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Monday September 01, 2014

Cool Video of the Day

This is pretty damn cool. Raise your hand if you were secretly hoping for a malfunction when that dude was walking under this thing. wink

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Movies Have Worst Summer Since 1997

Movies had the worst summer since 1997. That's funny because you can jumble that sentence around to say "worst summer movies since 1997" and it would still be accurate. Refreshing twist to this article? Piracy wasn't even mentioned. smile

The film industry had its worst summer in North America, still the world’s No. 1 movie market, since at least 1997, after adjusting for inflation. Between the first weekend in May through the end of August, ticket sales in the United States and Canada are expected to total roughly $3.9 billion, a 15 percent decline from the same stretch last year, according to Rentrak, a box office data company.

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Labor Day [H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Corsair Graphite 380T @ Hexus

Corsair Graphite 380T @ Guru3D

ETC.: Tesoro Tizona G2N Elite @ PureOC

Tt eSPORTS Verto Gaming Headset @ ThinkComputers

Memory: DDR4 Memory Round-Up @ Hardware Heaven

Motherboards: MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC @ Vortez

MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC @ Tweak.dk

PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA G2 1600W @ techPowerUP!

Super Flower Golden Silent 500W @ eTeknix

Farms Of 'Artificial Humans' To Replace Animal Testing

Hang on, if they start testing on artificial humans what will PETA have left to bitch about? big grin

Smartphone-sized microchips replicating human lungs, livers and other organs are being used to test the body's reaction to new drugs. They are branded as 'human on a chip' and developers hope to create 'human farms' to replace the controversial technique of live animal testing.

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3 Things That Have Made Gaming Social Media More Toxic

I don't care whether you like Brad Wardell or not, you really should read this.

It’s not just that the gaming media publicizes every tawdry rumor or speculation about the individuals involved in making games. It’s that they actively take sides and drive the narrative. This is extremely divisive and thus creates a constituency of people waiting "their turn" to air their grievances.

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Activision Could Make A Play For Take-Two

It's funny how one analyst makes "an emerging romance" comments about Activision and Take-Two and now the company's stock is trading at a six year high.

"For Activision, acquiring Take-Two Interactive would be a no-brainer, in our view, circling some of the strongest development talent and owned IP in the world, within a company that has nearly $1 billion in cash and trades at a comparably lower multiple," Hickey said.

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Patent Allows Watermarking of Already Encrypted Movies

Verance, the company behind Cinavia anti-piracy protection, has been awarded a new patent on a method of inserting watermarks into content that has already been compressed and encrypted.

The company behind the movie watermarking system known as Cinavia has been awarded a new anti-piracy patent. Among other things, the Verance invention seeks to track digital media as it's being distributed by adding identifying watermarks to encrypted content, without having to decrypt it first.

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Labor Day

While I expect news in the tech world to be fairly slow today because of Labor Day, there are still a bunch of you out there that have to work so I’ll gather up what news I can find so you have something to do at work. Hey, if you are going to work on Labor Day, the least we can do is keep you company / entertained.

GIGABYTE Launches New X99 Series Motherboards

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the availability of their new X99 motherboard lineup based on the Intel® X99 chipset with support for Intel’s new Core™ i7 Extreme Edition (LGA 2011-v3 socket) processors and latest DDR4 memory support. Featuring 3 main categories of motherboards including G1™ gaming, SOC overclocking and signature GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™, GIGABYTE has an X99 series motherboard custom built for any ‘Dream Machine’ build.

Designed to fulfill the needs of the high-end desktop segment, the new GIGABYTE X99 motherboards are the ultimate platform for users wanting long lasting quality, unrivalled performance and great looks that complement any system build. Offering a completely digital power design by IR to fully power all 8 cores of the Intel® Core™ i7-5960X, the GIGABYTE X99 range of motherboards will be the perfect backbone to your next PC DIY project. Whether choosing a G1™ Gaming, SOC-Force or an Ultra Durable™ motherboard, GIGABYTE has a wide range of features geared towards gamers, overclockers and professionals alike including all the latest generation connectivity such as M.2 and SATA Express as well as Thunderbolt™ expandability support. So enthusiasts, don’t be afraid to build your ultimate dream machine. GIGABYTE X99 series motherboards help make the dream a reality.

