Updated:10:26 AM EDT Sep 28

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TechAmok News Archive

Sunday 20 (Sep 2020)

Apple One Bundles Apple Services, Including new Apple Fitness+ - [briefly]
05:08 PM EDT - Sep,20 2020 - post a comment

Apple today introduced Apple One, a new bundle of Apple services offering savings of $6 - $25 per month. The basic Individual plan includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50 GB of iCloud storage for $15/month. The Family plan ups the iCloud storage to 200 GB and can be shared among up to six family members. It runs $20/month, an $8/month savings compared to subscribing separately. Finally, the Premier plan adds Apple News+ and the new Apple Fitness+, as well as upping the storage to 2 TB. It will run $30/month, a $25/month savings. Apple Fitness+ offers a variety of trainer-led workouts and incorporates real-time data from Apple watch sensors. Apple Fitness+ is also available separately for $10/month or $80/year. A one-month free trial is available, and new Apple Watches now come with a free three-month trial of Fitness+.

Apple Watch SE Starts at $279 - [gadgets]
05:06 PM EDT - Sep,20 2020 - post a comment

Apple has announced a new, more affordable Apple Watch variant: Apple Watch SE. It will start at $279, a full $120 cheaper than the new Apple Watch Series 6, even though it has most of the same features. The cellular version is an even better deal at $329, $170 cheaper than the cellular Series 6. The features sacrificed for cost are the always-on display, blood oxygen sensor, and ECG function. It also uses last year's S5 processor instead of the new S6. However the design, functions, and specs are otherwise identical to the new Watch Series 6. That includes the large Retina display, waterproof aluminum body in two sizes, optical heart sensor, GPS, fall detection, compass, always-on altimeter, noise monitoring, and digital crown with haptic feedback. It's available to order today, and in stores this Friday, September 18th.

Apple Watch Series 6 Measures Blood Oxygen - [gadgets]
05:06 PM EDT - Sep,20 2020 - post a comment

Apple has revealed Apple Watch Series 6, which adds a new blood oxygen saturation sensor. Blood oxygen is an important vital sign that can drop to dangerous levels in those with COVID-19. Apple has started three research studies that use the new sensor, including one focused on COVID-19 and the flu. The other studies are focused on asthma and heart failure. The Watch can measure blood oxygen periodically in the background, or on demand in 15 seconds. Series 6 also uses a new S6 processor, has a display that's 2.5 times brighter in always-on mode, and has an always-on altimeter. Apple also announced new family features designed to make Apple Watch better-suited for kids and seniors. Family Setup lets you use your iPhone to set up someone else's cellular Watch, such as your phone-free kid. It also lets you control the contacts your kid can communicate with, and set up location alerts. A School Time mode restricts functions to help kids focus during school hours. Series 6 is available in new color options, including a blue or red aluminum body. New band options include "Solo Loop", a single fixed band without a clasp, available in nine sizes. Solo Loop is available in a variety of colors, and either solid silicone or a woven design made with silicone yarn. To reduce electronic waste, Series 6 does not come with a USB power adapter. Apple Watch Series 6 is available to order today, and in stores this Friday, September 18th, starting at $399, or $499 with cellular (LTE).

Friday 18 (Sep 2020)

Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 Now Free - [gaming]
01:25 PM EDT - Sep,18 2020 - post a comment

Square Enix and DONTNOD announce that the first episode of Life is Strange 2 is now free on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux. This is a permanent move and the initial episode is also now free on consoles.

Thursday 17 (Sep 2020)

NVIDIA GeForce 456.38 WHQL Released - [briefly]
01:59 PM EDT - Sep,17 2020 - post a comment

NVIDIA today released the latest version of GeForce Game Ready software. Version 456.38 WHQL comes with support for the new GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 "Ampere" graphics cards. The mammoth software release also adds optimization for "Fortnite" with RTX and DLSS on all GeForce RTX GPUs. The new NVIDIA Reflex technology is formally launched, with support for "Fortnite" and "Valorant." Reflex is supported on all NVIDIA GPUs going back to the GTX 900 series "Maxwell." Optimizations are also added for "Halo 3: OSDT" and "Mafia: Definitive Edition." Also introduced are the NVIDIA Broadcast app, and a host of new GeForce Experience features, including in-game performance/overlay, one-click performance tuning, HDR ShadowPlay Capture, AV1 decoding, support for new G-SYNC compatible displays. Buried in the bowels of the driver change-log is a big disclosure, that the RTX 30-series "Ampere" GPUs don't support SLI (as in implicit multi-GPU), only explicit multi-GPU through modern APIs such as DirectX 12 and Vulkan (if supported by the game). NVIDIA has already restricted the NVLink interface needed for SLI only to its topmost RTX 3090 SKU, so the lack of implicit multi-GPU effectively marks the end of SLI for future GPUs. That said, the technology itself is very much present on all GPUs that support it, provided games do. NVIDIA announced the GeForce RTX 30 series "Watch Dogs: Legion" + GeForce NOW bundle. Buying a new GeForce RTX 30-series graphics card now comes with a year's membership of the GeForce NOW cloud gaming service, plus you get the next chapter in the Watch Dogs franchise, which supports a ton of NVIDIA RTX features, possibly including DLSS 8K.
Game Ready
  • Fortnite RTX: This new Game Ready Driver provides support for Fortnite's dramatic new update which adds raytraced effects, NVIDIA DLSS, NVIDIA Reflex, and a custom RTX map.
  • Halo 3: ODST: Mafia: The Definitive Edition.
Gaming Technology
  • Includes support for GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 GPUs
  • GeForce Experience Automatic Performance Tuning for GeForce RTX 30-series and RTX 20-series
  • GeForce Experience in-game performance monitoring for GeForce GTX 600 series and above
  • ShadowPlay gameplay recording now supports HDR on GTX 900-series and above (RTX 3090 can capture 8K 30fps HDR)
  • NVIDIA Broadcast app with AI-powered noise removal and virtual background
  • 5 New G-SYNC Compatible Monitors
New Features
Supports CUDA 11.1

