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Topics - Zeus

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General Hardware / Apple Launching a New iMac Pro
« on: December 12, 2017, 08:31:31 pm »
Apple is trying to show some shiny hardware to help take your mind off the device crippling they do if you have an older model. The hardware they are showing off is a new iMac Pro. Think of this as an upgrade to your iMac, but nothing so sweet and wonderful as a new Mac Pro. That being said, it's pretty impressive that they are bringing up to 18-core processors to the iMac - but not until later in 2018. Earlier than that, you'll be able to get a sweet 8-core or 10-core unit however. Prices START at $4999 for the 8-core version.

   Of course, we will have much more about the iMac Pro in the coming days and weeks, including price details, which have still yet to be revealed outside of the $4999 baseline 8-core version. After seeing it on video, have your plans changed with regard to purchasing one?Source: 9to5Mac

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General Mayhem / Apple Slowing Down Devices with Older Batteries
« on: December 12, 2017, 08:27:33 pm »
There are always a lot of rumors that companies - namely Apple - try and push you to get the latest device by crippling your old device when a new one is available. There is some data to support that once you upgrade your older device to iOS 11, it will slow you down - based on the wear leveling of your battery. If you manage to change up the battery, your overall device benchmarks improve dramatically. That shouldn't actually make a difference as for speed - just the length of time your device runs. I smell something shady over at the heart of Apple.

   Wear level was somewhere around 20% on my old battery. I did a Geekbench score, and found I was getting 1466 Single and 2512 Multi. This did not change wether I had low power mode on or off. After changing my battery, I did another test to check if it was just a placebo. Nope. 2526 Single and 4456 Multi. From what I can tell, Apple slows down phones when their battery gets too low, so you can still have a full days charge.Source: MacRumors

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Nintendo has struggled with a couple of their recent consoles - both handheld and set-top. Their last success was probably the DS Lite and Wii. Since then, things have been mediocre at best - until the Switch. That particular unit has been a run away success. They've mananged to move over a million units a month and have broken through the 10 million barrier. Things are looking brighter in the future as well as they are ramping up production again and are set to crush through 20 million by mid-2018.

   Nintendo hasn't had to do much to spur those numbers. Black Friday and holiday sales by the company reflected only minimal discounts, and few other retailers have gone much below the $299.99 MSRP. The console is expected to be on a lot of holiday wish lists, and "we’re doing our very best to satisfy demand during the holiday shopping season," Fils-Aimé said.Source: Neowin

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Less than a year ago, a keylogger was found on a bunch of HP machines that used a particular audio driver and it seems that HP really hasn't learned anything. The latest keylogger lives in software used for the Synaptics touchpad and this affects laptops make as far back as 2012. That's right. HP - spying on you for the last 5 years. This is not good and everyone should drop and burn their HP machines and buy something equally flawed from the likes of Dell. Actually, Dell is a good choice as they have Linux versions of their laptops available as well.

   A potential security vulnerability has been identified with certain versions of Synaptics touchpad drivers that impacts all Synaptics OEM partners. A party would need administrative privileges in order to take advantage of the vulnerability. Neither Synaptics nor HP has access to customer data as a result of this issue.Source: Neowin

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General Mayhem / OnePlus 5T Can't Stream HD
« on: December 11, 2017, 10:13:45 pm »
OnePlus has come a long way, but they still make mistakes. Apparently they didn't include support for a particular version of DRM used by Google Play Movies, Netflix, Amazon Prime and others - making default video resolution on the device a mere SD. That is not good at all and it doesn't instill a lot of confidence in their latest device. The DRM patch will be released in the future, but at the moment you're stuck watching movies like it's 1999.

