Updated:05:57 PM EDT Aug 11

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Google Adds Bedtime Features to its Clock App - [briefly]
05:57 PM EDT - Aug,11 2020 - post a comment

Google has updated its own Clock app with a Bedtime tab to help users maintain a consistent sleep schedule. The feature initially debuted on Pixel phones, but is now available for all Android (version 6+) phones. The new tab includes the ability to track your screen time at night, fall asleep to a variety of soothing sounds, and wake up more gently with visual cues from the Sunrise Alarm and your favorite sounds or song. It works in concert with the Bedtime features built into the Android OS, which remind you when it's time for bed and limit interruptions by keeping your phone dark and quiet while you sleep.

The Funniest Ping Pong Match in HISTORY - [off-topic]
12:45 PM EDT - Aug,11 2020 - post a comment

This should be in the Olympics!

Away - Official Trailer - [off-topic]
05:39 PM EDT - Aug,10 2020 - post a comment

Hilary Swank is an astronaut torn between her mission to Mars and her attachments to her family back at Earth in Netflix's new space series "Away." "Away" premieres on Netflix on September 4.

The Third Day: Official Trailer - [briefly]
05:38 PM EDT - Aug,10 2020 - post a comment

When was the last time you really let go? #TheThirdDay premieres September 14 at 9PM. #HBO

Cyberpunk 2077 Lifepaths Detailed - [gaming]
05:18 PM EDT - Aug,10 2020 - post a comment

CD Projekt RED debuted new footage for Cyberpunk 2077 during its 'Night City Wire Episode 2' live stream today, including an introduction to the game's three 'Lifepaths' (Street Kid, Nomad and Corpo), a behind the music developer diary with Refused, and an overview of the game's weapons. Cyberpunk 2077 is due out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam, Epic Games, and GOG on November 19, and at a later date for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Toshiba Officially Exits the Laptop Business - [technology]
07:33 AM EDT - Aug,10 2020 - post a comment

Toshiba, a Japanese technology company, has announced last week that is exiting the laptop business in full. In 2018, Toshiba has sold 80.1% of its shares in Dynabook Inc. to Sharp Corp., Japanese company as well, just focused on electronics manufacturing. In the press release issued on August 4th, last week, Toshiba has transferred the remaining 19.9% of shares in Dynabook to Sharp and thereby has officially left the laptop business. "As a result of this transfer, Dynabook has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sharp.", says the Toshiba press release. This is one end of an era, as Toshiba has been manufacturing laptops from 1985, until this day in a way. This is one last goodbye to Toshiba, your laptop legacy will be remembered. If you were/are an owner of a Toshiba laptop, tell us about your experiences in the comments.

$66 Ruined Macbook Pro Gets Restored! - [briefly]
03:26 AM EDT - Aug,09 2020 - post a comment

This 2011 15" MacBook Pro looked damage beyond repair but YouTuber Psivewri found a way to bring it back to life.

Cardi B - WAP feat. Megan Thee Stallion - [off-topic]
11:06 PM EDT - Aug,08 2020 - post a comment

Cardi B And Megan Thee Stallion deliver a music video chock-full of T&A, and an incomprehensible Kylie Jenner cameo.

Apple Bans Game-Streaming Services From iOS - [briefly]
02:41 PM EDT - Aug,08 2020 - post a comment

Apple has issued a statement explaining that it will not allow cloud-based game streaming apps like Google Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS unless each game available via the platform is individually submitted to Apple for review. That is not generally how game-streaming services work, and may be impractical for the providers of such services. Says Apple: "Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search. In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store."

The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers.

Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search. In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store.

Microsoft's response follows:
Our testing period for the Project xCloud preview app for iOS has expired. Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store. Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content. All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry ratings bodies such as the ESRB and regional equivalents. We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform. We believe that the customer should be at the heart of the gaming experience and gamers tell us they want to play, connect and share anywhere, no matter where they are. We agree.

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition Released - [gaming]
02:40 PM EDT - Aug,08 2020 - post a comment

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition is now available on Steam, offering PC gamers to try the Windows edition of Guerrilla Games' action/adventure that made its debut on PlayStation 4. This post has details on the launch, including patch notes with a spoiler warning. There's also a FAQ that anticipates any burning questions you may have.

