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TechAmok News Archive

Saturday 16 (Sep 2017)

Stupid Android app so you can turn your phone into an iPhone X - [mobile]
12:42 PM EDT - Sep,16 2017 - post a comment

A developer going by the name of damianpiwowarski on Reddit has clearly been inspired by the recent reveal of the iPhone X and its top center screen "cutout", and has subsequently made an app to turn any smartphone into an iPhone X, for those who feel like they are being left out of this seemingly new phenomenon. Upon installing the app, which is free, there's also an option to turn it into Essential's PH-1 phone for the "diehard Android fans" (also featuring a smaller, but more visible cut out) and installers can also donate, which according to the developer, does nothing but remove ads from the app. A word of warning though, as noted on the Play Store page for the app, "This app may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised". FYI, the developer is responsible for a couple of other more serious apps; Adapticons, which has been downloaded over 800 times, with an average rating of 4.1 and Navbar Apps, a Nav bar skinner for Android, downloaded over 12,000 times with a rating of 4.4.

Friday 15 (Sep 2017)

Google Deletes Inactive Android Backups After 2 Months - [briefly]
12:18 PM EDT - Sep,15 2017 - post a comment

Google will delete Android device backups that are left inactive for two months with little or no warning. The discovery was made by a Reddit user who left a Nexus 6P backup in his Google Drive Backup folder for more than two months, only to later find it had been deleted by Google automatically. Google Support documentation appears to confirm the behavior. "Your backup will remain as long as you use your device. If you don't use your device for 2 weeks, you may see an expiration date below your backup. Example: 'Expires in 54 days.'" The maximum limit for device backups appears to be 60 days, or two months. The short expiration date on device backups is odd, given how freely Google offers online storage to its users. Google has not addressed the discovery directly.

Downsizing (2017) - Official Trailer - [briefly]
12:16 PM EDT - Sep,15 2017 - post a comment

A big world is waiting. Watch the new trailer for #Downsizing, directed by Alexander Payne and starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, and Kristen Wiig! In theatres this December.

BlueBorne Attacks Impact Billions of Bluetooth Devices - [security]
03:57 AM EDT - Sep,15 2017 - (1 comments)

IoT-focused security company Armis Labs revealed a Bluetooth-based attack that impacts billions of devices, including Android, Linux, and unpatched Windows and iOS10 or earlier devices. Along with the Bluetooth attack, which the company called "BlueBorne," Armis also revealed eight zero-day vulnerabilities that could be used to facilitate the BlueBorne attack against some devices. According to Armis Labs, BlueBorne not only affects billions of smartphones, desktops, sound systems, and medical devices, but it requires no action from users. It's also invisible to users, and worst of all, it can start spreading from device to device on its own. Because the Bluetooth process has high privileges on most operating systems, that means once BlueBorne reaches a device, it can also cause significant damage through remote code execution, man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, or by penetrating air-gapped networks that otherwise have no internet connectivity. This can make the BlueBorne attack vector useful in cyber espionage, data theft, ransomware, and even for creating large botnets out of infected IoT devices.

Thursday 14 (Sep 2017)

Bitcoin Crashes after Chinese Exchange Says It Will Halt Trading - [briefly]
12:48 PM EDT - Sep,14 2017 - (2 comments)

Bitcoin has seen its longest losing streak in more than a year after one of China's largest online exchanges said it would stop handling trades by the end of the month amid a government crackdown on cryptocurrencies: China accounts for about 23 percent of bitcoin trades and is home to many of the world's biggest bitcoin miners, but BTC has crashed as much as 35% in Chinese trading. The communist nation plans to ban trading of bitcoin and other virtual currencies on domestic exchanges, Bloomberg News reported Monday. The ban will only apply to trading of cryptocurrencies on exchanges, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information is private. Authorities don't have plans to stop over-the-counter transactions, the people said. Shanghai Financial Service Office has also ordered to close down bitcoin trading platforms in the city, China Business News reported, citing an unidentified person.

Wednesday 13 (Sep 2017)

Exploit Available for Critical Apache Struts Vulnerability - [security]
03:51 PM EDT - Sep,13 2017 - post a comment

Apache Struts is a free and open-source framework designed for creating modern Java web applications. The framework is reportedly used by at least 65 percent of Fortune 100 companies, and they could all be exposed to attacks due to a recently discovered security hole. Researchers at lgtm, a company that provides code analysis solutions, discovered that all versions of Apache Struts released since 2008 are affected by a severe vulnerability related to the REST communication plugin. The Apache Struts group has described the flaw, tracked as CVE-2017-9805, as a potential remote code execution issue when the REST plugin is used with the XStream handler for XML payloads.

iPhone X Clone Unboxing! - [mobile]
12:47 PM EDT - Sep,13 2017 - post a comment

NEW $300 iPhone X / 8 Plus Clone Unboxing! Working iPhone X Clone in Black With 18:9 Display, How Bad Can It Be?

