Thursday, April 28, 2016

IT News Head Lines (HardOCP) 28/04/2016





NZXT Manta Mini-ITX Enclosure
If you have plans to build a mini-ITX system such as a LAN box, HTPC, or Steam Machine, the crew at PC Perspective recommend giving their review of the NZXT Manta mini-ITX case a look. According to the review it has very high build quality, excellent cooling capacity for mini-ITX and the fans are quiet.

The NZXT Manta is a mini-ITX enclosure that boasts better than average room for components and cooling, and is packaged in a rather unusual, rounded design. There is a reason for the Manta's somewhat bulbous appearance, and it's part of a recent trend in mini-ITX enclosure design; bigger is better. While you might think that mITX is all about fitting components into the smallest enclosure possible, there have been some recent examples of cases which expand the chassis to micro-ATX sizes (or above).

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My God-Awful Year With the Apple Watch
If you know anyone that has an Apple Watch, this guy's story is going to sound awful familiar. The oddest thing I find about the iWatch is that it turns basic things you can do with one hand on a phone into a two-handed operation. It kind of sucks that both hands are occupied just doing basic stuff.


Wearing the Apple Watch for nearly a year did change something in me though, but it's the opposite effect that was probably intended: the Watch's constant low-level notifications made me realize that there's nothing really worth being notified about. Being able to feel every text, email, and whatever else, made me see how useless they mostly were.

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Doctor Ready To Perform First Human Head Transplant
Not that I doubt this doctor's abilities but it scares me to think he got the idea for head transplant surgery "from a Spider-Man comic book." He even has code names for the human head transplant, one is HEAVEN (head anastomosis venture) and the other is Gemini.

His attachment to Spider-Man's Peter Parker, another dweeb, lured him deep into the comic book world of Marvel, with its dose of futuristic medicine. That fateful day, he bought Issue 51 of Marvel Team-Up, in which Dr. Strange boasts to Spider-Man and Iron Man, "I myself have surgically rejoined severed neurolinkages…. The nerve endings have been fused, the healing process begun." This marked Canavero's first encounter with the idea of spinal cord fusion. And he wanted more.

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It's Time For Android and Chrome OS To Merge
What do you guys think about this? It makes a lot of sense and combining resources would be good for all involved. What are the down sides to merging Android and Chrome OS?

The plan has seemingly been in the works for years. Ever since Chrome OS boss Sundar Pinchai replaced Android creator Andy Rubin in 2013 at the helm of the mobile OS, we've been predicting that the two software monoliths would someday collide. Google initially developed both operating systems in parallel, but now that Android is the most widely used operating system in the world (and Chromebook's accounting for less than 3 percent of global PCs), the pressure is on Google to fold Chrome into Android.

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Blizzard Comments On Shutdown Of Unauthorized WoW Server
Here's the response that everyone has been waiting for. Plain and simple, Blizzard had to protect its trademarks and intellectual property. If the company let this server do it, they'd have to let everyone do it. Here's an excerpt from the rather lengthy blog post:

Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard's rights. This applies to anything that uses WoW's IP, including unofficial servers. And while we've looked into the possibility – there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard's IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server. We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty. If we could push a button and all of this would be created, we would. However, there are tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers, not to mention the ongoing support of multiple live versions for every aspect of WoW.

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MPAA Says Pirate Sites Will Take Advantage of Set-Top Box Proposals
The Motion Picture Association of America is afraid that pirates are going to build a black market business if the set-top box market in the United States is opened up. Really? Why would crooks need approval from the FCC to make illegal black boxes. They do that now already.

Earlier this year the Federal Communications Commission promised to "tear down anti-competitive barriers" by opening up the set-top box market in the United States and freeing consumers from $20 billion a year in rental charges. The proposals have spooked content owners, not least the MPAA who fear that pirate sites will take the opportunity to build a "black market" business.

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DARPA Ground X-Vehicle Technologies Concept Video
DARPA's Ground X-Vehicle Technology program has given the greenlight to eight organizations to develop new technologies that, according to the article, would make future fighting vehicles more mobile, effective, safe and affordable. I don't want to make fun of the video below but you guys have to watch it. I think we all played that game back in the 80's.



