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TechAmok News Archive

Monday 15 (Jul 2019)

Snapdragon 855 Plus Brings More Power to Gaming Phones - [mobile]
02:52 PM EDT - Jul,15 2019 - post a comment

Qualcomm today announced the Snapdragon 855 Plus, a higher-performance version of the company's flagship Snapdragon 855 chipset for phones. With a more powerful CPU and GPU, it's designed for high-end gaming phones coming out later this year. The 855 Plus is based on the same Kryo 485 CPU and Adreno 640 GPU as the standard 855, but the CPU top clock speed has been boosted from 2.84 GHz to 2.96 GHz, and the GPU offers "a 15% increase". The chipset is paired with a suite of gaming-oriented software features to make the "Snapdragon Elite Gaming Experience". The software suite includes Game Jank Reducer, Game Fast Loader, Game Anti- Cheat Extensions, and more.

In the coming weeks Asus will announce the ROG Phone II, a new high-end gaming phone. Asus has revealed one detail is advance: it will use the just-announced, top-end Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset from Qualcomm.

ASUS Begins Enabling Limited PCIe Gen 4.0 - [hardware]
10:20 AM EDT - Jul,15 2019 - post a comment

ASUS believes that PCI-Express gen 4.0 support on older socket AM4 motherboards based on the AMD 400-series chipset is technically possible, even if discouraged by AMD. The company's latest series of motherboard BIOS updates that expose PCIe Gen 4 toggle in the PCIe settings, does in fact enable PCIe gen 4.0 to all devices that are directly wired to the SoC. These would be the PCI-Express x16 slots meant for graphics, and one of the M.2 slots that has PCIe x4 wiring to the SoC. Below is a list of motherboards scored by Chinese tech publication MyDrivers, which details the extent of PCIe gen 4.0 support across a number of ASUS motherboards based on the X470 and B450 chipsets.

AMD apparently did not explicitly block PCIe gen 4.0 for older chipsets. It merely suggested to motherboard manufacturers not to enable it, since the newer AMD 500-series motherboards are built to new PCB specifications that ensure PCIe gen 4.0 signal-integrity and stability. ASUS wants to leave it to users to decide if they want gen 4.0. If their machines are unstable, they can choose to limit PCIe version to gen 3.0 in their BIOS settings. Among other things, AMD's specifications for 500-series chipset motherboards prescribe PCBs with more than 4 layers, for optimal PCIe and memory wiring. Many of the motherboards on ASUS' list, such as the TUF B450 Pro Gaming, use simple 4-layer PCBs.

To test that PCIe gen 4.0 is actually enabled, MyDrivers used a PCIe gen 4.0 SSD on the M.2 slot that's directly wired to the SoC, on a TUF B450M Pro Gaming. Crystal DiskMark sequential read speeds of the drive are consistent with the same drive tested on an X570 motherboard - with just over 5 GB/s reads. These speeds are impossible on gen 3.0 x4. In a separate article, MyDrivers reports that AMD isn't too happy with ASUS marketing PCIe gen 4.0 support on its 400-series motherboards, and is reportedly trying to block it in updates to the AGESA microcode. Our recommendation - if your updated ASUS 400-series motherboard is running PCIe gen 4.0, don't update its BIOS.

Saturday 13 (Jul 2019)

Why It's Nearly Impossible To Return A Serve Going 160 MPH - [off-topic]
10:50 AM EDT - Jul,13 2019 - post a comment

Some of the best tennis players in the world have extremely fast serves - here's why the pros can react and you can't.

AMD Retires the Radeon VII Less Than Five Months Into Launch - [briefly]
04:52 AM EDT - Jul,13 2019 - post a comment

AMD has reportedly discontinued production of its flagship Radeon VII graphics card. According to a Cowcotland report, AMD no longer finds it viable to produce and sell the Radeon VII at prices competitive to NVIDIA's RTX 2080, especially when its latest Radeon RX 5700 XT performs within 5-12 percent of the Radeon VII at less than half its price. AMD probably expects custom-design RX 5700 XT cards to narrow the gap even more. The RX 5700 XT has a much lesser BOM (bill of materials) cost compared to the Radeon VII, due to the simplicity of its ASIC, a conventional GDDR6 memory setup, and far lighter electrical requirements. In stark contrast to the RX 5700 XT, the Radeon VII is based on a complex MCM (multi-chip module) that has not just a 7 nm GPU die, but also four 32 Gbit HBM2 stacks, and a silicon interposer. It also has much steeper VRM requirements. Making matters worse is the now-obsolete "Vega" architecture it's based on, which loses big time against "Navi" at performance/Watt. The future of AMD's high-end VGA lineup is uncertain. Looking at the way "Navi" comes close to performance/Watt parity with NVIDIA on the RX 5700, AMD may be tempted to design a larger GPU die based on "Navi," with a conventional GDDR6-based memory sub-system, to take another swing at NVIDIA's high-end.

Friday 12 (Jul 2019)

Age of Wonders III is free on Steam - [gaming]
04:33 PM EDT - Jul,12 2019 - post a comment

A couple of months ago Humble Store gave away Age of Wonders III for a short time, and for those who missed out on it, the game has gone back to being free to claim again, this time on Steam. This giveaway lasts over the whole weekend. The turn-based strategy title is the most recent entry to the now almost 20-year old classic Age of Wonder series - that is until Planetfall launches next month. Fans of the 4X genre will feel right at home in this fantasy title, which also features a full story campaign, versus multiplayer, as well as cooperative modes.

As expected, the giveaway is only for the base game, so anyone who gets hooked will have to shell out money for the two expansion packs. They are currently discounted by 50% on Steam. Age of Wonders III giveaway on Steam is slated to last until 10AM PT on July 15, with the game being playable on Windows, macOS, as well as Linux systems. Unlike Humble giveaways, however, there isn't a risk of keys running out in the middle of this promotion, offering Steam users ample time to pick up the game.

Hulu now supports 4K streaming on Apple TV and Chromecast Ultra - [briefly]
04:30 PM EDT - Jul,12 2019 - post a comment

If you're a Hulu subscriber, you may have noticed that last year, the service removed the ability to stream its content in 4K. Now, the service is bringing back that ability, as reported by The Streamable, albeit with a few limitations that weren't present before. For instance, as the report notes, 4K streaming used to be available on devices such as the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 (the variants that support 4k, that is), but now only the Apple TV 4K and the Chromecast Ultra can stream at that resolution. What's more, though it supports 4K, it won't support HDR. Also, not all the content that was previously available in 4K is making a return. Previously, you'd be able to stream James Bond movies in 4K, but now you'll be limited to Hulu Originals, such as The Handmaid's Tale, Catch-22, and Castle Rock. Rivals such as Netflix have a wide range of 4K content available, though they do charge a higher monthly fee for that capability. It's unclear why 4K content is making a return in such a limited fashion, but hopefully, Hulu will expand its availability sooner rather than later.

Snowball the cockatoo has 14 distinct dance moves - [off-topic]
03:52 PM EDT - Jul,12 2019 - post a comment

A sulphur-crested cockatoo named Snowball garnered YouTube fame and headlines a decade ago for his uncanny ability to dance to the beat of the Backstreet Boys. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology are back with evidence that Snowball is not limited in his dance moves. Despite a lack of dance training, videos show, Snowball responds to music with diverse and spontaneous movements using various parts of his body.

Feasting Shark Swallowed Whole in Cruel Twist of Fate - [off-topic]
03:37 PM EDT - Jul,12 2019 - post a comment

Footage has captured a rarely seen seafloor shark feeding frenzy, that took an unexpected turn when a wreckfish appeared and swallowed one of the feasting sharks whole.

