APKWS or Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System – OOORAH!

I am 100% sure that this is computer hardware related, because the narrator says that the system is “plug and play” and that is Microsoft, right? And “warthog” has something to do with Halo, right? Microsoft again? If you really want to talk about guns, head over to the subscription access section of the HardForum. You are sure to be offended in there, at least daily.

A-10 Warthogs Now Carry Laser-Guided Rockets


Source: [H]ardOCP – APKWS or Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System – OOORAH!

Wipe Off Your Picture

As any discerning [H]’er knows, we always wipe the fingerprints off the gun and leave it at the scene of the crime. You never want to put yourself in the situation of actually being in possession of a firearm used in a crime. “Dad, why did Tony Soprano throw the pistol down on the ground, by the body?” Exactly. The University of Buffalo is now saying that it can “barrel match” pictures to a specific phone. No kidding. Never send a “sensitive” picture without scrubbing it first. You guys know what I am talking about. Anyway, as long as pics are being saved as JPEGs, the guys in Buffalo are wasting their time. Rookie mistake territory.

The protocol defeats three of the most common tactics used by cybercriminals: fingerprint forgery attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks and replay attacks. It was 99.5 percent accurate in tests involving 16,000 images and 30 different iPhone 6s smartphones and 10 different Galaxy Note 5s smartphones.

I have not been caught with a sidearm or rifle yet, damn sure not gonna get caught with a phone. Can you imagine having to throw away your phone after every dick pick? That is going to get expensive. Guess I better head to Walmart and get a prepaid flip. Honestly, I did not read the article and just wanted Asia on the news page.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Wipe Off Your Picture

Friday Hardware Fun

Swiftech’s Apogee TR4 water block has been running overnight and turning in solid results on the ASUS ROG Strix Threadripper motherboard ($386)…no BSODs yet anyway. It is not looking like getting a TIM-mate up to HardOCP standards is do-able with stock mounting hardware but I need to kick it around a bit more. We have the re-lidded 8600K up and running a solid 5.2GH on the Gigabyte Aorus Z370 Ultra Gaming ($170) with the XSPC RayStorm Pro block to facilitate CPU-bottlesneck-less performance for Fallout 4 VR testing this weekend. Still wondering if AMD will actually send me a game code or I will have to buy it. Fallout 4 VR excites me. Paying another $60 for the game does not. Can’t really bitch though, as I spent 175 hours playing through the story line on the desktop while not actually dicking around a whole lot. 34 cents an hour for entertainment is not bad. If I could get those rates in Vegas I would be a god among men, or at least Ted Waitt. (Still no codes from Bethesda’s partner, AMD, and is not signaling confidence for the VR frametime scores on the AMD side of the tracks, Antal.) Yesterday we got in the first TPCast wireless interface for the HTC Vive. Anyone know anyone at TPCast? I need a contact over there for tech support! I want to put four of these wireless TPCast setups at a LAN event next month for live head to head VR deathmatch and I have no idea if these will play nice together in the same space. Help a brother out!?!?

Sleep is overrated.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Friday Hardware Fun

Minecraft was Destroying the Internet Even Before Ajit Pai

This is quite a long read over at Wired, but it is incredibly interesting if you are into network security. Long story short, it all started with some geeks trying to bring down competitive Minecraft servers were the guys responsible for all sorts of DDoS attacks last year.

THE MOST DRAMATIC cybersecurity story of 2016 came to a quiet conclusion Friday in an Anchorage courtroom, as three young American computer savants pleaded guilty to masterminding an unprecedented botnet—powered by unsecured internet-of-things devices like security cameras and wireless routers—that unleashed sweeping attacks on key internet services around the globe last fall. What drove them wasn’t anarchist politics or shadowy ties to a nation-state. It was Minecraft.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Minecraft was Destroying the Internet Even Before Ajit Pai

Disney's Fox Acquisition Means the End of Hulu as We Know It

They say that Hulu isn’t going away, but it will look very different. In the past, the streaming service had three different bosses, but now, it only has one: Disney. With its more than 12 million subscribers, Hulu will probably be used to piggyback Disney’s new streaming business or be converted entirely, but there are some wrinkles to consider.

