Updated:05:48 PM EST Nov 18

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TechAmok News Archive

Wednesday 06 (Nov 2019)

Seagate's Roadmap Calls for 18TB, 20TB Drives in 2020,50TB by 2026 - [hardware]
04:48 PM EST - Nov,06 2019 - post a comment

Seagate announced its roadmap for the coming years, and the company is naturally fighting tooth and nail for the relevance of HDD technology in the market. While the benefits of SSDs are already well understood by the entire industry, in some scenarios, it makes more sense to make use of high-density HDDs - particularly where deployment space is at a premium, and in scenarios where seek times for information stored on the media aren't all that important. This is why the company is aggressively pushing its new HAMR technology as a way to increase areal density on traditional platter-based media. Plans to achieve 18 TB and 20 TB density HDDs in the first semester of 2020 seem to be well within reason, considering the company has recently shipped 16 TB HDDs. These HDD solutions will still make use of older technologies such as CMR (Conventional Magnetic Recording), for the 18 TB drives) and SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) for their 20 TB 2020 products. The company will later make use of their proprietary HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) technology in order to upgrade their 20 TB, and 20 TB+ HDDs with higher performance (and density) than can be achieved with the tried and true SMR. When it comes to performance improvements, a latent disadvantage in HDDs compared to solid state solutions, the company will eventually deploy HDDs which make use of two sets of read/write heads instead of a single one.

Microsoft's New Unified Office App Available in Public Preview - [software]
04:47 PM EST - Nov,06 2019 - post a comment

Microsoft has released a public preview of its new, completely revamped Office app for Android and iOS. A single Office app replaces the previously separate Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps. It also includes the previously-announced features that let users take a photo of a document to create an editable Word document, and use the camera to import table data directly into Excel. It includes dedicated sections for non-Office documents: PDF, Media, and Notes. An Actions panel makes it easy to transfer files between phone and computer, or with nearby phones. It also includes shortcuts to create PDFs and add signatures to them. Anyone can try out the public preview, but it requires extra steps of enrolling in the testing program, a process that requires joining a group for Android, or using TestFlight for iOS.

Google Play Launches Points Rewards Program in US - [briefly]
04:42 PM EST - Nov,06 2019 - post a comment

Google has added a rewards program called Google Play Points to the Android app store. The program is free to join and members earn points for everything they buy through Google Play, and even for downloading "featured" free apps and games. Points can be redeemed for Google Play purchases, in-app purchases and discounts, as well as donations to charity. The program has four tiers, with higher levels offering weekly prizes. The program is launching this week in the US, but has been available in Korea and Japan for a year.

Epic Games Store exploit allows you to play and keep a game forever - [security]
05:28 AM EST - Nov,06 2019 - post a comment

It appears that PC gamers can take advantage of an exploit on the Epic Games Store to access and keep games to their accounts for free. Willian Worrall of CCN discovered this new vulnerability and - for anyone interested - Epic Games has not fixed it yet. If you install a game through the store by logging into someone else's account, you can continue to play the installed game even if you log back into your own account.
While logging into my account earlier today, I discovered that a game I didn't own but which was already installed from another Epic Games Store account was appearing in my library. Trying to boot the game resulted in it running fine, no error messages or stops at all. This was replicated on another machine and the result was always the same. As long as you had a game installed in the Epic Games directory, you could run the game even if you didn't own it.

The exploit was consistently replicable even when creating a completely new account that doesn't own any games. As well as making a new account we even tested the exploit on a third machine and the exploit persisted, meaning that it is almost certainly possible to do this with any account, on any machine.

The exploit was consistently replicable even when creating a completely new account that doesn't own any games. As well as making a new account we even tested the exploit on a third machine and the exploit persisted, meaning that it is almost certainly possible to do this with any account, on any machine.
This exploit seems to have something to do with a lack of DRM or license-checking on the part of the store. Back when Borderlands 3 was released, gamers on Reddit and Twitter discovered that they could still play the game after refunding it by locating the executable on their PC.

Tuesday 05 (Nov 2019)

Microsoft Unveils Project Silica - [hardware]
01:14 PM EST - Nov,05 2019 - (1 comments)

Microsoft's cloud computing business unveiled Project Silica, a cold-storage device that's designed to stand the test of time. Essentially an optical storage media, it is a 7.5 cm x 7.5 mm x 2 mm square piece of glass that can store up to 75.6 GB of data (inclusive of error-correction code). Unlike conventional optical media such as CD or Blu-ray, which relies on etching pits of different lengths on a plastic substrate to denote ones and zeros, project silica uses nanoscale gratings and deformations, while AI is used for error-correction to overcome any aging of the media. The company developed a proof-of-concept using quartz glass. "A laser encodes data in glass by creating layers of three-dimensional nanoscale gratings and deformations at various depths and angles. Machine learning algorithms read the data back by decoding images and patterns that are created as polarized light shines through the glass," writes Microsoft in its description of how Project Silica works. CD can typically hold data for 1-2 centuries provided that the disc is stored properly. After that, the plastic physical layer decays, losing data integrity. Project Silica, on the other hand, is designed to be resilient not just in a box, but also outside it. The media can "withstand being boiled in hot water, baked in an oven, microwaved, flooded, scoured, demagnetized and [withstand] other environmental threats that can destroy priceless historic archives or cultural treasures if things go wrong," says Microsoft.