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Start Folding With The [H] Today!

Joining the best folding team on the planet (Team #33) is now easier than ever. We don't give you money to join and we can't promise you cash or other incentives, we do this simply because it is our passion and that is why we've had the best folding community around...for years. So, if you want to make a difference with a group of people that honestly care about what they are doing, join team Team #33 today.

Folding is a wonderful way to help your fellow man using your spare CPU cycles and now, thanks to the Quick Setup V7 Guide for Windows, it is easier than ever to get started. Remember to put the number 33 in the "team" field and you’ll be folding with the [H]orde in no time! Thanks to all our team members for the wonderful job they are doing.

Sunday August 31, 2014

Battle of Heavyweight Rockets: NASA vs SpaceX

For you space buffs, here is a nifty article that takes a look at the budding but unspoken competition to win the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle race. Pretty interesting stuff.

It is notable, yet understandable, that SpaceX has never openly portrayed its BFR plans in competition with NASA’s SLS. The Agency is SpaceX’s biggest customer and Mr. Musk has noted on more than one occasion that his company owes a debt of gratitude for NASA’s support and contracts during this early phase of its existence.

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Facebook Addresses Messenger Rumors

If you pay any attention to Facebook, then your page likely was inundated with mass hysteria regarding Facebook Messenger's rather wide permissions requirement. FB dev Peter Martinazzi tries to set the record straight on a special page in FB and even includes some external sources to back his statements.

Like most other apps, we request permission to run certain features, such as making calls and sending photos, videos or voice messages. If you want to send a selfie to a friend, the app needs permission to turn on your phone's camera and capture that photo. We don't turn on your camera or microphone when you aren't using the app.

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The Race to Gigabit Internet Taking Off

If you're waiting for Gb Internet speeds, your wait may be over soon. A consortium of research universities found that gigabit Internet service offerings is starting to take off. I see my city on the chart. Is yours?

Progress on deploying 1Gbps broadband service has proceeded with impressive results since 2010, when the Federal Communications Commission's visionary National Broadband Plan called for gigabit test bed communities offering ultra high-speed Internet connections, at least for anchor institutions including "schools, hospitals and government buildings."

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Guides: X99 motherboards and DDR4 memory buyer's guide @ TweakTown

Cooling: Thermaltake Frio Silent14 CPU Cooler @ Kitguru

Systems: Acer Aspire E5-551 laptop @ Trusted Reviews

Nvidia Shield Tablet @ CNET

Dell OptiPlex 9030 Touch @ PC Magazine

Motherboards: ASUS X99 ROG Rampage V Extreme @ OC3D

WPS Authentication in Some Wi-Fi Routers Vulnerable to Offline Attack

Weak randomization is the attack vector in a recent exploit of Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). The article doesn't talk about remediation options but turning off WPS is probably one way to start.

Because many router manufacturers use the reference software implementation as the basis for their customized router software, the problems affected the final products, Bongard said. Broadcom's reference implementation had poor randomization, while the second vendor used a special seed, or nonce, of zero, essentially eliminating any randomness.

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What Happened to Motorola

Chicago Magazine takes a long and in-depth look at the trials and tribulations of Motorola. Fire up your tablet or get comfortable in your Aeron chair and settle in for a good Sunday read.