According to the red team, Horizon Zero Dawn is the first game that supports AMD FidelityFX Single Pass Downsampler. Moreover, the game supports AMD TressFX, as well as Asynchronous Compute. Here are some more details about these PC features, taken directly from AMD's press release:

Horizon Zero Dawn AMD Tech Features

  • AMD Radeon FreeSync Premium Pro. Gamers on any hardware can enjoy breathtaking gaming experiences with AMD's leading adaptive sync technology, offering stutter- and tear-free gaming with stunning HDR rendering.
  • AMD FidelityFX SPD. Optimized for RDNA architecture, SPD utilizes asynchronous compute to accelerate texture mapping for more efficient post-processing, driving effects like bloom and screen space reflections faster without sacrificing framerates.
    AMD TressFX. A true-to-life hair physics system taking high visual fidelity to a new level, enabling incredible photo-realistic hair effects with Radeon graphics cards so much so, you may forget there's even a screen in front of you.
    Asynchronous Compute. GPU multi-threading allowing Radeon GPUs to execute multiple tasks simultaneously, enabling graphics and visual effects workloads to be distributed efficiently for faster framerates and higher visual fidelity.
Theoretically speaking, NVIDIA's GPUs should be also able to support TressFX and Asynchronous Compute. However, there is no option to enable/disable TressFX in the game.

Intel Hit by a Devastating Data Breach, Chip Designs, Code - [briefly]
02:36 PM EDT - Aug,08 2020 - post a comment

Intel on Thursday was hit by a massive data-breach, with someone on Twitter posting links to an archive that contains the dump of the breach - a 20-gigabyte treasure chest that includes - but not limited to - Intel Management Engine bringup guides, flashing tools, samples; source code of Consumer Electronics Firmware Development Kit (CEFDK); silicon and FSP source packages for various platforms; an assortment of development and debugging tools; Simics simulation for "Rocket Lake S" and other platforms; a wealth of roadmaps and other documents; shcematics, documents, tools, and firmware for "Tiger Lake," Intel Trace Hub + decoder files for various Intel ME versions; "Elkhart Lake" silicon reference and sample code; Bootguard SDK, "Snow Ridge" simulator; design schematics of various products; etc.

The most fascinating part of the leak is the person points to the possibility of Intel laying backdoors in its code and designs - a very tinfoil hat though likely possibility in the post-9/11 world. Intel in a comment to Tom's Hardware denied that its security apparatus had been compromised, and instead blamed someone with access to this information for downloading the data. "We are investigating this situation. The information appears to come from the Intel Resource and Design Center, which hosts information for use by our customers, partners and other external parties who have registered for access. We believe an individual with access downloaded and shared this data," a company spox said.

Intel will announce its Tiger Lake processors on September 2 - [hardware]
01:22 PM EDT - Aug,06 2020 - post a comment

Last month, Intel revealed that it was planning "something big" for next month on September 2, though clues as to what the news might be were scarce. Now, though, the company has confirmed - perhaps by accident - that it will host a Tiger Lake launch event on that day, thanks to a listing on the company's event calendar for investors, first spotted by Twitter user SteakisGood. Tiger Lake is Intel's next generation of processors, and the successor to the Ice Lake chips that are on the market right now. Just like Ice Lake, it will be based on a 10nm+ process, and it's the company's second generation of products to be based on 10nm, while competing products from AMD have moved on to 7nm. A big focus for Tiger Lake appears to be graphics performance, with Intel working on the new Xe architecture that will also power its dedicated GPU in the future. The upcoming processors have been spotted in benchmarks massively outperforming its Ice Lake equivalents, and other benchmarks have even shown Tiger Lake outperforming Nvidia's GeForce MX350 GPU.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra Ecosystem: Official Introduction - [mobile]
03:38 PM EDT - Aug,05 2020 - post a comment

Finally a Truly Wireless Earbuds that seems like a Hearing Aid! Perfect.

Galaxy Note20 Series Focuses on Video, Note-Taking - [mobile]
03:35 PM EDT - Aug,05 2020 - post a comment