Apple Drops Prices of Older iPhones - [briefly]
12:42 PM EDT - Sep,13 2017 - post a comment

Apple today said it will continue to sell some of its older iPhones, including the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and iPhone SE. Apple has dropped the prices of these handsets across the board. Moving forward, the iPhone 7 starts at $549 and the 7 Plus starts at $669, the iPhone 6 starts at $449 and the 6 Plus starts at $549, while the iPhone SE starts at $349. These devices will be sold at Apple and carrier stores alongside the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

AppleCare+ for the iPhone X Costs $199 - [briefly]
12:39 PM EDT - Sep,13 2017 - post a comment

Apple today debuted new pricing for AppleCare+ alongside the iPhone X. Adding AppleCare+ to the new device costs $199, a significant jump from the $129 Apple has charged in the past for the same protection. AppleCare+ extends warranty and support coverage for up to two years from the date of purchase. With AppleCare+, replacing a damaged screen will cost $29, while repairing any other type of damage will carry a fee of $99. AppleCare+ also gives iPhone X owners 24/7 access to Apple experts via chat or phone. The iPhone X costs $999 for the 64 GB model and $1,149 for the 256 GB model. AppleCare+ for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus costs $129.

Tuesday 12 (Sep 2017)

Billions of devices impacted by new Bluetooth attack - [security]
06:03 PM EDT - Sep,12 2017 - post a comment

Researchers at Armis Labs on Tuesday detailed a new attack vector which they claim can potentially affect all devices with Bluetooth capabilities. Armis, a firm that focuses on Internet of Things security, is calling it BlueBorne. The attack vector reportedly allows an attacker to take complete control of a device, access corporate data and networks, infiltrate “secure” air-gapped networks, create large botnets out of IoT devices and more. It's also highly infectious and can spread malware to nearby devices. Armis says it affects computers running Windows and Linux as well as IoT gadgets and mobile devices powered by Android and iOS. A list of affected devices can be found on Armis' website.

Apple Reveals iPhone X with Facial Recognition - [mobile]
02:49 PM EDT - Sep,12 2017 - post a comment

Apple today announced the iPhone X (iPhone 10), a more advanced smartphone that serves as the company's flagship device. It boasts an edge-to-edge display with glass on the front and back surfaces. It has a stainless steel frame holding the glass panels together. Like the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the iPhone X is water and dust resistant. It includes what Apple calls the Super Retina display. It is 5.8 inches across the diagonal with 2,465 by 1,135 pixels and it relies on OLED technology rather than LCD. It gets rid if the home button that has adorned the front of iPhones for 10 years. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen calls up the home screen, as well as the app switcher. The side button now activates Siri. It uses Face ID for unlocking the handset, based on facial recognition. It relies on the A11 Bionic chip and specialized hardware to create machine learning algorithms. The neural engine has its own dual-core design and can conduct 600 billion operations per second to assess the user's identity. The bar at the top of the screen includes an infrared camera, user-facing camera, flood illuminator, dot projector, earpiece, and proximity sensors. The iPhone X comes in black and silver.

Apple today also showed off a few unannounced features that will arrive with iOS 11 later this month. iOS 11 introduces improved discoverability for stickers and emoji. iOS 11 automatically syncs conversations across devices (iPhone, iPad, macOS), including deleted messages and threads. Apple says most iMessage content is stored in the cloud, which means it uses less storage on mobile devices. Apple Pay gets a boost in iOS 11, too, with the addition of person-to-person payments. Apple used deep learning to create a new voice for Siri, both female and male. The app interface now displays multiple results, and can handle translation. Translations works between English and Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. SiriKit, for developers allows developers to push Siri deeper unto their own applications. The camera app takes advantage of new compression techniques in order to use less on-device storage. The camera roll gains more tools for Live Photos, which allows for video looping and other effects such as bouncing. The camera roll takes advantage of machine learning to identify the subjects within photos and tag them accordingly. Live Photos now support trimming, shortening, and more. iOS 11 redesigns the Control Center, as well as the lock screen and notifications center in order to make vital controls and data as easy to reach as possible. Apple Maps gains indoor map data, such as mall and airport floor plans, for navigating around within large buidings. A new tool called 'Do No Disturb While Driving' will essentially silence iPhones and prevent notifications when it senses it is in a moving vehicle. AirPlay 2 brings with it playback controls for multi-room speakers. A separate API will help developers add AirPlay 2 and multi-room functionality to their own speakers. Apple Music lets people see what their friends are listening to. The new MusicKit API for developers will target social sharing for music, too. Apple expects to distribute iOS 11 to existing iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices on September 19.

