymaru February 11, 2019 5:57 PM (CST)

San Francisco May Be the First City in the Nation to Ban Facial Recognition

There already exists some degree of pushback regarding the use of facial recognition technologies by law enforcement and other agencies in San Francisco, as demonstrated by legislation mandating board approval before such surveillance may be used. City supervisor Aaron Peskin doesn’t think current ordinance is enough, however, having proposed a new law that would place "an outright ban on facial recognition technology." If passed, the "Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance" would make San Francisco the first in the country to make facial recognition illegal.

Civil rights groups have raised concerns about the threat to privacy and safety posed by facial recognition, as well problems with accuracy. "We know that facial recognition technology, which has the biases of the people who developed it, disproportionately misidentifies people of color and women," Peskin said Tuesday. "This is a fact." BART officials came under fire over the summer when they began exploring the implementation of a surveillance system and former BART board member Nick Josefowitz expressed interest in facial recognition software that could help identify specific individuals, such as those with arrest warrants.

Posted by Megalith February 03, 2019 3:00 PM (CST)

NSFW: Nutaku Announces World's First Boob-Shaped Console for Adult Gaming

Adult gaming platform Nutaku, best known for its vast library of hentai titles, has released its first piece of hardware: a breast-shaped, plug-and-play game console featuring more than 200 free-to-play and premium adult games. It’s already sold out, but perverts waiting on new stock can check out a making-of video in the meantime, which explains how the company made a console with a "flesh-like feel" and "nipple-shaped power button."

Turning on the console is pretty straight-forward. You just got to press the nipple. The "boob" is created out of silicone to give it an authentic feel when touched. But it's pretty cool because it comes with two USB ports, one HDMI port, an audio jack and a wireless internet connection. Certainly the perfect console for those who love adult gaming. Priced at US$169, the console comes in limited quantities.

Posted by Megalith February 02, 2019 2:50 PM (CST)