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TweakTown News Posts - Page 54

Skype's chat bots are now available to carry on conversations on Mac

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 7:08 pm

Chat bots are becoming increasingly more complex with the ability to actually hold down a real(ish) conversation. Microsoft has been previewing some of their advanced AI (not the now failed Tay project) through Skype, but it has previously only been available to users of Windows, Android or even iOS. The desktop (and larger mobile) Apple crowd had been left out. That's changed, just in case you'd rather not talk to humans.




The Mac client now natively supports talking to the bots, as does the web client, of course. Bot integration is now available because sometimes talking to real humans can be a pain in the tuckus. Though this isn't an example of advanced interaction, you're able to try speaking to six different bots that are in a beta state. These six bots are able to spit out basic information to queries you make. You can ask for the latest news, weather, and other things like that. They even understand natural language, so you shouldn't have to modify how you ask questions to get the proper response.


Now, to actually make them available you'll have to take a number of steps. On your Mac in the Skype app, navigate to Contacts, then select Add Bot. Easy enough really. In the web client, all you have to do is click on the Discover Bot on the left-hand side. Then you'll be able to interact with relatively intelligent assistants, which is what it amounts to at the moment.


The services they provide are elementary at best, but these can grow as we're able to create more sophisticated AI programs. Even understanding natural language input is a feat unto itself. As AI can become more sophisticated, we might see actual chatbots that can respond naturally to what we input as well. Maybe one day, but we'll have to wait so that the Internet doesn't make it into an anti-Semitic console hater.

PlayStation Neo games required to run at native 1080p minimum

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 6:35 pm

Sony has set a strict requirement that all PlayStation Neo games run at a minimum resolution of native 1080p.




Sony's new PlayStation Neo (PS4.5/PS4K) will ensure native rendering resolution of 1920 x 1080 is the new standard for its games library--no more 900p upscaled to 1080p tricks. This new native standard is to allow smooth 1080p to 4K resolution upscaling, which is made possible by the console's new hardware. The PS4 Neo is powered by an APU built with what appears to be a Polaris 10 Ellesmere GPU derivative clocked at 911MHz, combined with a 2.1GHz 8-core Jaguar CPU, and rounded off by 8GB GDDR5 RAM at 218 GB/s.


Giant Bomb dropped the new details, citing leaked internal documents as their source. "It seems like [Sony] won't allow a display buffer lower than 1080 in Neo Mode, so these cases of games under 1080 getting scaled up, seems like that will only be a Base Mode thing," the publication said in its latest podcast.

Continue reading 'PlayStation Neo games required to run at native 1080p minimum' (full post)

Lian Li's latest product combines desk and case into one

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 6:05 pm

Lian Li is combing two centerpieces of the desktop into one clever product: the desk and the case. The DK-04 blends both seamlessly while looking damn slick in the process, as well as offering water cooling and the option for a standing desk setup thanks to adjustable height settings.



You can mount up to eight 2.5'' or 3.5'' drives easily with thumbscrews on the DK-04; support for eight expansion slots and VGA cards up to 320mm in length means just about any graphics configuration is possible; four USB 3.0 ports, HD audio inputs, and an optional lighting kit are located at the front. Anchored cable clips means better organization.

Continue reading 'Lian Li's latest product combines desk and case into one' (full post)

Fallout 4's first Creation Kit mod hits, adds new quests and monsters

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 5:34 pm

Fallout 4's first-ever Creation Kit mod is now available for download, featuring two new quests, enemies, weapons, and a bunch of other custom content.



The mod is called Ransacked Relays and Shuddersome Subways, and is made by the infamous modder trainwiz, and shows off the versatility of the Fallout 4 Creation Kit with a few quick quests and fully-customized interiors.


All in all the mod is pretty quick, but it's a nice taste of what to expect when Creation Kit mods hit later this month. If you download the mod check our quick walkthrough below to help you get up and running.

Continue reading 'Fallout 4's first Creation Kit mod hits, adds new quests and monsters' (full post)

Mitsubishi admits it manipulated fuel efficiency tests

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 5:07 pm

Japanese car maker Mitsubishi admitted today that it cheated on fuel efficiency tests for select models in an effort to present 5 to 10 percent better than accurate numbers. President Tetsuro Aikawa and other company executives (pictured below) bowed in apology at a press conference today.




The cheating occurred when testing the air resistance and rolling resistance of tires tests, where "improper conduct" was used; Bloomberg reports this included intentionally varying the load placed above the wheels of the vehicles. Additionally, the company stated it has been using a mileage test since 2002 that isn't compliant with Japanese law.