Monday 04 (Nov 2019)

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 441.12 WHQL Game Ready Drivers - [briefly]
11:26 AM EST - Nov,04 2019 - post a comment

Nvidia released a major update to its Game Ready graphics drivers last week, adding a wide range of new features and capabilities. Today, the company has released a minor update to that driver, bringing the version number up to 441.12. The latest version mostly focuses on adding Game Ready support for the PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Need for Speed: Heat. It also adds a new SLI profile for the former, as well as one for Borderlands 3. The new driver also adds support for new G-Sync Compatible monitors from LG. The new additions were announced last week, and they're the new E9, C9, and B9 models released this year. You can check the full list of G-Sync monitors here. There's only one new fix in this release, which addresses crashes in Super Robot Wars V.
Game Ready
  • The new Game Ready Driver provides the latest performance optimizations, profiles, and bug fixes for Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • This new driver also includes the latest optimizations for Need for Speed Heat and Borderlands 3.
New G-SYNC Compatible Monitors
  • The list of G-SYNC Compatible displays increases to over 55 options with the addition of the LG
  • B9, C9, and E9 4K OLED TVs. Make sure to update your firmware first for the best experience.
Application Performance Profiles
Added or updated the following performance profiles:
  • Borderlands 3
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
New Features and Other Changes
  • Added security updates for driver components.
  • Adds support for new LG TV G-SYNC compatible monitor.
Fixed Issues in this Release
  • [Super Robot Wars V]: The game crashes to a white screen. [2720588]

Sunday 03 (Nov 2019)

Arnold Schwarzenegger Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters - [briefly]
06:53 PM EST - Nov,03 2019 - post a comment

Arnold Schwarzenegger breaks down his most iconic characters, including his roles in 'The Terminator,' 'The Terminator 2: Judgement Day,' 'Predator,' 'Batman & Robin,' 'Pumping Iron,' 'Conan the Barbarian,' 'Twins,' 'Kindergarten Cop,' 'Jingle All the Way,' 'Total Recall,' 'True Lies' and 'Terminator: Dark Fate.'

Death Stranding Rick & Morty ad - [gaming]
11:01 AM EST - Nov,03 2019 - post a comment

Playstation and Adult Swim team up for one the most ambitious crossover events in history...just kidding.

How This Blob Solves Mazes - [off-topic]
11:00 AM EST - Nov,03 2019 - post a comment

Physarum polycephalum is a single-celled, brainless organism that can make 'decisions,' and solve mazes. Anne Pringle, who is a mycologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explains everything you need to know about what these slime molds are and how they fit into our ecosystem.

Friday 01 (Nov 2019)

AT&T Tweaks Unlimited Plans - [mobile]
06:47 PM EDT - Nov,01 2019 - post a comment

AT&T is introducing new unlimited plans that drop the live and on-demand TV package included with the existing Unlimited &More plans. Accounting for that and other minor changes, pricing stays about the same, with unlimited plan choices (and price points) increasing from two to three.

  • The new entry-level plan is called Unlimited Starter and costs $65/month for a single line, down from $70/month for the old Unlimited &More plan. Multi-line discounts can bring that down to $35/month/line for an account with four lines. As with the plan it replaces, data, voice, and texting are unlimited across the US, Canada, and Mexico, and texts from the US to over 120 countries are free, but video is limited to SD quality and mobile hotspot is not allowed.
  • The new step-up plan is called Unlimited Extra, replacing Unlimited &More Premium. The new plan is cheaper, but does not include a premium streaming service of choice, nor HD video streaming. It does include everything in the Starter plan plus 15 GB of mobile hotspot data. Unlimited Extra will run $75/month for a single line, (down from $80/month for the old Unlimited &More Premium plan.) Multi-line discounts can bring that down to $40/month/line for an account with four lines. Both Unlimited Starter and Unlimited Extra will launch on November 3rd.
  • Unlimited Elite is AT&T's new top-end plan, and AT&T's only unlimited plan to allow HD video streaming. It also includes 30 GB of mobile hotspot data. Instead of a choice of premium streaming service, HBO is included. AT&T owns HBO. Unlimited Elite will cost $85/month for a single line. Multi-line discounts apply, such as $50/month/line for four lines. This plan will be available "in the coming weeks".
All of the pricing cited above is after applying AT&T's discount for auto-pay and paperless billing, (which was true of AT&T's existing plans as well.) AT&T offers an additional 25% discount for military, veterans, and first responders and their families.

Google Buys Fitbit - [briefly]
06:46 PM EDT - Nov,01 2019 - post a comment

Fitbit has agreed to be purchased by Google for 2.1 billion USD. Fitbit makes activity-tracking wearables, having sold more than 100 million devices, with 28 million current active users. Google has its own Wear OS smartwatch platform, which integrates with its Google Fit activity- and health-tracking service. Google said it sees "an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market." On privacy, Fitbit says "Fitbit will continue to put users in control of their data and will remain transparent about the data it collects and why. The company never sells personal information, and Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads." Fitbit also pledged to continue supporting both iOS and Android.

Diablo 4 has been officially announced - [gaming]
06:28 PM EDT - Nov,01 2019 - post a comment

Blizzard has officially announced the fourth part in its Diablo series. Diablo 4 will be an action isometric RPG, will have three classes (Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid), and its new "diablo" will be Lilith. The game will be darker and grittier than Diablo 3, and will have a similar style/tone to Diablo 2. Locations will be toned down, infrequently laid with corpses, wasteland, grey-ish deserts, clut caves surrounded by flesh, rotten crypts, marshes and bogs, as well as plagued cities. These levels will be larger than Diablo 3's levels. Characters will now be able to ride horses (possibly other mounts) and there might be contextual interaction with environment. Blood splatters will also look more like blood and not splashed jam. Diablo 4 is in development for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC (no sign of Nintendo Switch) but there's no release date as yet.

