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Windows 10 Lean: Microsoft Working on Cut-Down Version of OS

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 16:04:00 CDT

Microsoft is releasing a lighter version of Windows 10 for Redstone 5, the big OS update due out in the Fall. Dubbed "Windows 10 Lean," it features an installer 2GB smaller than Windows 10 Pro and loses basics such as wallpaper, drivers for CD/DVD drives, and apps like Regedit. It is not clear what Microsoft plans to do with the SKU. It may simply be intended for virtual machines, or Microsoft may be looking to make another go at a version of Windows for really low-powered devices. Discussion



People's Gmail Accounts Appear to Be Sending Out Spam

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 15:04:00 CDT

Google's engineering teams have acknowledged an issue in which certain Gmail accounts are sending out spam. At least some of these accounts had two-factor authentication enabled, and despite changing passwords, users found that the spamming continued. We are aware of a spam campaign impacting a small subset of Gmail users and have actively taken measures to protect against it. This attempt involved forged email headers that made it appear as if users were receiving emails from themselves, which also led to those messages erroneously appearing in the Sent folder. Discussion



AMD May Release a Ryzen 7 2800X CPU "Someday"

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 15:04:00 CDT

According to Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Anderson, AMD did not bother releasing a 2800X because the recent Ryzen lineup (2600X and 2700X) already covers all current performance and price points. He does admit that a 2800X is not out of the question, which has led some to think that it will be used to counter Intel's rumored 8C/16T CPU. "We felt like, with the 2700X and 2700 at the performance and price points, we had that space covered. We just felt that with those two SKUs we had it sufficiently covered where we wanted to position the product. That doesn't preclude a 2800X someday, right, maybe. But for now we believe those two SKUs cover the space well." Discussion



James Cameron Hopes for "Avengers" Fatigue

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 14:04:00 CDT

While the legendary director of "Terminator" and "Aliens" admits that he enjoys the occasional comic book movie, part of him hopes that they come to an end soon, as they are dominating the sci-fi genre but all tell a similar story with comparable set pieces and themes. James Cameron hopes to diversify things with his Avatar sequels, which he describes as family dramas akin to "The Godfather." "I'm hoping we'll start getting 'Avenger' fatigue here pretty soon," Cameron said. "Not that I don't love the movies. It's just, come on guys, there are other stories to tell besides hyper-gonadal males without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process. It's like, oy!" Discussion



Philips' Momentum 436M6VBPAB Will Support DisplayHDR 1000 and Adaptive Sync

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 14:04:00 CDT

Philips is releasing a new 43" MVA-panel display that flaunts VESA's highest HDR certification, DisplayHDR 1000, which demands local dimming and a peak luminance of 1000 cd/m2. But despite this certification, it is arguably still "fake" HDR, as the panel is 8-bit (16 million colors) only and relies on FRC (frame rate control) to achieve more colors. A true HDR panel is 10-bit and capable of 1 billion colors. With DisplayHDR 1000 and UHDA certifications, the Momentum 436M6VBPAB promises to deliver a great HDR experience with 97.6% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space, a peak brightness of over 1000 nits, local dimming for deeper blacks and support for 10-bit color (8-bit + FRC). The display will support HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, mini DisplayPort and USB Type-C (DP alt mode) inputs, though at this time the monitor's Variable Refresh Rate (VRR range) is unknown. Discussion



BT Pushes Ahead with Plans to Switch Off Telephone Network

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 13:04:00 CDT

British multinational telecommunications company BT is terminating its telephone network and shifting all customers over to IP telephony (internet-based voice calls via fiber) by 2025. Broadband, rather than voice, will constitute the primary service. Other communications companies in Germany, Japan, Sweden, are already in the process of moving voice to run over IP. Orange has set a goal of having all IP (digital) networks by 2020, and Deutsche Telekom aims to migrate all its lines in Europe to digital by the end of 2018. Discussion



Amazon Gets Tax Breaks While Its Employees Rely on Food Stamps

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 13:04:00 CDT

The Intercept is reporting that Amazon is effectively receiving a double subsidy by accepting food stamps for grocery orders, as many of its own employees are dependent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In at least four states, Amazon was featured on the list of top employers with SNAP recipients. The American people are financing Amazon's pursuit of an e-commerce monopoly every step of the way: first, with tax breaks, subsidies, and infrastructure improvements meant to lure fulfillment centers into town, and later with federal transfers to pay for warehouse workers' food. And soon, when the company begins accepting SNAP dollars to purchase its goods, a third transfer of public wealth to private hands will become a part of the company's business model. Discussion



Obsidian: RPG Genre Can't Evolve Because Players Are "Resistant to Change"