Models affected include the eK Wagon and eK Space, as well as the Dayz and Dayz Roox as supplied to Nissan. All are mini-cars, none of which are available outside of Asia; 625,000 units were sold or supplied through March 2016.

Continue reading 'Mitsubishi admits it manipulated fuel efficiency tests' (full post)

The PlayStation 3 isn't getting left out, gets a new update to 4.80

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 4:04 pm

Though the PlayStation 4 is nearly half through it's life, Sony isn't quite done with supporting the PS3 just yet and have issued another update to the aging console for those the no doubt sizable amount of people who still own and play it. Update 4.80 is available either through as a manually installed .pup file or via auto-update.




The update is more of a stability update than anything else, with not mention of any included features or specific fixes that it might address. The last update, firmware 4.76 which was released in January of 2016, was also more of a general stability update with the only other mentioned feature being the discontinuation of support for Facebook integration.


There are still a surprising amount of PS3's in the wild that are actually being used. They are still a viable platform for consuming media and even for playing games. The back catalog of great games is rather large and the ability to play more PSOne classics or PS2-era games via backward compatibility is much appreciated, though that's coming to the PS4 slowly but surely. It is, however, nice to see Sony take the time to address any latent issues in the older console because it likely still sells for them now that they're profitable to manufacture for them. The PlayStation 2 lived on well after the PS3 was released in the guise of a smaller device, which sold well in Japan and in the west. It's a natural move, there are plenty of great games to still play on the PS3 even.

Continue reading 'The PlayStation 3 isn't getting left out, gets a new update to 4.80' (full post)

The Xbox 360 is being discontinued

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 3:24 pm

It's official--the Xbox 360 is done. Microsoft will no longer manufacture new Xbox 360 consoles, so existing inventory is all we have left.




Microsoft today announced that it will be discontinuing the Xbox 360 console, choosing the tenth anniversary to reveal the upsetting news. Microsoft really does have a weird way of celebrating a whole decade of gaming, don't they?


"Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft. And while we've had an amazing run, the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us. Which is why we have made the decision to stop manufacturing new Xbox 360 consoles. We will continue to sell existing inventory of Xbox 360 consoles, with availability varying by country."

Continue reading 'The Xbox 360 is being discontinued' (full post)

Maingear's new 15-inch mobile workstation combines Xeons and Maxwell

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 3:06 pm

Maingear just added a new 15-inch portable workstation to their lineup of portable powerhouses. The new Pulse 15 Pro combines NVIDIA's Quadro M2000M professional graphics with Intel's mobile Xeon's to make for a very productive, yet thin, mobile workstation.




Maingear has stuffed a lot of fast technology into a very small package with the new Pulse 15 Pro. It's only .75-inches thick but has an Intel Xeon E3-1505M running at 2.6GHz installed with up to 16GB of ECC enabled DDR4-2133MHz RAM and can have up to two Samsung 950 Pro NVMe enabled M.2 drives in RAID 0 for some insane read and write speeds. The shining star, of course, is the Quadro M2000M with 4GB of RAM with 640 CUDA cores capable of accelerating any OpenCL or CUDA workload you might run across. That can drive up to a 4K (2160P) IPS screen. As with all of Maingears products, you can choose from a variety of paint schemes where they apply automotive grade paint to the top cover. This all starts at a $2549.


The idea is that content creators and professionals of all types can use this to properly edit 4K video while on the go. It's also quite useful for anyone that needs a bit of power and the safety of ECC memory. "The Pulse 15 Pro will offer even the most demanding creative professional, with incredible processing power, blazing speed and impeccable graphics performance," said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of MAINGEAR. "With 4K video so easily accessible, even some of the most powerful machines can 'hiccup' when rendering it, however we've built this new workstation to effortlessly power through it."

Continue reading 'Maingear's new 15-inch mobile workstation combines Xeons and Maxwell' (full post)

Netflix says VPN ban uproar is 'inconsequential'

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Online Video | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 3:03 pm

Back in January, Netflix began getting serious about cracking down on VPN users, which utilize various software to gain access to other countries' broader catalogues. It made good on its word which has since prompted over 40,000 people to sign a petition demanding the company back off. Despite this, it's not concerned, calling the uproar 'inconsequential' in its earnings call this week.




"It's a very small but quite vocal minority," said CEO Reed Hastings. "So it's really inconsequential to us, as you could see in the Q1 results."


That said, Netflix sympathizes strongly with that minority, having stated publicly many times it eventually wants all of its content to be globally available, thus eliminating the demand for VPNs among its users.

Continue reading 'Netflix says VPN ban uproar is 'inconsequential'' (full post)

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