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Updated:05:08 PM EDT May 29


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Cricket Launches Two New Nokia Phones - [mobile]
05:03 PM EDT - May,29 2020 - post a comment

Nokia has two new affordable phones for Cricket: the Nokia C5 Endi and C2 Tava/Tennen. Both offer HD+ display resolution, multiple rear cameras, a dedicated Google Assistant button, Android 10, 3.5mm audio jack, and USB-C.

  • Nokia C5 Endi: Sports a 6.5-inch notched HD display, MediaTek Helio P22 processor, 4,000 mAh battery, 3 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, memory card slot, fingerprint reader, and a polycarbonate unibody design. Cameras include a 13 megapixel main camera, 5 megapixel wide camera, depth camera, 8 megapixel selfie camera. The camera app has AI scene detection and optimization, advanced portrait mode, and automatic multi-frame night mode. The Nokia C5 Endi will be available June 5th from Cricket for $170.
  • Nokia C2 Tava: Unlike the rest of Nokia's current global lineup, the C2 does not have an all-screen design; its display measures just 5.45 inches. Other specs include a removable 3,000 mAh battery, 2 GB RAM, MediaTek Helio A22 processor, 32 GB storage, and a memory card slot. It has an 8-megapixel main camera, depth camera for portrait mode, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera. The C5 Tava goes on sale with Cricket tomorrow, May 29th, for $110.
  • The Nokia C2 Tennen is the same exact phone as the C2 Tava, but in a different color (Steel instead of Tempered Blue) and with different pricing for different sales channels. It will cost just $70 and be available from "select National retail stores" starting June 15th.

This Ridiculous 5G Signal Blocking USB Stick Is A Complete Scam - [briefly]
03:44 AM EDT - May,29 2020 - post a comment

A 5G "blocking" device called 5GBioShield is being sold in Europe for £339, which is about $418 here in the United States. The device claims to block 5G signals that some people fear contribute to the spread of COVID-19, among other things. The bizarre device claims to use a "holographic nano-layer catalyzer" to block the alleged dangers of 5G using mysterious quantum technology. If your BS detector isn't completely pegged, it should be. Stephen Knight, operations director for an organization called London Trading Standards, recently told the BBC that "we consider it to be a scam." Knight is currently working with the city of London Police's Action Fraud squad and is seeking a court order to take the company's website offline. Knight added that vulnerable groups need protection from this sort of "unscrupulous trading." The 5GBioShield device is from a company called BioShield Distribution, and it claims that the device is backed by research. Pen Test Partners, a company that specializes in disassembling consumer electronics to look for security vulnerabilities, investigated the device. After disassembling it, the group found that it seemed to be just a basic USB key with only 128MB of storage. The only difference between the 5GBioShield device and a "virtually identical crystal USB key" that's available from suppliers in China for around 5 appears to be a round sticker, according to the investigators. Ken Munro from Pen Test Partners says that while the team is not "5G quantum experts," the sticker attached to the drive looks "remarkably like one available in sheets from stationery suppliers for less than a penny each." The device appears designed to play on fears of some in Europe about the effects of 5G signals have on people, and the spread of coronavirus. In fact, some 5G engineers in Europe have received death threats from people who believe 5G causes the coronavirus. Some in the UK have even taken fears of 5G to the extreme by destroying 5G towers out of fear that the towers contributed to the pandemic.

Samsung Money is Samsung's Answer to Apple Card - [briefly]
06:05 PM EDT - May,28 2020 - post a comment

This summer, Samsung will launch Samsung Money by SoFi, a new financial product integrated with Samsung Pay. Like Apple Card, Samsung Money can be used as a payment method with the wallet app (Samsung Pay), the account is managed within the wallet app, and the product also includes a physical payment card. However, Samsung Money is not a credit card like Apple Card. Instead, it consists of a Mastercard debit card linked to a SoFi cash management account, which functions much like a free (no-fee) online checking account. The account will earn interest at a variable rate that would currently be 0.20% APY. Using Samsung Money earns Samsung Rewards points, which can be redeemed for purchases on samsung.com or with the Shop Samsung app. Or, one time only, points can be redeemed for cash at a rate of 1,000 points = $5 (minimum 1,000 points). (Apple Card offers 2% unlimited cash back on all purchases - and 3% with select retailers - which can be spent on anything.) The debit card can be used to withdraw cash without fees at any of the 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs. As with Apple Card, the physical card will not display the card number, expiration date, or CVV; those can be accessed securely from the Samsung Pay app when needed. Users are not liable for unauthorized transactions. Although Samsung Money presents itself to the user as one checking-like account, behind the scenes, SoFi "sweeps" money daily into accounts at partner banks, which in turn provide FDIC insurance protection once those "sweep" transactions clear. Because SoFi has partnered with six different banks for this service, and can divide your money between them, it can provide up to $1.5 million in FDIC insurance coverage, instead of the usual $250,000. The Samsung Pay app will enable Samsung Money users to check their balance, review past statements, search transactions, flag suspicious activity, pause or restart spending, freeze or unfreeze their card, and more. Samsung has just updated its Samsung Pay app with a new "Money" tab where those interested can join a waitlist, or they can head to www.samsung.com/us/money.