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 12:04:00 CDT

Fallout: New Vegas and Knights of the Old Republic II developer Obsidian Entertainment spoke at Reboot Develop this week and mentioned that they want to evolve the RPG genre radically, but it is difficult to do so because its audience is too traditional and demand elements such as hit points and stat tweaking. But Obsidian believes that RPGs are defined by how actions affect a story, not numbers. "Fans tend to skew towards the more hardcore cases and they tend to be fairly resistant to change. I don't want to paint too broad of a stroke there, but RPGs can be a lot more than we have done with them so far. There's much more than we can do, and it's much more radical." He pointed to Bethesda's success with Fallout and The Elder Scrolls games as examples of a developer taking role-playing games in a different direction. Discussion



LA Theater Debuts First LED Video Wall in US

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 11:04:00 CDT

Pacific Theatres Winnetka in Chatsworth, LA is the first to house Samsung's LED cinema screen, which measures 33.8 feet wide and 17.7 feet high with nearly 9 million pixels. It is unlikely that adoption will be widespread, however, as each screen costs $500,000 to $700,000. A laser projector, in comparison, costs $150,000 to $300,000. Tech vets who've seen demonstrations admit that the images these LED systems can produce are impressive, including their wide dynamic range (blacker blacks and whiter whites). However, a number of key factors still need to be addressed -- most notably cost, says Pete Lude, chief technology officer of engineering firm Mission Rock Digital. Discussion



Net Neutrality Rules Expire Monday, as Lawmakers Push for Paid Data Prioritization

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 11:04:00 CDT

Net Neutrality rules will officially be repealed tomorrow. Coincidentally, US Representative Marsha Blackburn championed the idea of paid data prioritization at a hearing last week, effectively urging ISPs to charge customers more for fast lanes. Experts say that service providers will probably wait before screwing us, however. I would also point out that in real life, all sorts of interactions are prioritized every day. Many of you sitting in this room right now paid a line-sitter to get priority access to this hearing. In fact, it is commonplace for the government itself to offer priority access to services. If you have ever used Priority Mail, you know this to be the case. And what about TSA pre-check? It just might have saved you time as you traveled here today. Discussion



"Firewatch" Developer Campo Santo Has Been Acquired by Valve

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 10:04:00 CDT

The developers of first-person mystery adventure game Firewatch, Campo Santo, has announced that they are joining Valve, where they will continue production on their current project, In the Valley of Gods. Apparently, Gabe Newell was not joking when he said Valve would be making and shipping games again. In Valve we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn't happen every day). In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match. Discussion



Google, Microsoft Push Websites to Go Password-Less

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 10:04:00 CDT

Microsoft and Google are pushing for a password-less login system called FIDO 2.0 that uses unique private keys generated by scanning a user's fingerprint or face for access. An Android phone's fingerprint sensor could be used to approve a purchase on PayPal, for instance. Both Microsoft and Google have been pushing for FIDO 2.0's adoption. They're preparing to build the authentication technologies into their own internet browsers. On Monday, Microsoft said the next Windows 10 release would also support the standard too. Discussion



Microsoft to Kill Off OneNote's Desktop App

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 09:04:00 CDT

Coinciding with the launch of Office 2019 will be the death of OneNote for the desktop, as Microsoft has decided to switch all focus to the Windows 10 UWP app. Bug fixes and security updates will be provided until October 2020, and 2025, respectively. While there is a lot of crossover in features between the desktop and UWP versions, there are still a few differences, and this is something Microsoft aims to address, promising a number of new additions to OneNote for Windows 10. Discussion



iPhone SE 2 Could Arrive Next Month, but without a Headphone Jack

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 09:04:00 CDT

A report from Japanese blog Macotakara claims that the iPhone SE 2 will be released in May, but it won't feature a headphone jack, despite having the same design and dimensions as its predecessor. The handset is expected to come with an A10 processor and 2GB of RAM. Apple dropped the headphone jack on iPhones starting with the iPhone 7, but (for now) still sells the original iPhone SE and similarly spec'd iPhone 6s which both have headphone jacks. Perhaps Apple will tout improved water resistance as part of this change if accurate. Discussion



Pirates Taunt Amazon over New "Turd Sandwich" Prime Video Quality

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 16:04:00 CDT

Amazon Prime Video pirates and legitimate customers alike complained this week of declining streaming quality: according to one viewer, new episodes of shows looked like a "blurry mess" resembling standard-definition DVD. Many were quick to conclude that Amazon was trying to save on bandwidth costs, but a TorrentFreak source suggests there was a mix-up with encoding profiles, which is being addressed. "Recently, it appears these values have been intentionally changed in order to lower the bitrate and file sizes for reasons unknown. As a result, the quality of some streams has been reduced by up to 50% of their previous values. This has introduced a visual loss of quality, comparable to that of viewing something in standard definition versus high definition." Discussion



AMD 2nd Gen Ryzen 2 2700X Zen+ CPU Review

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:04:00 CDT

AMD has made a huge push back into the CPU market over the last year with its Ryzen CPUs for the desktop market. The Ryzen started the Thread Wars and Intel has tried to answer. We are reviewing the 2nd generation Ryzen today. Did AMD take an already great CPU and make it better?



