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Friday June 23, 2017

Google to Stop Scanning Your Emails for Gmail Ads

Diane Greene, SVP Google Cloud, is blogging that Google will very soon stop reading your emails in order to advertise to you even inside the free version of Gmail. But have no fear, Google will use all its other data to figure out what needs to be advertised.

G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service. Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change. This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products. Ads shown are based on users’ settings. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization. G Suite will continue to be ad free.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 1:24 PM (CDT)

Beyond Good and Evil 2: E3 2017 First In-Engine Demo

I know we have a lot of folks excited about Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Ubisoft is sharing some in-engine footage from the upcoming game. Possibly the 2030 Game of the Year! I think you will notice one of the game's fanbase sitting in front of the display. All joking aside, the engine looks to have some very good legs and this is coming to PC .

Beyond Good and Evil 2 is the spiritual successor to the cult classic, a prequel that will transport players into a profoundly multicultural world, capturing the spirit of the original with grandiose decors and intense dramas that play out across a vast universe. Through the Space Monkey Program, Ubisoft Montpellier will be developing the game alongside its community of fans.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 12:39 PM (CDT)

Open with Incognito and Privacy Modes

I am not sure why anyone would ever want to do this, but How-To Geek shows us how to start a few of our favorite browsers in por...privacy mode without ever opening up a auto-logged in browser window.

Most people won’t want to use private browsing mode permanently. You will have to log into the websites you use each time you open your browser, as your browser won’t save the cookies that keep your login state.

Discussion Posted by Kyle 12:27 PM (CDT)

[H]ardware Roundup


MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Preview @ OCaHolic ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe review - Guru 3D Review: Asus Prime X299-A @ Hexus Review: MSI X299 SLI Plus @ Hexus


Intel Core i9-7900X 10-Core Processor Review @ Think Computers Charts CPU Performance Content Creation: 16 CPUs tested @ OCaHolic


CORSAIR HX750 Power Supply Test (French) @ CowCotLand Which Power Supply do you need? – Seasonic showcase 2017 @ Kit Guru SEASONIC PLATINUM 760W POWER SUPPLY TEST (German) @ OC Inside




Does Memory Speed Affect Gaming Performance; An Intel Question @ Overclockers Club

Mice & Keyboard:

Das Keyboard Prime 13 @ TechPowerUP


Rosewill RGH-3300 Pro Gaming Headset @ TechPowerUp
Posted by Kyle 11:20 AM (CDT)

Ethereum Hashrate Performance Drop Might Be Coming

Nathan "Numchuck" Kirsch of Legit Reviews fame has an article up today addressing some of the questions that are on Miners' minds. The first and foremost being, "Did I just drop a huge amount of money on a Radeon based video card for no reason?" I know I unloaded two of the RX 480 cards that I bought for VR Reviews this month for $380 each. I think it is the first time in my entire life that I sold a piece of computer hardware for more than I paid for it. As my dear friend Mr. Sheen would say, "Winning!" Maybe I got out of my 480 cards at exactly the right time.

AMD might be able to work some magic on the driver side. AMD and NVIDIA are both rumored to be working on bringing dedicated mining GPUs to market here soon, so now that they are spending money to focus on miners we can likely assume that driver support will be improving. If a magic driver fix is not possible get ready to see people selling Radeon RX 400/500 series cards and switching to GeForce GTX 1060 and GeForce GTX 1070 models!

Discussion Posted by Kyle 10:44 AM (CDT)

YouTube has 1.5 billion Monthly Users Logged on Google Accounts

YouTube was kind enough to share some new metrics at this years VidCon. About 1.5 billion users have logged onto YouTube monthly using a Google account, that's well over China's population of 1.371 billion from 2015 stats with India trailing at 1.311 billion. Mobile users that are currently on the video site are spending an average of 1 hour per day, that's a lot of time wasted watching cat videos at work or on the can.

"When we compare that [metric] to TV, people - in some countries like the U.S. - watch up to four hours per day, so we think there’s lots of room to get people to watch even more YouTube," CEO Susan Wojcicki said onstage.

Discussion Posted by seth 3:15 AM (CDT)

Tesla Pursuing Music Streaming Service

Apparently, Tesla, the automaker, is in talks to expand its business into a music streaming service according to Recode. Sources from inside the music industry are saying the company have talked to the major label about licensing. Tesla is planning to pursue bundled services offering multi-tiered packages for each car sold. As for competition between the top 2 leading companies, Apple and Spotify; each have 27 million and 57 million, respectively. I say "the more competition, the better" or did I hear that from someone else.