Thursday 11 (Jul 2019)

Intel "Comet Lake" Not Before 2020, "Ice Lake-S" Not Before Q3-202 - [hardware]
02:47 PM EDT - Jul,11 2019 - post a comment

Earlier this week, news of Intel's 10th generation Core "Comet Lake" processors did rounds as the company's short-term response to AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen processors. According to slides leaked to the web by Hong Kong-based tech publication XFastest, "Comet Lake" isn't Intel's short-term reaction to "Zen 2," but rather all it has left to launch. These processors won't launch before 2020, the slide suggests, meaning that AMD will enjoy a free rein over the processor market until the turn of the year, including the all-important Holday shopping season. More importantly, the slide suggests that "Comet Lake" will have a market presence spanning Q1 and Q2 2020, meaning that the 10 nm "Ice Lake" won't arrive on the desktop platform until at least Q3 2020. It's likely that the LGA1200 platform which debuts with "Comet Lake" will extend to "Ice Lake," so consumers aren't forced to buy a new motherboard within a span of six months. The platform diagram put out in another slide junks the idea of an on-package MCM of the processor and PCH dies (which was likely ripped off from the "Ice Lake-Y" MCM platform diagram).

The new platform combines a "Comet Lake" processor with an Intel 400-series PCH, which talk to each other over DMI 3.0, which offers comparable bandwidth PCI-Express 3.0 x4. The AMD "Valhalla" platform implements PCI-Express 4.0 x4 between the SoC and X570 chipset. The platform's main PCI-Express x16 slot will remain gen 3.0. Intel appears to have put much of its efforts into improving its 14 nanometer node one last time, and increasing core-counts with the introduction of a new 10-core silicon that does away with iGPU. With its "Skylake" core IPC within 5% of that of "Zen 2," and gaming performance leadership still held onto by a hair's breadth, Intel will focus on bolstering multi-thread performance by enabling HyperThreading on even its Core i5 and Core i3 desktop processor models, while providing more cores to the Dollar compared to its 9th generation "Coffee Lake Refresh." The Core i3 series will be 4-core/8-thread, the Core i5 series 6-core/12-thread, the Core i7 series 8-core/16-thread, and the flagship Core i9 series 10-core/20-thread. Intel will leverage its refined 14 nm node to increase clock-speeds across the board, with its 10-core silicon having a TDP rating of 125 W, and not the 105 W we saw the other day. The Gen 9.5 iGPU on the 4/6/8-core models will be bolstered with more features via software, and be branded under the UHD 700-series.

Qualcomm, T-Mobile Successfully Test First Full-Featured 5G Modem - [briefly]
02:36 PM EDT - Jul,11 2019 - post a comment

Qualcomm and T-Mobile have successfully completed the first data call using Qualcomm's X55 modem, the first 5G chip for phones to support all 5G networks to be launched in the US in 2019, including T-Mobile's band 71 (600 MHz). All 5G phones currently on the market in the US use the X50 chip, which only supports mmWave bands and TDD bands such as Sprint's band 41. mmWave bands offer high speeds, but short range and poor building penetration. US carriers will only offer mmWave 5G in central areas of major cities. T-Mobile and AT&T will offer broader 5G coverage using sub-6-GHz FDD bands later this year, and the first phones in the US to support those networks will use this new X55 chip.

Sprint Launches 5G in Chicago - [internet]
02:35 PM EDT - Jul,11 2019 - post a comment

Sprint is launching its 5G network in Chicago this week. Utilizing the company's 2.6 GHz (band 41) spectrum, the network offers better coverage and building penetration than the mmWave 5G networks launched by other companies in Chicago to date. The coverage area reaches from the historic IL-64 in the north to Stevenson Expressway in the south, and as far as California Avenue in the west. It covers 700,000 people. Chicago joins Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Kansas City among Sprint's 5G cities, and the company promises to launch 5G in Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, DC "in the coming weeks". Sprint customers in Chicago will be able to buy a 5G device starting Friday, July 12th. Sprint currently offers the LG V50 ThinQ 5G and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.

Wednesday 10 (Jul 2019)

25 million Android devices get infected - [security]
06:32 PM EDT - Jul,10 2019 - post a comment

The name 'Agent Smith' is usually associated with the famed Matrix movie trilogy. However, it is now being used to identify a new variant of malware discovered by security provider Check Point Research. The firm reports that around 25 million Android devices have been infected by Agent Smith over the course of the last three years, and that the attackers behind the scenes may be looking to expand their reach. The malware is spread through 9Apps, a third-party apps store, and has targeted mainly Asian users; however, countries such as the U.S. and U.K. have had a high amount of device breaches as well. Essentially, the life cycle of the malware revolves around three phases that have been described in the following way:
  • 1) A dropper app lures victim to install itself voluntarily. The initial dropper has a weaponized Feng Shui Bundle as encrypted asset files. Dropper variants are usually barely functioning photo utility, games, or sex related apps.
  • 2) The dropper automatically decrypts and installs its core malware APK which later conducts malicious patching and app updates. The core malware is usually disguised as Google Updater, Google Update for U or “com.google.vending”. The core malware's icon is hidden.
  • 3) The core malware extracts the device's installed app list. If it finds apps on its prey list (hard-coded or sent from C&C server), it will extract the base APK of the target innocent app on the device, patch the APK with malicious ads modules, install the APK back and replace the original one as if it is an update.
  • To expand a bit upon each of these phases, 'droppers' are apps that imitate popular utilities while quietly installing malicious content on a device. The dropper variants deployed as part of this attack include a number of different applications that may attract users of all ages. These typically offer little to no functionality, but a one-time installation is all that's required to address a major phase of the attack - actually getting the malware on the target device. Moving on, the core module of a 'loader' that's additionally coded with the dropper gets installed, and begins searching the infected device for pre-determined popular apps. The pre-determined list of apps is obtained through contact with a command-and-control (C&C) server. The apps include some highly popular and widely-used ones, such as WhatsApp, ShareIt, MX Player, the Opera browser and more. The loader then works with various other modules to infect the legitimate applications with its own code. As a result of this alteration, Android's package manager is duped into considering the malicious files as an update for said applications. Throughout the following 'update' process, the malware disguises itself as a Google-related updating tool, thus not rousing users' suspicions. The breached apps, now carrying the malicious ad modules patched into their APKS, start displaying these ads as a replacement of in-app activity. Even if said app isn't specified in the pre-created list, the ads are simply shown on any activity that is being loaded at the time. Notably, 'Agent Smith' will continue to infect the same device multiple times, whenever the latest malicious patches are available.

    Based on its research, Check Point believes that a Chinese firm operating in the city of Guangzhou is the main culprit behind the attacks. The name of the company has been redacted from its publication, and information related to the attacks has been provided to law enforcement officials, as well as Google, to assist them in further investigation. Although this form of malware was initially only spread through 9Apps, the researchers discovered traces of the malicious actors looking to spread their system to Play Store applications as well. During the search, 11 Play Store apps were found to be connected to the attackers. However, Check Point does state that it has worked closely with Google to remove all of these from the Play Store. Google has not issued a public statement regarding the matter as of yet, though we'll keep you updated. For now, do make sure that you download your applications from a trustworthy app store, and be on the lookout for ads that may crop up at unusual times.