SLI Profiles
  • Baldur's Gate 3
  • Comanche (NVIDIA Turing GPUs and later)
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Disintegration (NVIDIA Turing GPUs and later)
  • Population Zero
  • RIDE 4 (NVIDIA Turing GPUs and later)
  • Rocket Arena (NVIDIA Turing GPUs and later)
  • The Blackout Club (NVIDIA Turing GPUs and later)
  • Implicit SLI Disabled on NVIDIA Ampere GPUs
  • Implicit SLI, where the driver makes assumptions with application profiles to achieve GPU scaling, is disabled on NVIDIA Ampere GPUs. Explicit SLI is still supported, where the application knows the SLI state and uses extensions (such as DirectX 12 linked nodes, Vulkan device groups, or OpenGL multicast extensions) to issue commands to each device in the SLI group.
Fixed Issues
  • [Batman Arkham Knight]: Enabling Hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling on PhysX games results in lower frame rate.[2988376]
  • [Call of Duty: Modern Warfare]: The game may intermittently see a drop in frame rate when ray tracing is enabled. [3050468]
  • [Detroit: Become Human]: The game may crash. [3037846]
  • [Forza Horizon 4]: Stuttering occurs in the game after racing a few laps. [3101001]
  • [Horizon Zero Dawn The Complete Edition]: Flickering and texture corruption occurs in game after setting Anisotropic Filtering to 16x from the NVIDIA Control Panel. [200638389]
  • [madVR][MPC-HC]: Various HDR issues occur when using the madVR renderer with MPC-HC. [3038381]
  • [Minecraft Java Edition;]: The game may crash when launched with XSplit Broadcaster running in the background. [3052464]
  • [World of Warcraft]: Objects randomly flicker. [3101638]
  • Video playback on the secondary display lags/freezes while playing a game on the primary display if Hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling is enabled [200586262]
  • [Notebook]: Display is not detected when connected to Thunderbolt 3 port on HP Spectre x360-15t-df100 Notebook. [3087076]
  • [Notebook][NVIDIA Control Panel]: With Clone mode set, only the Developer pages are visible in the NVIDIA Control Panel after hot-plugging a DisplayPort/HDMI Freesync display. [200637570]
  • [Notebook]: When a game is played on the primary display and a YouTube video is played on the extended display, viudeo playback is sluggish and stutters. [200586262]
  • [Pascal GPU][Marvel's Avengers]: The game may crash when switching windows [Alt+Tab] while the game is running. [3101682]

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.9.1 - [briefly]
01:57 PM EDT - Sep,17 2020 - post a comment

AMD today released the latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition. Version 20.9.1 beta is focused mainly on fixing issues, there are no new game optimizations to be had. To begin with, the drivers fix a system crash while task-switching from games, enabling performance overlay, or having web-browsers/video-playback open on additional displays on Radeon "Navi" graphics cards. Performance issues with Project CARS 3 with performance metrics overlay has been fixed. A couple of installer errors when installing the drivers on Ryzen Mobile processors with Radeon graphics have been fixed. Power-cycling certain displays with FreeSync enabled causes them to remain black, this has been fixed. A screen flickering with Borderlands 3 with Radeon Boost enabled, has been fixed. Decoding HEVC content using AMF decoder resulting in video output corruption has been fixed. Bugs related to the application of performance fan profiles have been fixed. Intermittent random color corruption in CS:GO when playing matchmaking, has been fixed. VP9 playback issues have been fixed.
Fixed Issues
  • A black screen, system crash or TDR may occur while gaming when performing task switches, enabling performance metrics overlay, or having video content/web browsers open on secondary displays on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics products system configurations.
  • Project CARS 3 may experience performance issues when the Radeon Software performance metrics overlay is enabled.
  • Error 1603 may occur during Radeon Software installation on some AMD Ryzen 5 Mobile Processors with Radeon Graphics system configurations.
  • Error 195 may occur during Radeon Software installation on some AMD Ryzen 3 Mobile Processors with Radeon Vega Graphics.
  • On some displays, power cycling the display while Radeon FreeSync is enabled may cause the display to remain black until the system is rebooted or the display is hot plugged.
  • Flickering may occur in Borderlands 3 in some locations when Radeon Boost is enabled.
  • Decoding some HEVC content using AMF Decoder may result in corruption in the clips playback.
  • Performance Tuning fan profiles may sometimes not be applied after loading a saved profile.
  • Radeon Software may sometimes crash or automatically exit when performing a game scan in the Gaming tab.
  • Random color corruption may intermittently occur on some surfaces while playing matchmaking in Counter-Strike : Global Offensive.
  • Notifications may be missing icons or text when hotkeys are used to invoke some Radeon Software streaming and recording features.
  • Brightness flickering may be experienced on some VP9 video content playback through applications or web browsers on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics product system configurations.

Wednesday 16 (Sep 2020)

Nvidia-Branded CPUs might be a possibility in near future - [hardware]
05:44 AM EDT - Sep,16 2020 - post a comment

With its recent $40 billion acquisition of ARM, NVIDIA may soon hop into the CPU market segment with its own processors based on a custom ARM-based architecture. The information was hinted in an interview with NVIDIA's CEO, Jensen Huang, by Timothy Prickett Morgan of The Next Platform in which Jensen highlighted what the future holds with ARM residing with the green team.

"Will you actually take an implementation of something like Neoverse first and make an Nvidia-branded CPU to drive it into the data center? Will you actually make the reference chip for those who just want it and actually help them run it?"

"Well, the first of all you've made an amazing observation, which is all three options are possible. So now with our backing and Arm's serious backing, the world can stand on that foundation and realize that they can build server CPUs. Now, some people would like to license the cores and build a CPU themselves. Some people may decide to license the cores and ask us to build those CPUs or modify ours."

"It is not possible for one company to build every single version of them," Huang continued, "but we will have the entire network of partners around Arm that can take the architectures we come up with and depending on what's best for them, whether licensing the core, having a semi-custom chip made, or having a chip that we made, any of those any of those options are available. Any of those options are available, we're open for business and we would like the ecosystem to be as rich as possible, with as many options as possible."

As per the interview, Jensen states that they are not only open for custom orders but also for CPUs developed solely by them. It is clearly stated that datacenter seems to be the first market that NVIDIA would like to tackle. NVIDIA will also develop its own ecosystem around the CPUs whether it be for datacenter applications or more consumer-oriented platforms. With that said, this also opens up the possibility of a future lineup dedicated towards the consumer segment where Intel & AMD have dominated for several decades.

These are definitely exciting times but don't expect any NVIDIA CPU for the time being. There are roadmaps to be formulated and chips to be designed before NVIDIA could make a formal entry in to the segment.

Private data gone public: Razer leaks 100,000+ gamers info - [security]
05:01 AM EDT - Sep,16 2020 - post a comment

In August, security researcher Volodymyr Diachenko discovered a misconfigured Elasticsearch cluster, owned by gaming hardware vendor Razer, exposing customers' PII (Personal Identifiable Information). The cluster contained records of customer orders and included information such as item purchased, customer email, customer (physical) address, phone number, and so forthbasically, everything you'd expect to see from a credit card transaction, although not the credit card numbers themselves. The Elasticseach cluster was not only exposed to the public, it was indexed by public search engines.
Diachenko reported the misconfigured cluster-which contained roughly 100,000 users' data-to Razer immediately, but the report bounced from support rep to support rep for over three weeks before being fixed. Razer offered the following public statement concerning the leak:
We were made aware by Mr. Volodymyr of a server misconfiguration that potentially exposed order details, customer and shipping information. No other sensitive data such as credit card numbers or passwords was exposed.

The server misconfiguration has been fixed on 9 Sept, prior to the lapse being made public.

We would like to thank you, sincerely apologize for the lapse and have taken all necessary steps to fix the issue as well as conduct a thorough review of our IT security and systems. We remain committed to ensure the digital safety and security of all our customers.