Far Cry 5 Video Card Performance Review

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:04:00 CDT

We test eleven GPU's performance from the low-end, to the top-end in Far Cry 5. Our goal is to find what settings are playable on each video card in Far Cry 5, and to compare the performance. We will also look at AA and Volumetric Fog performance. If you want to find what the best value GPU is for this game, this is for you.



Dell and HP Resist the NVIDIA GPP Leash - So Far

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:04:00 CDT

Since we found out about NVIDIA's GeForce Partner Program, aka GPP, a couple of months ago, we have seen changes implemented by NVIDIA's partners, but what has not happened is far more important to point out at this time.



REEVEN OURANOS RC-1401 CPU Air Cooler Review

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 04:04:00 CDT

REEVEN's OURANOS RC-1401 is a single tower CPU air cooler with a 140mm yellow-bladed fan. Its design keeps your RAM slots in mind while its Speed Switch Adapter claims to maximize cooling efficiency and easing your noise profile. Let's put it on our overclocked Ryzen CPU running a very high vCore and see if it makes the cut.



Intel Rumors - Kaby Lake-X - Skylake-X and Cascade Lake

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:04:00 CDT

In this episode of How the Rumor Mill Churns, we address some old Intel CPUs, some new Intel CPUs, and hopefully Intel CPUs that we will never see again. End of Life for good products is often disheartening, but when EOL pertains to something that should have never existed, it goes over a lot better.



Seasonic PRIME 600 Titanium Fanless PSU Review

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:04:00 CDT

The Seasonic PRIME 600 Titanium Fanless PSU has a feature that many find desirable, and as you might have guessed it, that is silence. High efficiency and noise-less performance go hand in hand, but those qualities do not come cheap, however if you are willing to spend, you can own a high end PSU that will never offend your ears.



Barrowch Threadripper Water Block Breakdown

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 11:04:00 CDT

Barrow is not a terribly well known name in North America when it comes to water cooling products, but it does produce what is surely top-shelf looking components. Its "Barrowch" line of coolers is supposed to be its best in terms of design and engineering. We breakdown its Whale Shark built for Threadripper and socket TR4.



Ncore V1 No Frame Water Block Prototype Testing

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 12:04:00 CDT

The Ncore V1 is a prototype CPU water block for custom built PC cooling loops. It has a couple of big draws when it comes to enthusiast features, namely it is a direct-die cooler, and the other feature is that no mounting hardware is required. We have put the Ncore V1 through some cooling and have results to share.



Rockit Cool Rockit 88 Delid and Relid Tool

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 11:04:00 CDT

Every since Intel decided to start once again using a thermal interface material in its enthusiast CPUs, we have been looking for better ways to remove the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS). Rockit Cool has what we consider to be the best tool we have used yet. If safety and ease are priority, this is it.



Far Cry 5 Video Card Performance Preview

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:04:00 CDT

Far Cry 5 is finally in retail, and in this preview of video card performance we will compare performance of a few video cards, using real gameplay. This will give you an idea what you need to play Far Cry 5, what image quality settings are playable, and what resolutions work best with each video card. Our full evaluation will come later.



AMD Radeon FreeSync 2 vs NVIDIA G-Sync

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 12:03:00 CDT

What happens when you take about 10 dedicated PC gamers and put them down in front of a FreeSync 2 supported system, and a G-Sync supported system and let them play games back to back and then ask them about their gaming experience? That is exactly what we did this week.



Koolance 400A-S Threadripper Water Block V2 Breakdown

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 11:03:00 CDT

Koolance, not a company to twiddle its thumbs, has been working on gettings is newly designed AMD Ryzen Threadripper water block into the market. We have the first sample in the wild, and as we have done in the past, we show you the unboxing, then break it down to see what all changes have been made inside.



GIGABYTE Aorus X399 Designare EX Motherboard Review

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 05:03:00 CDT

GIGABYTE's X399 Designare EX is a rich, full featured solution for AMD's Threadripper CPUs. At $370, this isn't a budget-oriented offering. The thing people usually want to know when looking at motherboards in this price bracket is if such products are worth the extra cost. Read on to find out if this gaming and workstation offering is worthwhile.



NVIDIA VOLTA's TITAN V DX12 Performance Efficiency

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 00:03:00 CDT

We take the $3,000 NVIDIA TITAN V video card using the new Volta architecture and find out if its DX12 and Async Compute performance is more efficient than the last generation Pascal architecture in gaming performance.



MSI Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC mITX Review

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 07:03:00 CDT

Many of us have gotten used to wanting things smaller and smaller in terms of today's electronics, and many enthusiasts have followed that trend when it comes to building fully capable high end desktop PC system. MSI is turning up the heat in the mini-ITX segment with it Gaming Pro Carbon series motherboards.