MSI X370 Motherboard UEFI Support for Precision Boost 2

I reached out to MSI last week to see when and if it would be updating its X370 chipset motherboards to support Precision Boost 2, that we found to work so good on our water cooled Ryzen 2700X, and it tells us that the support is already in all its X370 EFI. That seems like it happened fairly quickly, but I guess that is a good thing.

The X370 BIOS on the website [already] supports AMD Precision Boost 2.


Source: [H]ardOCP – MSI X370 Motherboard UEFI Support for Precision Boost 2

Dead Men's Phones Tell No Tales This Time

What do the police in Florida do when they cannot unlock a dead man’s phone? They head over to the funeral home and grab his cold dead hand and mash away with it. While this is not technically illegal in terms of searches, it seems some folks were not happy with the intrusion. And after all that, the phone still did not unlock.

Lt. Randall Chaney said it was an unsuccessful attempt to access and preserve data on the phone to aid in the investigation into Phillip’s death and a separate inquiry into drugs that involved Phillip, 30. While Chaney said detectives didn’t think they’d need a warrant because there is no expectation of privacy after death — an opinion several legal experts affirmed — the actions didn’t sit right with Phillip’s family.

Source: [H]ardOCP – Dead Men’s Phones Tell No Tales This Time

Thermaltake Grand RGB 1200W Platinum PSU Review

When you start getting into high power PSUs, there are simply not a lot of brands you should trust expensive hardware to. Thermaltake is one of the oldest high power PSU sellers. Do the Frag Harder Disco Lights help it out when we put it on the load tester? No. Does TT still have the PSU chops to hang at 1.2 kilowatts? Yes, it surely does.

Source: [H]ardOCP – Thermaltake Grand RGB 1200W Platinum PSU Review

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

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Windows 10 Lean: Microsoft Working on Cut-Down Version of OS

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

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.”


Source: [H]ardOCP – AMD May Release a Ryzen 7 2800X CPU “Someday”

People's Gmail Accounts Appear to Be Sending Out Spam

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – People’s Gmail Accounts Appear to Be Sending Out Spam

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

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Philips’ Momentum 436M6VBPAB Will Support DisplayHDR 1000 and Adaptive Sync

James Cameron Hopes for "Avengers" Fatigue

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!”


Source: [H]ardOCP – James Cameron Hopes for “Avengers” Fatigue

BT Pushes Ahead with Plans to Switch Off Telephone Network

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – BT Pushes Ahead with Plans to Switch Off Telephone Network

Amazon Gets Tax Breaks While Its Employees Rely on Food Stamps

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Amazon Gets Tax Breaks While Its Employees Rely on Food Stamps

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

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Obsidian: RPG Genre Can’t Evolve Because Players Are “Resistant to Change”

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

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Net Neutrality Rules Expire Monday, as Lawmakers Push for Paid Data Prioritization

LA Theater Debuts First LED Video Wall in US

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – LA Theater Debuts First LED Video Wall in US

Google, Microsoft Push Websites to Go Password-Less

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Google, Microsoft Push Websites to Go Password-Less

"Firewatch" Developer Campo Santo Has Been Acquired by Valve

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – “Firewatch” Developer Campo Santo Has Been Acquired by Valve

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

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – iPhone SE 2 Could Arrive Next Month, but without a Headphone Jack

Microsoft to Kill Off OneNote's Desktop App

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.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Microsoft to Kill Off OneNote’s Desktop App

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

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.”


Source: [H]ardOCP – Pirates Taunt Amazon over New “Turd Sandwich” Prime Video Quality

Users Don't Want iOS to Merge with MacOS, Apple Chief Says

According to Tim Cook, Apple has no plans to bring iOS and MacOS together because he doesn’t think that is what users want. Rumors would suggest that the company is working on a project that merges macOS and iOS apps, however.

“We don’t believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [The Mac and iPad] are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two … you begin to make tradeoffs and compromises.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Users Don’t Want iOS to Merge with MacOS, Apple Chief Says

Atari Reveals More Details on Its Console-Computer Hybrid

Eurogamer sat down with Atari COO Michael Arzt at this year’s GDC for more information on its upcoming VCS console. His comments would suggest that it won’t be an ordinary, retro console, but some sort of all-in-one system that can serve as an alternative to an HTPC.

It’s less expensive than a PC, and it doesn’t require you to have your laptop plugged into the TV. It’ll control many aspects of the TV, and it’ll also let you do things on the TV that – because it’ll have voice control, because it’ll have a really easy navigation system, things like that – it’ll make computing on the television easier.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Atari Reveals More Details on Its Console-Computer Hybrid