Tuesday 15 (Sep 2020)

Crysis Remastered 8K Tech trailer - [gaming]
07:27 PM EDT - Sep,15 2020 - post a comment

Crytek has released a new trailer for Crysis Remastered demonstrating the wide range of visual upgrades and optimizations featured in comparison to the 2007-released original Crysis.
Crysis Remastered takes advantage of current-generation hardware and technology advances in CryEngine to bring a range of visual features to Crysis, including ray tracing, global illumination (SVOGI), rippling caustics, up to 8K textures (including an 8K Nanosuit), enhanced particle and explosion effects, and more. And on PC, players can experience the game in the "Can It Run Crysis?" mode, an ultra-high graphics setting that will push even the most powerful hardware to its limits!
Crysis Remastered is available now for Switch, and due out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via the Epic Games Store on September 18.

Star Wars: Squadrons - "Hunted" CG Short - [gaming]
08:00 AM EDT - Sep,15 2020 - post a comment

Publisher Electronic Arts and developer Motive Studios have released a CG short for Star Wars: Squadrons dubbed 'Hunted,' which was made in collaboration with Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic. Star Wars: Squadrons is due out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam and Origin on October 2.

Buckle up, take full control of starfighters such as the X-wing and TIE fighter, and feel the adrenaline of strategic first-person five-versus-five multiplayer dogfights alongside your squadron.

In a fateful campaign set near the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War, learn what it means to be a pilot in a thrilling Star Wars single-player story. The New Republic fights for freedom. The Empire demands order. We need you to join the galaxy's finest. Star Wars: Squadrons is available October 2, 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Origin PC, Steam, Epic Games Store, and Virtual Reality (VR) on PlayStation 4 and PC with cross-play support.

Key Features

  • All Wings Report In - Plan skirmishes with your squadron in the briefing room before taking off to the evolving battlefields across the galaxy. Compete in intense five-versus-five multiplayer dogfights or unite with your squadron to tip the scales in monumental fleet battles. Together, you're the galaxy's finest.
  • Master Legendary Starfighters - Take control of different classes of starfighters from both the New Republic and Imperial fleets - including the agile A-wing and the devastating TIE bomber. Modify your ship, divert the power between its systems, and destroy your opponents in strategic space dogfights.
  • Get in the Cockpit - The cockpit is your home. Use its dashboards to your advantage and - with just a thin hull of metal and glass between you and the perils of space - feel the intensity of combat from a first-person perspective. Take off in thrilling multiplayer modes and a unique single-player Star Wars story, which covers a key campaign near the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War. Immerse yourself in the pilot's seat completely with the option to play the entirety of Star Wars: Squadrons in Virtual Reality on PlayStation 4 and PC.
  • The Mission is Clear Star Wars: Squadrons is a fully self-contained experience from day one, where you earn rewards through play. Climb the ranks and unlock new components like weapons, hulls, engines, shields, and cosmetic items in a clear path for progression that keeps gameplay fresh and engaging.

Monday 14 (Sep 2020)

LG Wing Boasts Swivel Screen - [mobile]
04:36 PM EDT - Sep,14 2020 - post a comment

The first phone in LG's "Explorer Project" series is the LG Wing, a phone with a unique swivel display design. The 6.8-inch full-HD OLED main display swivels up to reveal a 3.9-inch second screen. The hinge features a hydraulic damper for smooth motion, and is rated for 200,000 swivels. The unique design is optimized for viewing videos full-screen while commenting or messaging on the second screen, for example. It can also keep GPS navigation full-screen while offering call controls on the second screen. A Grip Mode ignores accidental touches while recording video with the hinge open. A "Gimbal Motion Camera" mode takes this further with joystick, lock, and follow controls on the second screen. The 64 megapixel main camera is accompanied by two wide-angle cameras: a 12 megapixel "big pixel" camera plus another 13 megapixel wide camera. One wide-angle camera is mounted in standard portrait orientation while the other is rotated 90deg to match the shape of the swivel screen when open. The 32 megapixel selfie camera pops up from the top of the phone. The Wing is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip with 8 GB of RAM. It will come with either 128 or 256 GB of storage, plus a memory card slot. The 4,000 mAh battery can be charged via Quick Charge 4.0 or wireless charging. The Wing is rated IP54 for water and dust resistance. Available colors include Aurora Gray and "Illusion Sky". In the US, the LG Wing will launch first with Verizon, followed by T-Mobile, AT&T, and other US carriers. "Specific pricing, availability, specs and color options will vary by network partner."

NVIDIA to Acquire Arm for $40 Billion - [briefly]
04:34 PM EDT - Sep,14 2020 - post a comment

Nvidia and Softbank have announced a $40 billion deal whereby Nvidia will acquire Arm from Softbank. Arm is a UK-based designer of processor architectures. Nearly all phones are powered by SoC chips that are based on Arm technology. Qualcomm, Apple, MediaTek, and Samsung all license Arm technology and use it as the basis for their mobile chip designs. Arm has been successful with a relatively neutral open licensing model. Nvidia promises that it "will continue Arm's open-licensing model and customer neutrality and expand Arm's IP licensing portfolio with Nvidia technology". Nvidia is a leader in graphics and AI processor technology.

Boundary: Raytracing Benchmark - [gaming]
04:33 PM EDT - Sep,14 2020 - post a comment

Surgical Scalpels today revealed how they are harnessing the power of real-time ray tracing for its near-future multiplayer shooter Boundary with its Ray Tracing Benchmark. There is currently no ETA on when this multiplayer shooter will come out.

Sunday 13 (Sep 2020)

NVIDIA: GeForce RTX 3080 Reviews Delayed - [hardware]
01:29 PM EDT - Sep,13 2020 - post a comment

NVIDIA in a GeForce community forums post by staff member, announced that reviews of the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition have been delayed to September 16, with the review NDA lifting at 6:00 AM Pacific Time. This NDA was originally slated to be lifted on September 14. According to Reddit post by an NVIDIA representative "NV-Tim," the delay was in response to certain reviewers requesting more time from NVIDIA as COVID-19 impacted their sampling logistics. In other news, NVIDIA announced that its $499 (starting) GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card will be available on October 15, 2020. The performance segment graphics card is hotly anticipated by the gaming community as the other two products in the series-RTX 3080 and RTX 3090-are enthusiast segment products. NVIDIA claims that the RTX 3070 beats the RTX 2080 Ti in performance, which means the card should be capable of 1440p high refresh-rate gaming, and 4K UHD gaming at 60 Hz.

Saturday 12 (Sep 2020)

What If We Detonated All Nuclear Bombs in Space at Once? - [briefly]
03:53 AM EDT - Sep,12 2020 - post a comment

Here's a simulation of what would happen if 15,000 nuclear warheads went off in space.

WAP Sign Language - [off-topic]
03:50 AM EDT - Sep,12 2020 - post a comment

What happens when you do sign language for the most NSFW song in the English language?