Get Borderlands: The Handsome Collection for Free - [gaming]
06:00 PM EDT - May,28 2020 - post a comment

The Epic Games Store has been on a particularly good run of freebies, with recent weeks bringing giveaways of GTA 5 and Civilization 6. This week, the streak continues with Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. You can download it now, for free. The Handsome Collection is a pretty ginormous bundle, containing Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and a whole mess o' DLC packs for both games. It's a lot of both looting and shooting.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.5.1 Drivers - [briefly]
06:49 AM EDT - May,28 2020 - post a comment

AMD today released the latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition. Version 20.5.1 beta is released exclusively for Windows 10, and comes with two new feature additions and several fixes. To begin with, version 20.5.1 introduces support for Windows 10 May 2020 Update (2004), including its new WDDM. An update to AMD Link sees a new Xinput emulation driver to improve compatibility with current- and future games.
Support For
  • Windows May 2020 Update
  • AMD Link
    o Brand new AMD Link Xinput Emulation driver (AMDXE), which will improve compatibility with current and future games. This gets installed the first time game streaming starts with AMD Link and will appear as a new Xbox 360 controller in Device Manager.
Fixed Issues
  • Radeon Software may experience a crash or hang on Hybrid Graphics system configurations.
  • On a limited number of displays, launching a game may lead to an intermittent black screen that requires a system reboot to resolve.
  • Fixed an issue where AMD Link may experience random or intermittent disconnects.
  • When performing a task switch, Destiny 2 may experience an application hang or black screen.
  • Overwatch may experience an intermittent crash or black screen when joining a match.
  • Incorrect memory clocks may be reported in performance metrics overlay on Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products.
  • Some Hybrid Graphics system configurations with Radeon RX 5500 series graphics products may experience a blue screen on driver installation.
  • High memory usage may be experienced when Instant Replay and Desktop Recording is enabled on a system and a display on the system has timed out or gone to sleep.
  • A TDR or black screen may occur when running the Vulkan test from Geekbench 5.
  • Hitching may be observed in League of Legends on some system configurations after performing a task switch.
  • Sniper Elite 4 may minimize when invoking Radeon Software's overlay.
  • The standard profile in Radeon Software may become applied when the gaming profile is clicked on numerous times in quick succession.
  • Lighting corruption may be seen when moving your mouse in Grand Theft Auto 5 with Radeon Boost enabled.
  • Texture corruption may be seen in the bottom right corner of the screen when moving your mouse in Shadow of the Tomb Raider with Radeon Boost enabled.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 may fail to launch in some Hybrid Graphics system configurations.
  • Memory Tuning may fail to apply on AMD Radeon VII graphics products.
  • "Unable to get requirements" error message may sometimes be displayed in the Upgrade Advisor tab.
  • GPU metrics may sometimes fail to load in the performance tab of Radeon Software.
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Control may experience application hangs when launched with Radeon Anti-Lag enabled.

Windows 10 May 2020 Update available for download - [briefly]
05:25 PM EDT - May,27 2020 - post a comment

Microsoft has released the highly anticipated May 2020 Update for Windows 10. This Update brings support for both WDDM 2.7 and DirectX 12 Ultimate. Moreover, it packs some Xbox Game Bar improvements. According to the release notes, this update tweaks Windows Search in order to reduce the stress on your system, Disk and CPU usage. Thus, users will notice faster performance on devices with older hard disk drives (HDDs). On the other hand, those using an SSD will not notice any major performance improvements. As said, the May 2020 Update includes support for new DirectX 12 features including Raytracing tier 1.1, Mesh Shader, and Sampler Feedback. Furthermore, multi-monitor support will get some improvements, thanks to the Windows Driver Display Module (WDDM 2.7) support.

And since this is such a major update, that means lots of things are changing, and there are still a bunch of known issues, despite being tested and serviced for so long. Here's the full list of things that are still broken:
  • Difficulty connecting to more than one Bluetooth device
    Windows 10 devices with certain Realtek drivers might be unable to connect to more than one Bluetooth device.
  • Errors or issues during or after updating devices with Conexant ISST audio drivers
    Devices with affected Conexant ISST audio drivers might receive an error or have issues with Windows 10, version 2004.
  • Errors or issues during or after updating devices with certain Conexant audio drivers
    Devices with affected Conexant or Synaptics audio drivers might receive a stop error with a blue screen.
  • Issues using ImeMode property to control IME mode for individual text entry fields
    Some IMEs for certain langauges might have issues using the ImeMode property with certain apps.
  • Variable refresh rate not working as expected on devices with Intel iGPU
    Enabling VRR on affected devices will not enable the VRR for most games, especially games using Direct X 9.
  • Stop error when plugging or unplugging a Thunderbolt dock
    Devices using Thunderbolt docks may receive a stop error when plugging in or unplugging the dock
  • Errors or unexpected restarts for some devices using Always On, Always Connected
    Devices with more than one Always On, Always Connected capable network adapter might have issues.
  • No mouse input with apps and games using GameInput Redistributable
    Affected apps and games using both GameInput Redistributable and Windows 10, version 2004 might lose mouse input.
  • Issues updating or starting up devices when aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys is present
    Devices with apps or drivers using certain versions of aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys might have issues updating or starting
  • Issue with older drivers for Nvidia display adapters (GPU)
    You might have issues if you are using an Nvidia display adapter (GPU) and drivers with a version below 358.00.