    Intel 10th Generation Core "Comet Lake" Lineup Detailed - [hardware]
    12:44 PM EDT - Jul,10 2019 - post a comment

    Intel's short-term reaction to AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen processor family is the 10th generation Core "Comet Lake." These processors are based on existing "Skylake" cores, but have core-counts increased at the top-end, and HyperThreading enabled across the entire lineup. The Core i3 series are now 4-core/8-thread; the Core i5 series a 6-core/12-thread, the Core i7 series are 8-core/16-thread, and the new Core i9 series are 10-core/20-thread. Besides core-counts, Intel has given its 14 nanometer node one last step of refinement to come up with the new 14 nm+++ nodelet. This enables Intel to significantly dial up clock speeds across the board. These processors come in the new LGA1159 package, and are not backwards-compatible with LGA1151 motherboards. These chips also appear to feature an on-package PCH, instead of chipset on the motherboard.

    Leading the pack is the Core i9-10900KF, a 10-core/20-thread chip clocked at 4.60 GHz with 5.20 GHz Turbo Boost, 20 MB of shared L3 cache, native support for DDR4-3200, and a TDP of 105 W. Intel's new 10-core die appears to physically lack an iGPU, since none of the other Core i9 10-core models offer integrated graphics. For this reason, all three processor models have the "F" brand extension denoting lack of integrated graphics. The i9-10900KF is closely followed by the i9-10900F clocked at 4.40/5.20 GHz, the lack of an unlocked multiplier, and 95 W TDP rating. The most affordable 10-core part is the i9-10800F, clocked at 4.20 GHz with 5.00 GHz boost, and a TDP of just 65 W. Intel has set ambitious prices for these chips. The i9-10900KF is priced at $499, followed by the i9-10900F at $449, and the i9-10800F at $409.

    The 10th generation Core i7 series, as we mentioned, consist of 8-core/16-thread processors. These are physically the same die found on the i9-9900K, but built on the new 14 nm+++ nodelet, and benefit from higher clock speeds. The Core i7-10700K clocked at 4.80 GHz with 5.10 GHz boost, offers 16 MB of shared L3 cache, Intel Gen9.5-based UHD 730 graphics, and native support for DDR4-3200. Intel is pricing the i7-10700K at $389. This is closely followed by the $339 Core i7-10700, which lacks an unlocked multiplier, ticks at 4.60 GHz with 4.90 GHz boost, and comes with a 65 W TDP. The 10th generation Core i5 family consist of 6-core/12-thread processors, which are physically similar to the Core i7-8700K, but fabbed on 14 nm+++. The Core i5-10600K offers an unlocked multiplier, clock speeds of 4.70 GHz with 4.90 GHz boost, 12 MB of shared L3 cache, 95 W TDP, UHD 730 graphics, and native support for DDR4-3200 memory. This chip is priced at $269. It is closely followed by the i5-10600 clocked at 4.60 GHz with 4.80 GHz boost, the lack of an unlocked multiplier, and a $229 price-tag. Other Core i5 SKUs include the i5-10500 (4.40-4.50 GHz, $199 price), and i5-10400 (4.20-4.40 GHz, $179 price).

    At the bottom of the pile is the new Core i3 family of 4-core/8-thread chips, which is surprisingly not physically simlar to the quad-core "Skylake" die, but is rather carved out from the 6-core silicon to give it 9 MB of shared L3 cache. The Core i3-10350K is price-matched with the i5-10400 at $179, offers an unlocked multiplier, and is clocked at 4.60 GHz with 4.80 GHz boost, with a 95 W TDP. It's trailed by the i3-10320 (4.50-4.70 GHz, 9 MB L3 cache, $159 price); and the i3-10300 (4.30-4.50 GHz, 9 MB L3 cache, and $149 price). At the very bottom is the Core i3-10100. This 4-core/8-thread chip is configured with just 7 MB of L3 cache, 4.20-4.40 GHz clock-speeds, 65 W TDP, and a $129 price. The 10th generation Panic Lake lacks PCIe gen 4.0, uses 32 Gbps DMI 3.0 chipset bus, and will be accompanied by the new 495-series chipset that sits on the same package as the CPU die, and talks to it over OPI, which is basically on-package DMI (32 Gbps). The CPU socket now puts out all of the platform connectivity on the motherboard. Among the connectivity options are one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 link meant for graphics, a handful USB 3.1 gen 2 and gen 1 ports, a few M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slots, SATA 6 Gbps ports, HDA bus, and GbE PHY. There's no information on when the 10th generation "Comet Lake" launches, but something tells us Intel will frantcally launch this platform to cut into 3rd gen Ryzen sales, because its desktop "Ice Lake" processor won't launch before 2020.

    Tuesday 09 (Jul 2019)

    NVIDIA GeForce 431.36 WHQL driver - [briefly]
    05:12 PM EDT - Jul,09 2019 - post a comment

    NVIDIA has released a new driver for its graphics cards. According to the release notes, the NVIDIA GeForce 431.36 WHQL driver adds support for the SUPER GPUs and improves performance in The Division 2, Metro Exodus & Strange Brigade. Furthermore, this new driver adds support for three new G-SYNC compatible monitors (these models are the LG 34GL750, HP 25mx, and HP Omen X 25f). This driver also adds an SLI profile for F1 2019, something that may please those that are still using SLI systems in 2019. As NVIDIA noted, the performance increase in Metro Exodus is 10.5% compared to the previous Game Ready Driver. The Division 2 sees 3.6% performance improvement and Strange Brigade sees a 7.7% performance improvement.
    NVIDIA GeForce 431.36 WHQL Driver Release Notes

    Game Ready

    Provides the optimal gaming experience for Tom Clancy's The Division 2, Strange Brigade, and Metro Exodus.

    Gaming Technology

    • Adds support for three new G-SYNC compatible monitors.
    • Adds support for GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER and RTX 2070 SUPER GPUs.

    Application SLI Profiles
    Added or updated the following SLI profiles:

    • F1 2019

    Software Module Versions

    • nView – 149.77
    • HD Audio Driver – 1.3.38.16
    • NVIDIA PhysX System Software – 9.19.0218
    • GeForce Experience – 3.19.0.107
    • CUDA – 10.1
    • Standard NVIDIA Control Panel – 8.1.940.0
    • DCH NVIDIA Control Panel – 8.1.954.0

    Other Changes
    Added support for the following GPUs:

    • GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER
    • GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER.

    Fixed Issues

    • [GeForce Experience]: FPS Counters appear in the Windows Start Menu for certain applications after upgrading to Windows 10 May 2019 Update. [2617230]
    • [Notebook]: Fixed BSOD that occurred after waking ASUS GL703GS/ASUS GL502VML notebook from hibernation. [2612106/2540582]
    • Code 43 error occurs when installing driver 430.64 on Windows 10 May 2019 Update system with Intel Sandy Bridge CPU. [2606672]
    • [Grand Theft Auto V]: The game may experience flickering when MSAA is used.[2583604]
    • [Forza Horizon 4]: The game may crash when driving through tunnels. [200515120/200523430]
    • [Shadow of the Tomb Raider][Pascal GPU]: The game may crash or experience a TDR when launched on Pascal GPU. [200519081]
    • [Shadow of the Tomb Raider]: Benchmark quits when running with ray tracing is enabled. [2599507]

    Stromboli Volcano Erupted Caught On Camera From A Sailboat - [off-topic]
    09:10 AM EDT - Jul,09 2019 - post a comment

    The Stromboli volcano erupted on Wednesday and one lucky videographer was able to capture the moment.

    Qualcomm Raises the Floor for Entry-Level Android Phones With Snapdrag - [briefly]
    09:08 AM EDT - Jul,09 2019 - post a comment

    Qualcomm today announced a new Snapdragon chip to power the most affordable Android phones. The Snapdragon 215 replaces the 210, and offers greater performance in a number of key areas. As the most affordable Snapdragon chips, the 200 series sets the bar for the minimum amount of performance in $100 phones. The 215 has a number of firsts for the 200 series, including: support for NFC, Hexagon DSP for low-power processing of audio and sensor data, full-HD video capture, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, dual ISP for dual camera support, 64-bit CPU, and support for screens up to 1560 x 720 resolution. The CPU is up 50% faster compared to the 210, and the Adreno 308 GPU offers up to 28% faster graphics. The 215's X5 modem supports Cat 4 LTE. The chip also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 1.0.

