AMD has just released its new Catalyst 14.7 RC (beta) drivers, something that includes the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, and drops support for Windows 8 (WDDM 1.2) as the company expects you to have upgraded to Windows 8.1 (WDDM 1.3) for free if you want continued support.
Older version of Windows, such as Windows Vista and Windows 7 remain unaffected by this change. The latest Catalyst 14.7 RC drivers have all of the improvements that were baked into the Catalyst 14.6 RC release, but receive added CrossFire performance for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, and improved CrossFire scaling at 4K for Assassin's Creed IV.
If you want to try them out (at your own risk since they're still a Release Candidate, and beta release) grab them right here.
It wasn't too long ago that The Oatmeal was asking for funds to erect the Nikola Tesla Museum, going as far as asking the founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, for some help.
Back in May, Musk replied over Twitter saying "I would be happy to help". He has now just helped, providing a huge $1 million for the project. Musk reportedly called up Matthew Inman (the man behind The Oatmeal) promising two things - first, a Tesla supercharger to be built outside of the museum, making the museum part of Tesla's massive, nationwide recharging network, and two - the $1 million for the development and construction of the museum.
The original crowdfunding campaign saw $1.3 million raised, which was enough to save Tesla's old laboratory from being torn to the ground. In order to make it into a museum, more money was required, with a rough estimate of $8 million required. This $1 million injection of cash is one great start for that though.
Satya Nadella, the fresh new CEO of Microsoft, wrote an open letter to Microsoft employees, reiterating the company's commitment to the Xbox brand, as well as teasing a change of direction when it comes to Microsoft's gaming platform, and mobile.
Nadella said: "The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming. We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. [...] Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft".
"While today many people define mobile by devices, Microsoft defines it by experiences," he continued. "We're really in the infant stages of the mobile-first world. In the next few years we will see many more new categories evolve and experiences emerge that span a variety of devices of all screen sizes. Microsoft will be on the forefront of this innovation with a particular focus on dual users and their needs across work and life".
It looks like NVIDIA isn't going to sit on its hands when it comes to the GTX TITAN, with the GPU maker reportedly working on a GM200-based GTX TITAN II. This new GPU will arrive as soon as early 2015.
According to German tech site 3DCenter.org, specifications of some new GPUs are also here with us, above. We can see the GM200 and GM204 GPUs will reportedly be built on the 28nm process. We heard a couple of days ago that NVIDIA would skip the 20nm process, moving onto the 16nm process, but nothing is in concrete right now.
The GM200 however, will feature over 4,000 CUDA cores, and should come with a much wider, and much anticipated 512-bit memory bus. If we expect it to be baked onto the 28nm process, this is going to be one gigantic, titan of a GPU. NVIDIA is going to have to leverage the energy efficiency of its Maxwell architecture in order to keep the thermals under control. We should expect the GM200-based GTX TITAN II to launch early next year.
The Selective Service System was partying like it was 1999 recently, with their system sending out military draft notices to 14,000 men in Pennsylvania born between 1893 and 1897.
The notices were telling these men to register for the nation's military draft, warning them that if they didn't, that it is "punishable by a fine and imprisonment". The AP reports: "The glitch originated with the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles during an automated data transfer of nearly 400,000 records to the Selective Service. The records of males born between 1993 and 1997 were mixed with those of men born a century earlier, Selective Service spokesman Pat Schuback told The Associated Press on Thursday. The federal agency didn't know it because the state uses a two-digit code to indicate year of birth".
The youngest surviving draftee would be turning 117 this year, probably a bit too old to be drafted in the military, wouldn't you say?
Christopher Butler has taken to Kickstarter to fund his own version of Half-Life 3, as "Valve seems set on not re-creating a Half-Life 3" but then he adds that he and his fellow developers are "looking to steal the market for this ourselves".
Butler was asking for just $2500 or so for the development of the game, as he has "a small team of 6 people including myself". Butler said on the Kickstarter page for Half-Life 3 that "we all have our own funds in order to keep ourselves paid for the duration of the project, the main ask for pledges is literally just to keep up to date with the latest software and maintenance in a project such as this".