"We believe it's important to have an exceptional in-car experience so our customers can listen to the music they want from whatever source they choose," a Tesla spokesperson said. "Our goal is to simply achieve maximum happiness for our customers."

Discussion Posted by seth 2:53 AM (CDT)

US Copyright Office Wants to Permanently Legalize the Right to Repair

Good news for all the tinkerers out there. Motherboard reports that the US Copyright Office is recommending the US government to take action to allow the repair of any item you own, including bypassing software. According to article, consumer rights groups had to go through an exemption process to Section 1201 of the DMCA every three years, requesting permission on what circumventions are deemed lawful, decided by the Library of Congress. For years, manufacturers have been arguing that bypassing software locks are in violation of current copyright law and should be illegal. Although this is merely an advisement from the department, the fact that they are acknowledging the issue because of not wanting to deal with the issue is remarkable. The less bureaucracy the better, right? Of course that still doesn't really solve the issue of some current tech being a pain in the butt to repair, but baby steps. I guess now I won't have to think twice about opening my Roomba and repairing the freakin' side brushes every other month or just use it for beer pong instead.

"The growing demand for relief under section 1201 has coincided with a general understanding that bona fide repair and maintenance activities are typically noninfringing," the report stated. "Repair activities are often protected from infringement claims by multiple copyright law provisions." The office said it's received a huge increase in the number of public comments it's received about repair in the last several years, which "reflects the increasing use of access controls on a wide range of consumer devices containing copyrighted software."

Discussion Posted by seth 1:48 AM (CDT)
Thursday June 22, 2017

Textalyzer Development Moves Forward

For any that missed the news on this, there is a new device out there that will potentially allow police officers to determine if drivers were texting while driving. Developed by Cellebrite, the tablet-sized device can track the last usage periods of the driver right before an accident. Texting and driving is currently illegal in 47 states and the device aims to crackdown on activity. As of now, the only way for law enforcement to retrieve cellphone data is through a search warrant. Check out the vid.

Cellebrite says police won't have the device until states pass legislation allowing it. A measure currently before New York lawmakers would allow authorities to suspend your license if you refuse to hand over your phone. Similar legislation is underway in New Jersey, Tennessee and Chicago.

Discussion Posted by seth 11:55 PM (CDT)

New HardOCP Mobile Site

Need your HardOCP on the go? Check out our newly revamped mobile site that will work out well with your phone or tablet. Please feel free to mail us your feedback or hit us up on the HardForum. Posted by Kyle 4:20 PM (CDT)

Steve Jobs Made the iPhone Because He Hated Some Guy at Microsoft

Steve Jobs is not the only one that the fruit party should thank for their beloved iPhone: evidently, Microsoft played a substantial role, although it was more of a hostile one. An MS executive bragged about how the company was going to rule the world with new tablets and pens, and it pissed Jobs off enough to abandon his own related project for what would become the iPhone. He thought that they were "idiots" for using a stylus, and this belief led him to pursue fingers and capacitive touchscreens. But, Apple Pencil...

"It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft. That's the actual origin of it," said Forstall. "Any time Steve had any social interaction with this guy, he'd come back pissed off." It wasn't Bill Gates, noted Forstall, but a Microsoft executive who was the husband of a friend of Jobs' wife, Laurene Powell Jobs. Apple had been working on a tablet project and at the time touchscreens relied on resistive touch. Jobs' apparent frustration with this executive's bragging about a stylus and tablet drove him to look at fingers and capacitive touchscreens.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 3:25 PM (CDT)

Ron Howard to Assume Directorial Duties on Han Solo Film

Production issues are starting to become a tradition at Lucasfilm: Rogue One went through plenty of intensive reshoots, and this week, we learned that the directors for the Han Solo prequel film were fired because they thought they were hired to create a comedy. The chair has now been given to Ron Howard, who is famous for a number of classics such as Apollo 13 and Backdraft - although I would argue his best work to be Bryce Dallas Howard.

"At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago," said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. "With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July."

Discussion Posted by Megalith 3:00 PM (CDT)

Supreme Court Says Sex Offenders Can Access Social Media

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously this week against a North Carolina law barring convicted sex offenders from using social media, a decision that effectively declares access to social media is protected by the Constitution. The case, Packingham v. North Carolina, was sparked when an offender was caught celebrating the dismissal of a parking ticket on Facebook. Justices believe that convicted criminals could receive legitimate benefits from social media sites that help them improve their lives.