Samsung today revealed its latest Galaxy Note phones: the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra. On the software side, the new Note phones include an overhauled Samsung Notes app with free cloud sync, PDF annotation, nested folder structure, personalized handwriting neaten-ing, sound recordings time-synced with your own notes, and sync with both OneNote and Outlook. The S Pen supports five new gestures, allowing general Android navigation using only the S Pen as a remote control. The Note20 series also includes advanced video features such as 8K video capture, multi-track audio including remote mics (USB or Bluetooth), manual controls, variable-speed zoom, and the ability to use the extra mics in the new Galaxy Buds Live earbuds to better cancel out background noise. Updated Link to Windows integration now lets you access your mobile apps directly from your Windows 10 PC. The Note20 series also features 120 Hz display refresh, brighter screens, Snapdragon 865+ processor, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, 5G (including mmWave in most versions), and IP68 water resistance. The standard Note20 has a more rounded design, flat 6.7-inch FHD+ display, 4,300 mAh battery, 8 GB RAM, and 128 GB storage. The Note20 Ultra has a more sharp-cornered design, 6.9-inch QHD+ display with curved sides and the new Gorilla Glass Victus, 4,500 mAh battery, 12 GB RAM, 128 or 512 GB storage, and a memory card slot. The Ultra also adds UWB for precise relative positioning, similar to a feature introduced in the iPhone 11. At launch, the Note20 Ultra will support UWB for Point To Share file-sharing and digital key applications, with more uses planned. On the camera side, the two models take different approaches to implementing zoom, much like the S20 series. The standard model has a 12 megapixel standard camera, plus a 64 megapixel camera for 8K video and up to 3x real zoom. The Ultra model has a 108 megapixel main camera for 8K video and 1-4x zoom, plus a 5x optical tele camera (12 megapixel). Samsung's "Space Zoom" adds 10x digital zoom, for total zoom of 30x on the Note20 and 50x on the Ultra. Both models also have a 12 megapixel wide camera and 10 megapixel selfie camera with auto-focus. The standard model will come in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Green, and Mystic Gray, while the Ultra will come in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, and Mystic White. Select colors have a "haze" effect matte finish that resists fingerprints. Pre-orders start August 6th, will full availability on the 21st. The Note20 Ultra will start at $1300, while the standard Note20 will start at $1000. Most US carriers will offer the Note20 series, including Verizon and Xfinity Mobile. The phones will also be available unlocked. All pre-orders include a credit to spend with Samsung on accessories, etc.: $100 for the Note20 and $150 for the Ultra. The credit can be used for an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Bundle, which includes a Bluetooth game controller and 3 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate with cloud gaming.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Coming to Verizon, T-Mobile - [mobile]
03:33 PM EDT - Aug,05 2020 - post a comment

Samsung has revealed the first details of its next premium foldable, the Galaxy Z Fold2. Also, both T-Mobile and Verizon announced that they will offer the Z Fold2. Both screens have been made larger compared to the original Fold. The outer display is now a full 6.2 inches, covering most of the front surface, a huge improvement over the 4.6-inch display on the original Fold. The inner, flexible display has been enlarged from 7.3 to 7.6 inches. The flexible display is now protected by Samsung's UTG (Ultra Thin Glass) just like the Galaxy Z Flip. The hinge looks similar, but has been re-engineered using over 60 precision parts. The phone also has a small camera hole punch on both displays, and 4,500 mAh battery capacity. The Z Fold2 will come in Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze. Samsung is keeping full details under wraps until September 1st, when pre-orders will also go live.

Samsung Intros New Earbuds and Watch - [gadgets]
03:31 PM EDT - Aug,05 2020 - post a comment

Samsung today announced the Galaxy Buds Live and Galaxy Watch3, its newest wearable devices. The Galaxy Buds Live are bean-shaped true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation. They feature a bigger, 12mm speaker compared to Galaxy Buds+, plus a bass duct and three microphones. Outside noise can be adjusted. They're available starting tomorrow for $170, and come in Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black. The Galaxy Watch3 brings back the physically-rotating bezel, with a new, thinner bezel design that maximizes screen-to-body ratio. The Watch3 includes all major smartwatch features, including heart rate and sleep tracking. A new Trip Detection feature ensures that help is never too far away if you take a hard fall outdoors or in your home, allowing you to send a custom SOS message to emergency contacts. It's available in two sizes. The Bluetooth version starts at $400, while the LTE-enabled version starts at $450. Add $30 for the larger 45mm size. All versions are available starting tomorrow. Read on for a few hands-on photos.

AMD Radeon Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.8.1 Driver - [briefly]
02:46 AM EDT - Aug,05 2020 - post a comment

AMD's latest graphics driver comes packed with improvements for a trio of new games, with Horizon Zero Dawn, Hyper Scape, and Grounded receiving official support with today's new Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.8.1 release. According to the company, Obsidian's newly released massively popular survival game Grounded will run up to 9% better using these drivers compared to the previous 20.7.2 version. The tests were done on a machine running an RX 5700 XT, though most of the products in the Radeon line should see improvements to FPS in some form. AMD didn't go into detail on what sort of enhancements does this release carry for the upcoming PC launch of Guerilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn or the Ubisoft battle royale Hyper Scape. However, this driver is recommended for anyone using a graphics card from the red team who's looking to jump into any of these new games.