In other news, Apple today revealed the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, a refresh of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. It trades the metal rear panel for glass with a matching aluminum frame. Apple says the glass is infused with metal, making it strong. The phones are waterproof. Both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus carry over the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays of last y pa's models, but add Apple's True Tone technology. The phones rely on the new Apple A11 Bionic processor with six cores. It contains two high-performance cores and four high efficiency cores for battery battery life. The A11 includes Apple's first custom-designed GPU. The phone includes a new image signal processor to handle quicker autofocus in low light while also reducing noise. The new iPhones have a revised 12-megapixel camera sensor with better dynamic range. The 8 Plus has two lenses, one at f/1.8 (wide angle) and another at f/2.8 (telephoto). The 8 Plus includes a new feature called Portrait Lighting. It dynamically adjusts the lighting on peoples' faces as you take their picture. A new video encoder can shoot at faster frame rates, including 1080p HD at 240fps for slow motion. The phones will support augmented reality via Apple's ARKit. Apple said the phones support Bluetooth 5.0 and LTE-Advanced cellular features, as well as Qi wireless charging thanks to the glass rear panel. The phones carry over features such a Touch ID, water resistance. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus comes in silver, gray, and gold. They will come in 64 GB and 256 GB options. The iPhone 8 costs $699 and the 8 Plus costs $799. They will be available for pre-order starting September 15 and will go on sale September 22.

Intel Core i7-8700K Benchmarks Leaked - [hardware]
10:29 AM EDT - Sep,12 2017 - post a comment

VideoCardz has gathered some of the leaks that have appeared over the past few days regarding the 6-core Intel i7-8700K: the most interesting one comes from Karl Morin, a Canadian tech journalist who stumbled upon an HP Omen desktop PC running the upcoming CPU. The multi-threaded test suggests that it's proportionately faster than the quad-core chips it succeeds, and is even faster than older 6-core HEDT chips thanks to higher clock speeds and a newer micro-architecture.

Monday 11 (Sep 2017)

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Installation Redux - [hardware]
06:35 PM EDT - Sep,11 2017 - post a comment

Some new Threadripper owners are having install issues, specifically with the getting the TR4 socket's screws to thread properly. We give you a quick couple of tips how to make this go much easier.

Adriana Lima Will Blow Your Pants Off - [off-topic]
12:21 PM EDT - Sep,11 2017 - post a comment

Adriana Lima in Harper's Bazaar Spain.

Revolutionary New Football Helmet Protects against Brain Injuries - [technology]
12:59 AM EDT - Sep,11 2017 - post a comment

Mounting safety concerns have already rattled the NFL. Players traditionally deemed fit -- in terms of age and skill level -- continue to walk away from the game. Since the Zero1 is only now entering its first game, it remains to be seen if it's capable of drastically improving player safety and tidying up the NFL's tarnished image. Though it's unlikely the NFL dries up without the emergence of a company like Vicis, even a few star players walking away from the game is damning evidence of an eventual decline.

Super Mario 64 Online Release & Download - [gaming]
12:58 AM EDT - Sep,11 2017 - post a comment

Super Mario 64 Online has been built on top of the original Super Mario 64 ROM by Kaze Emanuar, Melonspeedruns and Marshivolt. Online allows for players to connect and choose characters from the Mushroom Kingdom and grants the freedom of the entire game. Players can clear stages together, speedrun race eachother and also battle royale if you are feeling game enough. The nostalgia is real within this one as jumping back into a game that was made in the 1990's makes me feel like a kid again. The creators have provided a detailed tutorial for anyone that is interested in downloading and playing

Sunday 10 (Sep 2017)

A History of Nvidia GeForce - [hardware]
03:26 PM EDT - Sep,10 2017 - post a comment

YouTube's AdoredTV has shared two interesting videos, highlighting the history of NVIDIA's GeForce graphics cards. In these videos, AdoredTV has shared a graph detailing the performance improvement for NVIDIA's GPUs per generation

iOS 11 GM Leak Confirms Multiple iPhone X Features - [mobile]
04:11 AM EDT - Sep,10 2017 - post a comment

Apple will officially announce the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X this Tuesday, but 9to5Mac has already gotten its hands on the iOS 11 Golden Master, ruining some of the surprise: aside from the rumored LTE Apple Watch and new AirPods, they have uncovered many flagship iPhone features, such as improved portrait lighting, new 4K video recording options, a 1125x2436 "True Tone" display for white balancing, and "Face ID," the new facial recognition system that will replace Touch ID.