    Microsoft is injecting ads to install apps into Android - [briefly]
    02:52 AM EDT - Jul,09 2019 - post a comment

    If there's one thing that's pretty much universally hated, it's when content that you didn't ask for is shown on your device. That's what Microsoft is doing though, as users are seeing ads to install apps show up when opening or sharing a file.

    This behavior happens after installing a Microsoft Office app, and according to the report from Android Police, it happens at different times. For example, if you install a Microsoft app and then attempt to open a PPTX file, it suggests installing PowerPoint as shown in the image above. Obviously, if you don't want PowerPoint, you can choose to stick to Google Slides.

    Installing Your Phone Companion will show an ad to install OneDrive when sharing images. That shows up right in the share dialog. Obviously, most of this seems pretty minor. It's reasonable that if you install Word, Microsoft might assume that you'd also want Excel or PowerPoint. 'Advertising' OneDrive for those with Your Phone Companion takes it a bit further, of course. And while it seems small, it's worth considering what would happen if every developer that makes an app on your phone used these advertising tactics.

    Sunday 07 (Jul 2019)

    AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.7.1 driver - [briefly]
    06:44 PM EDT - Jul,07 2019 - post a comment

    AMD has released new drivers for its graphics cards and APUs. Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.7.1. The drivers are available for Windows 7 and 10 and support all GCN-based graphics and APUs based on the company's GCN architecture and RX 5700 graphics cards based on the new RDNA architecture based. Radeon Software 19.7.1 drivers bring an extraordinary number of significant new features. In addition to supporting the Radeon RX 5700 series, they offer the new features Radeon Image Sharpening and Anti-Lag. Image sharpening works on the Vulkan, DirectX 9 and DirectX 1 1 interfaces and requires a Radeon RX 5700 series graphics card. Anti-Lag works with DirectX 9 and 11 interfaces with all graphic cards supported by the driver. The feature is said to improve game response times by 31% at best.

    Fixed Issues

    • Graphics driver may not uninstall correctly when using the express uninstall option on some Ryzen APUs.
    • Performance Metrics Overlay may intermittently display incorrect colors when being displayed in game.
    • Radeon Overlay may fail to appear or invoke when playing DOOM.
    • Radeon Overlay may fail to appear or invoke when a game is running fullscreen on Window 7 system configurations.
    • Some users may be experiencing AMD DLL file signing issues with Easy Anti-Cheat. A clean install of Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.7.1 may be required to fix this issue.
    The AMD Link application automatically received an auto-discovery feature from a networked computer and a one-click connection between the computer and the application. The app is now also available with a simplified user interface for Apple TV and Android TV platforms. The new low-latency auto-mode feature of the drivers allows the supported video cards to automatically put the TV into Playback mode or a similar low-response mode. In addition, the drivers have a new settings snapshot feature that makes it easy to store all driver settings for their own downloadable profiles.

    The Radeon Chill feature has been updated with screen detection, which allows the screen refresh rate to be limited to the refresh rate on the screen. It is reported to work with both fixed update rate screens and screens that support variable refresh rates that support FreeSync. The Radeon WattMan has been extended with a new power consumption indicator. The auto-tuning feature now provides a concise summary of the changes. Resolved issues include Easy Anti-Cheat Anti-Scam software issues associated with some AMD DLL file signatures. However, this may require a clean driver installation. Other fixed issues include the failure of Radeon Overlay in some cases in Doom and Windows 7 in full-screen mode. The familiar issues are the potential flashing of Radeon Overlay in DirectX 9 and Volcano games when you use the image sharpening feature, Star Wars Battlefront II texture issues on the DirectX 11 interface, and League of Legends launch issues on Windows 7 with the new Radeon RX 5700 and possible blinking of the screens with the virtual Valve Index goggles when SteamVR is started with graphics cards of the Radeon RX 5700 series.

    Ryzen 9 3900X & Ryzen 7 3700X Review - [hardware]
    10:21 AM EDT - Jul,07 2019 - post a comment

    AMD has taken the process lead over Intel by fielding new 7nm processors that contain smaller and more densely-packed transistors than Intel's competing 14nm chips. The advantages of increased density come in the form of higher performance, better power efficiency, more cores, and more cache packed into a smaller area than the first-gen Ryzen models, all of which makes third-gen Ryzen a potent adversary for Intel both on the desktop and in the data center. Starting at the top we have the Ryzen 3900X, which is a 12-core design. In fact it's the first 12-core processor in a standard desktop socket, and it rather unique within AMD's product stack because it is currently the only SKU which takes full advantage of AMD's newest chiplet architecture. Whereas all the other Ryzen parts are comprised of two chiplets - the base I/O die and a single CPU chiplet - 3900X comes with two such CPU chiplets, granting it (some of) the extra cores and the 64MB of L3 cache that entails. Interestingly, while AMD has increased the core-count by 50% over its previous flagship processor, it has managed to keep the TDP to the same 105W as on the Ryzen 2700X. On top of this, the chip clocks in 300MHz faster than the predecessor in terms of boost clock, now reaching 4.6GHz; even the base clock has been increased by 100MHz, coming in at 3.8GHz. The big question then, is whether the new 7nm process node and Zen 2 are really this efficient, or should we be expecting more elevated power numbers? Meanwhile our second chip of the day is the new Ryzen 3700X, which is configured and positioned as a particularly efficient model. With a boost clock of 4.4GHz and a base clock of 3.6GHz, the part should still be notably faster than the Ryzen 2700X, yet AMD has managed to make this a 65W TDP part which is going to make for some interesting analysis.
    Office CPU Performance and Productivity
    It's in these categories where AMD's strengths lie: In the majority of our system benchmarks, AMD more often than not is able to best Intel's Core i7-9700K and i9-9900K in terms of performance. It was particularly interesting to see the new 3rd gen Ryzens post larger improvements in the web tests, all thanks to Zen 2's improved and larger op cache.

    In anything that is more than lightly multi-threaded, AMD is also able to take the performance crown among mainstream desktop processors, thanks to their inclusion of 12 cores in their top SKU Ryzen 3900X. For total MT throughput, Intel can still beat this with their massive X-series HEDT chips, but these server-derrived parts are in a completely different class in both features and price, and AMD has their own Threadripper parts to rival that. All of this means that for heavily threaded scenarios, the 3900X rules the roost among true desktop processors.

    Meanwhile, even when AMD doesn't have a core count advantage - as is the case with the Ryzen 3700X - the chip is still extremely competitive. Overall the 3700X falls in-between the more expensive 9700K and 9900K when it comes to multi-threaded workloads - and sometimes it even beats the 9900K, a respectable result indeed.

    Gaming Performance

    When it comes to gaming performance, the 9700K and 9900K remain the best performing CPUs on the market. Even without an IPC advantage anymore, Intel's high clockspeeds and supporting elements such as the core ringbus still give them the best performance in the kind of lightly-threaded and tightly-threaded scenarios that games often follow.

    That being said, the new 3700X and 3900X are posting enormous improvements over the 2700X. And we can confirm AMD's claims of up to 30-35% better performance in some games over the 2700X. So AMD has not been standing still.

    Ultimately, while AMD still lags behind Intel in gaming performance, the gap has narrowed immensely, to the point that Ryzen CPUs are no longer something to be dismissed if you want to have a high-end gaming machine. Intel's performance advantage is rather limited here – and for the power-conscientious, AMD is delivering better efficiency at this point - so while they may not always win out as the best choice, the 3rd gen Ryzens are still very much a viable option worth considering.