Fixed Issues

  • With Radeon FreeSync enabled, task switching to another display or application may intermittently cause the desktop refresh rate to be locked to an arbitrary interval causing stuttering.
  • Streaming and recording features are not working or are failing to enable on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics products in Windows 7 system configurations.
  • Radeon Software may experience an application crash or hang when waking from sleep after joining the AMD User Experience program.
  • DOOM Eternal may experience a very dark or dim screen when changing V-Sync settings in game with HDR enabled.
  • Hot plugging a powered off HDMI display and then powering on the display, may intermittently cause a system crash or hang.
  • Enabling Instant Replay may rarely cause a system hang or TDR on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics products.
  • Compatibility Advisor may show an 'Unable to get requirements' error message when opened. Users will need to perform a factory reset of settings in Radeon Software for this fix to take effect.

200 Watt car mounted laser! - [briefly]
06:40 PM EDT - Aug,04 2020 - (1 comments)

A 200-watt laser is basically a death ray!

A Large Explosion Took Place In Beirut - [briefly]
06:37 PM EDT - Aug,04 2020 - (1 comments)

The source of the explosion was allegedly caused by "confiscated high explosive material" near the port in Beirut.

Xbox Cloud Gaming Launching on Android September 15th - [gaming]
03:59 PM EDT - Aug,04 2020 - post a comment

Microsoft's Project xCloud cloud-based game-streaming service will officially launch September 15th as a "cloud gaming" feature included with the new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription service. Game Pass Ultimate costs $15/month, with an intro price of $1 for the first month. In addition to cloud gaming, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes access to more than 100 high-quality games for console and PC; exclusive member discounts, deals, perks, and Xbox Live Gold. Cloud gaming will be available via the "Xbox Game Pass" app for Android. An iOS version is planned, but not yet available. Razer and other companies are developing new phone accessories designed to work with the service, including "different types of phone clips..., travel controllers..., and exclusive Xbox-branded controllers that split apart and attach to the side of your phone." The new cloud gaming service replaces the Project xCloud "preview", which will end September 11th. Microsoft also revealed that it will have related news to share at tomorrow's Samsung event, where the next Note-series phone is expected to be announced.

Samsung's Most Affordable 5G Phone Hits US This Month - [mobile]
03:54 PM EDT - Aug,04 2020 - post a comment

T-Mobile, Metro, and Verizon will all launch the Samsung Galaxy A51 5G this month, starting with T-Mobile on August 7th. The A51 5G is just $500, making it the most affordable 5G phone offered by US carriers to date. Verizon's model, which adds mmWave 5G, will run $550, according to a Verizon spokesperson. The A51 5G was announced in April. Compared to the 4G A51, the A51 5G adds not only 5G, but also a larger battery and more RAM. AT&T, Verizon, and Xfinity already offer the 4G version. Other specs include a 6.5-inch OLED display, four rear cameras, 32-megapixel front camera, fast charging, NFC, and a memory card slot.

The Ultimate PS4 Pro: 8TB SSD Upgrade - [briefly]
04:25 PM EDT - Aug,03 2020 - post a comment

Enter the Samsung QVO 870 8TB SSD - a pricy solid state drive that far exceeds the cost of PS4 Pro, but gives it its most optimal chance of solving issues in loading and streaming. Swapped for the standard drive, can this SSD deliver a satisfying upgrade? And how about being used externally via USB?

Summary, though the video is definitely worth a watch:
- Loading times are improved (Internal SSD best results, external SSD lagging slightly behind). This is the biggest advantage.
- Texture loading/pop-in notably better with SSD compared to stock HDD
- Asset loading/pop-in better with SSD, in some cases geometry is drawn faster/ at a larger distance, though in most cases geometry/npc loading distance seems to be baked in.
- Menu navigation, small improvement with internal SSD. Menu navigation seems to be more tied to internet speed.