Getting outflanked by tech upstarts, hacked in two by a fearsome corporate raider, and finally taken over in part by a Chinese company that exists largely because of the world Motorola made for it: Such a fate would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. Motorola was then one of America’s greatest companies, having racked up a stunning record of innovation that continually spawned new businesses, which in turn created enormous wealth. Motorola had the vision to invest in China long before most multinational companies. It even developed Six Sigma, a rigorous process for improving quality that would be embraced by management gurus and change the way companies nearly everywhere operate.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

The Order: 1886 demo opinion from PAX @ IGN

Get another chance at the Evolve closed alpha @ Destructoid

Hands-on with Gigantic at PAX @ Game Informer

Best cosplay on day 2 at PAX @ Escapist

Intel showing off 4K gaming laptops at PAX @ PCGamer

E-Sports Drawing Big Crowds and Big Money

Remember when Dennis Fong (aka Thresh) won John Carmack's Ferrari in a Quake tournament back in the 90's? The New York Times has an interesting piece about the E-Sports craze so read up if you don't know what the big deal is about MOBAs or why Street Fighter 4 is still relevant today.

Last year, the State Department began granting visas to professional gamers, under the same program used by traditional athletes. This fall, Robert Morris University in Chicago will dole out over $500,000 in athletic scholarships to gamers, the first of their kind in the United States, and Ivy League universities have intercollegiate gaming. Last week, the web giant Amazon announced it was buying Twitch, a hugely popular video streaming service used by gamers, for $970 million in cash.

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Retailer Charges Customer for Complaining Online

As more and more transactions move online, the importance of consumer diligence needs to keep pace. Some retailers have the nads to bury language in their terms of service that allows them to charge a fee if the customer complains publicly. There's a lawsuit in New York against Accessory Outlet for this practice.

Cindy Cox of New York filed a lawsuit against Accessory Outlet. She says she ordered an iPhone case for $39.94, but it never arrived. When the company refused to give her a refund she said she would complain to her credit card company. Citing the terms of service, Accessory Outlook demanded $250. When she didn’t comply, the company called her repeatedly and sent her a series of threatening emails, saying it would notify a credit reporting bureau and damage her credit rating, according to Cox.

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Mars Rover to get Flash Memory Refresh Remotely from Earth

Think you have problems when you have to drive to your mom's house to reinstall Windows? Mars Rover "Opportunity" is exhibiting software trouble after 11 years of service so NASA is reflashing the onboard memory remotely. And I used to complain about the lag when I'd remote into a server over a satellite connection. big grin

Preparations include downloading to Earth all useful data remaining in the flash memory and switching the rover to an operating mode that does not use flash memory. Also, the team is restructuring the rover's communication sessions to use a slower data rate, which may add resilience in case of a reset during these preparations.

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Apple Rumors-Weekend Edition: NFC for iPhone 6, $400 iWearable, New Construction

We have a few Apple rumors for y'all today. Sources told Wired that the new iPhone will finally contain Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which will certainly boost the mobile payment market to new heights. Meanwhile, Re/Code tells us that the wearable (iWatch? iGlass? ) to be announced will have a price tag around US$400. Finally, Yahoo says that there's a new "mysterious structure" being built at the event location. Are you looking forward to the announcements or is it "nine nine nevermind" to you? smile

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Anand from AnandTech Retiring from Tech Publishing

Since 1997, Anand Lal Shimpi and his eponymous website AnandTech has been dishing out the scoop on technology and have intersected with [H] many times. Indeed, Kyle and Anand were part of the original editorial team at Computer Power User Magazine when it launched in 2001 and have assisted each other in events over the years.

Anand has decided to retire from both AnandTech and from the tech publishing world as a whole. As a fan of Anand, his site, and the community over at the AT forums, I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors and my heartfelt thanks for his many years of serving the technology enthusiast community.

This will be the last thing I write on AnandTech as I am officially retiring from the tech publishing world. Ryan Smith is taking over as Editor in Chief of AnandTech. Ryan has been working with us for nearly 10 years, he has a strong background in Computer Science and he’s been shadowing me quite closely for the past couple of years. I am fully confident in Ryan’s ability to carry the torch and pick up where I left off.

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Saturday August 30, 2014

Looks Like Lizard Squad was Busted Today

The group that claimed they were behind the DDoS attacks on several gaming platforms and networks appears to have been taken down. Just in time for you to work on your Season 1 Leapquake Crusader build in Diablo 3!

