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TweakTown News Posts - Page 48

Google signs 60-year lease with NASA for its own airfield

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Nov 11, 2014 4:32 am

Google's Planetary Ventures division has signed a massive agreement with NASA for the Moffett Federal Airfield, an airfield that has three hangars, two runways, and a golf course.


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The company signed a giant 60-year lease, which will cos them $6.3 million per year, or $1.16 billion in total. Google has also agreed to pledge $200 million to both restore the hangars, as well as create a previously promised educational building that will show off the airfield's role in Silicon Valley's past.


What will Google be doing with the hangar? That's not known yet, but I'm sure the search giant will unveil everything soon enough.

Ubisoft confirms there will be no Far Cry 4: Blood Dragon

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 11, 2014 3:33 am

Far Cry 4's Creative Director, Alex Hutchinson, is making headlines again today - but not for the argument that resolution is "certainly not something" he cares about in a game, but that there will not be a sequel to the surprise-hit Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.


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The announcement happened during the IGN Pubcast, where Hutchinson said: "The cool thing about Blood Dragon was that it was a surprise. It was a great use of the Far Cry 3 base, and had an awesome soundtrack. So the answer is no, you won't be getting another one of those. Hopefully we can come up with something that surprises you as much as the original Blood Dragon".


He did add that the company will get pounded about it, where he added: "And if we did make one, I'd probably get told on Twitter 'are we going to get a Blood Dragon every year? You're just in a factory churning things out'".

Next 'Star Wars' to film at UK's Pinewood Studio in 2016

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Nov 11, 2014 2:58 am

The upcoming 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens', marks the first time that a 'Star Wars' movie had been filmed in the United Kingdom since principal photography completed on 'The Phantom Menace' in 1998, with Pinewood Studios serving as the films set base. George Lucas completed principal photography of its two prequel-sequels 'Attack of the Clones' and 'Revenge of the Sith' at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia.


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Now, according to the BBC, Pinewood Studios CEO Ivan Dunleavy has confirmed that the as-yet untitled 'Episode VIII' will return to the UK studio, continuing the trend of the original 'Star Wars' trilogy.


To be directed by Rian Johnson of 'Looper' fame, 'Episode VIII' is scheduled to be released sometime in 2017.

Continue reading 'Next 'Star Wars' to film at UK's Pinewood Studio in 2016' (full post)

AMD rumored to be testing next-gen GPUs internally, known as Fiji XT

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Nov 11, 2014 2:35 am

We can't let NVIDIA have all the next-gen GPU fun, can we? AMD has reportedly kicked off internal testing of its next-generation GPU, known as Fiji XT.


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The news is coming from the database, which "monitors imports and exports to and from India, where high-tech companies employ many engineers" according to KitGuru. AMD's Indian office received a "printed circuit board assembly (video video card) C880 Fiji XT P/N.102-C88001-00" which could be the company's new GPU. is also reporting that the Fiji XT architecture will arrive to us as the Radeon R9 390X, and could use the 28nm process (which is what the R9 290X is built on) or the smaller, more power-efficient 20nm process. We should expect a new GPU from AMD in the next six months or so. The last time we heard about the Radeon R9 390X, we heard it would arrive with HBM memory and baked onto the 20nm process.

Edward Snowden to be played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in upcoming movie

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Nov 11, 2014 1:31 am

Oliver Stone is set to direct a new movie based on the life of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, with the screenplay adapted from two books: "The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man" by Luke Harding and "Time of the Octopus" by Anatoly Kucherena.


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Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play Snowden, with filming to kick off in Munich in January next year. As more details become available, we'll report on them.

Someone has installed Windows 98 onto their iPhone, and it works

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Nov 11, 2014 12:35 am

When I reviewed the iPhone 6 Plus, the one thing that held it back was iOS - but, that could be a problem of the past thanks to a Chinese man who has installed Window 98 onto his iPhone 6 Plus. Yes, Windows 98 - not Windows XP, or even Windows 7 or 8 - but Windows 98 - the OS that could handle over 720p at 30FPS close over 15 years ago now.


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The modder who installed it goes by the forum alias of 'xyq058775' and installed Microsoft's super-aged Windows 98 onto his brand new iPhone 6 Plus. He posted a bunch of pictures with some descriptions, detailing his process of installing and getting the OS running on his iPhone. The desktop OS can't run .exe files, but it can alter and change the input methods of Windows 98, which allows you to navigate through the OS.


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He was even able to run Internet Explorer, on an iPhone no less. Ugh.

Rumors abound that Apple will abandon TLC NAND for iPhone

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Storage | Posted: Nov 10, 2014 10:23 pm

Apple seems to have gotten themselves in a bind with TLC flash, at least if one is to believe the reports that the intermittent crashes and reboot cycles for iPhone 6 Plus users are due to the TLC controller. Apple refuses to comment on the issue, but several sources have speculated the problem lies with TLC NAND. Apple only uses TLC in a select few products, one being the iPhone 6 Plus, which also just happens to be the only model with the issue. Now sources are speculating that Apple is going to abandon the use of TLC NAND entirely.