NVIDIA GeForce 446.14 WHQL driver - [briefly]
04:46 PM EDT - May,27 2020 - post a comment

NVIDIA has today launched the latest version of its "Game Ready" graphics driver lineup with the 446.14 WHQL drivers. This release brings mostly performance optimizations and bug fixes for the video game Valorant. In addition to these performance optimizations and fixes, optimal support for Minecraft Dungeons, Disintegration, and Crucible is included. An important new feature update is the inclusion of Variable Rate Supersampling (VRSS) support for Onward. NVIDIA has also fixed driver installation issues on Colorful GeForce GTX 1650 that may have bugged some users of the cards.
Fixed Issues:
  • [Notebook]: Notebooks with Maxwell generation GPUs may experience higher GPU utilization during game play leading to reduced battery life and higher temperatures. [2929921/200608270]
  • [SLI]: Major frame time spikes occur in multiple games.[2903264]
  • [HDR]: Some games may appear very bright when HDR is enabled. [2909218]
  • [Monster Hunter World Iceborne]: Artifacts appear in the game. [2903858]
  • [Resident Evil 3 Remake][DirectX 12]: Some objects in the game may flicker. [2938095]
  • [F1 2019]: The game may randomly crash to the desktop. [200608572]
  • Fixed an issue where the shader cache was sometimes incorrectly purged upon launching an application. [2937218]
  • Fixed driver installation issue on Colorful GeForce GTX 1650. [2919568]
  • Corsair iCUE program triggers Geforce Overlay. [200614189]
Known Issues
  • [VR]: HDCP errors occur with Valve Index VR. [2967616]
  • [Call of Duty: Modern Warfare]: Color banding occurs in the game after enabling Image Sharpening from the NVIDIA Control Panel. [2889337]
  • [Notebook][H-Clone]: With the integrated graphics processor as the clone source, display settings cannot be changed from the NVIDIA Control Panel. [200594188]
  • [SLI][Doom Eternal]: Corruption occurs in the game upon opening the Steam overlay. [200593967]
  • [Call of Duty - Warzone]: Freestyle does not work. (200593020)
  • [Forza Motorsport 7]: The curb may display a black strip during a race on certain tracks. [2781776]
  • [Zombie Army: Dead War 4][Ansel/Freestyle]: The Ansel/Freestyle tabs are undetectable. [2810884]
  • [Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege][Vulkan][G-SYNC]: When playing the game in Vulkan mode with G-SYNC enabled, flickering occurs after switching the game between full-screen and windowed mode.[200578641] To work around, either disable G-SYNC or play using an API other than Vulkan.

NASA and SpaceX Launch Astronauts to Space! - [briefly]
03:42 PM EDT - May,27 2020 - post a comment

Watch history unfold on Wednesday, May 27, as NASA and SpaceX launch astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station. This mission marks the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011 that humans will fly to the space station from U.S. soil. Tune in starting at 12:15 p.m. EDT as NASA and SpaceX provide joint, live coverage from launch to arrival at the space station. Teams are targeting 4:33 p.m. EDT for the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock to the space station at 11:29 a.m. Thursday, May 28.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT and Ryzen 7 3800XT Benchmarks - [hardware]
06:59 AM EDT - May,27 2020 - post a comment

AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" processors surfaced on the Futuremark online database, as dug up by TUM_APISAK, where someone with access to them allegedly posted some performance numbers. Interestingly, the clock-speeds as read by the Futuremark SystemInfo module appear very different from what were previously reported. The 3800XT is shown featuring a 3.80 GHz nominal clock, boosting up to 4.70 GHz, while the 3900XT has a 3.90 GHz nominal clock, boosting up to the same 4.70 GHz as the 3800XT. APISAK reports that the 3800XT scores 25135 points in the FireStrike physics test.

A WCCFTech report presents screenshots of Cinebench R20 single-thread performance scores of the 3900XT, where it is shown beating the i9-10900K (in a single-threaded test). The 3800XT is within striking distance of the i9-10900K in this test, and beats the i7-10700KF. This single-threaded performance figure suggests that AMD's design focus with "Matisse Refresh" has been to shore up single-threaded and less-parallelized application performance, in other words, gaming performance.

YouTuber Attempts To Blow Bubbles With Molten Lava - [off-topic]
01:18 PM EDT - May,26 2020 - post a comment

The Action Lab's James Orgill does the ultimate social distancing science experiment - blowing bubbles out out hot magma.

i9 10900X vs Ryzen 9 3900X Test in 9 Games - [gaming]
12:55 PM EDT - May,26 2020 - post a comment

What's so interesting is that the AMD processor is running at 4.4 GHz. The Intel chip is at 5GHz and still close in FPS at half the cost!

Games :
Project Cars - 00:12
Metro Exodus - 01:30
Battlefield V - 02:45
HITMAN 2 - 03:47
Red Dead Redemption 2 - 04:59
Assassin's Creed Odyssey - 06:00
PUBG - 07:14
Kingdom Come Deliverance - 08:42
The Witcher 3 - 09:50

Arm Intros Its High-End Processor Designs for 2021 - [hardware]
11:50 AM EDT - May,26 2020 - post a comment

Arm today announced a suite of new processing core intellectual property intended for the chips that will power high-end phones starting in 2021. The new designs are for the new, cutting-edge 5nm manufacturing process that is just becoming available for the most high-end chips. (Currently, the main chips for flagship phones are made with a 7nm process.) The new Cortex-A78 offers 20% more sustained general computing performance compared to the A77. The new Mali-G78 offers 25% better graphics performance compared to the G77. Up to 24 Mali-G78 cores can be used in a single chip design. The new Ethos-N78 machine learning core offers 25% better performance efficiency compared to the N77. The N78 can be configured in over 90 different ways, offering anywhere from 1 TOP/s to 10 TOP/s. Companies that design processor chips often license Arm designs and use them as a starting point for their own chips, customizing the Arm designs along the way. Arm is extending its collaboration with such companies in a program called Cortex-X Custom, to produce even higher-end CPU designs. The first result of this program is the Cortex-X1, developed with an unnamed partner. The Cortex-X1 will have a 30% peak performance increase over the Cortex-A77. Arm is also announcing the Mali-G68, a "sub-premium" GPU core that brings many of the modern features of the new Mali-G78 to "sub-flagship" phones; it supports up to six GPU cores in one chip.