    Saturday 06 (Jul 2019)

    3-Second Video Of A Cat Jumping Over A Gate - [off-topic]
    11:45 AM EDT - Jul,06 2019 - post a comment

    Gorgeous George, an agile chocolate point Himalayan Cat, floats past this security gate with a deft Michael Jordan-esque leap.

    via Gfycat

    Card Trick Wizard Sets The Record For Fastest Unsolvable Trick - [off-topic]
    11:44 AM EDT - Jul,06 2019 - post a comment

    Not only is Spanish magician Jandro super skilled with a deck of cards, he's also laugh-out-loud funny.

    AMD to Cut RX 5700-series Prices at Launch - [briefly]
    03:46 AM EDT - Jul,06 2019 - post a comment

    AMD in a Facebook post late Friday confirmed that its Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards will launch at reduced prices compared to what it announced at its E3-2019 product announcement. The Radeon RX 5700 XT will have a reduced MSRP of USD $399, which puts it on par with that of the GeForce RTX 2060 Super. The Radeon RX 5700 will cost $50 less, at $349, which puts its price on par with the original RTX 2060. The commemorative limited-edition RX 5700 XT AMD 50th Anniversary Edition is now reduced to $449. AMD didn't announce any changes to the two cards' launch bundle that include a 3-month Xbox Game Pass for PC. Commenting on the development, AMD said "We embrace competition, which drives innovation to the benefit of gamers. In that spirit, we are updating the pricing of our Radeon RX 5700 Series graphics cards, launching July 7." The company added "We know that gamers will be thrilled once they have the opportunity to experience the amazing performance, stunning visual fidelity and highly responsive gameplay these new graphics cards provide. Making history on 7/7 as the first company to launch gaming CPUs and GPUs together - the first in 7nm and PCIe 4.0 - is all about pushing the ultimate gaming experience forward for as many gamers as possible."

    Friday 05 (Jul 2019)

    AOC Unveils Two New Agon Gaming Monitors with 240Hz / 0.5ms - [hardware]
    05:03 PM EDT - Jul,05 2019 - post a comment

    oday AOC, a worldwide leader in monitor display technology, announced two new exciting gaming monitors that it has added to its AGON line of professional gaming monitors. The new 27-inch AG271FZ2 and the 24.5-inch AG251FZ2 are both LCD monitors with AMD FreeSync technology featuring 240Hz refresh rate and a 0.5 ms response time. The new AGON AG251FZ2 and AG271FZ2 gaming monitors are available for pre-order on Amazon now. The new monitors feature the fastest refresh rate on the market at 240Hz, which brings unprecedented fluidity for every movement on the screen. Gamers can elevate their game with every detail brought sharply into focus with crystal clarity. The 0.5ms response time pairs fast-moving action and dramatic transitions with a super smooth experience without smearing or ghosting.

    AMD FreeSync technology delivers the highest frame rate and smoothest display possible without screen tearing or lag whether you're dashing through explosions or screeching around rain-slicked bends - leaving your opponents in the dust. AOC has packed its new monitors with AOC technologies, including Shadow Control and Lowblue Light Mode. With Shadow Control, gamers can bring the battle out of the shadows by adjusting the levels to increase contrast for better dark areas without affecting the rest of the screen. The monitors also feature eye protecting Lowblue Light Mode, which protects gamers from harmful blue light which has been shown to cause eye strain, headaches, and sleeping disorders during long sessions. Lowblue Light Mode reduces the harmful wavelengths emitted without sacrificing color composition. The AG251FZ2 and AG271FZ2 are both available for pre-order on Amazon now for $329.99 and $379.99, respectively.

    Thursday 04 (Jul 2019)

    NVIDIA's next-generation GPUs coming out in 2020 - [hardware]
    05:08 PM EDT - Jul,04 2019 - post a comment

    Nvidia has now officially announced that its next-gen 7nm graphics processors are going to be built on Samsung's 7nm EUV node. Coinciding with the performance launch of the Nvidia RTX 2070 Super and GeForce RTX 2060 Super cards on the existing 12nm lithography, the green team's Korean branch has confirmed the earlier speculation that the architecture to follow Turing will use Samsung's extreme ultra violet fabs for its forthcoming GPUs.

    The move to 7nm will be a big step forward for Nvidia, as the current Turing processors are built on a 12nm node. But, it's worth noting that AMD is already at 7nm with its Ryzen and Navi products. Not only did AMD already release the 7nm Radeon VII, but it has the new Radeon RX 5700 and 5700XT coming July 7 alongside a whole slew of 7nm Ryzen 3000 CPUs. By the time Nvidia releases a commercial GPU built on the 7nm process, AMD may end up releasing its next wave of 7nm products. Right now, its RDNA architecture already looks promising, and further refinement will likely make it even more so. Plus, AMD is also expected to shift to 7nm EUV in the future. This all means the competition is likely to heat up between AMD and Nvidia. And, with Intel graphics cards expected as well, the big three could make 2020 incredibly interesting for PC builders.

    Apple Uses AR To Fix Your Eyes During FaceTime in iOS 13 - [briefly]
    05:14 AM EDT - Jul,04 2019 - post a comment

    The latest beta version of iOS 13 includes a new feature in FaceTime called Attention Correction, which subtly alters the image of your face in real time to make it look like you're looking into the camera even when you're looking down at the screen to see the other person. It only seems to work on the very newest generation of iPhone models, (Xs, Xs Max, and Xr, but not the original iPhone X,) indicating that the feature may require the A12, Apple's newest processor chip.

    Emily Ratajkowski Dancing GIF - [off-topic]
    05:10 AM EDT - Jul,04 2019 - post a comment

    Emily Ratajkowski is killing it these days on Instagram and making sure that no one takes her title "Queen of Instagram"

    via Gfycat

    Wednesday 03 (Jul 2019)

    Cyberpunk 2077's Fictional Band Samurai - [gaming]
    03:13 PM EDT - Jul,03 2019 - post a comment

    Every time that I think CD Projekt Red can't make Cyberpunk 2077 any cooler, they somehow top themselves. This has proven to be true once again recently as the fictional band in the game's universe, called Samurai, has now started releasing actual tracks that you can listen to right now. CD Projekt Red released the first track from Samurai, called Chippin' In, on the game's official YouTube trailer just recently and it's pretty freaking great. You may also recognize this track from the end Cyberpunk 2077's most recent trailer which appeared at E3 2019. To provide some background for this whole situation, in the world of Cyberpunk 2077, Keanu Reeves' character of Johnny Silverhand is the lead singer of a band called Samurai. The band was around in the early 2000s before, according to Cyberpunk lore, later breaking up in 2008. The iconic jacket that your character of V in Cyberpunk 2077 can wear is actually bearing the symbol of the band. While Keanu plays Silverhand in the game though, he isn't the one singing on this track — even though that'd be pretty cool if it was him. Instead, the track is actually performed by the real-life Swedish punk band Refused. Furthermore, Silverhand, who isn't actively alive in 2077, appears in the game as a sort of digital hologram in V's head. There's still not a lot that we know about Silverhand's motivations in the game other than, you know, he wants to burn the city down. It seems he'll play a vital role in the plot but we'll have to wait to learn more about him in the full release. Cyberpunk 2077 is set to release next year on April 16, 2020, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

    Outlook for iOS gets support for shared mailboxes - [briefly]
    04:06 AM EDT - Jul,03 2019 - post a comment

    Today, Microsoft has started rolling out a new set of updates to its Office apps on iOS to those enrolled in the Insider program. The new builds include a few improvements, most of which target Outlook. For starters, there's now support for shared mailboxes and calendars, so you should no longer need to use a PC to see your content in shared accounts. There's also a bit more security thanks to S/MIME support, allowing you to sign and encrypt your e-mails. Finally, you can mark individual messages in a conversation as unread. The remaining Office apps didn't get quite as much attention, but Excel did get support for Dynamic Arrays. The feature was announced last month and rolled out to Windows and macOS, but now iOS users can also use new formulas to return results into more than one cell. Meanwhile, PowerPoint can now open PowerPoint presentations into a view optimized for reading without first having to open the presentation in Edit mode. If you're enrolled in the Office Insider program and you have a compatible iOS device, the updates should be available to you on the App Store right now. Otherwise, the new features should make their way to you later this month.

