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Messages - Zeus

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We have just posted up Episode #414 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we'll be discussing how Walmart is raising their prices online, Amazon puts live TV plan on hold and we'll be talking mobile with news about the Samsung Galaxy S9, the Razer phone, and OnePlus. We have those stories and more...


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GameStop Pauses Their Unlimited Rental Game Program


MoviePass - Watch Unlimited Movies at the Theatre


Walmart Raises Prices Online


Amazon Can't Figure Our Live TV Streaming


new Permanent League of Legends Teams Announced


Razer Phone


OnePlus Whoops


Samsung Galaxy S9 Details




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2
General Mayhem / Galaxy S9 Details Emerge
« on: November 22, 2017, 07:21:21 am »
While the Galaxy S8 hasn't been out very long at all, the speedy release cycle rears its ugly head and shows us that companies are well on their way with the next phone before the current phone even hits the market. The result is the S9/S9+ and the specifications that have leaked. It is rumored to have dual rear-facing cameras, USB-C, Cat 18 LTE support (1.2Gbps download) and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor.

   Samsung plans to equip the Galaxy S9 with souped-up iris and face recognition tools, according to a report at ET News. The report claims that the firm is "developing software to increase the face recognition rate of the Galaxy S9 front iris recognition sensor." Industry insiders claim that these improvements come as Samsung looks to take on Face ID, which Apple is touting as the most secure face-scanning tech on the market today.Source: TheInquirer

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This is not good news from Google. They recently admitted to gathering location data on users - even when you have the feature turned off. There are options to choose to send location data to Google and even if you opt out, it appears that Google goes ahead and takes it anyway. While this is not really surprising, it's a bit disappointing that they'd do it. Google has certainly moved on from being a company that "could do no wrong". 

   Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers - even when location services are disabled - and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.Source: QZ

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4
General Hardware / Surface Book 2 Loses Power During Gaming
« on: November 22, 2017, 06:51:56 am »
While it's no big deal when you're unplugged and your device loses power when using it, the fact that the new Microsoft Surface Book 2 can't stay charged when plugged in during gaming is actually a pretty big deal. The Surface Book 2 has an NVIDIA 1060 graphics card and it's actually no slouch at gaming at all, but when you are using a high performance power mode, combined with a heavy load, the charger and circutry can't keep up to the demand and your batteries will slowly drain. That's not good and Microsoft will likely "fix" this by lowering the clock speed and amount of power it uses - rather than providing a true fix for the charging capabilities. In my opinion, this is completely unacceptable.

   You'll also need the "best performance" setting for GPU-intensive games, as they'll slow down or drop frames otherwise. The problem is that select titles like Destiny 2 use the NVIDIA chip nearly continuously, pulling up to 70 watts of power on top of the 35 watt CPU. Unfortunately, the Surface Book comes with a 102-watt charger, and only about 95 watts of that reaches the device, the Verge points out.Source: Engadget

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5
General Hardware / NVIDIA Titan XP Star Wars Collector's Edtion
« on: November 22, 2017, 06:32:21 am »
With NVIDIA pulling out the stops on a specific "collector's edition" Star Wars themed graphics card, you'd think they must be having trouble selling cards. With Bitcoin prices as high as they are, no one can keep cards in stock and make them fast enough. Still, this card is clearly designed and marketed toward the discerning Star Wars fan. The Titan Xp looks like it came off a U-Wing and it looks and performs like a top-notch card. All you need is a little over $1,000 and it's yours.

   If you have other pastimes, like video editing or bitcoin mining, then you would be better off picking this card. For pure gaming, you can save some money getting the GTX 1080ti or even a vanilla 1080. If, however, you want to do some deep learning, then this card will really sing. But you're probably not going to be buying a Star Wars themed GPU for such applications, are you?Source: TheInquirer

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6
General Hardware / New Microsoft Surface 3 Still Available
« on: November 21, 2017, 11:12:35 am »
Microsoft's Surface line of products have been winners for the most part and the Surface Pro's are what has set the bar for 2-in-1 convertibles. Their original Surface RT was a disaster though as the proprietary OS was confusing and liminted. The non-Pro Surface tablets never made huge waves as they are pretty lightweight when it comes to power. That being said, they are still pretty solid machines - as long as you don't expect it to be a CAD workstation. If you want a new Surface 3, they are still available (almost 2 years later) and with full warranty.