Saturday 09 (Sep 2017)

The best pics on the Internet #237 - [briefly]
04:53 PM EDT - Sep,09 2017 - post a comment

All pictures are carefully handpicked

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Teardown - [mobile]
02:58 PM EDT - Sep,09 2017 - post a comment

iFixit has disassembled the Galaxy Note 8 and found that it could be a tricky repair due to its glass rear panel, which is attached using a lot of tough adhesive. While the device was ultimately given a low repairability score (4 out of 10), the team likes how many of its components are modular and can be replaced independently. Additionally, all screws can be removed with a standard Phillips screwdriver.

Samsung says that Galaxy Note8 pre-orders are the best ever - [mobile]
05:20 AM EDT - Sep,09 2017 - post a comment

On August 23, Samsung announced its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy Note8. Since then, pre-orders have been available, and the company announced today that the new handset has outsold all previous Galaxy Note devices in the same amount of time. While the handset is slated to launch on September 15, those that pre-order now and choose expedited shipping can still get it before then. Those that order before September 24 will get either a Gear 360 camera, or a Galaxy Foundation Kit, which includes a 128GB EVO+ micro-SD card and a Fast Charge Wireless Charging Convertible.

Friday 08 (Sep 2017)

Jaguarto Go All Electric or Hybrid by 2020 - [briefly]
05:32 PM EDT - Sep,08 2017 - post a comment

Introducing E-type Zero - a Series 1.5 Roadster fitted with a bespoke electric powertrain. E-type Zero is totally original in specification, driving and handling like an original Jaguar E-type but with a 21st century state-of-the-art electric motor and modified instrumentation. 46kg lighter than the original E-type, E-type Zero achieves 0-100km/h in just 5.5 seconds, with a 40 kWh battery delivering a range of 270km on a single charge

Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.1 - [software]
10:18 AM EDT - Sep,08 2017 - post a comment

AMD Support now offers new version 17.9.1 Crimson ReLive Edition reference drivers for AMD graphics cards (thanks Hypothermia). Here's a list of what these do and do not fix:
Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.1 Highlights

Fixed Issues

- After resuming from sleep and playing back video content the system may become unresponsive on Radeon RX Vega series graphics products.
- Radeon ReLive Toolbar and Instant Replay features may experience issues or fail to work when playing Guild Wars 2.
- Mouse stuttering may be observed on some Radeon RX graphics products when Radeon WattMan is open and running in the background or other third party GPU information polling apps are running in the background.
- Radeon Software Installer may shrink or appear very small when installing on some 4K HDTVs.
- Radeon Settings may sometimes experience a hang or crash when viewing the Display tab.
- Moonlight Blade™ may fail to launch on some Radeon Graphics Core Next series products.
- Titanfall 2 may experience a hang or crash on some Radeon GCN1.0 series graphics products.
- Random corruption may appear in Microsoft desktop productivity applications.

Known Issues
- On a limited number of systems Radeon Software may display an erroneous "1603 Error" after installing Radeon Software. This error will not affect your Radeon Software installation.
- Unstable Radeon WattMan profiles may not be restored to default after a system hang. A workaround is to launch Radeon WattMan after reboot and restore settings to default.
- Overwatch may experience a random or intermittent hang on some system configurations.
GPU Scaling may fail to work on some DirectX®11 applications. Secondary displays may show corruption or green screen when the display/system enters sleep or hibernate with content playing. Bezel compensation in mixed mode Eyefinity cannot be applied.

Google Chrome WARNING - Millions could be hit by latest malware - [security]
10:14 AM EDT - Sep,08 2017 - post a comment

Google Chrome users have been cautioned about a new software bug that allows hackers to steal login credentials for Windows. These login details can be immediately reused, allow cybercriminals to "impersonate members of the organisation" and launch further attacks "on other users or gain access and control of IT resources". The terrifying new vulnerability was disclosed by security engineer Bosko Stankovic. Stankovic shared the Google Chrome glitch on security blog DefenseCode, where he revealed the flaw was present in a default configuration of Chrome running on Windows 10. "Currently, the attacker just needs to entice the victim (using fully updated Google Chrome and Windows) to visit his web site to be able to proceed and reuse victim's authentication credentials," Stankovic wrote.