Fortnite now runs at 90Hz on the OnePlus 8 series - [gaming]
11:50 AM EDT - May,26 2020 - post a comment

The launch of Fortnite on Android devices was clearly favorable to Samsung, who scored an exclusive partnership that granted its phones early access to the game. For years, it was also the easiest way to get Fortnite on Android, since the game was available in the Galaxy Store, but not in the Google Play Store until earlier this year. Now, Epic Games has found a new partner in OnePlus, and the companies have announced that the free-to-play battle royale game is getting support for 90 frames per second on the OnePlus 8 series. This makes OnePlus' latest flagships the first phones to support the feature in Fortnite. Interestingly, the 2017 flagships from OnePlus don't support Fortnite's 90fps mode, despite having 90Hz refresh rate displays themselves. Instead, OnePlus is saying the OnePlus 7, 7 Pro, 7T, and 7T Pro can now run the game at a full 60fps, a capability that debuted on the 2018 iPhone models. It's also worth noting that the OnePlus 8 Pro has a 120Hz display, but the game isn't taking full advantage of that. To go along with the news, OnePlus says it's also easier to install Fortnite on the OnePlus 6 and newer, at least for those in India. The company's Game Space app will now offer "one-touch" installation of the Epic Games app, which should make the experience seamless.

How the Teenage Players of Habbo Hotel Turned to Financial Crime - [off-topic]
04:10 PM EDT - May,24 2020 - post a comment

Habbo Hotel is an online multiplayer game aimed primarily at teenagers. The game allows you to explore rooms, chat with other players, and make your own creations. But most importantly, it allows you to trade. As Habbo's monetisation model relies on the purchase of virtual coins, it is in Habbo's interest to generate demand for their currency. And over the past 20 years, Habbo has meticulously crafted an ultra-consumerist environment to facilitate this demand. Well, they turn to crime.

8 things NOT to do in Germany - [off-topic]
04:06 PM EDT - May,24 2020 - post a comment

Don't forget the whole "Put all your damn groceries as fast as you can in your bag, while I throw them at you" cashier attitude.

Google Launches Suite of New Accessibility Features - [briefly]
03:53 PM EDT - May,24 2020 - post a comment

Google marked today's Global Accessibility Awareness Day with the launch of new accessibility features across several of its apps and services. Google Maps now indicates wheelchair accessibility for businesses and other destinations in the US, UK, Japan, and Australia. When the (opt-in) feature is enabled, search results will include a wheelchair icon for accessible locations, and full listings will show more detail, such as whether the entrance, parking, seating, and restroom are wheelchair-accessible. The updated Maps app is now available for both Android and iOS. Google also added several major features to Live Transcribe, its Android app that provides real-time, speech-to-text transcriptions of everyday conversations for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. You can now set your phone to alert you by vibrating when someone nearby says your name to get your attention. Live Transcribe can also now be customized with a personal dictionary of custom names or terms for different places and objects. Finally, an optional feature makes it easy to search all conversations from the past three days. Google has also improved its Sound Amplifier Android app to support Bluetooth headphones. Sound Amplifier clarifies the sound around you. Now you can leave your phone near the source of the sound, like a TV or a lecturer, and have your phone transmit clarified sound to your Bluetooth headset up to 30 feet away. Finally, Google announced a new Android app: Action Blocks. A simple shortcut interface, Action Blocks is designed to make multi-step tasks on your phone simpler. People with cognitive disabilities or age-related cognitive conditions can now perform tasks like "call my daughter" in one step, right from their Android home screen.

Intel Rocket Lake CPU Appears with 6 Cores and 12 Threads - [hardware]
02:38 PM EDT - May,23 2020 - post a comment

We have been hearing a lot about Intel's Rocket Lake lineup of processors. They are supposed to be a backport of Willow Cove 10 nm core, adapted to work on a 14 nm process for better yielding. Meant to launch sometime around late 2020 or the beginning of 2021, Rocket Lake is designed to work on the now existing LGA1200 socket motherboards, which were launched just a few days ago along with Intel Comet Lake CPUs. Rocket Lake is there to supply the desktop segment and satisfy user demand, in light of lacking 10 nm offers for desktop users. The 10 nm node is going to present only on mobile/laptop and server solutions before it comes to the desktop. Thus far, the six-core, 12-thread model surfaced with a 3.5 GHz base clock and 4.2 GHz boost clock. According to the hardware sleuth, there are multiple Rocket Lake submissions for 3DMark 11, but this particular one has the best score of them all. For comparison, the tipster provided scores for the Core i5-10400 (codename Comet Lake) chip. The Core i5-10400 also conforms to a six-core, 12-thread design, making it the perfect comparison chip. The Core i5-10400 checks in with a 2.9 GHz base clock and 4.3 GHz boost clock. The Rocket Lake processor scored 11,944 points in the physics test and 1,900 points in the graphics test. The Core i5-10400, on the other hand, put up scores of 12,828 points and 1,822 points in the physics and graphics tests, respectively. On the computing side, the Comet Lake chip seemingly delivers up to 7.4% higher performance than the Rocket Lake chip. In regards to integrated graphics, the Rocket Lake part is up to 4.3% faster. Given that it's an engineering sample, it might be too early to draw any concrete conclusions for Rocket Lake. The estimated time frame for Rocket Lake's launch is between Q4 of this year and the Q1 2021.