   The tablet that can replace your laptop
   With the integrated Kickstand, the ability to run desktop software and touch apps, and a full-size USB port, Surface 3 is a perfect mix of innovation and practicality. As thin and light as it is, you'll be amazed at all you can achieve with this device.
  •       Intel processor   
  •       10.8" 1920 x 1280 Full HD Touchscreen  
Source: Adorama

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7
General Mayhem / Razer Phone is Available for $699.99
« on: November 21, 2017, 11:08:40 am »
Razer wanted into the mobile phone game and have put a bunch of effort into designing and spec'ing out a phone built just for gamers. The screen is pretty incredible with a 120Hz refresh rate (think VR) and it has enough memory and RAM to make it very formidable. It runs Android OS and the weirdest thing about it, is that it is available in the Microsoft Store. Let that settle in for a bit as Microsoft didn't even feature many Windows Phones in their own store.

   From its specifications alone, this thing is a beast and easily matches some of the best handsets from the likes of Samsung, LG, and HTC. But, like any newcomer, there is always some form of doubt, as the company is untested in this field so it will be interesting to see how the company fares with its first foray into the smartphone market.Source: Neowin

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8
LAN & General Gaming / Permanent LoL Teams Surface
« on: November 21, 2017, 11:05:44 am »
The LCS is getting even more credibility as League of Legends teams are getting more of a permanent status. There are 10 permanent teams now in the NA LCS that are backed by the likes of the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. The fact is that LoL and other games of that nature require actual athletes to compete - they aren't overweight chip-eating slobs - they train physically to keep their mental game strong. This is good news for all serious gamers.

   According to Riot, the shift to permanent teams was made with an eye toward the future growth of the league. With a guaranteed spot for each squad, the thinking is that each owner will be more likely to invest in their team for the long haul. That includes things like creating training facilities, as well as investing in areas like coaching, scouting, and player wellness. Each of the 10 teams will have an academy squad, designed to give up-and-comers a chance to learn before going pro, and Riot is also working to improve the standards for players, which includes raising the minimum salary to $75,000.Source: TheVerge

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9
General Mayhem / Germany Bans Kids' Smart-watches
« on: November 21, 2017, 11:02:23 am »
Germany isn't always on point with their laws and regulations, but I think they've got a point here. They have recently banned kids' smart-watches as they can be used to listen to what is going on. While that may not seem creepy to you if you're the parent of the child, keep in mind that security on Smart devices is not great and it could allow people to snoop on children - and that gets creepy right away.

   The agency said the smarthingyches, aimed at 5 to 12-year-olds, come with a SIM card and limited telephony functions – allowing nearby chatter to be monitored from afar, which goes against Germany's strict anti-surveillance laws. "The watches are regarded as unauthorised transmitting equipment," said Bundesnetzagentur president Jochen Homann.Source: TheRegister

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General Mayhem / MoviePass Drops Yearly Subscription to $6.95 a Month
« on: November 19, 2017, 10:45:25 pm »
MoviePass is an interesting service that trys to get people back into the theatre. The subscription used to be pretty pricey, but not at $6.95 a month for a year, it's a very good deal. In the USA, you'll be able to subscribe and use this service to attend as many movies as you want per month, for one low price. While many people won't take advantage of it, I'm sure many others will use and abuse the service. At that price, I sure would! 