Apple, as the world's largest flash customer, has a vested interest in using as many types of NAND as possible. This also includes TLC, which some view as a less-desirable form of flash. TLC stores 3 bits per cell, compared to MLC, which stores two. In the dinosaur ages (only a few years back), even MLC was considered unfit for use in mainstream devices. Only one bit per cell NAND (SLC) was considered fit for consumption. Time and clever engineering have radically altered that view, and common MLC NAND powers computers, datacenters, and just about every mobile device inbetween.


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Enter TLC. Many of the same concerns have been voiced about TLC, mirroring the initial concerns about MLC. Cost savings for Apple are always a concern, they are in the business of making money, but there are other advantages that go beyond price. In reality, Apple only saves roughly five cents per GB using TLC, but have had to invest millions to utilize it. TLC does have lower endurance than other forms of NAND, but it also stores more data. For Apple this is a desirable attribute that has more traction than the cost savings of slightly cheaper TLC NAND. They can pack more data into the slim device, and that is part of the reason they are very unlikely to abandon TLC. HD Video and high-res images require more storage space, and recent concerns about the safety of data in the cloud are leading to increased storage capacity in mobile devices.

Continue reading 'Rumors abound that Apple will abandon TLC NAND for iPhone' (full post)

OWC launches PS4 upgrade kit that quadruples storage up to 2TB

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Storage | Posted: Nov 10, 2014 9:16 pm

Other World Computing (OWC) has announced a new PlayStation 4 upgrade kit. The current crop of new game consoles are becoming more focused on becoming the hub of the home entertainment system. This leads to a need for more storage, but unfortunately the stock storage capacity of gaming consoles hasn't increased enough. Swapping out the internal drive on the PS4 usually voids your warranty(**correction - Users can swap drives with any drive without voiding warranty**), but OWC has announced a fix for that problem.


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OWC's new Hard Drive Upgrade Kit allows users to boost their capacity up to 2TB, and still retain their warranty. The kit claims to boost performance and features a 5,400 RPM drive in the 2.5" form factor. As an added bonus, OWC includes an external enclosure that allows users to convert the old internal drive into external storage. The kit includes everything you need to backup the data on the existing drive, then transfer it over to the new one. A set of fairly simple instructions is included, and is also available online.


The kit can be purchased with 1, 1.5, or 2TB HGST/Toshiba/Seagate HDD's (different capacity points feature different drives). Interestingly enough, the 1TB will provide the most performance, as it is actually an SSHD. SSHD's merge flash goodness with spinning platters to provide much faster data for commonly loaded data, such as the PS4 OS. Tyler recently took a look at Toshiba's SSHD, and you can get a good idea of the performance boost by reading his Toshiba 1TB SSHD (MQ01ABD100H) Review. The Toshiba drive will definitely boost the speed and load times of commonly accessed games, and we would like to see OWC offer SSHD's for higher capacities as well.

Continue reading 'OWC launches PS4 upgrade kit that quadruples storage up to 2TB' (full post)

Major US Postal Service breach hits millions of employees, customers

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Nov 10, 2014 8:57 pm

The United States Postal Service confirmed a data breach that affected more than 800,000 employees and customers that called its data center from January to August 2014. The compromised employee data includes names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers, employment timeline and emergency contact information, but the data intrusion was relatively "limited in scope."


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The unknown attackers wanted to breach the USPS network - and used a sophisticated cyberattack - but it appears credit card data and identity theft weren't the goals of the breach. However, the USPS is a lucrative target for foreign-based hackers, as there is a significant amount of information available, security experts say.


Here is what the USPS said in a statement: "Postal Service transactional revenue systems in Post Offices as well as on where customers pay for services with credit and debit cards have not been affected by this incident. There is no evidence that any customer credit card information from retail or online purchases such as Click-N-Ship, the Postal Store, PostalOne!, change of address or other services was compromised."

Apple iOS security flaw leaves most devices vulnerable

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Nov 10, 2014 7:58 pm

The Apple iOS mobile operating system has a major security flaw that leaves a large portion of iPhones and iPads vulnerable to security breaches by cybercriminals looking to hijack devices and steal sensitive information.


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The "Masque Attack" exploits the Apple enterprise/ad-hoc provisioning system, and is a powerful vulnerability that cybercriminals can easily exploit. Apple is working to fix the bug after being informed by cybersecurity experts in July, FireEye said.


Here is what the FireEye blog notes: "Masque Attacks can pose much bigger threats than WireLurker. Masque Attacks can replace authentic apps, such as banking and email apps, using attacker's malware through the Internet. That means the attacker can steal user's banking credentials by replacing an authentic banking app with malware that has identical UI."

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