Update: Version 61.0.3163.79 should be safe.

Thursday 07 (Sep 2017)

Voice-controlled systems like Alexa and Siri can be hijacked - [security]
04:40 PM EDT - Sep,07 2017 - post a comment

As voice-controlled devices such as smartphones, vehicle infotainment systems, and smart speakers become increasingly popular, hackers are coming up with innovative ways of targeting them. Now, a team of researchers has shown off a method that uses ultrasonic frequencies - sounds so high that they're inaudible to humans. Scientists from China's Zhejiang University demonstrated the technique, which is aptly called DolphinAttack. First, they created a program that can translate human voice commands into sounds above 20kHz. These were played back using a standard smartphone equipped with an amplifier, ultrasonic transducer, and an extra battery, all of which costs less than $3. The commands were tested on 16 devices and seven systems, including Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung S Voice, Cortana, and the navigation system in Audi cars. The team said: "the inaudible voice commands can be correctly interpreted by the SR (speech recognition) systems on all the tested hardware." In addition to basic commands like 'Hey Siri' and 'Okay Google,' the exploit can be used in more malicious ways, such as visiting malware-loaded websites or making outgoing calls to spy on victims. Thankfully, there are limitations that mean the attack is less than perfect. At the moment, the device is ineffective beyond a range of five or six feet, and it works better in quieter environments; using ultrasonic commands that tell Siri to switch on airplane mode was 100 percent successful in an office but just 30 percent successful in a street.

German man sets new record for carrying beer steins - [off-topic]
04:15 PM EDT - Sep,07 2017 - post a comment

A new world record has been set for carrying mugs of beer in southeastern Germany.

Hurricane Irma destroys Maho Beach Cam in St Maarten 9/6/2017 - [off-topic]
04:08 PM EDT - Sep,07 2017 - post a comment

Hurricane Irma is an absolute monster, and it's starting to make landfall over islands in the Caribbean as it heads toward Florida. A camera at St. Martin's Maho Beach captured the storm's devastating power as it made landfall:

Aerial footage shows the destruction in St. Martin following Irma:

Gerald's Game - Official Trailer - [briefly]
05:01 AM EDT - Sep,07 2017 - post a comment

Breaking free will require more than keeping her sanity. Based on a novel by Stephen King, Gerald's Game comes to Netflix on September 29. Only on Netflix.

Wednesday 06 (Sep 2017)

T-Mobile to Give Some Customers Netflix for Free - [briefly]
05:45 PM EDT - Sep,06 2017 - post a comment

T-Mobile today said certain subscribers can enjoy Netflix at no additional cost. The company announced the program, called Netflix On Us, through one of its Un-carrier moves. Netflix is available to T-Mobile One customers who have a minimum of two lines and the taxes/fees included plan. T-Mobile says promos that include free lines and free phones are eligible for the offer. Customers need to associate their Netflix account with T-Mobile through the T-Mobile mobile application. Thereafter, T-Mobile will cover the Netflix bill on a monthly basis for as long as customers maintain their plan. It includes the standard subscription to Netflix, which typically costs $10 per month and permits up to two simultaneous streams. The offer can save customers up to $120 per year. Customers can subscribe to Netflix Premium, which includes more streams and higher-resolution video at $12 per month, and pay only the $2 difference in cost, which will appear on their monthly bill. The offer also includes Family Allowance at no extra cost, which will allow parents to manage their children's phone usage, such as time limits. Video streamed over T-Mobile's network is DVD quality (480p), rather than high definition. T-Mobile One Plus subscribers can stream at 1080p, though their rate plan costs a bit more each month. Customers on one of T-Mobile's Unlimited 55+ plans or 2 Lines for $100 plans will need to switch to the newest T-Mobile One plan. Netflix is available to T-Mobile customers at no cost beginning September 12.

Tuesday 05 (Sep 2017)

Blink And You'll Miss This New Rubik's Cube World Record - [off-topic]
05:08 PM EDT - Sep,05 2017 - post a comment

Congrats to Patrick Ponce for shaving .05 seconds off the previous record, and a preemptive congratulations to the next record setter who'll surely solve the cube so fast it explodes in their hands.