Microsoft confirms its intention to buy TikTok - [internet]
06:02 AM EDT - Aug,03 2020 - post a comment

A couple of days ago, rumors started to emerge that Microsoft might be buying part of social network TikTok. As it turns out, those rumors are true, Microsoft confirmed today. Specifically, the Redmond company confirmed its intentions to buy the U.S. operations of TikTok, and could also include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and U.S. President Donald Trump seem to be working together on this, as Microsoft's statement said this happened after a conversation between the two. TikTok is currently owned by Chinese company ByteDance. Due to Trump's concerns about security when it comes to Chinese companies, the idea is that after Microsoft buys TikTok's U.S. operations, all U.S. users' data will remain in the country, rather than possibly being sent back to China. Microsoft also committed to the plan that if this acquisition happens, it will return U.S. users' data to the U.S. Naturally, no formal deals have been made, except for a notification to the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States. However, the two companies, at this time, are planning to go through with the acquisition. Microsoft also said it may involve other companies in the purchase as minority shareholders.

Teenage Bounty Hunters - Official Trailer - [briefly]
03:37 AM EDT - Aug,02 2020 - post a comment

They're really nailing this work/life balance. Teenage Bounty Hunters is coming to Netflix on August 14. Stay blessed

Watch 15-Year-Old's Short Film 'Numb' - [off-topic]
03:28 AM EDT - Aug,02 2020 - post a comment

It starts quiet, but this short "Numb" by Liv McNeil, a 15-year-old student at Etobicoke School of the Arts, ends up packing a wallop emotionally.

//HEX Released - [gaming]
03:27 AM EDT - Aug,02 2020 - post a comment

//HEX is now available on Steam, offering a hacking simulator for Windows that allows you to experience the lucrative career of a hacker who bypasses security systems to rob banks.

Microsoft won't open its physical offices until early 2021 - [briefly]
04:32 AM EDT - Aug,01 2020 - post a comment

According to a report from The Verge, the software giant will not be opening its US offices again for the rest of the year. This information came to light via an internal memo obtained by the outlet, which describes Microsoft's strategy for reopening its physical locations to workers. The strategy consists of six stages, which are as follows (in order): closed, mandatory working from home, working from home strongly recommended, soft opening, open with restrictions, and open. We assume Microsoft is currently in stage two, but it's not clear precisely when the company will be advancing to stage three. It's also difficult to determine what a "strong" recommendation to work from home means for employees -- is the recommendation verbal only, or are there incentives for staying out of the office? Only time will tell. The Verge says that the tentative date for stage six to kick off is January 19, 2021, but Microsoft is prepared to push that day back if needed. The Covid-19 pandemic is unpredictable, and another surge of cases might be enough to deter the company from exposing its workers too soon.

Microsoft reportedly in talks to buy TikTok - [briefly]
04:29 AM EDT - Aug,01 2020 - post a comment

Multiple sources are suggesting that Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok, the popular video app owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance. A potential acquisition from Microsoft seems to stem from reports that President Trump would order ByteDance to sell its US operations. TikTok evolved from ByteDance's Douyin app which was primarily aimed at the Chinese market, before merging with the app musical.ly which brought TikTok to a worldwide audience. Since then the app has exploded in popularity and has subsequently attracted the ireful gaze of US lawmakers and regulators. As TikTok has risen in popularity, the app has been increasingly put under the microscope over concerns for privacy and national security. Regarding privacy, the app has already been caught copying iOS' clipboard contents, and Reddit CEO Steve Huffman criticized the app, calling it "fundamentally parasitic." TikTok also has a history of controversial data collection practices.

TikTok has also been caught in the middle of the back and forth between the US and China, and over the alleged ties that ByteDance has to the Chinese government. TikTok scrapes a shocking amount of data on its users, and under the China Internet Security Law, ByteDance would have to surrender that data if the Chinese government requested it. However, TikTok maintains that its servers aren't based in China, and as such, aren't subject to such laws.

NASA launches Perseverance rover on mission to Mars - [briefly]
04:12 AM EDT - Aug,01 2020 - post a comment

The US space agency launches Perseverance, its most sophisticated rover yet, from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The robot will search for signs of life on the red planet and package rock samples to be returned to Earth onboard a future mission.

Intel Overhauls its Corporate Identity - [technology]
03:16 PM EDT - Jul,30 2020 - post a comment