Thursday 31 (Oct 2019)

How a Single Math Error Caused a $500 Million Satellite to Crash - [technology]
05:31 PM EDT - Oct,31 2019 - post a comment

How a simple math error led to a catastrophic multi-million dollar loss for a Mars orbiter.

Intel Ice Lake-SP and Cooper Lake-SP Details Leaked - [hardware]
05:26 PM EDT - Oct,31 2019 - post a comment

Brainbox, a Korean media outlet, has information on Intel's newest Ice Lake and Cooper Lake server processors from a presentation ASUS held for its server lineup. With Cooper Lake-SP paving the way for the first server CPU model to be released on the new "Whitley" platform, it is supposed to launch in Q2 of 2020. Cooper Lake-SP comes with TDP of 300 W and will be available with configurations of up to 48 cores, but there also should be a 56 core model like the Xeon Platinum 9282, that has a TDP of 400 W. Cooper Lake-SP supports up to 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, 8 channel memory (16 DIMMs in total) that goes up to 3200 MHz and four Ultra Path Interconnect (UPI) links.

Ice Lake-SP, built on the new 10 nm+ manufacturing process, is coming in soon after Cooper Lake-SP release, with a launch window in Q3 of 2020. That is just few months apart from previous CPU launch, so it will be a bit hard to integrate the launches of two rather distinct products. As far as the specifications of Ice Lake-SP goes, it will have up to 38 core for the top end model, within 270 W TDP. It supports 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes with three UPI links. There is also 8 channel memory support, however this time there is an option to use 2nd generation Optane DC Persistent Memory. Both CPU uArches will run on the new LGA 4189 on the P+ socket.

Netflix's The Witcher live-action series trailer - [briefly]
02:12 PM EDT - Oct,31 2019 - post a comment

Netflix has released a brand new trailer for its upcoming The Witcher live-action series. In addition, the company has announced that the series will air on December 20.

Salma Hayek shows off her curves in seductive beach video - [off-topic]
03:49 AM EDT - Oct,31 2019 - post a comment

Salma Hayek puts her sexy curves on display in a lavender swimsuit as she rolls around seductively on the beach. The stunning 52-year old actress lays in the sand and lets the ocean waves wash over her.

Monday 28 (Oct 2019)

Intel Announces Core i9-9900KS - [hardware]
04:07 PM EDT - Oct,28 2019 - post a comment

Intel today announced full details and availability for the new 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900KS Special Edition processor. Delivering up to 5.00 GHz all-core turbo frequency out of the box for the ultimate gaming experience, the 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900KS will be available beginning Oct. 30, with recommended customer price starting at $513. This special edition processor will be available for a limited time only and can be found at retailers worldwide. "Intel has raised the bar for desktop gaming with the new 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900KS Special Edition processor. Based on the 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K architecture, it's the world's best gaming desktop processor made even better and created specifically for extreme gamers who want the most performance possible. This processor demonstrates another innovation milestone for Intel, following last year's limited edition 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8086K," said Frank Soqui, Intel vice president and general manager of the Desktop, Workstation and Channel Group. The i9-9900KS processor is unlocked and boasts eight cores and 16 threads, up to 4.00 GHz base frequency, 127 W TDP, 16 MB Intel Smart Cache, and up to 40 platform PCIe lanes for gaming and overclocking.
Key Features and Capabilities:
  • Up to 5.00 GHz all-core turbo frequency; up to 4.00 GHz base frequency, which allow games to run faster when they scale across more cores for higher frame rates
  • Eight cores, 16 threads, 127 W TDP, 16 MB Intel Smart Cache, and up to 40 platform PCIe lanes
  • Compatible with existing Z390 motherboards
  • Up to 27% faster mega-tasking when you simultaneously game, stream and record compared with a 3-year-old PC
  • Up to 35% more frames per second compared with a 3-year-old PC
  • Up to 17% faster 4K video editing compared with the previous generation and up to 78% faster compared with a 3-year-old PC
  • One-year warranty
  • Overclock confidently with new and enhanced features like Intel Performance Maximizer, which makes it easy to dynamically and reliably custom-tune the unlocked processor based on the processor's individual performance DNA

Apple AirPods Pro Add Active Noise Cancellation - [briefly]
04:05 PM EDT - Oct,28 2019 - post a comment

Apple AirPods Pro are the company's new premium true wireless earbuds, adding active noise cancellation (ANC) to silence background noise. 200 times a second, the H1 chip uses an outer microphone to detect outside noise and generate a counter-sound. It also uses an inner microphone to cancel any remaining background noise. An optional Transparency Mode allows outside sound in, but "leaves just the right amount of noise cancellation active", so users can hear announcements and safety hazards. Unlike standard AirPods, the Pro model is designed to seal against your ear canals. A special vent system equalizes pressure for comfort. Three sizes of silicone ear tips are included and an "Ear Tip Fit Test" feature measures sound levels to tell you whether you're using the correct size. Adaptive EQ automatically tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of music to the shape of an individual's ear. They're rated IPx4 for basic sweat- and water-resistance. The buds are controlled via new "force sensors" on the stem. Like standard AirPods, the new model responds to Siri requests, supports Audio Sharing, and can be ordered with custom engraving. The buds themselves offer 5 hours of battery life. The included charging case -which supports Qi wireless charging - offers up to 24 hours of total battery life. The AirPods Pro are available to order online today for $249. They will start shipping and be available in stores on October 30th