Android Go Updated to be More Efficient on More Devices - [briefly]
03:49 AM EDT - Sep,12 2020 - post a comment

Google has announced the Android 11 version of Android Go, the special edition of Android tailored for the most affordable devices with limited memory specs. While previous versions of Android Go were targeted at phones with just 1 GB of RAM, Android 11 (Go edition) will also be made available to phones with up to 2 GB of RAM. This change accommodates features such as fingerprint readers and dual cameras, which are increasingly common on entry-level phones, and require extra RAM. In version 11, apps now launch 20% faster. Google also continues to shave down the RAM and storage required by the OS itself, making available 270 MB more RAM for apps, and 900 MB additional free storage space. The new OS includes many of the key features of standard Android 11, including new privacy controls and a dedicated notification area for conversations. Android 11 (Go edition) will be available starting next month.

Bose Intros QC Earbuds with Advanced ANC - [hardware]
03:47 AM EDT - Sep,12 2020 - post a comment

Bose is launching its first true wireless earbuds with company's famous QuietComfort brand of ANC (active noise cancelling). The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds (QC Earbuds for short) include a "proprietary electronic chip loaded with an exclusive new algorithm" that can compensate for changing outside noise in a fraction of a millisecond. It offers 11 levels of noise control to let through the exact amount of background noise you want to hear. The QC Earbuds offer 6 hours of battery life, plus another 12 via the included charging case. They come in black or white, and will be available Sept. 29th for $279.

Thursday 10 (Sep 2020)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 - Official Unboxing - [hardware]
05:02 PM EDT - Sep,10 2020 - post a comment

Nvidia recently announced its Ampere lineup of Flagship GPUs, the RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070. The RTX 3080 Founders Edition/FE model will launch on 17th of September for $699 USD. The RTX 3090 FE card on the other hand will launch on the 24th of September for $1499 USD, and lastly the GeForce RTX 3070 is planned for launch in October for a price of $499 USD.

Dune Official Trailer - [briefly]
03:58 AM EDT - Sep,10 2020 - post a comment

The film is slated to be released in theaters on December 18, 2020.

Tuesday 08 (Sep 2020)

Xbox Series S announced, priced at $299 - [briefly]
05:57 PM EDT - Sep,08 2020 - post a comment

Microsoft has officially announced Xbox Series S, dubbed "next-gen performance in the smallest Xbox ever." It will cost $299 / £249.99. The official announcement comes following leaks by Thurrott of the lower-end next-generation Xbox's design and price. While not part of the initial leak, a followup report by Windows Central claimed that both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series X will launch on November 10 for $499 and $299, respectively. Microsoft has yet to officially confirm a release date outside of November, or an Xbox Series X price point.

The low-end next-generation Xbox boasts the following features:

  • Nearly 60 percent smaller than Xbox Series X
  • All-digital
  • 1440p resolution at up to 120 frames per second
  • DirectX ray tracing
  • Variable rate shading
  • Variable refresh rate
  • Ultra-low latency
  • Custom 512 GB NVME SSD powered by Xbox Velocity Architecture
  • 4K streaming media playback
  • 4K upscaling for games

Android 11 Released - [software]
03:43 PM EDT - Sep,08 2020 - post a comment

Google is launching Android 11 today, having completed the beta period. The new OS will begin rolling out today on select Pixel and OnePlus phones, with more partners launching and upgrading devices over the coming months. Key features of Android 11 include:

  • New treatment for "conversation"-related notifications from messaging apps, including a dedicated area in the Notifications shade, and Bubbles, which lets you briefly view a conversation thread as a pop-up overlay, without leaving the app you're in.
  • Privacy improvements, including the ability to grant apps one-time access to sensitive permissions, an "auto-reset" of permissions for apps that haven't been used in a while, and an extra steps required to enable background access to location. Google will also start requiring that developers obtain explicit permission from Google before their app is allowed to ask for background access to location.
  • A revamped screen when the lock button is pressed provides quick access to smart-home device controls.
  • Support for digital IDs, including digital driver's licenses.
  • Support for wireless Android Auto on all phones.
  • New media controls that make it easier to switch output device.
  • New screenshot tools, including built-in screen recording on all phones. On Pixel phones, Android 11 brings a new feature when taking a screenshot that lets you easily copy an image or text to the clipboard instead.
  • For phones linked to a company network, the personal/work Profiles features has several improvements. New Personal/Work tabs have been added to several places including the Share pop-up sheet. A new API available to apps will allow certain apps to present both work and personal data together, while protecting both company data and employee privacy. Google Calendar will support this feature, and third-party apps will be able to support it as well.
  • New APIs allowing apps to better support new display technologies, including "waterfall" displays that wrap around the side, and variable refresh rates.
Further, on Google Pixel phones, Android 11 brings a new feature called Live View with Location Sharing. When someone sends you their location, the feature uses AR to show you exactly where that person is in the real world, how far away they are, and can guide you to them, even in parks or the wilderness.

Monday 07 (Sep 2020)

i'm thinking of ending things - Official Trailer - [briefly]
05:08 PM EDT - Sep,07 2020 - post a comment

From Academy Award winner Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and based on Iain Reid's acclaimed novel. Despite second thoughts about their relationship, a young woman (Jessie Buckley) takes a road trip with her new boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to his family farm. Trapped at the farm during a snowstorm with Jake's mother (Toni Collette) and father (David Thewlis), the young woman begins to question the nature of everything she knew or understood about her boyfriend, herself, and the world.

Sunday 06 (Sep 2020)

Novak Djokovic Defaulted From US Open - [off-topic]
05:36 PM EDT - Sep,06 2020 - post a comment

Novak Djokovic Defaulted From US Open - Accidentally hit a Line Judge with a tennis ball in the match with Pablo Carreno-Busta - R4 US Open 2020 (9/6/2020)

Not a Djokovic fan but I assumed he had blasted the ball, he just swatted it away. I guess it's technically within the rules to default but some common sense could be applied.

Acer Aspire 5 with AMD Ryzen 7 4700U unboxing and first impressions - [hardware]
06:43 AM EDT - Sep,06 2020 - post a comment

Unboxing Acer's Aspire 5, a 15.6-inch FHD laptop with an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD, all for $549.99.

Interestingly, the scores from this PC aren't too different from the scores that I got on the Ryzen 5, which has six cores and six threads. I also included the Ryzen 7 4750U on there, and while that's a PRO chip, it's got AMD's version of what Intel calls hyperthreading, so it's eight cores and 16 threads. There are also scores from Microsoft's Surface Laptop 3, which uses last-gen Ryzen 3000 processors, and of course, scores from PCs that have Intel's latest and greatest.

As far as battery life goes, I got a solid six hours of real work from this laptop with the screen at 50% brightness and the power slider at the first notch above battery saver. AMD says you can get up to 10 hours, and I have no doubt about that. It all depends on what you use it for; for example, if you turn the brightness all the way down and stream local video, you might even do better than that.