EVO is likely to become a prominent client-segment processor brand by Intel as it wades into the post-Core product generation. Intel just registered a large tranche of trademarks and logos with the USPTO. It begins with a re-design of Intel's corporate identity from the ground-up, including the company's main logo. A clean new typeface replaces the one Intel has been using since the original Core i7 from a decade ago. The brands are placed with simple geometric backgrounds with fewer color gradients. The brand extension (i3/i5/i7/i9) is located at the bottom-right corner. The distinction between two logos, "EVO Powered by Core" and just Core i3, caught our eye. We speculate that EVO could refer to a new category of Hybrid processors (chips with more than one kind of CPU core), and could debut with "Alder Lake." The non-EVO chips could have only one kind of CPU core, and given the timing of this trademark application (July 2020), we expect it to debut only with the processor that succeeds "Tiger Lake," as notebooks based on the new chips may already be under mass-production. In any case, it's only a matter of the notebook ODM (eg: Quanta, Compal, Foxconn, etc.,) placing a sticker on the product or its packaging. It's also interesting to note the "powered by Core" subtext in the EVO branding. Intel could be using this to transition between the two brands.
Intel has $82 Billion in shareholder equity, of which $8 Billion is in cold, hard cash. $44 Billion in "current assets" and only ~$22 Billion in liabilities. Intel today could spend $20 Billion on one moonshot project and still have money left over to continue their operations. In the short term, it is clear that Intel is screwing up their process. But a giant pile of $20 Billion+ can turn things around, as long as the board + executives do the right thing with it. Based on other companies (IBM, Sears, etc. etc.) that have entered long periods of decline... Intel could easily remain giant for a decade to come, coasting entirely on its cash pile alone. And who knows? Maybe Intel really can turn things around and return to dominance.

In other news, Intel is apparently seeking external assistance and it seems like a deal has already been struck with TSMC which is now believed to be the designated foundry that can assist with Intel's 7 nm chip production in 2021. Intel indicated that its own 7 nm production will end up delayed by at least 6 months due to design defects, plus we know that AMD is ready to launch 5 nm CPUs by next year, so now that Intel can tap external foundries, the delay may never occur. However, Intel's manufacturing nodes are not exactly compatible with TSMC's nodes. The upcoming 7 nm node from Intel is comparable to TSMC's 5 nm node as far as transistor densities and yields are concerned, which means Intel actually needs to validate and supply necessary design changes so that TSMC can repurpose its 5 nm and 3 nm EUV nodes. Another DigiTimes source reports that TSMC could also help Intel with the 10 nm production for upcoming CPUs and GPUs. The node discrepancies are still there, so the 10 nm Intel process is actually similar to TSMC's 6 nm process. The two companies will need to work together in order to redesign the photomasks for select 10 nm Intel CPUs and GPUs, ensuring the compatibility with TSMC's nodes. Apparently, Intel already ordered 180,000 wafers to be produced on the TSMC 6 nm node in 2021.

Google Offers New Free Backup Options for iOS and Android - [briefly]
10:57 AM EDT - Jul,30 2020 - post a comment

Google has sweetened its Google One service to offer full, automatic phone backup for free for all Android phones. (Full automatic phone backup previously required a paid subscription.) The company is also launching a Google One app for iOS, which will offer a free backup service and storage manager for that platform. On iOS, Google One will be able to back up photos, videos, contacts, and calendar events. The Google One service on both platforms uses the 15 GB of storage that comes free with all Google accounts. Google One will continue to offer paid subscriptions that offer more storage and enhanced support.

Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 can Fully Charge Your Phone in Under 15 Minute - [briefly]
10:56 AM EDT - Jul,30 2020 - post a comment

Qualcomm today announced Quick Charge 5, the latest version of its standard for fast-charging battery-powered devices such as phones. Version 5 is a huge leap over Quick Charge 4, promising four times faster charging. Quick Charge 5 can charge a dead phone to 50% in just five minutes, and 100% in under 15. It does this using a massive 100 watt / 20 volt power supply, and supports even higher wattages and/or voltages. Because individual battery cells and charging circuits inside phones cannot support those power levels directly without overheating, it supports "stacked cell" designs with effectively two batteries (also called 2SnP) - and two or three separate charging circuits - in one phone. Quick Charge 5 can also offer greater efficiency and/or lower temperature while charging. It leverages and is compatible with - the USB-PD standard. All Quick Charge 5 wired chargers will be able to supply at least 45 watts and 20 volts, while also being full backward-compatible with older versions of Quick Charge. Quick Charge 5 can also be used with wireless charging. Mobile devices with Quick Charge 5 are expected to ship with the next couple of months.