Sunday 27 (Oct 2019)

Supercars Accelerating - AC SCHNITZER ACS8, F12Tdf, BRABUS 700... - [off-topic]
02:30 PM EDT - Oct,27 2019 - post a comment

During the 2019 Zoute Grand Prix in Belgium I have filmed a lot of supercars doing a accelerating! You will see the AC SCHNITZER ACS8, Mercedes-AMG GT63s, Ferrari F12Tdf, 488 Pista, SLS AMG Black Series, Porsche 991 GT2 RS, Audi R8 V10 Plus and a lot more!

2020 Mercedes-Maybach S 650 BRABUS 900 - Details - [briefly]
02:03 PM EDT - Oct,27 2019 - post a comment

2020 Mercedes-Maybach S 650 L Brabus 900 Rocket - Interior and Exterior Design
Engine: V12, 6.0 L, 900 Hp, 1500 Nm
0-100 (km/h): 3.7 s
Top Speed: 350 km/h
Price: 485.520 euro

What Happens When Lightning Strikes a Plane - [briefly]
01:51 PM EDT - Oct,27 2019 - post a comment

A single lightning bolt carries 1 billion volts of electric force - what happens when it strikes a flying metal tube in the sky?

How Your Cat Is Secretly Psychologically Manipulating You - [off-topic]
01:47 PM EDT - Oct,27 2019 - post a comment

The science behind how cats rewire their owner's brains.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 unboxing and first impressions - [hardware]
01:39 PM EDT - Oct,27 2019 - post a comment

Unboxing Lenovo's ThinkPad P1 with an Intel Core i7-9850H, 32GB RAM, 2TB SSD, and Nvidia Quadro T2000 graphics.

Saturday 26 (Oct 2019)

Netflix Testing Variable Speed Playback on Android - [briefly]
04:07 AM EDT - Oct,26 2019 - post a comment

Netflix has been quietly testing a variable-speed playback option in its Android app for some users. The new "Speed" toggle offers options for 0.5x, 0.75x, 1.25x, and 1.5x. The feature is similar to one offered by most podcast and audiobook apps. Unlike a fast-forward or slow-motion feature, variable-speed playback includes audio, which requires extra processing to correct the pitch.

Friday 25 (Oct 2019)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Final Trailer - [briefly]
06:42 PM EDT - Oct,25 2019 - post a comment

In theaters December 20.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.10.2 Drivers - [briefly]
07:14 AM EDT - Oct,25 2019 - post a comment

AMD has released the Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.10.2 beta drivers. These drivers bring improved support for "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," which sees up to 18% better performance on the Ultra preset when using a Radeon RX 5700 XT. "The Outer Worlds" also sees improved support and sees 8% better performance at the Very High preset again on the Radeon RX 5700 XT. Improved support and better performance are always welcome; however, this release also offers some much-needed fixes, including application hang in Borderlands 3, which will likely make quite a few gamers happy. For a full list of fixes and known issues, check the full change-log below.
Support For
  • Call of Duty : Modern Warfare
  • With ultra presets on the Radeon RX 5700 XT, achieve up to 18% better performance playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 edition 19.10.2 than with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.10.1. RS-322
  • The Outer Worlds
  • With very high presets on the Radeon RX 5700 XT, achieve up to 8% better performance playing The Outer Worlds with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 edition 19.10.2 than with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.10.1. RS-321
  • Chernobylite Early Access
Fixed Issues
  • Launching League of Legends may cause the display to remain blank for a few seconds.
  • Radeon Chill may create an incorrect registry entry when enabled or disabled.
  • Borderlands 3 may experience an application hang after running the in-game benchmark or changing resolutions.
  • Flicker may be experienced while playing media in Movies and TV application when using some displays connected via USB Type-C.
  • Some Radeon RX Vega and Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products may intermittently experience a thread stuck crash or TDR when there is a high GPU load active.
Known Issues
  • The Outer Worlds may experience character models being rendered incorrectly on the inventory screen.
  • Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products may experience stutter in some games at 1080p and low game settings.
  • Performance Metrics Overlay may cause stutter or screen flashing on some applications.
  • Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products may experience display loss when resuming from sleep or hibernate when multiple displays are connected.
  • Toggling HDR may cause system instability during gaming when Radeon ReLive is enabled.
  • Stutter may be experienced when Radeon FreeSync is enabled on 240hz refresh displays with Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products.
  • AMD Radeon VII may experience elevated memory clocks at idle or on desktop.

TSMC Begins 3 nm Fab Construction - [technology]
02:18 AM EDT - Oct,25 2019 - post a comment

TSMC has been very aggressive with its approach to silicon manufacturing, with more investments into its R&D that now match or beat the capex investments of Intel. That indicates a strong demand for new technologies and TSMC's strong will not drop out of the never-ending race for more performance and smaller node sizes. According to the sources over at DigiTimes, TSMC has acquired as much as 30 hectares of land in the Southern Taiwan Science Park to begin the construction of its fabs that are supposed to start high-volume manufacturing 3 nm node in 2023. Construction of 3 nm manufacturing facilities are set to begin in 2020 when TSMC will lay the groundwork for the new fab. The 3 nm semiconductor node is expected to be TSMC's third attempt at EUV lithography, right after the 7 nm+, and 5 nm nodes which are also based on EUV technology.