Comcast has remained a silent partner in Hulu as part of a consent decree it accepted when it bought NBCUniversal, but those terms end in September, before Disney can realistically complete its Fox deal. Comcast may claim Hulu’s 12 million-plus subscribers belong equally to it, since its content and investment dollars helped generate that audience, or at least a third of it. The cable company could ask the Justice Department to review the acquisition and force a sale of Hulu.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Disney’s Fox Acquisition Means the End of Hulu as We Know It

Now There's a Loot Box Parody Game

Independent studio Mutant Entertainment has offered a new title, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gambling, that parodies the idea of loot boxes in gaming. The premise is straightforward: opening loot boxes. Players are able to unlock new skins and hats for their “Lootbox Loadout” in the title.

Do you love opening loot crates, but hate the tedious gameplay sessions in between? Our marketing department has the game for you! Unbox random items! Get stuff, but not what you really want! Skate legal and ethical lines! Remember kids, it’s only a video game, so grab your parents credit card!


Source: [H]ardOCP – Now There’s a Loot Box Parody Game

Fallout 4 VR Review

So we are hoping to get into Fallout 4 VR testing here soon, and while I have seen some comments about the new VR version of this game, VRFocus has a fairly in-depth review posted that gives us a bit of insight as to performance.

Straight from the off Fallout 4 VR looks amazing. For such a demanding title – Bethesda recommends an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 as the minimum GPU, yet VRFocus used a GTX 1060 – it runs very well on HTC Vive. Sure it’s not got that same crisp quality you’d get on a HD TV but that first time you look over the rubble of Sanctuary after leaving the vault is a glorious moment, especially now that you’re actually standing there.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Fallout 4 VR Review

Snapdragon 845 Windows 10 PCs Reportedly Coming in the Second Half of 2018

According to Qualcomm executive vice president Cristiano Amon, Snapdragon 845-powered PCs should arrive in the second half of 2018. Many wondered why the first Snapdragon-powered devices are shipping with the 835 at all, as the 845 was announced soon after: well, it’s because x86 emulation on ARM is a new technology, and the companies are starting with what’s been tested.

You should see Snapdragon 845 in phones first and most likely in PCs for the back-to-school market by early Q3 2018. Qualcomm executives pointed out that this is a big learning curve for both Microsoft and Qualcomm, but that both companies are very confident in its success. The launch of the PCs and phones might be more in sync with future generations, but this will depend on the success of the early devices that are about to start shipping in the early part of 2018.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Snapdragon 845 Windows 10 PCs Reportedly Coming in the Second Half of 2018

Wolfenstein II: The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe Is Now Available

The Freedom Chronicles’ first episode, “The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe,” is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. If you played Episode Zero of The Freedom Chronicles, you’ve already gotten a taste of the action Gunslinger Joe brings to the table. The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe features former professional football player Joseph Stallion as he barrels through legions of Nazis using his Ram Shackle ability.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Wolfenstein II: The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe Is Now Available

LG Claims Up to 22 Hours of Battery Life for Its New Gram Laptops

Ahead of CES, LG has announced its refreshed range of thin and light Gram laptops: this year’s models maintain just over two pounds for the 13.3- and 14-inch models, and 2.4 pounds for the larger 15-inch version. The 13.3-inch model will last up to 22.5 hours, with the 14-inch at 21.5 hours and the 15-inch version at 19 hours.

The new models continue to be the most easy-to-carry laptops available on the market today. Their ultra-thin bodies feature a highly efficient 72Wh battery which allows longer work time without plugging in, lasting up to almost a full day on a single charge. And the compact design allows the LG gram’s smaller form factor to feature wider screens. The 14-inch model 14Z980 is the same size as a conventional 13-inch laptop but still offers a wider display with a minimized bezel.


Source: [H]ardOCP – LG Claims Up to 22 Hours of Battery Life for Its New Gram Laptops

Samsung Targets First Half of 2018 for Smart Speaker

According to Bloomberg, Samsung’s smart speaker is targeted for release within the first half of 2018 and is expected to cost around $200. The device will run Bixby and be focused on audio quality and managing connected home appliances. All Samsung devices, including Galaxy phones, will work with the speaker.

Samsung’s pricing and release plans are still fluid and may change, the people familiar with the speaker’s development said. Like Apple, Samsung is arriving late to a market that Amazon pioneered and Google soon joined. The speakers themselves don’t generate much profit for their manufacturers, but the voice assistants and services that are distributed through the devices are an important battleground over the future of human-computer interaction.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Samsung Targets First Half of 2018 for Smart Speaker

Amazon Will Start Selling Apple TV and Chromecast Again

Animosity appears to be thawing between the companies: Amazon has added five Apple TV and Chromecast devices to its online store, offering an olive branch to both Google and Apple. The gadgets aren’t available for sale yet, but customers should expect they will be shortly.