For one thing, there's no Windows Hello, and that includes the lack of a fingerprint sensor. My biggest issue is the bare bones USB Type-C port. Not only does it not support charging, which is a complete deal-breaker for me, but I was also unable to use it to connect a USB Type-C monitor. Other than that, everything is great. As long as you're OK with using the charger that comes in the box and typing a PIN when you log into your PC, the Aspire 5 is pretty great, and it provides a lot of value. The AMD Ryzen 7 4700U offers top-tier performance, and with a 512GB SSD, you've got plenty of storage. It has a nice and big anti-glare display that you can easily use outdoors, and as an overall package, it's a pretty good deal for $729.

Honor MagicBook Pro unboxing and first impressions - [hardware]
06:40 AM EDT - Sep,06 2020 - post a comment

This week, Honor introduced a handful of new laptops releasing over the next few weeks. The most notable of these new laptops is the MagicBook Pro, a 16-inch laptop with a Ryzen 5 4600H processor, which is a six-core, 12-thread CPU. It also has 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM, plus 512GB of SSD storage. That price is 899.90 Euro, which is pretty nice considering something like the Dell XPS 15, which has an 10th-generation Intel Core i5 H-series processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB of storage, costs ~ 1,500 Euro. That laptop is also heavier, starting at 4lbs, while the MagicBook Pro weighs in at just over 3.7lbs.

Saturday 05 (Sep 2020)

NVIDIA Marbles at Night tech demo - [hardware]
05:14 AM EDT - Sep,05 2020 - post a comment

During its September 1st Ampere event, NVIDIA showcased a new real-time ray tracing tech demo, Marbles at Night. This tech demo was running on a single RTX3090 at 1440p and with 30fps. And, as you will see, this is what future PC video-game graphics will look like. NVIDIA Marbles at Night RTX is a fully playable physics-based game. Unfortunately, though, NVIDIA has not released it to the public.

Friday 04 (Sep 2020)

Facebook Technologies Stops Sales of Oculus VR Headset in Germany - [briefly]
06:22 PM EDT - Sep,04 2020 - post a comment

Facebook Technologies, a subsidiary of Facebook Inc. and owner of Oculus, has today "temporarily" suspended sales of Oculus VR headsets in Germany. The news is coming today after Oculus announced that all of the new Oculus accounts have to move to the Facebook login system before January 1, 2023, when all of the current Oculus accounts will be suspended. The German data protection law is extremely suspicious of Facebook's behavior and how they handle user data in general, so Oculus has potentially decided to stop the sales to avoid any possible antitrust regulations from the German government. The exact reason is unknown, and it is yet to be revealed, however, the suspicions laid out here may be part of the reason.

NO TIME TO DIE Trailer (New 2020) James Bond, Daniel Craig - [briefly]
02:26 PM EDT - Sep,04 2020 - post a comment

Can't wait to watch Rami Malek's performance!

The Witcher: Blood Origin May See Jason Momoa Joining the Cast - [briefly]
01:28 AM EDT - Sep,04 2020 - post a comment

Following the success of the first season of The Witcher on Netflix, the streaming service announced earlier this summer that is was doubling down on the IP by putting into production a 6-part spin-off series titled Blood Origin. While there still isn't much known about this new series, it seems as though we now have an idea as to who Netflix could be looking at to star in the show. According to news site Redanian Intelligence, Netflix is looking to cast Aquaman and Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa as the lead character inThe Witcher: Blood Origin. While the report first stemmed from We Got This Covered (which is a site that is known to not always report on factual information), Redanian Intelligence says that it has been able to independently verify with two anonymous sources that Momoa is tied to the project. While the deal isn't locked-in just yet, Momoa seems to be Netflix's first choice. Assuming that Momoa does end up getting cast for Blood Origin, he would slot right alongside fellow Justice League star Henry Cavill as the two main lead actors tied to Netflix's The Witcher universe, which is a bit amusing. That said, can you really blame them? Momoa and Cavill are two huge, beefy, muscle men - who wouldn't want them to each star in a series where they run around and slay monsters? Obviously, The Witcher: Blood Origin is only just now getting off the ground and is still in pre-production, but if Momoa does end up landing the show's lead role, we'd probably hear about it well in advance of the series' actual premiere. We'll keep you updated on this story moving forward if there's anything new that ends up coming about.

Thursday 03 (Sep 2020)

MoveTime Family Watch MT43A - [gadgets]
05:18 PM EDT - Sep,03 2020 - post a comment

TCL today announced the MoveTime Family Watch MT43A, a wrist-worn wearable device designed specifically for the needs of seniors, with a design similar to the Apple Watch. It includes an array of communication, health, and safety features. It has 4G and two-way voice and texting capability, including emoji and photos. It accepts voice commands for hands-free interaction. Health features include daily activity tracking with the built-in pedometer, sleep monitoring, medication reminders, and heart rate tracking that can alert the user to an unusually low or high heart rate. Other safety features include fall detection - which can send a message to designated emergency contacts with the wearer's precise location - and geo-fencing to alert when outside of a designated "safe zone". It also has a dedicated SOS button on the side. It's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, and has an OELD touch display. TCL says its 600 mAh battery should provide two-day battery life. The software is proprietary and sports extra-large icons. The MoveTime is sold as a standalone device that can be added to a cellular plan like any other connected smartwatch. It's available in dark grey or black in the US starting this fall for $199.

Only two-day battery life for seniors?

NVIDIA RTX 3080 showcased being faster by 55-70% than the RTX 2080Ti - [gaming]
01:51 PM EDT - Sep,03 2020 - post a comment

NVIDIA has recently posted a new video highlighting the gaming performance difference between the Geforce RTX 3080 GPU and the RTX 2080 Ti at 4K resolution. They used DOOM ETERNAL which was running in Ultra Nightmare settings, and the RTX 3080 easily outperforms the RTX 2080 Ti by a fair margin. Both the GeForce RTX 3080 and the RTX 2080 Ti cards were running on a similar PC configuration in Doom Eternal. Coming to the game's performance, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 averaged around 120 FPS in some scenes when there was a lot of action going on. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 will be launching on the 17th of September, 2020. The reference Founders Edition variant will cost $699 USD.

Wednesday 02 (Sep 2020)

Gmail for Android gets a handy shortcut to add email recipients - [internet]
07:57 AM EDT - Sep,02 2020 - post a comment

Google is making it easier to add a recipient to a mail on Gmail for Android using a handy shortcut. On Gmail on the web, it has been possible to add a recipient to a mail while composing it by simply using the "+" or "@" symbol and then typing their name. This method would automatically add them to the recipient list of that mail. Now, Google is rolling out similar functionality to Gmail for Android. While composing an email, you can simply add a recipient by using the "+" or "@" symbol followed by their name. An autofill drop-down menu will automatically come up suggesting you the contacts to add depending on the character you have entered. Deleting the '+' or '@' before the contact's name will also remove them from the recipient's list in the email. While a simple shortcut, this would make adding recipients to your mail while you are composing it a breeze. As 9to5Google reports, the feature is available for G Suite customers and it might not be available immediately to all since it has not been rolled out widely.