Slip and Slide off 500 Foot Cliff!!! In 4K! - [off-topic]
05:04 PM EDT - Sep,05 2017 - post a comment

​Slip 'N Slides? Fun. BASE jumping? Cool. Slip 'N sliding into a BASE jump? A dangerous amount of fun!

Google Details September's Android Security Patches - [security]
04:50 PM EDT - Sep,05 2017 - post a comment

Google today made its monthly security patches available to select Android devices. September's patches plug a significant number of security holes that threaten most Android devices. Google found dozens of vulnerabilities, including a number of which classified as critical, or able to remotely execute code. Some of problems are related to specific hardware and the associated software drivers that control them, such as components from MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Broadcom. Other vulnerabilities impact the kernel, system, and media framework directly. Google is pushing two separate patches to cover these problems, one dated September 1 and the second dated September 5. Google said the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus Player, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P devices will receive the September security patches as part of the upgrade to Android 8 Oreo. Google has already posted factory images for download from its web site. Google's handsets will receive both patches in a single download. As far as Google is aware, none of these security holes have been exploited by hackers or other entities. Google has already given the patches to its device-maker partners. Phone manufacturers are responsible for updating their own smartphones with the patches

Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Trailer 2 (Official) - [briefly]
04:07 AM EDT - Sep,05 2017 - post a comment

All paths come together when Star Wars Rebels Season 4 premieres Monday, October 16 on Disney XD.

Monday 04 (Sep 2017)

Hyperlinked - Official Trailer - [briefly]
03:46 PM EDT - Sep,04 2017 - post a comment

Google doesn't like the idea that most computer scientists on television shows and in movies are played by white men and is calling on Hollywood to give more of these roles to women and minorities: they say that the current situation fails to inspire underrepresented groups to pursue careers in computer science. Google points to Hyperlinked, a YouTube original series about a group of girls who code a website, as proof that shows can drive female interest in CS careers.

Sunday 03 (Sep 2017)

Superhero Shows Look Completely Ridiculous - [briefly]
01:32 PM EDT - Sep,03 2017 - post a comment

To be fair, it's a CW show, so the special effects on "Supergirl" aren't top-notch, but they look a lot better when you see the actors going through the motions during filming:

Saturday 02 (Sep 2017)

Huawei Announces Kirin 970 With AI Co-Processor - [briefly]
03:05 PM EDT - Sep,02 2017 - post a comment

Today at IFA in Berlin, Huawei announced its next flagship mobile SoC, the Kirin 970. Huawei claims the chip is the first to have a dedicated co-processor for AI, which it calls an NPU (Neural-network Processing Unit). The NPU allows AI tasks such as image recognition to run 5-25 times faster than chips without an NPU, and with up to 50x better battery life. The NPU supports a variety of AI platforms, including Google's TensorFlow, Facebook's Caffe2, and Android NN. The Kirin 970 also includes a Cat. 18 LTE modem supporting up to 1.2 Gigabit speeds. It has eight CPU cores (4 A73 at 2.4 GHz and 4 A53 at 1.8 GHz) and 12 GPU cores, plus a dual ISP. It has 5.5 billion transistors and is based on a 10nm process for high energy efficiency. The company also announced that its Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro device with "full display" will be powered by the Kirin 970 chip. The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro will be announced October 16th in Munich.

The best pics on the Internet #236 - [off-topic]
05:45 AM EDT - Sep,02 2017 - post a comment

All pictures are carefully handpicked

AMD Surpass Intel In Monthly Revenue Sales - [briefly]
04:29 AM EDT - Sep,02 2017 - post a comment

AMD has reached a milestone, falling second to Intel's CPU's for over a decade AMD has smashed their way through to the front with their flagship CPU Thread ripper. The data that has been pulled up from "Newegg" of Germany, Mindfactory.de shows both Ryzen and Threadripper CPU's surpassing that of Intel's over a wide spread of several months. This just reinforces the fact that Intel were scrambaled with the AMD's launch back into the market, showing that they can actually make CPU's that can compete and even surpass that of an 'i' series. The Ryzen Threadripper 1950X flew past that of which Intel could offer with a 45% gap, in return we saw an announcement by Intel showing off their new 8th Gen CPU's as well as their Ice Lake CPU's.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will be available October 17 - [software]
04:25 AM EDT - Sep,02 2017 - post a comment

Microsoft has officially announced that the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will be arriving on October 17. The update, which will launch roughly six months after the first, contains a number of fresh features in addition to the usual bug fixes and security patches. A new feature called Timeline allows users to go back to a certain date and time and restore running processes from that time. This can make it easier to pick up working where you left off a few hours ago or even several days ago. OneDrive is also receiving an overhaul to bring Files On-Demand. Folders and files will be able to selectively be downloaded so that local disk space will not be eaten up by rarely used data. For those wondering about the now obsolete Windows Movie Maker, a new app called Story Remix will serve as a replacement to provide basic multimedia creation and editing. Images and videos can be dropped in, rearranged and easily turned into a suitable output format.