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Cybercriminals Earned $100K Just By Sending A DDoS Threat Email
Raise your hand if you've ever seen a movie or TV show that involves a ransom. Now, in every single on of those movies, how do the bad guys get caught? When it comes time to pick up the money! Seriously, who the hell is handing over money to these people (bitcoin or not)?

A group called the Armada Collective are reaping the rewards of cybercrime by threatening jittery businesses with the idea of a DDoS attack -- without actually doing more than sending an email or two. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, while taking no technical expertise beyond knowing how to flood a website with traffic and causing it to crash, may not be sophisticated -- but can still cause serious damage.

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AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.4.2
AMD has released brand new Crimson Edition 16.4.2 drivers for all you Radeon owners out there. In addition to Crossfire profiles for Elite Dangerous and Need for Speed, these drives add AMD Xconnect™ technology. Here's a list of known issues as weoo as resolved issues:

The Division™ may experience flickering in AMD Crossfire™ technology mode.
DOTA2™ toggling between borderless fullscreen and exclusive fullscreen can sometimes cause flickering or corruption when in AMD Crossfire™ technology mode.
Some DirectX® 9 applications cannot disable AMD Crossfire™ technology mode through Radeon Settings.
GPU clocks on some products may remain in high states after recovering from an application crash.
A small subset of AMD Radeon™ R9 380 users may be experiencing slower than expected fan speeds.
Power efficiency toggle in Radeon Settings is showing up for some unsupported products.
The check for software updates feature in Radeon Settings may not find the latest available update.
Some games may fail to show up in Radeon Settings gaming tab.
The Radeon Settings option may sometimes disappear as a shortcut from the right-click context menu on desktop after a software upgrade.
Steam®VR Performance Test may experience flickering in AMD Crossfire™ technology mode.
Stuttering or corruption observed while playing Fallout 4™ on some graphics products in AMD Crossfire™ technology mode.
Corruption in Hitman™ when using AMD Crossfire™ technology mode.
Stuttering or freezing in some loading scenes while playing Hitman™ using AMD Crossfire™ technology mode.
Negative scaling seen on Hitman™ when using AMD Crossfire™ technology mode.

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AMD Radeon Pro Duo Announcement
AMD has released the AMD Radeon Pro Duo's full specifications today with photographs. We have covered the AMD Radeon Pro Duo announcement here and have a break down of all the info available to us with our thoughts on the "World's Fastest Graphics Card" thrown in for good measure.


AMD is taking the veil off of the "World's Fastest Graphics Card" today known as the AMD Radeon Pro Duo. This $1,499 video card seems to have a rather different focus. We will share with you all the specifications on and pictures of the AMD Radeon R9 Pro Duo. We will talk about what this dual-Fiji GPU video card may have to offer.

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Google, Ford, Uber Join Coalition To Further Self-Driving Cars
Google, Uber, Ford and others are banding together to form a coalition to promote self-driving cars. I'm not sure if they are going for the whole Justice League or Avengers thing but, at the very least, they should get super secret decoder rings.

Alphabet Inc's Google unit, Ford Motor Co, the ride-sharing service Uber and two other companies said on Tuesday they are forming a coalition to push for federal action to help speed self-driving cars to market. Sweden-based Volvo Cars, which is owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co GEELY.UL, and Uber rival Lyft also are part of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. The group said in a statement it will "work with lawmakers, regulators and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles."

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YouTube Is Working On 6 Second 'Bumper' Ads
The idea of a six second "bumper" ad sounds like a good idea. It is shorter than the average 15 - 30 second ads and almost the same length as the wait to "skip" an ad so maybe people will actually watch the whole thing.

That's why today we're announcing Bumper ads – a new six-second video format, sold through the AdWords auction on a CPM basis. Bumper ads are ideal for driving incremental reach and frequency, especially on mobile, where "snackable videos" perform well. Given the succinct nature of the format, we've seen Bumper ads work best when combined with a TrueView or Google Preferred campaign.

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Available Tags:Apple , Chrome OS , Android , Chrome , WoW , Server , AMD , Radeon , YouTube

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