The justices said a North Carolina law that made it a felony for sex offenders to access sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and LinkedIn violated the First Amendment. "To foreclose access to social media altogether is to prevent the user from engaging in the legitimate exercise of First Amendment rights," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote. "Even convicted criminals - and in some instances, especially convicted criminals - might receive legitimate benefits from these means for access to the world of ideas, in particular if they seek to reform and to pursue lawful and rewarding lives."

Discussion Posted by Megalith 2:50 PM (CDT)

HTC Hints at Less Expensive VR Headsets

Marc Metis, Global Head of Vive X at HTC Vive, has suggested that a cheaper version of the Vive is on his company’s roadmap. I don’t see the Vive 2 being cheaper than the original (I think it’s leaning toward the cutting edge, with wireless VR and other novel tech), but this is good news for those who want some assurance that affordable sets are in the works. What is the maximum price you are willing to pay for one?

...we asked whether the HTC Vive price of $799 coupled with the need to be hooked up to a high-end PC could be a hindrance to broadening the Vive’s user base. Metis responded by saying the Vive is the "most immersive, high-end product in the market," one with "huge strengths and benefits" for fields like medicine and education, but added HTC isn’t finished innovating. "We’ll also always try to address other market segments as well," Metis said. "Expect new offerings from us over time. We’re an entrepreneurial company. Don’t view us as static. We’ll only enter a segment when we can offer the most immersive and considered experience." "We’ll enter different segments at different price points," he said.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 2:00 PM (CDT)

Super Mario Bros. Level Recreated in Central Park Using HoloLens

A HoloLens developer decided to recreate the first level of Super Mario Bros. in augmented reality. It’s a 110-meter course with what you would expect: Goombas, pipes, question blocks, and New Yorkers who are desensitized to any weirdness going on around them. He should do a version at nighttime so I can experience what it’s like to get mugged in AR.
Discussion Posted by Megalith 1:30 PM (CDT)

Foxconn Planning $10B US Investment, Eyeing Six States for Display Plant

Foxconn is reportedly planning to invest $10 billion or more across several US states, although the company is still deciding on which ones, including where to put a $7 billion display plant. Foxconn chairman Terry Gou believes his company could help create "tens of thousands" of jobs in the US, even as the company is increasing automation in China to reduce labor expenses.

Investments are being considered in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and/or Texas, Bloomberg quoted Foxconn chairman Terry Gou as saying at a Thursday shareholders meeting. The display plant could go up in one of six states, he noted, without mentioning the candidates. The chairman likewise didn't offer a timeframe, except that a decision on where to build the display facility should come by July.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 1:10 PM (CDT)

Steam Summer Sale Is Now Live

As hinted earlier this week, the Steam Summer Sale is officially a go. The banner confirms that the deals will remain until July 5th, and the "gimmick" this time appears to be a sticker book collection. Naturally, the store is getting hammered and all I get is this: "An error occurred while processing your request."
Ongoing Discussion Posted by Megalith 12:50 PM (CDT)

MSI: "Damn, [RX Vega] Needs a Lot of Power"

MSI’s marketing director, Eric van Beurden, has delivered a comment that suggests RX Vega cards are not particularly power efficient. On the bright side, could this mean that AMD has gone all out on performance?

This is the first confirmation that AMD is already sharing details of RX Vega lineup with partners. The launch is coming closer as we are still 5 weeks for RX Vega to arrive. However, there is a very good chance we will be seeing custom designs at launch. As for the power consumption, I don’t think anyone expected it to be lower than Frontier’s, which has a board power of 300W (air-cooled) or 375W (liquid edition).

Discussion Posted by Megalith 11:30 AM (CDT)

Lenovo Confirms That a Retro ThinkPad Is on the Way

A posting at the Lenovo blog has revealed that the company will be making a special edition ThinkPad as part of the laptop’s 25th anniversary celebration. The original debuted in 1992 with a 25Mhz 486 SLC, 4 or 8MBs of memory, a 640x480 resolution 10.4-inch VGA display, and a 120MB hard drive. It weighed a little over 7.5 pounds and cost $4,350. It will be interesting to see the classic design with modern innards (OLED display, please) .