Tenet - new trailer - [briefly]
11:07 AM EDT - May,23 2020 - post a comment

It's not so much time travel as "time inversion," the trailer suggests. "Tenet" comes to theaters on July 17.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 rumored to gain SpO2 sensor - [gadgets]
04:02 AM EDT - May,23 2020 - post a comment

The upcoming Xiaomi Mi Band 5 will enhance the heart rate tracker with SpO2 measurement (blood-oxygen saturation). Additional health features will include menstrual cycle tracking. The international version was said to gain NFC support, previously exclusive to China. However, some new info casts doubt on global NFC support, but mentions a new 'Mi Smart Band 5' version with a model number XMSH11HM (the regular Band 5 will be XMSH10HM).

The Smart Band will have AI assistant support, specifically Amazon's Alexa. On previous generations, models sold in China had NFC on board and a mic for a digital assistant, but that only worked with the Chinese-speaking Xiao AI. Alexa is a much better pick for a global release as it already understands eight languages (covering the Americas, Japan, much of Europe and India). Note that as the band lacks a speaker, Alexa's replies will be text only. Good thing then that the screen will grow to 1.2" while bezels will shrink (the fourth gen screen is 0.95"). The band will likely be unveiled in China first, some time in June with a global version to follow a couple of months later.

Intel Core i9-10900K hits 7.7GHz on liquid helium - [hardware]
03:13 PM EDT - May,21 2020 - post a comment

Asus recently invited some of the world's top overclocking enthusiasts to have a go at pushing Intel's new Core i9-10900K to the limits. As you'll see in the clip posted by ElmorLabs, the crew started out by getting a feel for the hardware using liquid nitrogen. From there, they switched over to liquid helium which is much colder. Ultimately, they were able to hit 7707.62 MHz (76 x 101.42) with a core voltage of 1.194 using an engineering sample Core i9-10900K CPU, an Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex motherboard and a single stick of G.Skill TridentZ RGB memory. Windows XP was the OS of choice.


For comparison, renowned overclocker der8auer reached around 7.25 GHz for validation purposes using liquid nitrogen.

Apple and Google Launch COVID-19 Exposure Notification - [mobile]
03:12 PM EDT - May,21 2020 - post a comment

Apple and Google have started to make their new, jointly-developed Exposure Notification technology available for public use. The technology automatically tracks which other phones your phones has been near for a certain period of time, using a new, Bluetooth-based system. When one user reports that they have tested positive for COVID-19, other users they have come into contact with are automatically alerted, so they can get tested. The system uses anonymous, frequently-changed tokens to preserve privacy. To use the system, users must install an official app from their local public health agency and explicitly opt in to the service. Apple and Google are only allowing one app per geographic region, and have multiple safeguards in place to protect user privacy, including a ban on collecting users' locations. The system is available now for public health agencies to develop and release their apps using the system, although not all governments plan to do so. It requires a new OS version to function. Apple released iOS 13.5 today, which includes Exposure Notification as well as other features specific to the ongoing pandemic. New versions of Android are expected soon that support Exposure Notifications. The two companies have promised a more comprehensive version of Exposure Notification in the coming months that will not require the installation of a special app, although it will remain opt-in.

T-Mobile Offers Free Service to First Responders - [mobile]
03:11 PM EDT - May,21 2020 - post a comment

T-Mobile is offering free, unlimited service to all official EMS, police, and fire agencies in the US. The new type of plan includes unlimited smartphone and tablet data within the US, including 5G. Streaming video is limited to SD quality (1.5 Mbps) and mobile hotspot is limited to 1 GB at high speed, but otherwise, data, text, and voice are all unlimited and free within the US. The plan includes 5 GB of high-speed data in Canada and Mexico, but no other international features are included in the free plan. A step-up plan for $15/month offers unlimited texting and basic data worldwide, 20 GB of mobile hotspot data, and unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi with Gogo. The new plans are available to all full-time staff using a company account registered to a verified first responder agency. Inclusion of volunteers will be at the discretion of the station chief or commander in consultation with T-Mobile. T-Mobile has committed to offering these plans for ten years.

Intel Core i9-10900K Review - [hardware]
06:23 AM EDT - May,21 2020 - post a comment

Tomshardware claims some noticeable performance differences between the i9 10900K and the i9 9900K (at default speeds). For instance, there is a 11fps performance boost in Dawn of War 3, and a 10fps improvement in Far Cry 5 and GTA5.

Tweaktown claims that there is a 15fps difference in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. PCPer also reports a 10fps performance improvement in Metro Exodus. Additionally, PCPer states that there is almost a 50fps boost in DOTA 2. Anandtech reports a 10fps performance boost in Strange Brigade under the Vulkan API. Moreover, Anandtech reports a 14fps improvement in F1 2018.

Space Force - Official Trailer - [briefly]
07:13 AM EDT - May,20 2020 - post a comment

Netflix must be feeling pretty good about Space Force, its forthcoming sci-fi comedy series starring Steve Carell (The Office), because it just released an entertaining second trailer, with over three minutes of mostly new footage. The show marks Carell's first major return to TV comedy since The Office wrapped seven years ago. Created by Carell and Greg Daniels (who also created Parks and Recreation and the new comedy series Upload), Space Force was inspired in part by the Trump administration's announcement that it would establish a national Space Force.

THE HOOD INTERNET presents 1986 - [off-topic]
05:19 PM EDT - May,18 2020 - post a comment

Someone Took 50 Songs From 1986 And Created A Three Minute Mashup Of Epic Proportions!

