Acer Swift 3 unboxing and first impressions - [hardware]
04:41 AM EDT - Jun,17 2019 - post a comment
At $899.99, Acer's Swift 3 laptop has some pros and cons. It weighs in at only 2.87 pounds, so it's definitely one of the lightest 13.3-inch laptops around for that price. It also packs some serious internals, including a Whiskey Lake Core i7 and a 512GB SSD, which are paired with 8GB RAM.
It does come with some compromises though. One of the USB Type-A ports is USB 2.0, and the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port that's included can't be used for charging; it has a pin charger instead. There's also more third-party software than I'd expect from a PC at this price point.
Other than that, I like the Swift 3 a lot. The aluminum body is slick, and the 13.3-inch FHD display has a matte, anti-glare finish. And unlike some other matte displays that I've seen, the colors look vibrant instead of washed out. It also has a fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello, and Acer's TrueHarmony speakers.
Windows 10 June 2019 Patch - [security]
06:28 PM EDT - Jun,14 2019 - post a comment
Microsoft has released the Windows 10 June 2019 patch last Tuesday, featuring 4 advisories, 1 servicing stack update, and updates for 88 vulnerabilities, with 21 being classified as Critical.
It is said that some of the advisories include updated drivers and software that fix vulnerabilities in 3rd-party hardware and software, such as Adobe Flash Player.
According to the company, 66 out of the 88 patches are rated as "important" while only one is rated as "moderate". In addition, Microsoft claimed that none of the publically disclosed zero days, or other vulnerabilities, were found to be publically exploited in the wild. Microsoft suggests everyone to install the security updates
in order to protect their systems.
AMD's $750 Ryzen 9 3950X Shown Beating Intel's $2,000 i9-9980XE - [hardware]
07:28 AM EDT - Jun,14 2019 - post a comment
When we said AMD was readying a presentation on their Ryzen 9 3950X CPUs to awe crowds at E3, we weren't thinking of something of this magnitude. But apparently, it's true: a Geekbench test result
has shown AMD's $750, 16 core, 32 thread Ryzen 9 9 3950X beating Intel's 18 core, 36 thread $2,000 i9-9980XE monster. Now, you may be thinking: ok, it beat it because of AMD's announced 4.7 GHz boost, and did so only on single threaded performance, obviously... but you would be wrong. The Geekbench scores show AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X delivering 5,868 points in single, and 61,072 points in multicore workloads. Intel's i9-9980XE, on the other hand, scores just 5,391 single core, and 46,876 multicore points (on average and at stock clocks of 3,000 MHz base and 3,400 MHz boost). This is an incredible performance difference (particularly in the multicore score), and was apparently done with an engineering sample for AMD's upcoming chip that didn't even run at its announced 4.3 GHz base and 4.7 GHz boost clocks, but at 3.3 GHz and 4.3 GHz respectively. AMD's 105 W TDP, 16 core chip beats Intel's 185 W TDP, 18 core one... Where has the world come? Take the usual dosage of NaCl, and let's keep things in perspective - even if AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X equals, and doesn't beat, Intel's i9-9980XE, it's still a huge win for the red company. Almost as big a win as that huge stone on Lisa's hand.
AMD Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" I/O Controller Die 12nm, Not 14nm - [hardware]
07:24 AM EDT - Jun,14 2019 - post a comment
AMD Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processors are multi-chip modules of two kinds of dies - one or two 7 nm 8-core "Zen 2" CPU chiplets, and an I/O controller die that packs the processor's dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, PCI-Express gen 4.0 root-complex, and an integrated southbridge that puts out some SoC I/O, such as two SATA 6 Gbps ports, four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, LPCIO (ISA), and SPI (for the UEFI BIOS ROM chip). It was earlier reported that while the Zen 2 CPU core chiplets are built on 7 nm process, the I/O controller is 14 nm. We have confirmation now that the I/O controller die is built on the more advanced 12 nm process, likely GlobalFoundries 12LP. This is the same process on which AMD builds its "Pinnacle Ridge" and "Polaris 30" chips. The 7 nm "Zen 2" CPU chiplets are made at TSMC.