    Samsung has reportedly fixed the protective film on the Galaxy Fold - [mobile]
    04:05 AM EDT - Jul,03 2019 - post a comment

    Since Samsung introduced its foldable Galaxy Fold phone back in February, it still hasn't been released. Reviewers started receiving units in April, and those units started breaking. Moreover, pre-orders have been canceled, and there's no new release date in sight. The main issue was that there was a protective film on the display that people were removing. According to a new report from Bloomberg, that issue has been fixed. The film will now "wrap around the entire screen and flow into the outer bezels", so customers won't be able to remove it. The hinge has also changed. It's pushed upward now, so it's flush with the screen; that's meant to stretch the film, making it feel more like it's built into it. Apparently, the new hinge will help to reduce the crease in the display. Unfortunately, there's still no new release date for the ill-fated $1,980 foldable smartphone. According to the report, it won't even make an appearance at Samsung's August 7 Galaxy Unpacked event. The new components will be shipping soon to Samsung's manufacturing facilities, so it's possible that we may see an actual release later on this year.

    Tuesday 02 (Jul 2019)

    Paris Hilton Talk Cars - [off-topic]
    04:58 PM EDT - Jul,02 2019 - post a comment

    I'm talking cars with Paris Hilton at BMW in Munich, where we explore their latest most futuristic concept cars.

    Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw - Final Trailer - [briefly]
    04:57 PM EDT - Jul,02 2019 - post a comment

    In Theaters August 2, 2019

    Microsoft Teases All-New Windows 1.0 - [briefly]
    12:14 PM EDT - Jul,02 2019 - post a comment

    Microsoft's social media accounts having been acting a bit "strange" this morning. On both its official Twitter and Instagram accounts, Microsoft posted a video announcing the "All-New Windows 1.0, with MS-DOS Executive, Clock and more." The video itself starts off showing the current Windows 10 logo, then travels backwards displaying older Windows logos including Windows 7 and Windows 95 before settling on the logo for Windows 1.0. During this time, some synth-heavy music plays in the background with graphics that looks like something straight out of the 1980s.
    Now unless Microsoft somehow got ahold of Doc Brown's DeLorean and traveled back in time to the year 1985, there's no way in heck that Windows 1.0 is all-new. In fact, Windows 1.0 was first released on November 20th, 1985, which means that the operating system will turn 34 years old later this year. Considering that November is still a few months away and that 34 years isn't exactly a banner year to celebrate a milestone, what exactly is Microsoft up to with this cryptic video?

    NVIDIA announces the GeForce RTX 2060/2070/2080 SUPER GPUs - [hardware]
    12:09 PM EDT - Jul,02 2019 - post a comment

    NVIDIA today supercharged its lineup of gaming GPUs by introducing GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER, GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER and GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER -- delivering best-in-class gaming performance and real time ray tracing for today's and next-generation games. The result of nearly a year of architectural and process optimizations, the new GeForce RTX SUPER GPUs deliver the fastest gaming performance, and the best power efficiency of any gaming GPU in their class. They also offer gamers an uncompromised combination of leading performance and cutting-edge features. Ray tracing is the advanced graphics technique used to give movies their ultra-realistic visual effects. Only GeForce RTX GPUs use a hybrid architecture of advanced shading, programmable ray tracing and compute cores to deliver ray traced games in real time. Ray tracing is supported in industry standard APIs, including Microsoft DirectX Raytracing (DXR) and Vulkan, as well as in the game engines used by developers to create games, including Unreal Engine, Unity, Frostbite, id Tech, Northlight, 4A Engine and more. The new SUPER series of RTX GPUs join the existing GeForce RTX 2060 (starting at $349, the first step up to RTX performance) and the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (starting at $999, the best gaming GPU on the planet).




    GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER GPU - Starting at $399, Available July 9
    • Up to 22% faster (average 15%) than RTX 2060
    • 8GB GDDR6 - 2GB more than the RTX 2060
    • Faster than GTX 1080
    • 7+7 TOPs (FP32+INT32) and 57 Tensor TFLOPs
    GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER GPU - Starting at $499, Available July 9
    • Up to 24% faster (average 16%) than RTX 2070
    • Faster than GTX 1080 Ti
    • 9+9 TOPs (FP32+INT32) and 73 Tensor TFLOPs
    GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER GPU - Starting at $699, Available July 23
    • Memory speed cranked up to 15.5Gbps
    • Faster than TITAN Xp
    • 11+11 TOPs (FP32+INT32) and 89 Tensor TFLOPs
    GeForce RTX GPUs support multiple cutting-edge and advanced gaming features. In addition to being the only GPUs capable of real-time ray tracing, they deliver an order of magnitude increase in AI processing performance with NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling (up to 130 Tensor TFLOPS of horsepower), and are also the only ones that support advanced features including Mesh Shading and NVIDIA Adaptive Shading (NAS).

    Monday 01 (Jul 2019)

    TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.22.0 Released - [software]
    02:49 PM EDT - Jul,01 2019 - post a comment

    TechPowerUp today released the latest version of GPU-Z, the lightweight graphics subsystem information and diagnostic utility no PC enthusiast can leave home without. Version 2.22.0 arrives just in time for the hot July hardware launch season, with support for AMD Radeon "Navi" RX 5700 XT and RX 5700, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Super GPUs, namely the RTX 2060 Super, RTX 2070 Super, and RTX 2080 Super. Other new GPUs supported include the Tesla T4, Quadro T2000 Mobile, and the AMD FirePro S7150, and ATI FireStream 9250. Support is also added for the new PCI-Express gen 4.0 bus, the ability to detect GPUs that can take advantage of it, and the ability to saturate it from PCIe ASPM states. Among the feature updates is a notification that tells you if the current version of GPU-Z doesn't recognize the your GPU, with an option to validate it to your database with one click, so we could improve GPU-Z for you. GPU-Z can also be made to use an INI file to store its configuration instead of the Windows Registry, making it truly portable. Support for the AMD SOC temperature sensor has been added.

    Firefox for Android Gaining Ad Tracking Protection - [security]
    02:48 PM EDT - Jul,01 2019 - post a comment

    Mozilla has released a preview version of a completely revamped Firefox browser app for Android. Firefox Preview uses Mozilla's own GeckoView web rendering engine instead of Google's Blink. This enables Tracking Protection by default, which keeps advertisers and bad actors from tracking your activity across different web sites. Mozilla also promises speeds up to twice as fast. GeckoView and Tracking Protection debuted in the minimalist Focus browser app. Mozilla is now folding these features into its more full-featured Firefox browser. Firefox Preview also includes Collections, which lets users define a set of web sites to open at once, such as "morning routine" or "travel planning". Firefox Preview is available now, and with the final version available as the Firefox app this fall.