The Best Upcoming ACTION Movies 2020 (Trailers) - [briefly]
05:15 PM EDT - May,18 2020 - post a comment

Included in this compilation are Wonder Woman 1984, Top Gun 2: Maverick, Black Widow, Tenet, Mulan, The King's Man, Ghostbusters 3: Afterlife, Jungle Cruise, The Iron Mask, Greyhound, Morbius, Free Guy and X-Men: The New Mutants

0:00 Tenet
2:08 Top Gun 2
4:20 Black Widow
6:37 Wonder Woman 1984
8:52 The Iron Mask (2019)
10:30 The New Mutants
12:40 Greyhound
15:05 Free Guy
18:00 The King's Man
20:15 Mulan
22:09 Morbius
24:43 Jungle Cruise
26:26 Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

Da 5 Bloods - Official Trailer - [briefly]
05:10 PM EDT - May,18 2020 - post a comment

"Da 5 Bloods," starring Chadwick Boseman, is about four black veterans returning to Vietnam to find the remains of their deceased squad leader as well as the treasure they've left buried there. "Da 5 Bloods" premieres on Netflix on June 12.

Driver Performs Strange and Dangerous U Turn - [off-topic]
05:08 PM EDT - May,18 2020 - post a comment

WTF!

Watch This 1,500-HP Honda Civic Go From 0 To 60 MPH In A Crazy 1.1 Sec - [briefly]
05:01 PM EDT - May,18 2020 - post a comment

This modified Honda Civic recently broke records during a quarter-mile run. For reference, a top-end Tesla Model S on Ludicrous mode can do 0-60 in about 2.3 seconds.

Xfinity Mobile Launches 5G Service - [mobile]
05:00 PM EDT - May,18 2020 - post a comment

Comcast's Xfinity Mobile has launched "new" service plans that include mmWave 5G data at no extra cost. The new plans are mostly identical to the company's old plans, except the cheapest plan  offering just 1 GB of shared cellular data is now $15/month instead of $12/month. Other plans remain unchanged, including 3 GB of shared data for $30/month, 10 GB for $60/month, or unlimited data for $45/month/line. Xfinity Mobile currently offers two 5G phones: the Samsung Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra. New customers will automatically receive the new plans. Existing customers must opt in to a new plan to access 5G. Xfinity Mobile is available to existing Xfinity Internet customers. Xfinity Mobile uses the Verizon network, now including mmWave 5G in parts of 34 major US cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis, Spokane, St. Paul, and Washington, D.C.

Netflix is restoring streaming quality in Europe - [internet]
09:30 AM EDT - May,16 2020 - post a comment

Netflix was among several online video providers that implemented measures back in March to reduce Internet traffic as shelter-in-place orders ramped up around the globe. Now that things have settled down a bit, we're starting to see bitrates revert back to normal. In a statement issued to FlatpanelsHD, Netflix said it is working with ISPs to help increase capacity. "In the last month alone we have added four times the normal capacity," a spokesperson said. And as conditions continue to improve, Netflix will further lift limitations. Per the publication, users in Norway, Denmark, Germany and other European countries have reported improved streaming quality (4K HDR up to 15 Mb/s bitrate). In the site's own testing, however, it said streaming is still capped at 7.62 Mb/s.

TCL-Branded Phones Launch in US on May 19 - [mobile]
01:23 PM EDT - May,14 2020 - post a comment

TCL Communication, maker of Alcatel-branded phones, is launching its first TCL-branded phones in the US. The TCL 10 Pro and TCL 10L will launch as unlocked phones. TCL also makes televisions and their own display panels. TCL phones use TCL displays.

  • TCL 10 Pro: A mid-range phone with a flagship-level design, including a curved-edge OLED display and matte glass back. The 6.47-inch display sports full-HD resolution and Netflix-certified HDR10 color. The four rear cameras include a 64-megapixel main camera, 16-megapixel 123deg wide-angle camera, macro camera, low-light camera, laser focusing, and separated dual LED flashes. The front camera is 24 megapixel. It's powered by a 4,500 mAh battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, and 6 GB of RAM. It has 128 GB of storage plus a memory card slot. Other features include Android 10, in-display fingerprint reader, 3.5mm headset jack, USB-C, and, unusually, an IR emitter. A fast charger and clear case are included. 4G LTE network support includes US bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 25, 26, 41, and 66. The only color option at launch in the US is Ember Gray. It will sell for $450.
  • TCL 10L: A more affordable option at $250, the 10L has a 6.53-inch full-HD display, Snapdragon 655 processor, 6 GB of RAM, and a 4,000 mAh battery. It also has quad rear cameras like 10 Pro, including a 48-megapixel main camera, 8 megapixel, 118deg wide camera, 2 megapixel macro camera, and depth camera. The front camera is 16 megapixel. It has a rear-mounted fingerprint reader and 64 GB of storage. Like the 10 Pro, it has a memory card slot, 3.5mm headset jack, USB-C, multi-stream Bluetooth, Android 10, and 4K video capture. It supports the same US LTE bands as the 10 Pro: 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 25, 26, 41, and 66. It will come in Mariana Blue with a "holographic finish on the back that reflects an iridescent shine."
Both phones will be available from Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart starting May 19th

GTA V is free on the Epic Games Store - [gaming]
11:47 AM EDT - May,14 2020 - post a comment

GTA 5 is now free to download from the Epic Games Store, which means it's yours to keep forever if you snag it before May 21. It is now available to download here if you have an Epic Games Store account, though demand is so high that Epic is struggling to meet demand for the time being, so you might struggle to load the page until that's fixed. The report says that one of the reasons GTA V is being offered for free is because its developer Rockstar North is likely looking to expand its customer base.