Kids can build a droid and learn about electronics with littleBits R2D - [gadgets]
(mech) - 04:22 AM EDT - Sep,02 2017 - post a comment

In honor of Force Friday II, DIY electronic toymaker littleBits launched one of its coolest products yet. The Droid Inventor Kit allows kids to piece together an 11-inch tall, fully-functional R2D2. It even comes with 20 authentic Star Wars R2D2 sound effects to make the droid complete. What is great about littleBits kits is that all the components are self-contained modular units. The modules snap together with magnets, so no soldering is necessary. Kids can safely fiddle with the parts with no worries of getting burned or making a hard-to-clean mess. The Droid Inventor Kit includes all the modules needed to recreate a miniature R2D2 and send it on missions. In addition to the 20 translucent droid parts that make up the chassis, the kit comes with six modules, which make up the droid's electronics. One of the modules, the control hub, is Bluetooth enabled to communicate with a mobile device through the free Droid Inventor Training app. The app is used to command and program the droid. It also contains how-to videos and “missions” for the kids to complete with their astromech unit. One of the missions involves recording a "secret" message using the app and then having R2 deliver it (hologram not included). Not only can the little droid be programmed and controlled through the app, but it also has some neat pre-programmed tricks. Force Drive allows you to make R2 move with your hand. To do this, it uses a proximity sensor module to detect hand movement. The same sensor allows for Self Navigation. The droid can move autonomously around objects – think Roomba, but without the vacuum. Put it in Draw Mode and give it a pen and it will draw maps or write secret messages. The Droid Inventor Kit is available for $99.95 on the littleBits website, and that price includes free shipping within the United States. I don't care that it is recommended ages 8-12; I want one :-)

Friday 01 (Sep 2017)

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges First Look - [gaming]
01:52 PM EDT - Sep,01 2017 - post a comment

As part of today's Force Friday iI for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Lenovo released a first look for the Jedi Challenges. Unleash your inner nerd with this sweet set-up!

(GoT) Jon Snow - The Targaryen Wolf - [briefly]
(Pal Espen) - 12:35 PM EDT - Sep,01 2017 - post a comment


Thursday 31 (Aug 2017)

Why The US Won't Switch To The Metric System - [briefly]
03:47 PM EDT - Aug,31 2017 - (1 comments)

Celsius? Who has time to learn Celsius?

This Entire Family Riding Segways Through A Big City Feels... Precario - [technology]
03:45 PM EDT - Aug,31 2017 - post a comment

If you're a fully grown adult, go ahead and be a nerd and take a Segway tour, but please don't push a stroller and let your four-year-old lounge in the back while you're doing it.

7 seasons of color on Game of Thrones, in one chart - [briefly]
03:44 PM EDT - Aug,31 2017 - post a comment

We may have to wait for two more years for the last season of "Game of Thrones" and for winter to fully arrive at every corner of Westeros, but in case you haven't noticed, the show has been reiterating the Stark words, "Winter is coming," through its color schemes across the seasons.

Dramatic Time-Lapse Captures The Rise Of The Flood Waters In Houston - [briefly]
03:41 PM EDT - Aug,31 2017 - post a comment

The rains produced by Hurricane Harvey have completely inundated Houston, forcing thousands out of their homes. This time-lapse shows how the floodwaters rose in one apartment complex as the storm battered the city:​

LG Announces the V30 Flagship with FullVision Display - [mobile]
11:28 AM EDT - Aug,31 2017 - post a comment