GeForce RTX 30 series - Gaming Videos - [gaming]
05:28 AM EDT - Sep,02 2020 - post a comment

Tuesday 01 (Sep 2020)

NVIDIA Announces GeForce Ampere RTX 3000 Series Graphics Cards - [hardware]
05:06 PM EDT - Sep,01 2020 - post a comment

The GeForce Special Event stream has come to an end and now, we have official details on the RTX 3090, RTX 3080 and RTX 3070. All three GPUs are built on NVIDIA's new Ampere architecture and include 2nd generation RT Cores and 3rd generation Tensor Cores, combining for massive performance boosts.

GeForce RTX 3090 GeForce RTX 3080 GeForce RTX 3070
CUDA Cores 10,496 8,704 5,888
Prices Starting At $1499 $699 $499
Release Date September 24 September 17 Available October

The RTX 30-series cards usher in a wealth of changes, most notably how powerful these cards will be compared to the soon-to-be previous generation. The RTX 3090 will have an ungodly 24 GB of memory, take up three slots in your case and hopefully not sound like a jet engine when at full throttle. It includes a "silencer" which is a "three-slot, dual-axial, flow-through design." Bring your 1000W PSU or higher, especially if you want to pair this sucker with an Intel Core i9-10900K. You're going to need it.

The RTX 3080 will use 10 GB of GDDR6X memory with 760 Gbps bandwidth and is claimed to be twice as fast as the RTX 2080. The RTX 3070 card will have 8 GB of memory and is supposedly 60% faster than the RTX 2070. For comparison, the RTX 2080 Ti has 11 GB of memory and 616 Gbps of bandwidth. Both are geared towards owners of Nvidia's superb 10-series of GPUs which were so good their users have been reluctant to upgrade. The RTX 3080 is expected to handler 4K at over 60 frames per second, while the RTX 3070 should handle 1440p super smoothly.

There's a big bump in performance, so big that Nvidia claims the RTX 3090 will handle 8K gaming at 60 frames per second - the 20-series struggled with 4K at 60! This thing will likely play any ray tracing enabled game at 4K with a frame rate that could make angels cry. The RTX 3090 also pulls ahead of the Titan RTX in most specs (both cards have the same amount of memory), making this GPU the future must-have for extreme PC builds. The best of the best. RTX 30-series cards will also be based on 7nm architecture, matching AMD's current generation of graphics cards. At the moment, Nvidia has a serious upper hand over AMD, and if AMD is going to compete, it has to not only make ray tracing look as good as GeForce cards, but it has to hit the same frame rate benchmarks, something that it wasn't necessarily able to do with its RX 5000-series.

Nvidia's new cards will start at an MSRP of £1,400, £650, and £470, respectively. Shockingly cheap given the major leap in performance Nvidia claims. The £1,400 RTX 3090 is expected to ship 24 September, the £650 RTX 3080 is expected to ship 17 September, and the £470 RTX 3070 is expected to ship in October. t will be interesting to see how the RTX 3080 and RTX 2080 Ti compare in particular, considering they are nearly identical in specs. How much of an advantage will the new Ampere architecture actually have over the Turing? A smaller transistor size in the newer generation will theoretically mean faster speeds, since the transistors are closer together, which but how much faster will it be (Nvidia claims twice as fast in some instances). I personally can't wait to get my hands on the new cards to see.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2: Full Details - [mobile]
01:09 PM EDT - Sep,01 2020 - post a comment

Samsung has revealed new details of its Galaxy Z Fold2 foldable phone, the successor to last year's pioneering Galaxy Fold. While Samsung has improved or refined most aspects of the design - including the hinge - the much larger outer display stands out, having grown from 4.6 to 6.2 inches, and now protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. The flexible inner display is also larger thanks to thinner bezels, and is protected by Samsung's proprietary Ultra Thin Glass material that debuted on the Galaxy Z Flip earlier this year. It also supports adaptive screen refresh up to 120 Hz. Both screens have a single hole punch for a 10-megapixel selfie camera. The three rear cameras (standard, wide, and 2x telephoto) are all 12 megapixel. It has a 4,500 mAh battery. It supports 25W fast charging, 11W wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging. Its radios include both sub-6 and mmWave 5G, UWB, NFC, and Wi-Fi 6. It's available in one spec configuration - 12 GB RAM + 256 GB storage (no memory card slot) - for $1999. Samsung is also expanding the "Galaxy Z Premier Service" included with all of its Z series phones with new VIP amenities such as Founders Card membership. Color options for the Z Fold2 are: Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black. Optionally, the hinge color can be customized, which a choice of four metallic hinge colors: silver, gold, red, or blue. Starting September 18th, it will be available from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, as well as unlocked directly from Samsung. Pre-orders start at midnight tonight.

Apple, Google Launch Simpler COVID-19 Exposure Notifications - [briefly]
01:04 PM EDT - Sep,01 2020 - post a comment

Google and Apple are updating their COVID-19 Exposure Notification system to support US states that have yet to develop their own Exposure Notification app. While the initial release of Exposure Notifications required countries or states to release their own app supporting the system, the new Exposure Notifications Express removes that requirement. States must still opt in to the system, but once they do, most iOS and Android phones in that state will receive a push notification inviting them to opt in to the system. On iOS, opting in will activate the new Exposure Notifications Express feature built in to the just-released iOS 13.7. Android users opting in will be prompted to download an app from Google to enable the feature. As with all variants of Exposure Notifications, privacy is protected since personal-identifying and location data is neither collected nor sent to states. Instead, randomly-generated ID numbers are exchanged with nearby phones via short-range Bluetooth, to keep track of which phones are near which other phones, and for how long. When someone enrolled in the system self-reports that they have tested positive for COVID-19, others enrolled in the system that have been near that person are notified, so they can seek testing. Maryland, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. have already announced that they will participate, while six states have already released their own apps to enable Exposure Notifications

Monday 31 (Aug 2020)

Samsung reveals its 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 SSD - [hardware]
10:28 AM EDT - Aug,31 2020 - post a comment

Samsung has officially revealed its 980 PRO series SSD, what is now the world's fastest consumer-grade PCIe 4.0 SSD. On its Singapore website, Samsung has listed 1TB, 500GB and 250GB models of its 980 PRO SSD, promising sequential read speeds of 7,000 MB/s, smashing the 5,000 MB/s speeds of today's other PCIe 4.0 offerings. With their 980 PRO SSDs, Samsung promises 7,000 GB/s sequential read speeds, 5,000 GB/s sequential write speeds, random read/write IOPS of up to 1,000K. Using the bandwidth offered by PCIe 4.0, Samsung has delivered a 2x performance improvement over the company's existing PCIe 3.0 offerings, providing a true generational leap in storage performance. Samsung claims that its PCIe Gen4 SSD can offer a 2x performance boosts over PCIe Gen3 SSDs and performance levels which are 12.7 times faster than SATA SSDs.