GTA V is set in a fictional city of Los Santos. The game is available worldwide for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Unreal Engine 5 Revealed! (PS5) - [briefly]
12:56 PM EDT - May,13 2020 - (1 comments)

As many anticipated, Epic Games today formally gave us our first look at the Unreal Engine 5, via a new technical demonstration on Sony's upcoming PlayStation 5. In a new demo called Lumen in the Land of Nanite, the released footage is shown with the beautiful new footage that will be available on the next generation of hardware. The video also features tuning work by Brian Karis, Epic's graphics director of graphics, and special projects director Jerome Platteaux, who talks about what sets Unreal Engine 5 apart from previous iterations of the engine. In addition, the footage is claimed to run in real time and was captured directly from a PS5 kit. The demo is largely impressive and gives us one of our first glimpses of what games on the PlayStation 5 will look like. Not only are environments more detailed than ever before, but the dynamic lighting offered exceeds virtually everything we currently see; generation titles. You can see the full Unreal Engine 5 technical demo in the video below. Epic says that the engine will arrive in 2021 next year, and that we will have to see much more in the future.

Microwaving a Highlighter Has a Surprising Reaction! - [off-topic]
04:55 PM EDT - May,12 2020 - post a comment

Today we're taking a picture of a microwaved highlighter from Tumblr and testing to see if it's real. Will highlighters explode with a stringy mixture of cotton candy like material? What does it feel like?

Intel i9-10900K CPU runs very hot & consumes 235W - [hardware]
02:08 PM EDT - May,12 2020 - post a comment

The core i9 10900K is going to be the flagship gaming CPU in the 'Comet Lake S' lineup from INTEL. With the launch date coming nearer, it would be hitting shelves soon. Based on the tests run by this user, it looks like this chip is quite power hungry and it can easily get hot as well. INTEL has been relying on the same aging 14nm process node for quite some time, with little changes done to the CPU architecture as well. This has now started to show its age. The chip also ran at a peak temperature of 93deg C, with an average temp of around 87deg C. This unlocked CPU does run at higher clock speeds and hence runs hotter and consumes more power at full load. The Core i9-10900K can hit 250W when all the cores are pushed to 5.2 GHz (at 1.3V+ voltage). 5.1 and 5.0 GHz speeds can also be achieved with lower voltages of 1.22-1.25V, with the power consumption being in the range of 220-230W, resulting in slightly lower temperatures too.


WhatsApp will soon allow 50 person video calls - [briefly]
05:10 PM EDT - May,11 2020 - post a comment

Last month, WhatsApp increased the participants limit on a video call to eight people and the company is now working on allowing 50 participants on a video call to take on Zoom. According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp Web will soon allow users to move video calls to the newly announced Messenger Rooms. In case you don't know, Messenger Rooms works just like Zoom and allows the host to share a link with participants who can join a video call. The feature is currently rolling out to users in phases and will allow users to move WhatsApp group calls to Facebook Messenger in the future. WhatsApp plans to add a Messenger Rooms shortcut to WhatsApp Web, Android and iOS apps. The shortcut will allow the group participants to create a Messenger Room with a custom link that can be shared with others who want to join the call. While users can do this directly from Facebook, the shortcut would allow existing WhatsApp groups to carry the conversations to Messenger without interruptions. The feature has started rolling out in phases to WhatsApp Beta for Android and will be available for iOS and Web as well. It is not clear if WhatsApp plans to reduce the participant limit on Android and iOS as it will difficult to fit 50 people on a small smartphone screen.

All Samsung Galaxy Phones Since 2014 Are Vulnerable - [security]
04:12 PM EDT - May,10 2020 - post a comment

If you own a Samsung Galaxy handset that was released in the past six years, do yourself a solid and check for an over-the-air (OTA) software update. Left unpatched, every Galaxy phone dating back to 2014 is vulnerable to a so-called 'zero-click' bug related to Android's handling of the custom Qmage image format (.QMG). That means millions of Galaxy phones are affected by this, until patched with the latest security update from Samsung. Not to be overlooked, the vulnerability carries the highest 'Critical' rating, and could allow an attacker to run malicious code remotely. Part of the reason for the high severity rating is because vulnerable handsets can be exploited without any user interaction. Google's Project Zero team discovered the flaw and reported the issue to Samsung in January. It has been addressed in Samsung's May 2020 Security Bulletin, along with a bunch of other security issues. Mateusz Jurczyk, one of the security researchers with Project Zero, uploaded a proof-of-concept video to demonstrate the vulnerability

Left unpatched, and attacker could ping a target handset with multiple multimedia SMS (MMS) messages in repeated attempts to guess where the Skia library resides in a phone's built-in memory. Once that is determined, the attacker could send malicious code under the guise (to the phone) of a Qmage image. Jurczyk told ZDNet this typically entails between 50 and 300 MMS messages to discern the location and ultimately sidestep Android's ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) protection. And even though a high number of messages would usually trigger suspicion, they can be stealthily sent and processed by the target phone without any notifications. Fortunately, Samsung was relatively quick to roll out a fix after being alerted to the flaw. So again, if you own a Galaxy handset-either a recent one or dating all the way back to something like the Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy Note Edge (both released in late 2014) - then head over into your device's settings and manually check for an update.

The process of making friends with a carpenter bee - [off-topic]
05:41 PM EDT - May,09 2020 - post a comment

Who needs dogs when you can have a bee?