   The deficiency was noted in a thread on the OnePlus forums and points to lack of support for Widevine Level 1 DRM, which many services require for HD streaming. The 5T currently supports Widevine Level 3, which only covers standard definition streams. The Verge has confirmed that both the OnePlus 5T and its predecessor, the OnePlus 5, are currently unable to stream Netflix or Amazon Prime Video higher than SD resolution.Source: TheVerge

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LAN & General Gaming / Ataribox Pre-Order Start on December 14
« on: December 11, 2017, 10:09:41 pm »
While I'd like to believe that Atari is trying to cash in on the marvel that is the "Classic" editions of older consoles, something about this pre-order situation has me a little skeptical. Atari announced that they are bringing the Ataribox to market with pre-orders starting this week, but they have no word on games or when it will launch. I'm sure it really doesn't take all that time to make these little units, but without more details at the announcement, it smells a bit like vaporware. I'm sure they'll bring it out eventually, but Christmas 2018 is a little long to wait.

   Excited for the Ataribox? Well, starting December 14th, you'll be able to lay down $250 - $300 for the retro-modern console. The company emailed the news to fans recently and even teased that there will be a chance for the "earliest supporters" to snag one at a discounted price.Source: Engadget

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General Mayhem / Bitcoin Trading is Official - Price Surges
« on: December 11, 2017, 10:06:14 pm »
It appears that Bitcoin is now on the Chicago Board Options Exchange and has seen prices climb on it's first day of trading. I'm still not sure why it's actually worth anything at all, but here it is - a virtual and digital currency that is currently sitting at just under $16,800 USD. It's a marvel and one that may continue to climb - or could crash suddenly making people very poor. Actually, most of these people don't actually have any money from Bitcoin, so they would be just the same as they are now. Very odd stuff though.

   Coindesk writes: "In all, the tumultuous start is perhaps a fitting start to the trading of the new contracts. CBOE's is the first to be traded on a major regulated exchange in the U.S., and it's set to be followed next week by CME Group, which has announced that it will launch its own products on Dec. 18."Source: NPR

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General Hardware / Ryzen 2 Processors Announced
« on: December 11, 2017, 09:22:58 am »
AMD has had some pretty good success with their Ryzen processors and have made Intel scramble and release a new processor (that was an older processor, simply clocked and volted higher) to try and look like they are staying current. Well, AMD is tired of their success with the Ryzen processor and is not stepping up to the Ryzen 2. Early in 2018, we can expect these to arrive and they will have more cores and higher clock speeds with a much higher boost speed. If any of the rumors are true, these could really keep up and take down the high-end Intel CPUs - at a fraction of the price.

   Dubbed 'Pinnacle Ridge', the wave of second-gen Ryzen chips will start predictably with the flagship Ryzen 7 in February, followed by its less gutsy siblings in March. With up to eight cores and clock speeds reckoned to hit up to 4.4GHz, the Ryzen 2 CPUs are not only set to butt heads with Intel's eighth-generation processors, but also take on Intel's 9000 series CPUs set to make a splash mid next year.Source: TheInquirer

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General Hardware / Toshiba Brings 14TB Drives for Everyone
« on: December 11, 2017, 09:13:13 am »
There are some interesting storage technologies in the works, but magnetic storage has been the staple of the mechanical hard drive for many years. With the latest 14TB drive from Toshiba - nothing has changed. This is still a traditional magnetic, mechanical drive. Keep in mind that this particular unit has 9 platters crammed into a standard height 3.5-inch drive, is sealed and helium filled. Some of these massive drives have slower spindle speeds, but Toshiba keeps it screaming along at 7,200rpm. It looks impressive and is cheaper than a Titan V.

   The series also utilizes Toshiba Group’s laser welding technology to ensure the helium remains securely sealed inside the drive enclosure. The drives support a SATA 6Gbit/s interface and 7,200rpm access performance. The 9-disk 14TB models achieve a 40% increase in maximum capacity over previous MG06ACA 10TB models. Additionally, the 14TB models improve power efficiency by over 50% (W/GB).Source: BusinessWire

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General Mayhem / Jony Ive is Back at Apple
« on: December 11, 2017, 09:08:55 am »
For those of you wondering why products from Apple have really sucked over the last few years - it is probably because Jony Ive was away. I'm not sure how many of us realized that Jony was out, but that really does explain the iPhone 7, 8 and X. Granted, he wasn't the only one designing products, but back when it was Steve and Jony at the design controls, things were way better than they are now. I expect the iPhone 12 or so to be back on track. Just kidding. Apple has been behind Samsung for a few years now and that's not likely to change in a couple years.

   Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, is returning to his management role within Apple’s design group after handing off managerial duties in 2015. 9to5Mac noted that Ive’s design deputies Dye and Howarth were no longer listed on Apple’s leadership page earlier today, and news of Ive’s return broke from Bloomberg.Source: 9to5Mac

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Microsoft Edge browser for Android has been out of the "preview" stage and has been available to everyone for just a little over a week. The crazy thing is that Google's download tracker shows that it has over a million downloads. I'm not sure why. Granted, Chrome is not the perfect mobile browser, but it's built in and it just works. I'm not sure how many people love Edge enough to make the effort to download a different browser, but apparently a million people do. Unless Microsoft is gaming the system... Hmmmm....

   The number comes from the Google Play Store's own download tracker. Edge is also currently listed as the third most-popular free app in the "Communication" category on Google Play. The next milestone of five million downloads will take a little longer to reach, but hitting a million downloads a week out from launch, and two months since initially hitting preview, isn't too shabby.Source: WindowsCentral

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We have just posted up Episode #416 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we'll be discussing Cyber Monday was a big one, Lenovo says goodbye to the ThinkPad and CES 2018 will reportedly see the launch of the Galaxy S9 and the LG G7. We have those stories and more at the links below...

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Cyber Monday was a Record One for 2017

Lenovo Says Goodbye to the ThinkPad

Samsung Flip Phone - Much Cooler Than You'd Think

Samsung Working on Graphene Batteries

Samsung to Launch S9 Along LG's Launch of the G7 at CES 2018?

Best Google Products of 2017

600 Million Windows PCs

The IRS Wants Your Bitcoin Information

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General Hardware / Hands on with the Snapdragon 835-powered HP Envy x2
« on: December 05, 2017, 10:45:28 pm »
Qualcomm has just partnered with Microsoft and launched a few laptops that run Windows 10 that are powered off their ARM processors. The question surfaces, "how good can it be?" While a Snapdragon 835 is plenty of CPU for a phone, how does it handle a desktop experience? While they run Windows 10, the models that launched on Tuesday - including the Envy x2 - run Windows 10 S. They will support Windows 10 Pro however. Take a look below and see how the Envy x2 handles real life.

   But from what I saw, the Envy x2 is a great 2-in-1 device. I'll be more interested to see how it runs on Windows 10 Pro, and how the performance and battery life changes when running emulated Win32 apps. After all, HP claims 20 hours of active battery life, and 700 hours of standby. Those tests tend to run apps that are optimized for battery life.Source: Neowin

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General Mayhem / iPhone X Scores Lower that iPhone 8
« on: December 05, 2017, 10:38:13 pm »
While the iPhone X has a beautiful display, there are a few flaws that make it score a bit lower overall in customer approval. That is even without the higher pricetag. The iPhone X is actually quite fragile and combined with poor battery life, it doesn't make it to the top of very many people wish lists. The fact is that even the iPhone 7 is probably a better option than the iPhone 8 or iPhone X. That's not good news at all for Apple.

   If you’re still on the fence, this is one of those times where it pays to try before you buy. Play with all of these phones in the store, paying attention to how much the gorgeous iPhone X display means to you and how you feel about learning new gestures—and then considering how often you’ve dropped previous gadgets on the sidewalk.Source: ConsumerReports

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General Hardware / Windows 10 ARM Laptop Emerge
« on: December 05, 2017, 10:33:55 pm »
ARM has come to laptops and now have been embraced by Microsoft. That's right, Qualcomm and Microsoft have teamed up with some hardware partners to make laptops that will run full version Windows 10. The benefits are better power efficiency, reliable performance, always-on connectivity and better battery life. This looks awesome and the only loser here is Intel.

   Contrary to what you might expect, the new Windows 10 ARM computers don’t look hugely different from their Intel counterparts. They all support standard Windows 10 features, such as a touchscreen, Windows Hello, and pen input. HP Envy X2 looks just like the Spectre X2 detachable already available, while Asus’ NovaGo is a standard laptop that is visually indistinguishable from the rest of its lineup.Source: TheVerge

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