    Samsung Launches Third-Party Add-Ons for Bixby - [mobile]
    02:48 PM EDT - Jul,01 2019 - post a comment

    Samsung just launched Bixby Marketplace, which lets users add third-party "capsules" to their Bixby Assistant. The Marketplace includes a variety of convenience-enhancing capsules such as Google Maps, Spotify, iHeartRadio, NPR, and Yelp, across categories such as Productivity, Communication, Travel and transportation, Food and drink, Local, Music and audio, Shopping, and Business and finance. Installed capsules can be summoned by name to perform specific actions. Users can also customize Bixby with a "preferred capsule" for certain actions, so that "Get me a ride to San Francisco airport" will use the Lyft capsule, for example. The Marketplace lets users search for capsules by category, keyword, or developer, and includes a curated section of staff picks.

    Sunday 30 (Jun 2019)

    In-the-wild Mac malware kept busy in June - [security]
    07:53 AM EDT - Jun,30 2019 - post a comment

    June was a busy month for Mac malware with the active circulation of at least six threats, several of which were able to bypass security protections Apple has built into modern versions of its macOS. The latest discovery was published Friday by Mac antivirus provider Intego, which disclosed malware dubbed OSX/CrescentCore that's available through Google search results and other mainstream channels. It masquerades as an updater or installer for Adobe's Flash media player, but it's in fact just a persistent means for its operators to install malicious Safari extensions, rogue disk cleaners, and potentially other unwanted software.
    OSX/CrescentCore is delivered as a Trojan horse application on a .dmg disk image, masquerading as an Adobe Flash Player installer.

    However, unlike the typical, everyday, fake Flash Player updater, OSX/CrescentCore has some extra capabilities in an effort to make it more difficult for antivirus software to detect, and more difficult for malware analysts to examine and reverse engineer.

    If a user opens the .dmg disk image and opens the Player app (which has a Flash Player icon), the Trojan horse will first check to see whether it is running inside a virtual machine (VM). Malware analysts often examine malware inside a VM to avoid unintentionally infecting their own computers while working with dangerous files, so malware authors sometimes implement VM detection and behave differently to make it more difficult to analyze the malware's behavior.

    The OSX/CrescentCore Trojan app also checks to see whether any popular Mac antivirus programs are installed.

    If the malware determines that it's running within a VM environment or with anti-malware software present, it will simply exit and not proceed to do anything further.

    For Mac users without antivirus software, however, the Trojan will proceed to install a LaunchAgent-a persistent infection.

    A second variant of this malware is currently under analysis. Depending on the variant, the Trojan installer may install rogue software known as "Advanced Mac Cleaner" (OSX/AMC) or install a malicious Safari browser extension.

    Saturday 29 (Jun 2019)

    Nobody Can Tell What This Advertisement Is For Until The Very End - [off-topic]
    05:00 PM EDT - Jun,29 2019 - post a comment

    A commercial ostensibly showing a art film-esque coming-of-age story has the most M. Night Shyamalan ending.

    Marianne Williamson Made, Um, Quite The Impression - [briefly]
    04:56 PM EDT - Jun,29 2019 - post a comment

    While the most noteworthy moment from last night's Democratic presidential debate was when Kamala Harris directly called out Joe Biden for his praise of segregationist senators, let's not forget that author Marianne Williamson also successfully captured the internet's attention with her idiosyncratic, New Age-y speech, which had her calling the New Zealand prime minister "girlfriend" and voicing her belief that she will beat Donald Trump harnessing the power of love. Here are all the best moments of Williamson from the debate:
    I'm going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field. And, sir, love will win. - These were the best debate moments from @marwilliamson, the spiritual adviser trying to defeat Trump #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/m3WVA3pCsl — NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 28, 2019
    Williamson's speech last night had immediately inspired a flurry of reactions, including a spot-on impersonation by Kate McKinnon:

    Website that uses AI to undress women is down - [internet]
    04:52 PM EDT - Jun,29 2019 - post a comment

    On Wednesday this week you could have gone to a website called Deepnude.com and looked under the clothes of a fully dressed woman. On Thursday the site was down. That website used artificial intelligence to give people a glimpse of what others might look like without any clothes. All visitors had to do was upload a photo and then click on the undress button and see what happens. According to reports, the results were very realistic. That said, the site was criticized for violating a person's privacy, with CNN calling the result "transfixing and nauseating." Nonetheless, such AI-driven voyeurism proved to be very popular - so popular that the site soon became overloaded. If you go to the website toda,y you see a notice that is proof of how many people want to see a deep fake nude image. "DeepNude is offline," reads the notice on the main page. "Why? Because we did not expect these traffic and our servers need reinforcement. We are a small team. We need to fix some bugs and catch our breath." According to Motherboard, whose writer played around with the app before it was taken down, it only works on women. When that writer used a photo of a man, it undressed him but produced a woman's genitals. Not surprisingly, this invasion of privacy has not gone down well with a lot of people.
    As for how realistic it all is, Motherboard said with low resolution images the app failed completely, but did produce realistic results with better images. Apparently the free version came with a large watermark over the photo, but the $50 version just had an easily removed 'Fake' written in the corner.

    Friday 28 (Jun 2019)

    Google Makes it Easier to Share GIFs - [briefly]
    03:04 PM EDT - Jun,28 2019 - post a comment

    The Google app for iOS and Android now makes it easier to search for animated GIFs and share them directly to popular messaging apps. When searching for "excited gif", for example, a new "share GIFs" section in image results will show GIFs based on how likely they are to be shared, and include a "share" button that connects directly to apps including Whatsapp, Android Messages, Gmail, and Hangouts. The feature is also available in when searching Google in Chrome on Android.

    Apple's Design Chief Jony Ive Leaving to Start New Design Company - [briefly]
    02:58 PM EDT - Jun,28 2019 - post a comment

    Apple's longtime head of design, Jony Ive, is leaving the company to start his own design firm, Apple announced today. Though Ive is leaving, Apple will be one of Ive's "primary clients," which means Ive will continue to do design work for the Cupertino company. In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he is looking forward to working with Ive "long into the future."
    Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple's revival cannot be overstated, from 1998's groundbreaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Apple will continue to benefit from Jony's talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built. After so many years working closely together, I'm happy that our relationship continues to evolve and I look forward to working with Jony long into the future
    Ive said in a a statement that over the course of the last 30 years, he has worked to build a strong design team and culture at Apple, which is stronger and more talented today than at any point in Apple's history.
    "After nearly 30 years and countless projects, I am most proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design team, process and culture at Apple that is without peer. Today it is stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point in Apple's history," said Ive. "The team will certainly thrive under the excellent leadership of Evans, Alan and Jeff, who have been among my closest collaborators. I have the utmost confidence in my designer colleagues at Apple, who remain my closest friends, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come."
    There is no word on exactly when Ive will be departing Apple, as Apple's announcement simply says that he'll be leaving Apple as an employee later this year. In an interview with The Financial Times, Ive said his new company, created in partnership with Marc Newson, is called LoveFrom. Apple will be LoveFrom's first client, and while Ive is departing, he said he will still be "very involved" for "many, many years to come." "This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change," he told The Financial Times.