Windows 10 20H1 Update releases on May 26th - [briefly]
03:23 AM EDT - May,09 2020 - post a comment

According to a recent post about the updated Driver Shiproom Schedule for this year (via Windows Latest), the next feature update for Windows 10 (in that case the May 2020 Update) could ship at some point between May 26 and May 28. So, if Microsoft sticks with this plan, you should expect the feature update to land on any of these three days (26th, 27th, and 28th May). Albeit, Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet reported earlier this month telling us that the possible rollout date could be May 28. Until now, all signs seem to indicate Microsoft's intention to push back Windows 10 May 2020 update to the last week of this month, and today's leak seems to confirm this anticipation. For those don't know, Microsoft releases the Driver Shiproom Schedule for OEM developers so that they comply with monthly Patch Tuesday and feature updates. Proceeding this way allows PC manufacturers to improve the reliability of driver updates while avoiding conflicts.

According to Microsoft, Windows 10 Version 20H1 will officially support DirectX 12 Ultimate. Alongside the new features that DX12 Ultimate will bring are DirectX Raytracing Tier 1.1, Mesh Shader and Sampler Feedback. Moreover, the May 2020 Update will bring some Xbox Game Bar improvements. For instance, it will add an FPS counter and a performance overlay. Now I don't know whether these metrics will be better than those of Rivatunner, however, it's cool witnessing Microsoft improving the Game Bar. It's also worth noting that this new version of Windows 10 will improve disk usage for Windows Search. It will also enable Windows Hello PIN in Safe Mode. Furthermore, Task Manager will now display GPU temperature, and it will add Mouse Speed to Settings.

While the update should be available later this month, it could take some time to arrive on your PC due to the phased nature of the rollout. If you can't wait to receive it, then there are various available to you. For example, you can use the Media Creation Tool, ISO files, or the Insider program to install the update.

After May 2020 Update is released, Microsoft will begin testing Windows 10 20H2 (a minor cumulative update-like release) with testers in the Release Preview Ring.

Short overview of recent news articles

Cricket Launches Two New Nokia Phones (May,29 2020 )

This Ridiculous 5G Signal Blocking USB Stick Is A Complete Scam (May,29 2020 )

Samsung Money is Samsung's Answer to Apple Card (May,28 2020 )

Get Borderlands: The Handsome Collection for Free (May,28 2020 )

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.5.1 Drivers (May,28 2020 )

Windows 10 May 2020 Update available for download (May,27 2020 )

NVIDIA GeForce 446.14 WHQL driver (May,27 2020 )

NASA and SpaceX Launch Astronauts to Space! (May,27 2020 )

AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT and Ryzen 7 3800XT Benchmarks (May,27 2020 )

YouTuber Attempts To Blow Bubbles With Molten Lava (May,26 2020 )

i9 10900X vs Ryzen 9 3900X Test in 9 Games (May,26 2020 )

Arm Intros Its High-End Processor Designs for 2021 (May,26 2020 )

Fortnite now runs at 90Hz on the OnePlus 8 series (May,26 2020 )

How the Teenage Players of Habbo Hotel Turned to Financial Crime (May,24 2020 )

8 things NOT to do in Germany (May,24 2020 )

Google Launches Suite of New Accessibility Features (May,24 2020 )

Intel Rocket Lake CPU Appears with 6 Cores and 12 Threads (May,23 2020 )

Tenet - new trailer (May,23 2020 )

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 rumored to gain SpO2 sensor (May,23 2020 )

Intel Core i9-10900K hits 7.7GHz on liquid helium (May,21 2020 )

Apple and Google Launch COVID-19 Exposure Notification (May,21 2020 )

T-Mobile Offers Free Service to First Responders (May,21 2020 )

Intel Core i9-10900K Review (May,21 2020 )

Space Force - Official Trailer (May,20 2020 )

THE HOOD INTERNET presents 1986 (May,18 2020 )

The Best Upcoming ACTION Movies 2020 (Trailers) (May,18 2020 )

Da 5 Bloods - Official Trailer (May,18 2020 )

Driver Performs Strange and Dangerous U Turn (May,18 2020 )

Watch This 1,500-HP Honda Civic Go From 0 To 60 MPH In A Crazy 1.1 (May,18 2020 )

Xfinity Mobile Launches 5G Service (May,18 2020 )

Netflix is restoring streaming quality in Europe (May,16 2020 )

TCL-Branded Phones Launch in US on May 19 (May,14 2020 )

GTA V is free on the Epic Games Store (May,14 2020 )

Unreal Engine 5 Revealed! (PS5) (May,13 2020 )

Microwaving a Highlighter Has a Surprising Reaction! (May,12 2020 )

Intel i9-10900K CPU runs very hot & consumes 235W (May,12 2020 )

WhatsApp will soon allow 50 person video calls (May,11 2020 )

All Samsung Galaxy Phones Since 2014 Are Vulnerable (May,10 2020 )

The process of making friends with a carpenter bee (May,09 2020 )

Windows 10 20H1 Update releases on May 26th (May,09 2020 )

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation for Free (May,08 2020 )

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X and Ryzen 3 3100 Reviews (May,08 2020 )

iOS 13.5 Can Automatically Share Medical Info with 911 Operators (May,08 2020 )

Verizon Launches LG Q70 (May,08 2020 )

BECKY Trailer (2020) Kevin James as Neo-Nazi Thriller Movie (May,07 2020 )

Shit the simpsons really did predict 2020 (May,07 2020 )

Zoom Threesome (May,07 2020 )

Our Only Hope Against The Murder Hornet Is The Praying Mantis (May,07 2020 )

Call of Duty: Warzone - JaredFPS Highlights at 144+ FPS (May,05 2020 )

Cyberpunk 2077 news set for June 11 (May,05 2020 )

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