Thursday 24 (Oct 2019)

Intel announces the Tremont CPU microarchitecture - [hardware]
05:31 PM EDT - Oct,24 2019 - post a comment

Intel has announced a new low-power CPU microarchitecture codenamed Tremont, which will be at the heart of the company's Lakefield chipsets. Lakefield uses a new 3D packaging technology called Foveros, and it promises more power efficiency and a smaller package, making it ideal for small and thin form factors. You may recall that, a few weeks ago, Microsoft announced that the upcoming Surface Neo would be powered by Lakefield. Tremont makes use of a 6-wide (2x3-wide clustered) out-of-order decoder to offer better performance, as well as "significant gains" in instructions per cycle over the previous generation of low-power chips from Intel. It also has 4-wide allocation, 10 execution ports - seven for integer execution and three for vector execution -, a dual load/store pipeline, and up to 4.5MB of L2 cache. It can also come with configurations between single- and quad-core. Intel also touts Core-class branch prediction. Tremont also packs a few new technologies from Intel, such as Accelerator interfacing Instructions, Intel Speed Shift, Trusted Execution Technology, Boot Guard, and Total Memory Encryption, all of which should help both performance and security. Tremont and Lakefield don't yet have a set release date, but it's been almost a year since Lakefield was first announced back in 2018, so it shouldn't take too much longer now.

T-Mobile's 5G Phones Can Support Sprint 5G - [mobile]
05:29 PM EDT - Oct,24 2019 - post a comment

When T-Mobile launches low-band 5G later this year, the two phones that support it will also be capable of supporting Sprint's already-launched mid-band 5G network, should the two companies be allowed to merge. The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren and Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ will both support 5G in bands 71 (T-Mobile's 600 MHz) and 41 (Sprint's 2,500 MHz). Those two phones do not, however, support 5G in the mmWave bands, which T-Mobile has launched in several cities. T-Mobile does sell the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G which supports its mmWave 5G network but not the upcoming low-band network. When T-Mobile launches low-band 5G this year, it will cover 200 million people, far more than any other US 5G network to date.

Mophie Juice Packs Now Available for iPhone 11 Series - [mobile]
05:28 PM EDT - Oct,24 2019 - post a comment

The popular Mophie Juice Pack Access battery case accessory is now available for Apple's iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. The cases include a large extra battery that keeps the iPhone topped up via wireless charging, and can themselves be charged wirelessly. Wireless charging leaves the iPhone's Lightning port free. The Juice Pack Access includes its own USB-C port for charging. Pass-through charging will charge the phone first, and then the case. The versions for the 11 and 11 Pro add a 2,000 mAh battery to the phone, while the case for the 11 Pro Max contains a 2,200 mAh battery. All versions are $100. They're available now in black, and coming soon in pink and (PRODUCT)RED.

T-Mobile' 2nd 5G Phone is the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren - [mobile]
05:28 PM EDT - Oct,24 2019 - post a comment

OnePlus announced the OnePlus 7T Pro two weeks ago, saying that the phone would not come to the US. That was half true. The 5G version of the phone will come to T-Mobile later this year, and it will be the special McLaren limited edition of the phone. The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren is the second 5G phone to be announced by T-Mobile, after the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G. The new OnePlus will support sub-6 GHz 5G, specifically in band 71, T-Mobile's low-band 600 MHz spectrum that reaches farther than most other frequency bands. The OnePlus 7T Pro is based on the 7 Pro, with updated specs to match and best the newer 7T. It packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chip, 12 GB of RAM, three cameras (including a 48 megapixel main camera and 3x optical zoom), 4085 mAh battery, and Warp Charge 30T fast charging. Its 6.67-inch OLED display sports HDR, 90 Hz refresh, and quad-HD resolution; it's curved at the sides and covers the whole face with no notch, thanks to a pop-up selfie camera. The McLaren design sports a carbon-fiber back with a wood-grain look, and accents in McLaren's "hallmark papaya orange racing tint." It comes with a case accented in carbon fiber and Alcantara. T-Mobile is not yet announcing pricing nor a specific release date.

Modern Warfare PC / 4K/60fps - 20 minutes of gameplay - [gaming]
05:26 PM EDT - Oct,24 2019 - post a comment

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare releases in a few hours and below you can find a video, showing the first 20 minutes from its single-player campaign. This gameplay footage was captured on the PC with the game running in 4K and 60fps.

Update: Activision Games Blog announces the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, their new military shooter that re-imagines 2007's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. This landing page is all-in on supporting players, offering Definitions of Common Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Terms as well as a series of "getting started" pieces, covering The Basics, the Campaign, and Multiplayer. And in case the message isn't clear from those five posts, there's a sixth making the obvious point that they are making frequent updates on the new game.