    AMD Radeon Adrenalin Edition 19.6.3 driver - [software]
    03:02 AM EDT - Jun,28 2019 - post a comment

    Today, AMD has released their latest Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition drivers. Beta version 19.6.3 offers support for F1 2019 and comes with a host of addressed issues. A couple of these fixes include one for system hangs when overclocking or underclocking GPU memory in a three display Eyefinity configuration and Radeon ReLive and Radeon Overlay failing to function correctly when starting to record with Radeon Relive. AMD has also fixed the issue where Hyper V enabled systems would fail to boot after driver install. Even with a solid list of fixes, some problems continue to persist while new ones have been found. One of the issues listed with this release is that Radeon Overlay may fail to enable when playing DOTA 2 in fullscreen, meanwhile Facebook streaming and uploading is currently unavailable. There is also an issue with the graphics driver failing to uninstall using the express uninstall option on Ryzen APUs. Sadly there were no performance improvements listed with these drivers.
    Support For

    • F1 2019

    Fixed Issues

    • YouTube login for Radeon ReLive may fail to connect your account.
    • A system hang may occur when performing overclocking or underclocking GPU memory in three display Eyefinity configurations.
    • Radeon ReLive and Radeon Overlay may fail to function correctly after beginning a recording with Radeon ReLive.
    • Region recording in Radeon ReLive may record black frames when an application playing video in the region has been minimized and then maximized.
    • Hyper-V enabled systems may fail to boot after driver installation.
    • Radeon ReLive VR fails to install on Radeon RX 570 series graphics products.

    Known Issues

    • Radeon Overlay may fail to enable when playing DOTA 2 in fullscreen mode.
    • Radeon ReLive streaming and uploading of videos and other content to Facebook is currently unavailable.
    • ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 may experience discrete GPU connection issues with devices disappearing from device manager when the system is idle.
    • Performance Metrics Overlay and Radeon WattMan gauges may experience inaccurate fluctuating readings on AMD Radeon VII.
    • ACER Swift 3 with AMD Ryzen Processor may experience system instability when upgrading to Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.6.3 using the Custom Clean Installation option.
    • Graphics driver may not uninstall correctly when using the express uninstall option on some Ryzen APUs.

    Thursday 27 (Jun 2019)

    Izabel Goulart's Booty Is The Greatest! - [off-topic]
    06:03 PM EDT - Jun,27 2019 - post a comment

    View this post on Instagram

    Summer 2019 Escape☀️�� #Mykonos

    A post shared by Izabel Goulart (@izabelgoulart) on

    Wednesday 26 (Jun 2019)

    NVIDIA to Unveil GeForce RTX SUPER Lineup on July 2nd - [hardware]
    05:49 PM EDT - Jun,26 2019 - post a comment

    NVIDIA has confirmed that they will be launching a new RTX series of gaming graphics cards, called RTX Super, on July 2nd. According to info from VideoCardz, there will be three models of the new GPUs at launch - RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 SUPER and RTX 2080 SUPER. The review embargo will lift on the same day as launch day for RTX 2060 SUPER and RTX 2070 SUPER, but the embargo for RTX 2080 SUPER will prevail until "later in July". The embargo for custom cards based on the new SUPER GPUs will be delayed until July 9th, when we will get the first wave of new cards. There is no apparent reason for the delay, so we will need to find out more about that. Pricing is yet to be announced, but according to the source, it will be "later this week". As a reminder, from previous leaks we have seen that Super series is supposed to bring about 10-13% more CUDA cores to the GPU models, more memory and higher memory speeds.

    T-Mobile Launches mmWave 5G With Samsung Galaxy S10 5G - [mobile]
    05:48 PM EDT - Jun,26 2019 - post a comment

    In a surprise move, T-Mobile is launching its first 5G phone and a limited 5G network ahead of schedule. The 5G network is currently only using mmWave spectrum (both 28 GHz and 39 GHz), which offers high speeds but limited coverage. It's available in parts of six downtown areas: Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York. T-Mobile has published coverage maps showing where customers can expect mmWave 5G service outdoors. The company's first 5G phone will be the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, available this Friday, June 28. The S10 5G only supports T-Mobile's mmWave 5G launching this week, not the sub-6-GHz 5G that will form the bulk of T-Mobile's 5G coverage later this year. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will be available in select stores in the six cities with 5G service for $1,300. Well-qualified customers can finance it with no interest for $550 down plus $31.25/month for 24 months. T-Mobile does not charge extra for 5G service.

    Apple Releases iOS 13 Public Beta - [briefly]
    05:45 PM EDT - Jun,26 2019 - post a comment

    Apple has made a public beta available of iOS 13, the next major version of the software that powers iPhones. Major new features include swipe gesture typing, a new version of CarPlay, Dark Mode, richer Maps content, a new Shortcuts app, audio sharing, and smarter AR. Also, apps load faster and Siri has a more natural-sounding voice that's easier to understand. The beta software is available today for users who opt in to Apple's beta testing program. The final version is expected this fall.

    Monday 24 (Jun 2019)

    Gates calls Microsoft's smartphones failure a "$400 billion" loss - [technology]
    05:49 PM EDT - Jun,24 2019 - post a comment

    Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently gave a wide-ranging interview to VC firm Village Global, and at one point, the topic of mobile came up. Gates revealed his biggest regret while at Microsoft was a failure to lead Microsoft into a solid position in the smartphone wars.
    In the software world-particularly for platforms-these are winner-take-all markets. So, you know, the greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. That is, Android is the standard non-Apple phone platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win, and you know it really is winner-take-all. If you're there with half as many apps or 90 percent as many apps, you're on your way to complete doom. There's room for exactly one non-Apple operating system. And what's that worth? Four hundred billion? That would be transferred from Company G to Company M. And it's amazing to me having made one of the greatest mistakes of all time-and there was this antitrust lawsuit and various things-our other assets-Windows, Office-are still very strong. So we are a leading company. If we'd got that one right, we would be the leading company. But oh well.
    In the interview, Gates takes full responsibility for not reacting to the new era of smartphones. But by that time, he already had a foot out the door at Microsoft to focus on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The original iPhone came out in 2007, and the first Android device was released in 2008. Gates had already announced his transition plan in June 2006. The CEO of Microsoft at the time was Steve Ballmer, who famously laughed at the iPhone and called the $500 device "The most expensive phone in the world" while deriding its lack of a hardware keyboard. "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share," Ballmer once told USA Today. "No chance." Apple went on to sell over 2 billion iPhones.

    Lenovo A940 Desktop All-in-One Review - 4k Touch Display, AMD GPU,Pen - [briefly]
    02:26 AM EDT - Jun,24 2019 - post a comment

    Announced at CES 2019 this year, Lenovo's Yoga A940 includes just that, but it does so much more. Rather than the Surface Dial, it uses the Lenovo Precision Dial that plugs into the side of the PC, not taking up valuable screen real estate. The base is much larger, with a Dolby Atmos soundbar and a wireless charging pad.

    Raspberry Pi 4 announced with quad-core Cortex-A72 for $35 - [briefly]
    02:13 AM EDT - Jun,24 2019 - post a comment

    Today, the Raspberry Pi 4 was announced by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and once again, it starts at just $35. It's a significant upgrade from its predecessor. The Raspberry Pi 3 included a 1.2GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 chipset, while the new model uses a Broadcom BCM2711, a 1.5GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor. Raspberry Pi 4 continues the device's tradition of being one of the most versatile and cost-effective computing devices. It can be used for anything from DIY IoT applications to performing as a full desktop computer. It has two micro-HDMI ports, both of which can support a 4K display running at 60fps, or two 4K displays running at 30fps. There's a gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and two USB 2.0 Type-A ports. The $35 base model comes with 1GB RAM, but it's also available in 2GB and 4GB configurations. The pricing on the additional models is only shown in GBP, so for 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB, it will cost £33, £43, and £53. There's also a kit available that's meant to provide everything you need to replace your computer, including a mouse, a keyboard, an SD card, a power supply, cables, and a case for the board. The desktop kit will cost £105. The product itself comes with only the board, and you can also purchase SD cards pre-loaded with software. The Raspberry Pi 4 also comes pre-loaded with various open source programming langues like Scratch, Python, and C++. The Raspberry Pi 4 is available now starting at $35, and will remain in production until at least January 2026.
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