Butler claimed to have worked for both EA and Valve in the last ten years, admitting that he hadn't approached Valve about making the game. He added that he hoped to have a playable alpha build of the game for backers to play within 10 months. Butler was quick to pull the project from Kickstarter, with it now all but gone.
IBM thinks that the days of silicon are numbered, as it spends $3 billion over the next five years on finding ways to create the future generations of microprocessors. Senior VP of IBM Systems & Technology Group, Tom Rosamilia, says: "We really do see the clock ticking on silicon".
Right now, IBM's very latest silicon components are baked onto a 22nm process, but the company is looking five years into the future where parts will become so small that it will be hard to maintain a reliable on and off state. Rosamilia adds: "As we get into the 7 nanometer timeframe, things really begin to taper off".
This has IBM looking at new ways of making components work, funding this new set of research. The company has faith in an alternative to silicon, something known as carbon nanotubes. The concept of this technology still needs considerable work if it hopes to see the fabrication of carbon nanotube-based processors as an alternative to silicon. Another route that IBM could go into is silicon nanophotonics, which uses light instead of electrical signals to blast data around the chip.
It looks like Edward Snowden might not be the only NSA whistleblower according to Glenn Greenwald, with the tease coming from Greenwald who tweeted over the weekend that the fact of a second US whistleblower "seems clear at this point".
Greenwald believes there is a second US whistleblower that is leaking information about the NSA to media around the world. Greenwald added: "The lack of sourcing to Snowden on this & that last article seems petty telling". The tweet was made after a German site published an analysis of the NSA's XKEYSCORE code, which doesn't seem to have some from Snowden.
It was only after this that speculation of a second US whistleblower began, with experts agreeing that it looks like Snowden isn't alone. ARD, a German public broadcaster, said in a report last week that the NSA is using its XKEYSCORE program to track Internet users who search the web on how to stay hidden when on the Internet. Greenwald added: "I've long thought one of the most significant and enduring consequences of Snowden's successful whistleblowing will be that he will inspire other leakers to come forward".
The rise in cyberattacks and digital threats forced business leaders to pay closer attention, and that means more job opportunities. More than half of CEOs will include some type of "digital" leader by the end of 2015, according to research firm Gartner. Moving ahead, one-third of large organizations participating in digital business will have some type of "digital risk" officer.
It's a complicated time with cybercriminals finding great success compromising companies, stealing employee and customer personal data. IT security teams are suffering while trying to keep information secure, the digital risk officers will be tasked with being business savvy and have appropriate knowledge on how to address digital risk issues.
"Digital risk officers will require a mix of business acumen and understanding with sufficient technical knowledge to assess and make recommendations for appropriately addressing digital business risk," said Paul Proctor, Gartner VP and distinguished analyst. "Many traditional security officers will change their titles to digital risk and security officers, but without material change in their scope, mandate, and skills they will not fulfill this role in its entirety."
Microsoft hasn't even had its Xbox One on the market for over 12 months yet, but that shouldn't stop you from thinking the company isn't thinking ahead for its true, proper next-gen console. The company is looking for a new Industrial Designer for its Xbox team.
The company has posted an ad looking for a new Industrial Designer, with their responsibility being: "The Xbox Industrial Design studio is building a world class in house team. We love entertainment. We live for building transformative entertainment experiences that resonate with consumers. We are looking for passionate designers who want to help us create next generation entertainment hardware for Microsoft".
I think we're going to see a new console from Microsoft much quicker than previously thought, something I hope replaces the Xbox One as a proper next-gen console capable of at a bare minimum, 4K at 60FPS. This will pave the way for Microsoft to allow VR headsets like the Oculus Rift to work with it, as VR requires serious horsepower. The Xbox One has seen most of its games rendered at 720p, with most of the frame rates on 'next-gen' games locked at, or around 30FPS. This isn't really any better than the Xbox 360, and if the Xbox One is going to be here for another five years or so, it's simply not good enough.