Tuesday 22 (Oct 2019)

LG Brings G8X ThinQ with Dual Screen to US - [mobile]
06:30 PM EDT - Oct,22 2019 - post a comment

LG is bringing its dual-screen concept to the US along with a new variant of the G8: the G8X ThinQ. The G8X drops the 3D depth camera and quad-HD display resolution in favor of a 32-megapixel selfie camera, full-HD display, stereo speakers, and a larger 4,000 mAh battery. It also has an in-display fingerprint reader instead of the standalone sensor on the G8. Other features of the G8X are similar to the G8, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip, standard and wide-angle rear cameras, high-end audio chip, extra-loud speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, IP68 water resistance, NFC, wireless charging, fast charging, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage, and a memory card slot. The snap-on Dual Screen sports a full-HD OLED screen identical to that on the G8X, including the small notch. It also has an extra "cover" display on the outside that shows notifications, date, time, and battery life. The hinge folds a full 360deg, and locks in place at 120deg, 140deg, 180deg (flat), and 27deg (tent). The phone + Dual Screen together will sell for $700 unlocked. Both AT&T and Sprint will offer the LG G8X ThinQ. AT&T is including the Dual Screen for free for a limited time. Sprint will offer an online rebate form for a Dual Screen, which will ship from LG. Sprint will have "more details to share next week" on its launch offer. Pre-orders start Friday, will full availability on November 1st.

Slipknot - Psychosocial in 25 styles - [off-topic]
05:33 PM EDT - Oct,22 2019 - post a comment

Check it out!

Xiaomi Launches Mi Surface Display Gaming Monitors - [hardware]
01:40 PM EDT - Oct,22 2019 - post a comment

Xiaomi, the China-based electronics juggernaut that has carved itself into most markets with its aggressive price/performance ratios, has just announced two new gaming monitors in its new Mi Surface Display lineup. First up is a 34", 21:9 UltraWide monitor with a resolution of 3440 x 1440. This one also carries a 144 Hz refresh rate monitor with support for AMD FreeSync (which might also mean it is G-Sync compatible). This same panel offers a 1500R curvature, which is somewhat treated as a must in larger diagonal 21:9 monitors, and Xiaomi is quoting a 5 ms GtG response time, which, paired with the 144 Hz refresh rate, should be more than enough for all but the most seriously competitive gamers. Color coverage is being quoted at 121% of the sRGB color gamut. The bezels are reportedly around the 2mm mark in the 34" model. The stand and the monitor's connection is ensured by a magnetic clasp. The 34" monitor is being joined by a 1080p, 24" monitor as well, of which there were no additional details being shared. Connectivity details also weren't shared at time of writing. Xiaomi's new Mi Surface Display 34" is priced at 2,499 Yuan (around $352).

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 440.97 WHQL Game Ready Drivers - [briefly]
01:36 PM EDT - Oct,22 2019 - post a comment

NVIDIA today released the latest version of its GeForce Software suite. Version 440.97 WHQL comes game-ready for "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," and "The Outer Worlds," including SLI support for the latter on "Turing" GPUs. SLI support is also added for "The Darwin Project." The drivers also introduce G-SYNC support for OpenGL and Vulkan games and applications. Among the bugs fixed are crash-to-desktop (CTD) on FIFA 19 and FIFA 20; random flickering in "Apex Legends," CTD on "Star Wars: Battlefront II," an application crash with "Growtopia," missing objects in "Tradesmen," flickering in the character-selection screen in "World of Warcraft," a ghosting effect when moving the brush tool in Cinema 4D; a game crash with "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" in DirectX 12 mode, color corruption in "Forza 4," and problems with boosting GeForce GTX 970M.
Game Ready
Provides increased performance and the optimal gaming experience for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and The Outer Worlds.

Gaming Technology
Adds support for windowed G-SYNC for OpenGL and Vulkan-based applications.

Application SLI Profiles
Added or updated the following SLI profiles:
  • Darwin Project
  • The Outer Worlds (NVIDIA Turing GPUs only)
New Features and Other Changes
  • G-SYNC is now supported on windowed OpenGL and Vulkan applications.
  • Fixed flashes or frame drops in several Notebook models when running G-SYNC in the lower of the two system refresh rates.
Fixed Issues in this Release
  • [FIFA 19/FIFA 20]: The game may crash to the desktop. [2690624/2713659/200559659]
  • [Apex Legends]: Random flickering occurs on the screen. [2709770]
  • [Star Wars: Battlefront II]: Random crashes to the desktop occur. [200550245]
  • [Growtopia][GeForce RTX]: The game crashes when launched. [2709649]
  • [Tradesmen OS3DE]: Objects are missing in the game. [2691363]
  • [World of Warcraft]: Flickering occurs on the character select screen. [2684628]
  • [Cinema 4D]: Trailing ghosting effect appears when moving the brush tool. [2633267]
  • [Shadow Of The Tomb Raider][DirectX 12]: The game crashes after hitting a TDR error.[200549489]
  • [Forza Horizon 4]: Colored corruption appears in the game during gameplay. [200544234]
  • [Notebook][GeForce GTX 970M]: GPU clock cannot be boosted beyond base clock speed. [2683147]

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER launches October 29th - [hardware]
12:50 PM EDT - Oct,22 2019 - post a comment

NVIDIA has confirmed that a new variant for its GTX1660 GPUs, the GTX 1660 SUPER, will come out on October 29th. According to Videocardz, the GeForce GTX 1660 Super will launch at $229 (MSRP). Pricing will naturally vary on custom models, depending on things like the cooling solution and whether or not there is a factory overclock, among other features. However, the $229 MSRP is just $10 more than the regular GeForce GTX 1660. It's nice to see so little movement in the price for an upgraded card-$10 is not much of a spike. Granted, both the GeForce RTX 2080 Super and GeForce RTX 2070 Super launched at the same MSRPs as the non-Super variants ($699 and $499, respectively), but the GeForce RTX 2060 Super debuted for $50 more than the GeForce RTX 2060 ($399 versus $349). As for the specifications, here's how the GeForce GTX 1660 Super compares to its neighboring Turing cards, based on leaked data:

- GeForce GTX 1660 Ti: 1,536 CUDA cores, 1,500MHz base / 1,770MHz boost, 6GB GDDR6 (12Gbps) on 192-bit bus
- GeForce GTX 1660 Super: 1,408 CUDA cores, 1530MHz base / 1785MHz boost, 6GB GDDR6 (14Gbps) on 192-bit bus
- GeForce GTX 1660: 1,408 CUDA cores, 1,530MHz base / 1,785MHz boost, 6GB GDDR5 (8Gbps) on 192-bit bus
- GeForce GTX 1650: 896 CUDA cores, 1,485MHz base / 1,665MHz boost, 4GB GDDR5 (8Gbps) on 128-bit bus

In short, the GeForce GTX 1660 Super will get an upgrade from GDDR5 (8Gbps) memory to GDDR6 (14Gbps), while retaining the same number of CUDA cores and clockspeeds as the non-Super model. This in turn will bump up the memory bandwidth, from 192GB/s to 336GB/s. The memory bandwidth is even higher than the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, which is a nice perk. That said, the TI card is still the burlier model by way of having more CUDA cores enabled. One thing that will be interesting to see is what kind of discounts might emerge on the regular GeForce GTX 1660. Vendors will likely be looking to clear out existing inventories, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner, there could be some tantalizing sales.

Sunday 20 (Oct 2019)

Microsoft Pushes Intel 'Haswell' Microcode Update to Harden Against - [security]
06:13 PM EDT - Oct,20 2019 - post a comment

Microsoft started deploying microcode updates to some of Intel's older Core, Pentium, and Celeron processor generations through Windows Update. The latest Cumulative Update packages chronicled under "KB4497165" apply to machines running Intel's 4th generation Core "Haswell" processors, and low-power Pentium and Celeron chips based on "Apollo Lake," "Gemini Lake," "Valley View," and "Cherry View" microarchitectures. The microcode update provides firmware-level hardening against four major variants of the MDS class of security vulnerabilities, namely CVE-2019-11091 (MDS Uncacheable Memory), CVE-2018-12126 (Microarchitectural Store Buffer Data Sampling), CVE-2018-12127 (Microarchitectural Load Port Data Sampling), and CVE-2018-12130 (Microarchitectural Fill Buffer Data Sampling).

Saturday 19 (Oct 2019)

This 'Invisibility Cloak' Technology Is Mind-Boggling - [technology]
07:04 AM EDT - Oct,19 2019 - post a comment

Harry Potter's invisibility cloak appears closer to reality as Canadian camouflage manufacturer Hyperstealth Biotechnology has applied for patents on its Quantum Stealth material. The inexpensive and paper-thin technology works by bending light around a target to either alter its position or make it vanish altogether, leaving only the background visible. It is touted to be able to obscure the positions of heavy artillery, ground troops or even entire buildings from certain viewpoints.

Tourist In Iceland Ignores "Don't Walk On The Ice" Signs - [off-topic]
06:58 AM EDT - Oct,19 2019 - post a comment

Dives into 1ft of water.... omg!

Friday 18 (Oct 2019)

Windows 10 v1903 and 1909 CPU requirements - [briefly]
01:19 PM EDT - Oct,18 2019 - post a comment

Microsoft is ready to release its next feature update for Windows 10, the November 2019 Update. As usual, the company has updated its processor requirements for the new version, but there are some surprises in there. For one thing, it retroactively changed the requirements for version 1903 while it was at it. It's a reasonable thing to do, since Windows 10 version 1909 is really just version 1903 with an enablement package to light up some new features. If 1909 supports certain new processors, then 1903 must support them as well. On the Intel side of things, Microsoft updated them to say that they support 10th-generation Core processors, along with Xeon E-22xx. There's also support for Atom J4xxx/J5xxx and N4xxx/N5xxx, Celeron, and Pentium, although specific models of Celeron and Pentium aren't listed. On a side note, Intel 10th-gen is listed as Core i3/i5/i7/i9-10xxx, despite no 10th-gen Core i9 existing just yet. In the AMD department, there's still support for the company's seventh-generation processors, including A-series, E-series, and FX-9000, along with Athlon 2xx, Opteron, and EPYC 7xxx. What's new for AMD is support for Ryzen 3xxx CPUs, where previously only Ryzen 2xxx processors were listed. What's more interesting is the Qualcomm CPUs that are listed. Previously, version 1903 supported the Snapdragon 850, but that's removed and replaced with both the Snapdragon 855 and the Snapdragon 8cx. It's unclear if this is a misprint, but the Snapdragon 855 was never supposed to be a PC chipset; it's for smartphones. It's possible that Microsoft meant to write Snapdragon 850, which is a PC chipset that's based on the Snapdragon 845.

Intel Could Unveil First Discrete 10 nm GPUs in mid-2020 - [hardware]
04:20 AM EDT - Oct,18 2019 - post a comment

According to the sources close to DigiTimes, Intel will unveil its first discrete 10 nm graphics cards named "Xe" very soon, with the first wave of Xe GPUs expected to arrive some time in 2020. Said to launch mid year, around July or August, Intel will start selling initial Xe GPU models of the long awaited product to consumers, in hope of gaining a share in the massive market using GPU for acceleration of all kinds of tasks.

