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Halo Insider Program: Sign Up for Early Access to Halo: The Master Chief Collection

While there is still no release date in sight, 343 Industries has announced an early-access program that should not only make the wait for Halo: The Master Chief Collection easier but improve the much-anticipated PC port in the process. Eager Spartans can visit the Halo Waypoint site to sign up for the "Halo Insider Program," which queues them for beta testing on console and PC.

The Halo Insider Program is the new way Halo fans and community members can partner with 343 Industries to improve our games, products, and services. As a Halo Insider, you’ll have the opportunity to regularly provide feedback and insights that help shape and inform current franchise initiatives and the future of Halo. You will also be given exclusive opportunities to participate in public flights of in-progress Halo game releases and provide feedback to the development teams.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 5:35 PM (CDT)

No Mans Sky "Beyond" Update Will Feature Multiplayer

No Man's Sky had a rough launch, to say the least, and most people expected the developers to distance themselves from it as much as they could. Instead, Hello Games has been steadily working No Man's Sky over the years, and the game managed to make a big comeback in 2018. Today, the developers announced what they claim to be the biggest overhaul to No Man's Sky yet. The "Beyond" update is supposedly the culmination of several features they've been planning for some time, as it "will contain those three major updates rolled into one larger free release." The first of those components is a new multiplayer experience, and Hello Games says they'll talk about the other components "in the coming weeks."

No Man's Sky Online includes a radical new social and multiplayer experience which empowers players everywhere in the universe to meet and play together. Whilst this brings people together like never before, and has many recognisable online elements, we don't consider No Man's Sky to be an MMO - it won't require a subscription, won't contain microtransactions, and will be free for all existing players. These changes are an answer to how we have seen people playing since the release of NEXT, and is something we've dreamed of for a long time. We will talk more about each component when we know we can be precise, and look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 15, 2019 10:16 AM (CDT)

Man Spends a Week Inside VR

In spite of some growing pains associated with the technology, it seems that virtual reality and augmented reality will play a significant role in the future of society. But just what happens to people if they spend days, or even weeks, inside of VR/AR? One YouTuber decided to find out, as he strapped himesflf into a VR headset for 168 hours straight, and live streamed the whole thing. Check out the experiment below:

"I now dream in virtual reality."

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 15, 2019 8:19 AM (CDT)

Gigabyte Factory Tour Shows Motherboard Manufacturing from Start-To-Finish

Gamers Nexus recently took a tour of the Gigabyte factory located on Nanping Road in Taiwan. At this location, Gigabyte manufacturers both video cards and motherboards. Although most of the SMT factory is automated, some of the components and wires must be installed by hand. It takes 40 - 50 minutes for a motherboard to be created and Gigabyte processes 600 - 800 motherboards per hour or about 5,000 per 8 hour workday. Make sure that you compare the Gigabyte tour to the MSI factory tour that Hardocp documented in 2007. I thought it was fascinating that the Gigabyte "museum" featured test equipment similar to what Hardocp observed over a decade ago. My, how things have changed!

Motherboard manufacturing is a refined process, but each board still takes upwards of an hour to finalize on the assembly line. About half of the assembly is now done by automated SMT lines, with the rest being manual quality checks and large component installation (like PCIe slots). As for how to make a video card, it follows exactly the same process -- the difference is just which board is being fed through the machines on each day.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 13, 2019 8:59 PM (CDT)

Progress on an Iron Man Suit is Being Made

Back in 2017, Red Bull posted a video of the "Daedulus" kerosene-powered jetpack created by Richard M. Browning, and its creators set a Guinness world record later that year. But since then, Mr. Browning has gone on to become the CEO of a company built around the jetpack called "Gravity Industries," and it looks like he's made some significant progress with the device's development. The company uploads new testing footage almost every week, including a shot of a jetpack pilot landing on a moving truck, but the company is so confident that they're starting to give the press members access to the suits. In the Hacksmith's latest video, the YouTuber seemingly picked up the basics of the flight suit relatively quickly, and Gravity mentioned that they already have a cheaper, 3D printed jet suit in testing. Thanks to CaptNumbNutz for the tip.

FLYING LIKE IRON MAN RETURNS! Gravity Industries & Richard Browning have successfully flown like Iron Man with their custom jet suit that uses kerosene jet engines! I flew (punny!) down to California to meet them and try out the jet suit for myself! Stay tuned for the next video where we turn his system into a true Iron Man suit, complete with a metal iron man helmet!

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 11, 2019 10:11 AM (CDT)

Potential Navi Benchmark: Better Graphics, Lower Compute Performance than Vega 64

An unknown AMD GPU (66AF:F1) has appeared on CompuBench, and some believe it could be a Navi part. GFXBench scores allude to a card that exceeds the Radeon RX Vega 64 in graphics capability but falls behind in certain compute tests, even against the Vega 56. Notebook Check advises this could actually be a Vega 20 GPU ("we've seen Linux drivers listing 0x66AF as Vega 20").

A comparison of the GFXBench scores of the AMD 66AF:F1 with the Radeon RX Vega 64 shows that the purported Navi variant leads significantly in the Aztec Ruins Normal Tier (1080p) and High Tier tests 1440p). This could imply that GCN6 in Navi is tailored more towards raw graphics than compute. We aren't exactly sure about the specs of this particular entry but expect to see variants with anywhere between 20 to 40 higher clocked CUs when Navi launches.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 10, 2019 1:25 PM (CDT)

Windows 10 Update Can Degrade Graphics, Mouse Performance in Certain Games

Microsoft has alerted gamers that a recent Windows 10 update (KB4482887) can have adverse effects on some titles: "After installing KB4482887, users may notice graphics and mouse performance degradation with desktop gaming when playing certain games (eg: Destiny 2)." The company is still working on an official fix, but those who need an immediate solution may merely uninstall the update.