Intel Core i9-10850K Officialy Clocked At 5.2GHz - [hardware]
07:04 AM EDT - Jul,28 2020 - post a comment

A few weeks ago, I posted a news about Intel's Core i9-10850K processor, which is a slight downgrade from the flagship Core i9-10900K. The chip is still part of the 14nm 10th generation Comet Lake-S desktop processor family, but is clocked 100MHz slower across base, boost, Turbo Boost 3.0 and Thermal Velocity Boost thresholds. Today, Intel officially announced the processor, along with its bulk pricing. Whereas the Core i9-10900K is priced at $488 in lots of 1,000 for OEMs, the Core i9-10850K is available at a $35 discount, coming in at $453. For OEMs that have encountered trouble getting their hands on the Core i9-10900K, the Core i9-10850K seems like a worthy consolation prize given its relatively small downgrade in performance. I should note that while Intel has listed bulk pricing for the Core i9-10850K at $453, retail boxed versions of the processor (BX8070110850K) will be making their way to store shelves soon. These will be a bit easier to obtain than the Core i9-10900K once released, and should be slightly cheaper as well. However retail pricing will be very probably higher than the bulk rates, so we might see the chip priced closer to +$500 for individuals.

Samsung's Galaxy Watch 3 Explored - [gadgets]
07:02 AM EDT - Jul,28 2020 - post a comment

To start with, according to TechTalkTV on YouTube, it will indeed be called the Galaxy Watch 3. Samsung is apparently skipping the Galaxy Watch 2 branding, presumably to emphasize that is a higher end wearable than its existing Galaxy Watch Active 2. Going with the Galaxy Watch 3 branding would also avoid any potential confusion between the two smartwatches. Shown in the video is the 41mm version, with a 1.2-inch display. There will also be a larger 44mm version with a 1.4-inch screen. Both will sport 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. The Galaxy Watch 3 has physical rotating bezels, just like its predecessor, but they are thinner on this latest model. It also has two buttons, but with a change in shape. Overall, the Galaxy Watch 3 looks more like a regular watch than a smartwatch, except for the digital bits on the screen, of course. According to the leaker, the Galaxy Watch 3 earned an IP68 water resistance rating and a 5ATM rating. Those certifications translate into being able to submerge the Galaxy Watch 3 in water depths of up to 50 meters, for up to 10 minutes. So, swimming laps and cannonballs into the pool are fair game, if the information is correct. As for the built-in sensors, the Galaxy Watch 3 will be able to detect blood pressure and heart rate, and take ECG measurements.

NVIDIA Releases Hotfix Driver Version 451.85 - [briefly]
06:25 AM EDT - Jul,27 2020 - post a comment

NVIDIA has recently released GeForce Hotfix Driver Version 451.85 which fixes various issues in the latest 451.67 WHQL Game Ready drivers. This hotfix brings stability improvements to Shadow of the Tomb Raider when running in DirectX 12 mode with Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling enabled, texture corruption fixes in Death Stranding with GeForce GTX 16/RTX 20 series GPUs, and performance fixes to Forza Motorsport 7. The new hotfix also adds G-Sync Compatibility for the Samsung 27" Odyssey G7 gaming monitor.
GeForce Hotfix display driver version 451.85 is based on our latest Game Ready Driver 451.67.

This Hotfix driver resolves the following issues:
  • [Shadow of the Tomb Raider][DirectX 12]: The game may crash when launched with Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling enabled.
  • [Death Stranding]: Texture corruption may be observed during gameplay on GeForce GTX 16/RTX 20 series GPUs
  • NVIDIA Control Panel does not display the native resolution of some HDTVs with invalid timings
  • Some games may exhibit random freezes that lasts for a few seconds during gameplay.
  • Some displays may show a green tint when Windows Night Light is enabled
  • [Forza Motorsport 7]: Game starts to stutter after racing a few laps
  • [G-Sync Compatible] Adds support for the Samsung 27" Odyssey G7 gaming monitor
Windows 10 64-bit Standard Driver - Click Here
Windows 10 64-bit DCH Driver - Click Here

Windows 10's latest update bug is breaking internet - [briefly]
02:53 AM EDT - Jul,26 2020 - post a comment

Windows 10 May 2020 Update has received fixes for major bugs in Microsoft's monthly patches for July, but it looks like the update has yet another unpatched problem and it has been finally acknowledged by Microsoft. Microsoft has acknowledged that Windows 10 version 2004 is displaying false internet connection warnings for some PCs. Users have been reporting that a dreaded yellow triangle would appear on the system tray annoyingly reporting that they have "No Internet Access". The error will appear when your device is connected to the router correctly but it would seem like Windows 10 cannot connect to the internet. "I've rebooted my laptop, reset the router and reinstalled the network wireless adaptor but still the same message," one user noted, and others have also confirmed it. While you'll be able to browse the web in your browser, it appears that apps such as Spotify, Cortana, Microsoft Store and even Feedback Hub rely on the Windows 10's internet status to reach the servers. In other words, Spotify and other apps may not work when you have the false internet connection warning.