Perhaps one of the most interesting notes DigiTimes reported is that "... Intel's GPUs have already received support from the upstream supply chain and has already been integrated into Intel's CPUs to be used in the datacenter and AI fields.", meaning that AIB partners already have access to first 10 nm graphics chips that are ready for system integration. First generation of Xe graphics cards will cover almost whole GPU market, including PC, datacenter, and AI applications where NVIDIA currently holds the top spot.

Thursday 17 (Oct 2019)

Get Observer and Alan Wake's American Nightmare for free - [gaming]
05:09 PM EDT - Oct,17 2019 - post a comment

The Epic Games Store is giving away not one, but two creepy games in time for Halloween - both Alan Wake's American Nightmare and Observer are available for free from October 17 to October 24. The psychological horror games will replace Surviving Mars and its DLC as the free weekly content offered in the Epic Games Store.

Alan Wake's American Nightmare is a spin-off of the classic thriller Alan Wake. Much of the game is structured around an episode of Night Springs, an in-universe show that's an obvious homage to The Twilight Zone. Alan Wake's friend is asleep in a motel room while the show plays on the TV, and a narrator explains the action as it plays out. In the episode, Alan is trying to chase down his evil doppelganger, Mr. Scratch, but gets stuck in a time loop and must keep repeating his actions.

Observer is a cyberpunk horror game from Layers of Fear developer Bloober Team that stars Rutger Hauer (you know, the guy from Blade Runner). It's set in a futuristic Poland, where you play as Daniel Lazarski, a detective who can hack people's brain implants in order to interrogate them. When Daniel receives an unexpected call from his estranged son, a fragmented, trippy mystery lays itself out before you.

After that another Free Game Collection will take its place, offering Layers of Fear and Q.U.B.E. 2 at no charge.

Patrick Day: Boxer dies in hospital four days after suffering brain in - [off-topic]
04:07 AM EDT - Oct,17 2019 - post a comment

Boxer Patrick Day has died aged 27 - four days after suffering a brain injury in a fight against Charles Conwell.

Wednesday 16 (Oct 2019)

No shots Dr. Vet man! I am fierce! Ok, one shot... But I didn't like - [off-topic]
09:20 AM EDT - Oct,16 2019 - post a comment

THE ROOM Official Trailer (2019) Olga Kurylenko, Mystery, Sci-Fi Movie - [briefly]
09:14 AM EDT - Oct,16 2019 - post a comment

THE ROOM Official Trailer Movie in theatre 6 November 2019.

PCI-Express Gen 6.0 Specification to Finalize by 2021 - [briefly]
05:23 AM EDT - Oct,16 2019 - post a comment

With 64 Gbps bandwidth per lane, 256 Gbps in x4, and a whopping 1 Tbps in x16 (128 GB/s per direction), PCI-Express 6.0 will debut in 2021 as 5G adoption hits critical mass in markets across the globe, to support server nodes, high-bandwidth network infrastructure, and lighting fast I/O for HPC and AI applications. Development of the new standard is already underway, with the specification having achieved a pre-release version 0.3, according to the PCI-SIG, the body that develops and maintains the PCI IP. Further development, prototyping, and testing of the standard will run through 2020 as drafts of the standard are dispatched to interested parties. With the specification published in 2021, the first devices implementing it could arrive the following year. Granted, very few devices need 1 Tbps bandwidth, but the exercise of doubling bandwidth every 3 or so years has its maximum impact on devices that only have wiring for one PCIe lane, and directly impacts bandwidth of other I/O specifications that are derived from PCIe, such as USB, Thunderbolt, CXL, etc.

Tuesday 15 (Oct 2019)

Data for a whopping 26M stolen payment cards leaked in hack of fraud b - [security]
05:30 PM EDT - Oct,15 2019 - post a comment

A thriving online bazaar selling stolen payment card data has been hacked in a heist that leaked the records for more than 26 million cards, KrebsOnSecurity reported on Tuesday. The 26 million figure isn't significant only to the legitimate consumers and businesses who own the stolen cards or the financial institutions that issued them. Fortunately for the card owners, the database is now in the hands of affected financial institutions, who can invalidate and replace the cards. The number, therefore, is perhaps a bigger deal because it represents a significant fraction of the world's stolen-card inventory. Krebs said that Gemini Advisory, a company that monitors dozens of underground markets trafficking stolen card data, currently tracks a total of 87 million credit and debit card records. The haul of 26 million cards means that about a third of that supply has been taken out of circulation in a single swipe.

The hacked market is called BriansClub, a site available at BriansClub[.]at that, for years, has imitated Krebs' site and likeness. The data taken in the hack shows that BriansClub acquired 1.7 million cards in 2015, 2.9 million in 2016, 4.9 million in 2017, 9.2 million in 2018, and 7.6 million in the first eight months of this year. Most of the pilfered data is composed of "dumps," the term card thieves use to describe data that's stored on the magnetic stripe of payment cards. The stolen dumps can be transferred to new cards that crooks use to buy electronics, gift cards, and other large-ticket items from big-box stores. An analysis based on how many of the cards had expiration dates in the future suggests that more than 14 million of the leaked records could still be valid.

05:27 PM EDT - Oct,15 2019 - post a comment

This is a must see! :-D

Sexpot Survey: Those Blonde Bombshells Of The '50s & '60s - [off-topic]
05:22 PM EDT - Oct,15 2019 - post a comment

Check it out :-)

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