AMD also provided a fascinating technical insight to the making of the "Matisse" MCM, particularly getting three highly complex dies under the IHS of a mainstream-desktop processor package, and perfectly aligning the three for pin-compatibility with older generations of Ryzen AM4 processors that use monolithic dies, such as "Pinnacle Ridge" and "Raven Ridge." AMD innovated new copper-pillar 50u bumps for the 8-core CPU chiplets, while leaving the I/O controller die with normal 7u solder bumps. Unlike with its GPUs that need high-density wiring between the GPU die and HBM stacks, AMD could make do without a silicon interposer or TSVs (through-silicon-vias) to connect the three dies on "Matisse." The fiberglass substrate is now "fattened" up to 12 layers, to facilitate the inter-die wiring, as well as making sure every connection reaches the correct pin on the uPGA.
USB 4.0 Products Expected to Appear by the end of 2020 - [briefly]
07:23 AM EDT - Jun,14 2019 - post a comment
, who spoke with the USB Promoter Group at Computex, have shared that the new protocol is expected to manifest in physical, consumer products by the end of 2020. The specification for the next-generation bus is currently on version 0.7, with the USB Promoter Group expecting it to be finalized by this Summer. Then it's just a matter of manufacturers developing new products powered by the latest protocol.
USB 4.0 borrows heavily from Intel's thunderbolt 3 technology - which, if you'll remember, was made available as an open specification very recently. Intel's contribution of the Thunderbolt 3 protocol will enable USB 4.0 to achieve speeds of up to 40 Gbps with multiple data and display protocols being able to share available bandwidth. Additionally, USB 4.0 will make use of USB Type-C's interface, ensuring backwards compatibility not only with it, but also USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3. Due to the many improvements in data transfer speeds and ability to stream multiple data and display protocols, the USB Promoter Group is looking at the possibility of changing USB's trademark logo for the next generation interface, alongside a revised branding scheme.
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 to Have Same Memory & ROP - [hardware]
10:51 AM EDT - Jun,13 2019 - post a comment
In a bid to bolster competitiveness of the $379 Radeon RX 5700 (non-XT) against its rival from the NVIDIA camp, the GeForce RTX 2060, AMD is leaving the memory configuration completely unchanged from the faster $449 Radeon RX 5700 XT. The RX 5700 will get 8 GB of GDDR6 memory across a 256-bit wide memory bus, with the same 14 Gbps memory speed as the RX 5700 XT. This works out to a memory bandwidth of 448 GB/s. In comparison, the $349 (launch price) RTX 2060 only has 6 GB of memory, across a 192-bit wide memory bus. With a memory speed of 14 Gbps, this setup achieves 336 GB/s.
The other area where AMD is reinforcing the RX 5700 is its raster muscle. The RX 5700 has the same 64 ROPs as the RX 5700 XT. AMD carved this SKU out by disabling two workgroup processors (four RDNA compute units), reducing the stream processor count to 2,304. This also turns down the TMU count from 160 to 144. The GPU engine clock speeds are also reduced, with 1465 MHz base, 1625 MHz "gaming clocks," and 1725 MHz boost clocks; compared to 1605/1755/1905 MHz of the RX 5700 XT. The RX 5700 has a typical board power of 180W compared to the 224W of the RX 5700 XT. Custom design cards may even feature just one 8-pin PCIe power input, while some of the premium factory-overclocked designs could use 8-pin + 6-pin configurations.
Samsung Galaxy A50 Lands at Verizon - [mobile]
07:18 AM EDT - Jun,12 2019 - post a comment
will bring more of its mid-range Galaxy A Series of phones to the US this summer, including the A50, A20, and A10e. Various A Series phones will be available from all major US carriers, starting with the A50 from Verizon this Thursday. The A50 has 25-megapixel cameras on both the front and back, plus wide and depth cameras on the back. Its 6.4-inch, full-HD+ Super AMOLED display has a small notch and in-display fingerprint reader. It also has a 4,000 mAh battery, fast charging, NFC, and 4 GB of RAM. Verizon will offer the Galaxy A50 for $350. Other major US carrier will offer A Series phones including the A20 and A10e. The A20 offers a 6.4-inch notched display, 4,000 mAh battery, fast charging, and 13-megapixel main camera for $250. The A10e offers 5.8-inch notched display, 3,000 mAh battery, and 8-megapixel main camera for $180. The first A Series phone for the US was the Galaxy A6, which was launched by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint last fall .