To fix the no internet connection warning after upgrading to Windows 10 version 2004, follow these steps:
1.Open Windows Search.
2.Look for 'Registry Editor'.
3.Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NlaSvc\Parameters\Internet"
4.Modify "EnableActiveProbing" and change the value from 0 to 1.
5.Click on "OK".
6.Close Registry Editor.
7.Restart your computer.

Newest Gorilla Glass Protects Against Both Drops and Scratches - [briefly]
03:23 PM EDT - Jul,24 2020 - post a comment

Corning's newest Gorilla Glass for phones is Gorilla Glass Victus, which the company claims provides improved drop and scratch resistance compared to Gorilla Glass 6 and the competition. Samsung will be the first company to use Gorilla Glass Victus "in the near future". Most advanced glass materials optimize for either drop protection or scratch resistance. For example, the first versions of Gorilla Glass focused on scratch resistance, while more recent iterations have focused on drop protection. Gorilla Glass Victus improves both, providing "up to a 2x improvement in scratch resistance" compared to Gorilla Glass 6, while also providing "drop performance up to 2 meters when dropped onto hard, rough surfaces", compared to 1.6 meters for Gorilla Glass 6.

Samsung Money Launches, Adds Exclusive Discounts - [briefly]
03:22 PM EDT - Jul,24 2020 - (2 comments)

Samsung Pay users can now sign up for Samsung Money in the new Money tab of the Samsung Pay app. Samsung Money is a debit card linked to a dedicated cash management account (similar to a checking account). Samsung has now sweetened the deal by announcing today that Samsung Money users will have access to exclusive "discounts on Samsung Galaxy smartphones, tablets, wearables, TVs, laptops, washers, refrigerators and more on Samsung.com".

Avatar Sequels Delayed, New Release Dates Revealed - [briefly]
(SABOT) - 03:18 PM EDT - Jul,24 2020 - post a comment

Disney just released a massive restructuring of their release calendar, which is to be expected considering virtually every production in Hollywood is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. In doing so, the studio revealed that James Cameron's long-awaited Avatar sequels are among the films that are getting pushed back, which historically is another piece of news we should've been expecting. Avatar 2, which had resumed production in New Zealand earlier this summer after a two-month shutdown, was originally scheduled to be released December of 2021. The movie has now been bumped to December 16, 2022. Meanwhile, Avatar 3 got shuffled from December 2023 to December 20, 2024; Avatar 4 was moved from December 2025 to December 18, 2026; and Avatar 5 was pushed from December 2027 to December 22, 2028. Notably, Disney is still sticking with the holiday release strategy, which proved to be enormously successful for the 2009 original. Yes, you read that correctly - we're currently on track to see Avatar 2 a scant 13 years after the debut of the first film.

LG's Premium Velvet Launching in US for $600 - [mobile]
05:28 PM EDT - Jul,21 2020 - post a comment

LG today finally revealed the US launch details for its design-centric flagship phone for 2020, the Velvet. The Velvet will be offered by all three major US carriers, starting with AT&T tomorrow. It specs are just shy of competing flagship phones, but still very high-end. Crucially, it's significantly cheaper at just $600. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip, 6 GB of RAM, and a 4,300 mAh battery. The AT&T and T-Mobile versions offer sub-6 GHz 5G. As usual, Verizon will offer a special version that also supports mmWave 5G. Other specs include a 6.8-inch full-HD OLED display with HDR10, 48 megapixel main camera, 8 megapixel wide-angle camera, 16 megapixel selfie camera, Quick Charge 4+, and IP68 water resistance. It also has 128 GB of storage, memory card slot, headset jack, NFC, stereo speakers, and an in-display fingerprint reader. The Velvet supports its own Dual Display, which adds a second full-size display plus small outer display as part of a hinged case accessory. The Velvet also supports and optional stylus, and can operate in a special desktop mode when connected to a large external monitor or TV. LG has emphasized design in launching the Velvet, touting its "3D Arc Design", "raindrop-inspired rear camera array", "flowing lines, polished surfaces, curved corners and symmetrical front and rear edges". Colors available in the US include Aurora Gray, Aurora Silver, Aurora Red, and Pink White, although specific colors and pricing "will vary by network partner". The Velvet will come to T-Mobile and Verizon "later this summer".

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Avatar Sequels Delayed, New Release Dates Revealed (Jul,24 2020 )

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