On March 1st, Microsoft released a brand-new update for Windows 10 that brought a number of quality improvements. However, and after various reports, Microsoft has confirmed that this latest update can degrade graphics and mouse performance in certain games (like for example Destiny 2). Microsoft has not explained/detailed the reasons behind this performance degradation. Moreover, this issue may not affect everyone therefore we strongly suggest uninstalling this update only if you are experiencing worse performance in your favorite games after applying it.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 09, 2019 4:00 PM (CST)

Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC Might Be Announced Next Week

Microsoft has teased that the next episode of its monthly live news broadcast, Inside Xbox, will feature some exciting information on Halo: The Master Chief Collection. While the show isn’t known for major announcements, some believe 343 Studios could finally announce the long-awaited PC port of the Halo compilation. Fueling rumors, insider Brad Sams published a video Tuesday confirming it was in development.

There's no guarantee that the PC port will be announced then, but recent reports have made it seem likely that the game is on its way. In a recent YouTube vid, Xbox expert Brad Sams claimed the game is definitely in development, that its release is fairly imminent, and that it's possible an unveiling will occur at E3 2019.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 09, 2019 9:25 AM (CST)

Denuvo Performance Hit in Devil May Cry 5 Tested

Capcom accidentally left a developer branch of Devil May Cry 5 public that didn't have Denuvo copy protection added to the files. A Steam user created a guide for downloading the file, but Capcom took the file down. Digital Foundry has tested the file to see the performance difference between Denuvo on and off. They experienced a 7% difference in performance between the builds, but only at low resolutions. Devil May Cry 5 is fairly light on CPU usage according to Richard Leadbetter. I included images showing the performance difference from the Steam user that created the guide. Left is with Denuvo enabled and right is without Denuvo.

Assuming that the only difference between the two builds is indeed the inclusion of Denuvo, or the lack of it, the evidence looks conclusive. On the one hand, modern gaming PCs should have the CPU overhead to run the extra load incurred by what our tests suggests to be the Denuvo DRM. However, on the other hand, the notion of any DRM system incurring a seven per cent in-game hit to performance on a processor as capable as the Core i5 8400 (which runs six cores at a peak 3.8GHz) is certainly concerning. We've approached Capcom for comment and will update with any further information.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 08, 2019 4:35 PM (CST)

MLB Tests Trackman Computer System to Inform Umpires of Balls and Strikes

Major League Baseball (MLB) has started its 3 year experiment in the minor leagues that will see the introduction of a Trackman computer system that uses Doppler Radar to accurately track balls and strikes. Plate umpires wearing earpieces will be informed of ball/strike calls by the computer. The umpires can overrule the computer, but some are wary of earlier attempts of introducing a tracking system. Umpires have been evaluated by the Trackman system since 2017.

West, who has umpired more than 5,000 big league games and is on track to break Bill Klem's record in 2020, said the 2016 test was far from perfect. "It missed 500 pitches in April, and when I say it missed 500 pitches, that didn't mean they called them wrong. They didn't call them at all," he said.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 08, 2019 2:21 PM (CST)

The Tech World Remembers Jerry Merryman Who Was an Inventor of the Calculator

Born June 17, 1932; Jerry Merryman was a brilliant inventor whom others could call upon for information on any subject. By age 11, Mr. Merryman was the Hearne, TX radio repairman. "'He'd scrap together a few cents to go to the movies in the afternoons and evenings and the police would come get him out ... because their radios would break and he had to fix them,' said Merryman's wife, Phyllis Merryman." He wasn't a braggart or boastful; even though he would work on projects at his home like a motorized telescope that automatically tracked the planets. Texas Instruments hired him and in 1965 his Nobel Prize winning boss, Jack Kilby, presented him with the idea for a calculator. In three days, Jerry Merryman did the entire circuit design for the device that his boss desired to be "as small as this little book that I have in my hand." The three man team had enough work completed to file for a patent in 1967, and revised the final patent in 1974. Merryman said in a 2013 NPR interview, "Silly me, I thought we were just making a calculator, but we were creating an electronic revolution." Mr. Merryman died Feb. 27 at a Dallas hospital from heart and kidney failure after experiencing complications during surgery to install a pacemaker. He was 86. The team's prototype is enshrined at the Smithsonian Institution. This 1997 photo shows Jack Kilby and Jerry Merryman, right, at the American Computer Museum in Bozeman, Montana.

"I have a Ph.D. in material science and I've known hundreds of scientists, professors, Nobel prize-winners and so on. Jerry Merryman was the most brilliant man that I've ever met. Period. Absolutely, outstandingly brilliant," said Vernon Porter, a former TI colleague and friend. "He had an incredible memory and he had an ability to pull up formulas, information, on almost any subject."

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 06, 2019 8:55 PM (CST)

German Court Upholds Paid Amazon Review Case

Representing another win in the fight against paid reviews, a recent report claims that a German court upheld an Amazon case against undisclosed, paid reviews on their site. The provider supposedly offered 3rd party Amazon sellers positive reviews in exchange for some sort of compensation, such as a discount on the product, but the court banned the company from publishing reviews without advertising their "commercial background."

The ruling is not yet legally binding as the company can still appeal. Amazon's community guidelines prohibit compensation for reviews, but the practice has still proliferated, prompting Amazon to seek to sue sellers who buy reviews. Amazon tightened up its rules in 2016 to only allow reviewers to accept a free or discounted product as long as they disclose that fact, and use the Amazon "Vine" program to post their opinions.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 05, 2019 11:51 AM (CST)