State Attorneys General Sue to Block T-Mobile/Sprint Merger - [briefly]
07:17 AM EDT - Jun,12 2019 - post a comment
A group of ten states is suing to block the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. The action is led by New York State Attorney General
Letitia James and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. James outlined the crux of the states' argument in a tweet, saying "The merger would deprive customers of the benefits of competition & drive up prices for cellphone services." Today's action follows an investigation by the attorneys general, which "found that many of the claimed benefits [of the proposed merger] were unverifiable and could only be delivered years into the future, if ever. By contrast, if the merger were to go through, the combined company would immediately have the power and incentive to raise prices." "Additionally... the ten states are concerned that further consolidation at the carrier level would lead to a substantial loss of retail jobs." The complaint was filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Apple's iCloud for Windows is now available in the Microsoft Store - [briefly]
07:15 AM EDT - Jun,12 2019 - post a comment
Today, Microsoft announced
that Apple's iCloud for Windows app is now available from the Microsoft Store. It's similar to the one you'd have gotten from the web, but now you won't get Apple's pop-ups when it wants you to update its software. It does have a new feature though. Microsoft says that iCloud Drive has the same technology that powers OneDrive Files On-Demand. Note that the announcement did not say a similar technology or one that does the same thing. It's the same technology. Naturally, you can use iCloud for Windows 10 access "iCloud Drive, iCloud Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Safari Bookmarks and more."
iOS 12.3.2 fixes a camera bug - [briefly]
04:13 AM EDT - Jun,11 2019 - post a comment
Apple is pushing out a new update to iOS, its software for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch-but this update is targeted at fixing an issue on just one device: the iPhone 8 Plus.
iOS 12.3.2 doesn't seem to do anything else worth remarking upon. Apple's notes simply say:
iOS 12.3.2 resolves an issue that could cause Camera to capture Portrait mode photos without depth effect on some iPhone 8 Plus devices.
Updates don't get much more minor than this. Apple typically releases updates that contain new features for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS simultaneously. But sometimes the company updates only one operating system at a time when deploying a targeted bug fix, as is the case here. If you don't have an iPhone 8 Plus, this update isn't for you.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus review: The curious case of the time-traveling phone
Portrait Mode is Apple's camera feature that uses machine-learning-based techniques and the dual cameras on some iPhone models to analyze photos and create a depth-of-field effect. It's related to Portrait Lighting, which only works on the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Portrait Lighting lets you change the lighting, depth of field, or other features via various presets after the photo has been taken.
29 AMAZING HACKS TO TRY OUT THIS SUMMER - [off-topic]
06:28 PM EDT - Jun,10 2019 - post a comment
Check it out
TIMESTAMPS: 00:35 Repair your flip-flops 02:01 Aloe Vera hack 03:14 Sunburn treatment 05:06 Homemade mosquito repellent 05:45 DIY Self-tanner 06:51 Avocado mask for damaged hair 09:22 Summer tattoo 10:08 Clever way to repair pool toys 11:11 Hot flip flops? 11:20 DIY beach bag 11:45 Ice-cold beverage
Cyberpunk 2077 E3 2019 trailer - [gaming]
05:11 AM EDT - Jun,10 2019 - post a comment
CD Projekt RED has released the E3 2019 trailer for Cyberpunk 2077. This trailer basically showcases a cut-scene from the game, giving you a glimpse at the game's story. Furthermore, it also reveals that Keanu Reeves will be in the game, as well as the game's release date.
CD Projekt RED has also announced that the game will come out on April 16th, 2020.
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