Samsung's 980 Pro SSD will utilize the company's Elpsis controller, use 1GB of low power DDR4 memory as a cache and utilize "Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC" memory. With the company's 970 EVP SSD, Samsung lists its TLC memory as 3-bit MLC memory, confirming that Samsung's 980 PRO SSD will utilize TLC memory, a first for the 9X0 PRO series (assuming that Samsung's 3-bit MLC listing isn't a typo). Note that Samsung's 980 PRO SSD will only reach its rated speeds when paired to PCIe 4.0 compliant systems, such as PCs powered by an AMD Ryzen 3000 series processor and a PCIe 4.0 compatible motherboard. At this time, Samsung has not revealed the pricing or release date of their 980 PRO SSD.

Saturday 29 (Aug 2020)

The Largest Nuclear Bomb Ever Detonated - Video - [off-topic]
01:13 PM EDT - Aug,29 2020 - post a comment

In 1961, the Soviet Union dropped Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear bomb the world has ever seen. Last week, Russia's Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation released a previously classified video of the bomb's construction and detonation on YouTube.

Wolf Hugs Week-old Wolf Pup in her Sleep - [off-topic]
01:10 PM EDT - Aug,29 2020 - post a comment

Wolves are beautiful :-)

Melania Trump's Look At Ivanka At The RNC - [off-topic]
01:07 PM EDT - Aug,29 2020 - post a comment

One of the most viral moments of the final night of the Republican National Convention came from the First Lady of the United States and her abrupt change of facial expressions after greeting Ivanka Trump:

Friday 28 (Aug 2020)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 and 3080 Specifications Leaked - [hardware]
11:34 AM EDT - Aug,28 2020 - post a comment

Just ahead of the September launch, specifications of NVIDIA's upcoming RTX Ampere lineup have been leaked by industry sources over at VideoCardz. According to the website, three alleged GeForce SKUs are being launched in September - RTX 3090, RTX 3080, and RTX 3070. The new lineup features major improvements: 2nd generation ray-tracing cores and 3rd generation tensor cores made for AI and ML. When it comes to connectivity and I/O, the new cards use the PCIe 4.0 interface and have support for the latest display outputs like HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a. The GeForce RTX 3090 comes with 24 GB of GDDR6X memory running on a 384-bit bus at 19.5 Gbps. This gives a memory bandwidth capacity of 936 GB/s. The card features the GA102-300 GPU with 5,248 CUDA cores running at 1695 MHz, and is rated for 350 W TGP (board power). While the Founders Edition cards will use NVIDIA's new 12-pin power connector, non-Founders Edition cards, from board partners like ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte, will be powered by two 8-pin connectors. Next up is specs for the GeForce RTX 3080, a GA102-200 based card that has 4,352 CUDA cores running at 1710 MHz, paired with 10 GB of GDDR6X memory running at 19 Gbps. The memory is connected with a 320-bit bus that achieves 760 GB/s bandwidth. The board is rated at 320 W and the card is designed to be powered by dual 8-pin connectors. And finally, there is the GeForce RTX 3070, which is built around the GA104-300 GPU with a yet unknown number of CUDA cores. We only know that it has the older non-X GDDR6 memory that runs at 16 Gbps speed on a 256-bit bus. The GPUs are supposedly manufactured on TSMC's 7 nm process, possibly the EUV variant.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.8.3 - [briefly]
07:13 AM EDT - Aug,28 2020 - post a comment

MD late Thursday released the latest Radeon Software Adrenalin software. Version 20.8.3 beta comes with optimization for "Marvel's Avengers" (the game), "Project CARS 3," and "Fortnite" (DirectX 12 mode in Epic setting now yields a 12% uplift as tested on an RX 5700 XT). The drivers also add four new Vulkan API extensions, VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state, VK_EXT_private_data, VK_EXT_image_robustness, and VK_GOOGLE_user_type. Among the fixed issues are an application crash with "Mortar Shell" when opening the inventory window in-game, issues with enabling HDR on FreeSync 2 displays, and application crash with "Surviving Mars" on RX 5000 series graphics, a start-up crash with "eFootball PES 2020," Radeon Overlay not being available in a hybrid graphics system when in-game with "Hyper Scape," a stuttering issue with CS:GO with certain applications running in the background; and compatibility issues with YouTube playback on Microsoft Edge player or Chrome on certain Ryzen 3000 and Ryzen 4000 machines.
Support For
  • Project CARS 3
  • Marvel's Avengers
  • Fortnite
    • Using AMD's latest driver Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 edition 20.8.3, a Radeon RX 5700 XT GPU offers an average 12% better FPS performance in Fortnite (DX12) on the Epic setting, vs. the previous driver iteration, Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 edition 20.8.1.RS-340
Added Vulkan Support
  • VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state: This extension adds more dynamic states. This allows applications to reduce the need to recompile and bind pipeline state objects.
  • VK_EXT_private_data: This extension allows applications to store application-defined data in a 64-bit private data slot.
  • VK_EXT_image_robustness: This extension adds stricter requirements such that drivers return default RGBA values instead of undefined values for out-of-bounds reads. The number of components returned depends on the number of components present in the selected format.
  • VK_GOOGLE_user_type: This extension indicates the driver's support for shader modules using the SPV_GOOGLE_user_type SPIR-V extension.
Fixed Issues
  • Mortal Shell may experience a game or application crash when opening the inventory window in game.
  • Enabling HDR on some Radeon FreeSync 2 displays, may intermittently cause the display refresh rate to be forced to the FreeSync ranges minimum refresh rate during gameplay.
  • Surviving Mars may experience an application crash or hang at launch on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics products.
  • eFootball PES 2020 may experience an application crash at launch on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics products.
  • Radeon Overlay may not be available or may fail to invoke on Hybrid Graphics system configurations when playing Hyper Scape.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive may experience intermittent stutter when some applications are running in the background such as third party matchmaking clients or Discord.
  • YouTube playback may become frozen with Microsoft Edge player and Chrome when played on an extended display on some AMD Ryzen 7 3000 series and AMD Ryzen 4000 series APU system configurations.
Known Issues
  • Project CARS 3 may experience mirror like corruption when using VR during game menus on GCN based Radeon graphics products.
  • Project CARS 3 may experience performance issues when the Radeon Software performance metrics overlay is enabled.
  • Performance issues may be experienced when playing Horizon Zero Dawn on select Radeon Vega graphics.
  • With Radeon FreeSync enabled on Radeon RX 5000 series system configurations, task switching to another display or application may cause the display to flicker for a few moments.
  • Brightness flickering may be experienced on some VP9 video content playback through applications or web browsers on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics product system configurations.
  • Enhanced Sync may cause a black screen to occur when enabled on some games and system configurations. Any users who may be experiencing issues with Enhanced Sync enabled should disable it as a temporary workaround.
  • Performance Metrics Overlay and the Performance Tuning tab incorrectly report higher than expected idle clock speeds on Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products. Performance and power consumption are not impacted by this incorrect reporting.
  • With HDR enabled, Windows desktop may experience flickering, and performing a task switch while in a game may cause colors to become washed out or over saturated.
  • Audio may experience instability when connected through an Audio Video Receiver via HDMI on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics products.
  • Modifying the HDMI Scaling slider may cause FPS to become locked to 30.
  • Some games may exhibit stutter intermittently during gameplay on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics products.
  • AMD will continue to monitor and investigate any new reports of black screen or system hang issues during extended periods of gameplay closely. Users are encouraged to use the new Bug Reporting Tool for any issues they may encounter.