It’s aimed at enthusiasts and superfans that were kind enough to share their thoughts about what the laptop might be. As with any new product we develop, there are always technical and cost limitations but I think where we landed is quite impressive. The product will embody many of the things people asked for. It has a wonderful black rubberized coating, three TrackPoint caps, and a keyboard to die for. I will proudly carry one. Exact pricing and availability are not finalized but I can assure you it will not cost $5000! I have no idea how that rumor got started.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 11:00 AM (CDT)

Honda Halts Japan Car Plant after WannaCry Virus Hits Computer Network

Honda had to shut down one of its plants in Japan earlier this week due to WannaCry making its way into their networks in multiple regions including Japan, North America, Europe, and China. While only the Sayama plant was affected, this makes the company’s effort in strengthening its security in May slightly in vain. Maybe Honda actually deserves this for making something as butt ugly as the 2017 Type R.

The automaker shut production on Monday at its Sayama plant, northwest of Tokyo, which produces models including the Accord sedan, Odyssey Minivan and Step Wagon compact multipurpose vehicle and has a daily output of around 1,000 vehicles. Honda discovered on Sunday that the virus had affected networks across Japan, North America, Europe, China and other regions, a spokeswoman said, despite efforts to secure its systems in mid-May when the virus caused widespread disruption at plants, hospitals and shops worldwide.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 10:50 AM (CDT)

Ultra-Thin Camera Creates Images without Lenses

I suppose this is great news for smartphone makers struggling to make even thinner devices and avoiding the dreaded camera bump: Caltech engineers have created an ultra-thin optical phased array that can bend and focus light just like a traditional lens can. The layer, comprising "integrated silicon photonics," is capable of switching from a fish-eye to telephoto lens instantaneously.

Traditional cameras - even those on the thinnest of cell phones - cannot be truly flat due to their optics: lenses that require a certain shape and size in order to function. At Caltech, engineers have developed a new camera design that replaces the lenses with an ultra-thin optical phased array (OPA). The OPA does computationally what lenses do using large pieces of glass: it manipulates incoming light to capture an image.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 10:30 AM (CDT)

Virgin Mobile USA Has Stopped Selling Android Phones Entirely

I am not too familiar with Virgin Mobile, but this seems like an odd decision to make for any carrier: the company has gone exclusive and will only offer iPhones going forward. Android fans will obviously have to find another provider, but whether Virgin will continue supporting existing non-Apple users is still up in the air.

The move is part of Virgin's new "Inner Circle" program, which will give you 12 months of unlimted (with some limitations) calling, texting, and data for $1. After that, the usual $50/month fee takes effect. However, your only choice is to buy an iPhone - the store page now only lists a handful of Apple devices. Virgin's home page now says, "we're teaming with Apple to offer you nothing but the world's most popular phone." Essentially, Virgin Mobile USA is the closest thing to an Apple carrier.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 10:10 AM (CDT)

Windows 10 Task Manager Is Getting a GPU Utilization Tab

The latest preview build (16226) for Windows Insiders includes plenty of new features such as enhancements to Edge (ink notes, better bookmarking), tweaks to OneDrive Files-On-Demand, and new emojis, but it’s a change to the Task Manager that caught my eye: future versions will reveal your GPU utilization/memory usage. While there is plenty of monitoring software out there, this could be useful for a quick peek. I wonder if temperature is coming next?

For the Task Manager fans out there, we’re happy to share that we’ve heard your feedback and we’ve updated Task Manager to now include GPU info. The Performance tab shows GPU utilization information for each separate GPU component (such as 3D and Video encode/decode), as well as graphics memory usage stats. The Details tab shows you GPU utilization info for each process. Please note that this feature is still under construction and you will find issues and bugs.

Discussion Posted by Megalith 9:30 AM (CDT)

Microsoft Admits to Disabling Third-Party Antivirus Code

Responding to Kaspersky’s accusations that antivirus programs are being mistreated on Windows, Microsoft acknowledges that their OS does disable third-party AV - but it is strictly for compatibility, not competitive, reasons. Based on what Windows and Devices’ director of security had to say, it seems that the fault lies with AV makers if their solutions get flagged: when third-party code expires or becomes outdated, Redmond’s security software will kick in.

"Microsoft’s application compatibility teams found that roughly 95 per cent of Windows 10 PCs had an antivirus application installed that was already compatible with Windows 10 Creators Update," said Rob Lefferts, director of security in the Windows and Devices group. "For the small number of applications that still needed updating, we built a feature just for AV apps that would prompt the customer to install a new version of their AV app right after the update completed. To do this, we first temporarily disabled some parts of the AV software when the update began."

Discussion Posted by Megalith 9:00 AM (CDT)

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