LG has fully revealed the V30, a phone it has been teasing in bits and pieces over the last few weeks. This flagship-class handset has a metal frame and glass front and rear panels. The V30 does away with the secondary display that adorned the front of the V10 and V20. In its place, LG created what it calls the Floating Bar, a semi-transparent strip that gives V30 owners access to frequently used functions, such as contacts and settings. The phone is among the first to use a plastic OLED FullVision display, though it is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The 6-inch panel has 2,880 by 1,440 pixels, or a 2:1 (18:9) aspect ratio, and nearly non-existent side bezels. LG reduced the phone's upper and lower bezels by 20% and 50%, respectively, when compared to the V20. The phone makes use of an f/1.6 aperture camera at 16 megapixels, a first according to LG. The f/1.6 lens allows 25% more light to reach the sensor when compared to an f/1.8 lens. Further, LG is adopting what it calls a Crystal Clear Lens that's made of glass, rather than plastic. The glass permits more light to travel through it, while also allowing for better color reproduction. Like the V20 and G6, the V30 has a dual camera array with one wide-angle lens and one standard-angle lens with optical image stabilization, laser autofocus, and electronic image stabilization. The secondary lens has a 13-megapixel resolution at f/1.9 and 120-degree field of view. The phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor at its core with 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage (the V30+ jumps to 128 GB of storage). Other specs include a 3,400mAh battery with wireless charging and an IP68 rating for protection from water and dust. The Always On Display is more customizable than before and includes shortcuts to Quick Tools, the music player, and even photos. Additional software features baked into LG UX 6.0 include Face Recognition that LG says unlocks the phone instantly even when the display is off. Voice Recognition now uses a combination of the user's voice and self-generated keywords to unlock the phone without any button presses. The V30's camera gains access to Graphy, a tool for applying professional-looking styles to photos and V30 owners will be able to create GIFs or movies by pasting together photos and/or video files. Last, LG said the V30 adopts a 32-bit advanced hi-fi quad DAC from ESS Technology, which reproduces music as close to the original source as possible. It includes high-resolution audio streaming thanks to technology from MQA Ltd. On the recording front, the V30's HD Audio Recorder can use the handset's audio receiver as a microphone. LG says this lets the phone record a wider dynamic range of sound, "from a whisper to a thunderstorm," without distortion. The LG V30 will go on sale in Korea starting September 21 with other markets, including North America, to follow soon thereafter. Pricing was not immediately disclosed.

SanDisk Debuts 400 GB MicroSD Memory Card for Phones - [hardware]
11:27 AM EDT - Aug,31 2017 - post a comment

SanDisk today introduced a microSD card with a capacity of 400 GB. It has more storage than any other mobile memory card, according to SanDisk. Any device capable of supporting 2 TB cards can handle the new option from SanDisk. The card is capable of containing more than 40 hours of full HD video and it features fast transfer speeds of up to 100 Mbps. The card meets the A1 App Performance Class spec, which means Android device owners can store and run large applications, such as games, from the card without worrying about performance. At the same time, SanDisk updated tis Memory Zone mobile app, which people can use to manage their device and memory card storage. The 400 GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I memory card is available online from SanDisk and Amazon.com for $250.

New Short For Blade Runner 2049 - 2036: Nexus Dawn - [briefly]
11:22 AM EDT - Aug,31 2017 - post a comment

Those of you who are looking forward to Blade Runner 2049 have something to help with the wait. First premiered by Collider, this short film entitlted "2036: Nexus Dawn" explains a little of some of the events that took place between the first film and the sequel. A character by the name of Niander Wander introduces a new line of replicants. There is a small intro by the director Denis Villeneuve at the start.

Wednesday 30 (Aug 2017)

Wolfenstein II - Uber Man To Uber Hero Trailer - [briefly]
12:53 PM EDT - Aug,30 2017 - post a comment

In the world of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, the TV show Blitzmensch takes the wholesome American archetype and twists it into propaganda to fit the needs of the Nazi regime. Blitzmensch quite aptly looks like a Nazi-ified version of classic 60's series like Adam West's Batman and the classic Spiderman cartoon from that era. The cartoon demonizes people of different skin colours who must be defeated by a noble Aryan hero. It's a good thing that sort of thing would never be tolerated in present day, actual reality America! A press release gives the following summary of the satirical Nazi-ified cartoon episode:
“Holterdiepolter! It's official – Blitzmensch is a blast! General Engel's favorite TV show is getting bigger and better each year! Päng! Blitzmensch and his partner Fräulein Fox save the world from capitalism, communism, and degenerates every day in this amazing show celebrating die Überlegenheit – the superiority – of the Reich and the Aryan race. Ach, nee! Who will be this week's baddie? The evil Money Grubber? The notorious Proletariat-Man? The vicious Mr. Yankee Monkey? Don't miss a single episode of Blitzmensch!”
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus releases October 27th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC

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