Apple is Preparing its Own Search Engine - [internet]
07:08 AM EDT - Aug,28 2020 - post a comment

In the past few years, Google has been paying Apple billions of dollars just for the company to keep Google as the default search engine in every aspect of the company's products. Starting from iOS up to macOS, they included Google as the default search engine. However, the deal between two companies might be coming to an end. In July this year, a UK Competition and Markets Authority took a shot at a deal claiming that the companies imposed a barrier on any market competition in the search engine space. Constant pressure from regulators and the fact that Apple doesn't want to be reliant on any company is possibly giving Apple ideas to launch its own search engine.

Recent changes in the spotlight search on iOS 14 and iPad OS 14 beta is making the software bypass Google search engine completely. As shown below (search and direct results), the company implemented a feature that makes the spotlight search go directly to search results instead of going to Google. The Applebot web crawler has seen some changes so it now renders pages in a similar way Google does and not just filter HTML. The web crawler also is updated to rank web pages just like it is made for a search engine. All of this is supposed to give Apple enough material so it can build something similar to a search engine. It is believed that the search engine wouldn't look like any classical one, but rather be embedded in Apple products and serve as a personalized search hub.

Thursday 27 (Aug 2020)

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 'Perseus Briefing' cinematic - [gaming]
02:45 PM EDT - Aug,27 2020 - post a comment

Publisher Activision and developers Treyarch and Raven Software debuted a new cinematic for the newly announced Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War dubbed 'Perseus Briefing' during the Gamescom 2020: Opening Night Live stream. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is due out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Battle.net on November 13, and for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X this holiday.

RedMagic 5S Gaming Phone Available Sept. 2 - [mobile]
02:22 PM EDT - Aug,27 2020 - post a comment

Nubia has started taking pre-orders for its latest gaming phone, the RedMagic 5S. As gaming phones go, it's relatively affordable, starting at $579. Its gaming creds include Qualcomm's top-end Snapdragon 865 chipset, a built-in cooling fan, 8-12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 128-256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage, 6.65-inch FHD AMOLED display with 144 Hz refresh and up to 240 Hz touch sampling, 4,500 mAh battery, and up to 55W fast charging (18W charger included). It also has touch shoulder buttons, fully customizable RGB lighting effects, 3.5mm headset jack, and HDMI output. Other features include a 64 megapixel main camera, 8 megapixel wide camera, 2 megapixel macro camera, NFC, and a fingerprint reader. Its support for US networks is basic, including 5G NR in band 41 (T-Mobile) and LTE 2/4/5/12/26/41. Available accessories include a larger fan that clips on the back, and physical game controls that attach to the ends via a special case. The base version for $579 has 8 GB RAM, 128 GB storage, and a "Sonic Silver" color scheme. The step-up "Pulse" version has 12 GB RAM, 256 GB storage, and an eye-catching red/blue color scheme, for $649. Pre-orders start today with full global availability on September 2nd.

Blu's New $200 Phone is Optimized for Gaming - [mobile]
02:12 PM EDT - Aug,27 2020 - post a comment

The Blu G90 Pro is a $200 gaming phone. It's powered by a MediaTek Helio G90T processor, a chip introduced last year specifically to power affordable gaming phones such as the Blu G90 Pro. The phone also has a huge 5,000 mAh battery and supports 18W fast charging. The 6.5-inch display has full-HD resolution. It has 4 GB RAM, 128 GB storage, and a memory card slot. It has a 48 megapixel main camera with a Sony sensor, 8 megapixel wide camera, 2 megapixel macro camera, depth camera, and a 32 megapixel selfie camera. It also has USB-C, rear fingerprint reader, and Android 10. It's available in Purple Haze starting today from Amazon.

T-Mobile's New REVVL Lineup Includes a 5G Phone for $400 - [mobile]
02:07 PM EDT - Aug,27 2020 - post a comment

T-Mobile today introduced three new models in its own-branded REVVL series: the REVVL 4, REVVL 4+, and REVVL 5G. The REVVL 5G will sell for $400 - or $200 with a new line of service - making it the most affordable 5G phone in the US to date. All three phones run Android 10 and have a fingerprint sensor.

  • REVVL 5G: Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 chip and a 4,500 mAh battery. Key specs include 6.53-inch full-HD display, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage, and triple rear cameras. The main camera has a 48 megapixel sensor, joined by an 8-megapixel wide camera and 5 megapixel macro camera. A 16 megapixel front camera sits behind a corner hole-punch in the display.
  • REVVL 4+: Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chip and a 4,000 mAh battery. Key specs include 6.52-inch HD display, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB storage. The main camera has a 16 megapixel sensor. A 16-megapixel front camera is located in a display notch. It will sell for $192.
  • REVVL 4: Powered by a MediaTek Helio A22 chip and a 3,500 mAh battery. Key specs include 6.22-inch full-HD display, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB storage, 13 megapixel main camera, and 5 megapixel front camera. It runs $120.
All three new REVVL phones will be available starting September 4th from both T-Mobile and Metro.

Wednesday 26 (Aug 2020)

Windows 95 is now 25 years old - [briefly]
07:28 AM EDT - Aug,26 2020 - post a comment

Microsoft released Windows 95 25 years ago, on August 24th 1995! Back in 1995 I was 26 year old hardcore DOS programmer (Turbo C, Tubo Pascal, Turbo Assembler) :-)

If you're nostalgic for Windows 95 after watching this video, you can run it as a free standalone app today!

Tuesday 25 (Aug 2020)

Retro Versions Of Microsoft Flight Simulator Playable In Your Browser - [gaming]
11:25 AM EDT - Aug,25 2020 - post a comment

Software engineer Sebastian Macke has made available the first four versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator, starting with the original 1.0 build for PC released in 1982. That build predates even The Simpson's, which would not land on television screens for another seven years. The cost of gas was just 91 cents back then (presumably more for airplane fuel) and E.T. was playing in movie theaters. Feel old yet? The simulation is actually a little older than that, as it first arrived on the Apple II as FS1 Flight Simulator in 1979, then on the TRS-80 in 1980. Those builds are not playable as part of this GitHub project. However, in addition to Flight Simulator 1.0 for PC, you can also play Flight Simulator 2.0 (1984), Flight Simulator 3 (1988), and Flight Simulator 4 (1989), all from within your browser. The image at the top of this article is a screenshot I took from Flight Simulator 4, running in Chrome, after a successful takeoff (and before stalling out and plummeting into the water). The controls seem simple enough, but make no mistake, piloting a plane is no easy task. That holds true now just as it did in 1982. With a little practice, though, I was able to take to the skies and cruise for a bit without nose diving into the ground.

To play the original versions, just visit the page on GitHub and start flying, scroll down, mash the 'Click to play' link. You can swap versions by clicking on your build of choice, right below the controls legend on the right-hand side.
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