The change may de-escalate mounting fights between Amazon and Google in particular, helping avoid further problems for consumers. Amazon is pushing deeper into Google’s turf of online advertising and Google is moving into Amazon’s territory of e-commerce and smart speakers, which seems to be causing tensions between the two companies.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Amazon Will Start Selling Apple TV and Chromecast Again

Facebook Will Launch Pre-roll Video Ads in 2018

For years, Facebook executives have said they don’t want to run “pre-roll” ads — ads that run before you get to watch the video you want to play — because users don’t like them. Now, Facebook is going to start running pre-roll ads.

Facebook, which declined to comment for this story, is expected to begin studying how users respond to the new commercial experience in the coming weeks. “YouTube already established that people will sit through and tolerate pre-roll,” says Steve Ellis, CEO of WhoSay, a social influencer marketing company. “It’s proven that they haven’t sent consumers fleeing.”


Source: [H]ardOCP – Facebook Will Launch Pre-roll Video Ads in 2018

Fact: Broadband Can Work Over a Piece of Wet String

A UK techie with a sense of humor may have found an alternative to expensive corporate broadband cables: wet string. The engineer was able to reach a downlink speed of 3.5Mbps, which is slow by today’s standards, but way faster than yesteryear’s dial-up internet speeds, albeit over a short distance.

Broadband services are a wonderful innovation of our time, using multiple frequency bands to carry signals over wires. One of the key aspects of the technology is its ability to adapt to the length and characteristics of the line on which it is deployed. It has always been said that ADSL will work over a bit of wet string. Well, one of our techies took it upon himself to try it today at the office.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Fact: Broadband Can Work Over a Piece of Wet String

The Environmental Cost of Internet Porn

Scientists who analyze the environmental impact of the internet tout the benefits of “dematerialization,” in that streaming eliminates physical materials such as discs and cases, but there may be a major exception: porn. Some believe that digitization has increased the overall consumption of porn so much that the principal of dematerialization gets flipped on its head.

Grayson says he has witnessed this explosion of growth firsthand at Evil Angel. He estimates that the site’s viewership has increased by 7,000 percent since the time of DVDs. In the late 1990s, he says, a new Evil Angel DVD would sell approximately 7,500 copies in the first 30 days. Now, he says, Evil Angel videos are streamed 30,000 times in the first 30 days.


Source: [H]ardOCP – The Environmental Cost of Internet Porn

IO Interactive Announces Hitman Holiday Pack

Tomorrow, IO Interactive will release the Hitman Holiday Pack, which will allow anyone on PC, PS4 or Xbox One full access to the game’s Paris destination. It is only available for a limited time, from December 15th to January 5th, but once you’ve downloaded it, Paris is yours to keep permanently.

This FREE download will include the first major story mission from the game, “Showstopper,” plus all of the Escalation Contracts we’ve released for Paris, our ‘Holiday Hoarders’ mission plus the Paris Challenge Packs and achievements/trophies too! It will also allow you to play the future re-activated Elusive Targets in Paris.


Source: [H]ardOCP – IO Interactive Announces Hitman Holiday Pack

The FCC Has Repealed Net Neutrality

Companies now control the internet, and there’s no way to stop them. The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to eliminate its power to ensure net neutrality, effectively paving the way for internet providers to begin charging companies and consumers for faster internet access.

Led by Chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission and its two other GOP members on Thursday followed through on a promise to repeal the government’s 2015 net neutrality rules, which sought to force Internet providers to treat all online services, large and small, equally. The agency also went a step further, rejecting much of its own authority over broadband in a bid to stymie future FCC officials who might seek to regulate providers.


Source: [H]ardOCP – The FCC Has Repealed Net Neutrality

NASA Announces Eighth Planet around Distant Star, Tying Our Own Solar System

Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star, with the recent discovery of an eighth planet circling Kepler-90, a Sun-like star 2,545 light years from Earth. The planet was discovered in data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope.

The newly-discovered Kepler-90i — a sizzling hot, rocky planet that orbits its star once every 14.4 days — was found using machine learning from Google. Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence in which computers “learn.” In this case, computers learned to identify planets by finding in Kepler data instances where the telescope recorded signals from planets beyond our solar system, known as exoplanets.


Source: [H]ardOCP – NASA Announces Eighth Planet around Distant Star, Tying Our Own Solar System