   In August, AMC Theaters, the largest movie chain in the US, threatened MoviePass with a lawsuit and claimed that the company’s business model was unsustainable. MoviePass pays theaters the full price for each ticket, except at a few theaters where it gets a discount, Wired reports. The average cost of a movie ticket in North America is $8.84, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which means if subscribers on the new plan attend just one screening per month, MoviePass will already be losing money.Source: TheVerge

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11
Operating Systems & Software / Facebook Won't Let You Delete Your Posts
« on: November 19, 2017, 10:41:34 pm »
This is interesting. It appears that Facebook has updated their service and won't let you delete your own posts anymore - if you are using the web-version of their service. If you are using an Android or iPhone device, you can still delete those embarassing posts, but not from your PC. This doesn't affect everyone at the moment, and there is no word yet if this is a bug, or a new "feature". Be aware that anything you post online - anywhere - is there for good.

   Users across the world have taken to other social networks to complain that the functionality has been removed. At the time of writing Facebook is yet to confirm or deny the situation but we've just checked and it appears that we can still delete - though there are plenty of people who can't.Source: TheInquirer

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12
General Mayhem / iPhone X Can Run Windows 95 and SimCity 2000
« on: November 19, 2017, 10:38:01 pm »
Well, the non-responsive, green-edged, screen is good for something! Windows 95 and some old-school gaming! Take a look!

    

Source: RedmondPie

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13
General Hardware / Surface Laptop - Surprisingly, Not Horrible
« on: November 19, 2017, 10:35:59 pm »
Microsoft has tried to expand their "Surface" line with another product - the Surface Laptop. This is designed at taking some market away from Chromebooks as it is quite affordable, simple to operate, but has limited ability to install full applications that are available to mainstream laptops. The biggest reason for the application limitation is that the Surface Laptop runs a slightly tweaked (and crippled) Windows 10 S. It can be upgraded to full Windows 10. It's currently on the review bench and they find that it's actually pretty solid. Take a look below to see how it all holds up.

   I'm also not a big fan of having only one Type-A port. I like to use a USB mouse, so whenever I have to use anything else, I have to disconnect it. A second USB port is always helpful, in my opinion. There's the option to use a dock with Microsoft's Surface Connect port, but aside from the fact that I don't want to have to carry one around, you have far less choices in docks since it doesn't use the standard USB Type-C.Source: Neowin

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We have just posted up Episode #413 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we are discussing Nintendo ramps up Switch production, the iPhone X doesn't like the cold and you'll never believe this, but Yahoo still doesn't know how 3 billion accounts got hacked. We have those stories and more...


Download Episode #413
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Now on Google Play.




Get a Free Book from over 180,000 Titles!


Ethereum is Buggy


Ethereum is Working on a Fix


Bitcoin Mining Uses a LOT of Power


Nintendo Doubles Switch Production


iPhone X Doesn't Like the Cold


Yahoo Still Doesn't Know What Happened




Recent Articles:
TP-Link RE650 Range Extender Review



Upcoming Reviews:
HyperX Alloy FPS



Follow us on Twitter
Ben Heide is twitter.com/bcchardware
WeeklyTechUpdate is twitter.com/wtupdate


Send your comments directly to us at podcast@bcchardware.com or post them below in the forum.

15
General Hardware / Qualcomm Outs Centriq 2400 Specs
« on: November 14, 2017, 10:52:49 pm »
Last week Qualcomm gave us some numbers regarding their new Centriq 2400 line of CPUs. They are better than expected. Quite a bit better in fact. The fact is that the new chips are better than some of the Intel competition when it comes to server CPUs. Qualcomm makes processors for most every smartphone and they have manufacturing plants that help them make things super cheap. The pressure is on right now from both AMD and Qualcomm. Intel is going to have their work cut out for them.

   Now we start getting to the good stuff, performance. We will note that this is against the Xeon 8160 not the top line 8180, in order to make the thread count the same, 48 vs 48. In this case Qualcomm wins by a bit, 7%. To save you the math, 56/48 = 1.1667 or ~17% higher performance. Since the 8180 has a 2.5GHz base clock vs the 2.7GHz of the 8160, the bigger 8180 should come in at 662 or roughly 1% better than the Centriq 2400.Source: SemiAccurate

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