The DDoS attacks started back on 23 August and the situation got more serious when SOE’s John Smedley’s flight was diverted after a bomb threat. Attacks continued for a few more days with both Twitch and League of Legends being hit. There was also a threat of an attack of some kind during PAX during an AMA session.

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What are Hackers Thinking?

Seems like a week doesn't go by without news of a data breach, denial of service, or other "cyber-related" crime (yes, I hate the cyber moniker too). Security Watch anaylzes a survey conducted at Black Hat USA 2014 and shares an infographic that breaks down the responses.

Despite the advancement of cyber-attacks, over 99 percent of the hackers confirmed that simple hacking tactics like phishing are still effective. Just because an attack wreaks massive damage doesn't necessarily mean that it's advanced, or that the hacker has very sophisticated skills.

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Time Warner Cable Outage Caused by Human Error

Earlier this week, 11.4 million users of Time Warner Cable broadband service were knocked offline for a few hours. MIT Technology Review took a look at the incident and highlights the risk of monopolies and duopolies in the broadband market.

When just one or two companies own all the information networks in a region, the impact of any outage is increased, says James Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn, a company that provides Internet traffic management and performance assurance. "Right now, last-mile monopolies and duopolies are a significant source of risk in the American Internet, and it’s not yet clear how to build around that," he says.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Observations from Dragon Age: Inquisition multiplayer @ Gamespot

Tales from the Borderlands storytelling interview @ Polygon

Coolest cosplay from PAX Prime Day 1 @ Kotaku

Firewatch trailer excites people @ IGN

Weekend PC download deals @ Shacknews

Diablo III Patch 2.1.0 live, Season 1 open @ Battle.net

Windows Live Messenger Signing Out After 15 Years

As a former MSN Messenger user, I'm pouring one out for the venerable service. The last bastion for the chat service was China and is finally being replaced there by Skype at the end of October.

A number of Chinese Windows Live users received emails from Microsoft on Thursday, Chinese newspapers reported, informing them of the planned closure. The emails told users they would get free Skype credit when they migrated over to the new service, the newspaper said.

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See How a Bugatti Veyron is Delivered

The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse costs around $3 million USD so you should expect that delivery would be more than signing a handful of docs and driving off the lot. Someone captured the delivery process in a video so you know what you could expect when you take delivery of yours.

With 1,200 horsepower, a top-speed of 255 mph, and a 0-60 time of less than 2.6 seconds, the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse is fantastic machine, and Bugatti and its dealers do everything they can to keep it that way en route from the factory to the owner’s garage.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Motherboards: MSI X99 Gaming 9 @ Bjorn3D

ASUS X99 Deluxe @ Guru3D

Cases: Nanoxia Deep Silence 3 @ Play3r

Mobile: HTC One M8 @ NextPowerUp

Storage: Crucial MX100 SSD @ X-bit Labs

AMD Radeon R7 SSD @ AnandTech

Video Cards: Sapphire Radeon R9 285 for SFF @ KitGuru

Cooling: LEPA LV12 Direct-Touch HSF @ Silent PC Review

Flickr Hosting Millions of Historic Images

The Internet Archive organization has been busy since the late 90's digitally preserving not only websites (the Wayback Machine is powered by this org), but also texts, audio, moving images, and software. The book images they've scanned over the years are being uploaded into Flickr as we speak, with over 2.6 million available and tagged for your browsing pleasure. Share some of your favorites via the Comments link, won't cha?

Kalev Leetaru has already uploaded 2.6 million pictures to Flickr, which are searchable thanks to tags that have been automatically added. The photos and drawings are sourced from more than 600 million library book pages scanned in by the Internet Archive organisation. "Most of the images that are in the books are not in any of the art galleries of the world - the original copies have long ago been lost." The pictures range from 1500 to 1922, when copyright restrictions kick in.

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