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TweakTown News Posts - Page 69

Valve makes the CAD files for its Steam Controller public

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Mar 25, 2016 6:33 am

Valve has just unleashed the CAD files for its Steam Controller, allowing games to design their own modifications to the controller, which works with specific games, and already offers custom configurations.




Valve encourages gamers who want to design unique modifications for the Steam Controller, but Valve's approval is needed in order to sell them. Erik Johnson, a designer at Valve said that the version of the Steam Controller available at retail wasn't meant to be the final form.


The company hoped that gamers around the world would customize the hardware to their unique needs, with Johnson telling Polygon back in October 2015: "We want to release the CAD files for how these controllers are put together".

Zack Snyder criticises 'Force Awakens' death toll

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Mar 25, 2016 4:24 am

With 'Batman v Superman' hitting screens across the world, Director Zack Snyder has addressed criticisms aimed at it's predecessor 'Man of Steel's overt destruction and ensuing death toll by taking a swipe at the record-breaking 'Star Wars' sequel 'The Force Awakens'.




Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Snyder recounts a conversation he had with someone who claimed they couldn't think of a movie in recent memory with higher collateral damage, to which he responded "Really? What about ... 'Star Wars' - they destroy five planets with billions of people on them. That's gotta be one of the highest death toll movies in history, the new 'Star Wars' movie, if you just do the math."


He might be right, of course. The difference is that scene in question was shot in a sympathetic matter and only implied detail, compared to 'Man of Steel's destruction porn. We'll take an in-depth look at 'Superman v Batman in the coming days.

Oculus begins shipping its first consumer Rift headsets

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 25, 2016 3:28 am

Oculus has started shipping its final Rift headset to consumers, with Oculus boss Brendan Iribe confirming the first batch of Rift headsets will reach customers as early as March 28.




We don't know who will be getting their Rift headsets first, but I ordered within the first 5 minutes and haven't gotten shipping notification emails yet - but I did get an email minutes ago saying that my unit would be shipping in the next 1-3 weeks. I really thought I'd be in that first batch, so here's hoping to an email in the next day or so.


Let's hope that before consumers start getting their Rift headsets, that Oculus doesn't require everything to be installed onto their C: ... eh?

ZOTAC crams a GeForce GTX 980 inside of their MAGNUS EN980 at GDC 2016

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Mar 25, 2016 1:25 am

GDC 2016 - ZOTAC unveiled their MAGNUS EN980 gaming PC leading up to the Game Developers Conference, but the company had it in the flesh in the Valve suite at the show.



We got some hands-on time with the not-yet-finished prototype, so there will be some changes before it is final. Inside, there's a sixth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (the full desktop version, the same one that was shrunken down late last year for gaming notebooks) and much more.


ZOTAC is providing support for up to four displays thanks to the GTX 980, and is pushing it for VR gaming. The MAGNUS EN980 also features dual Gigabit ethernet, USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity and a super-small footprint that would fit perfectly in your living room, or for gamers on-the-go.

Continue reading 'ZOTAC crams a GeForce GTX 980 inside of their MAGNUS EN980 at GDC 2016' (full post)

AMD's next-gen Polaris-based R9 490 should rock 8GB RAM, 256-bit bus

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 25, 2016 1:12 am

As we get closer to NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference, it should come as no surprise that more leaks are arriving on AMD's next-gen Polaris architecture. This time, it's in the form of the Radeon R9 490 and R9 480 video cards.



According to the new leaks, AMD will slap 8GB of the new GDDR5 (and possibly GDDR5X) memory onto the R9 400 series cards, with a 256-bit memory bus. There'll also be 2304 fourth-generation GCN cores, which should be able to easily compete against the likes of NVIDIA's Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 cards (placeholder names, I really don't see NVIDIA calling them as the GTX 1000 series).


AMD's Polaris cards will be made on the 14nm FinFET process, but remember - these cards are the R9 490 and R9 480, not the R9 490X that should be a little beefier. The R9 490X could be different, where it will feature the faster GDDR5X, while the R9 490 might retain the GDDR5 standard.

Continue reading 'AMD's next-gen Polaris-based R9 490 should rock 8GB RAM, 256-bit bus' (full post)

Google's YouTube Connect will take on Periscope, source says

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Online Video | Posted: Mar 24, 2016 9:36 pm

Google is currently developing a competitor to livestream services Periscope, Facebook Live, and Meerkat called YouTube Connect, an anonymous source has informed VentureBeat.




The app will be available to both iOS and Android users. Once you login with your Google or YouTube account, you can begin streaming right away. Features include chat, tagging, a news feed that displays clips from your friends and anyone you subscribe to on YouTube, and broadcast storage. Videos can be viewed on YouTube in addition to within the app itself.


There's no estimated launch date as of yet, but speculation says between now and May is entirely plausible.

Bionics company wants to replace wheelchairs with robotic legs

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 24, 2016 8:12 pm

New Zealand robotics company Rex Bionics is on a mission to make wheelchairs a thing of the past. Its 'Rex' project -- which lets disabled persons walk with the use of a robotic leg device -- is already in the prototype stage and is impressive.



It does more than simply let you walk, too: sitting in a wheelchair so often on a daily basis is a lot of pressure on the body and reduces bone density, but due to its design, none of this is an issue with the Rex.


The device is slow and somewhat bulky, but represents a remarkable feat and a great starting point for the company and others in the industry to work from.

Continue reading 'Bionics company wants to replace wheelchairs with robotic legs' (full post)

AMOLED displays now cheaper to produce than LCD

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Mar 24, 2016 7:07 pm

As enthusiasts know, AMOLED displays offer all kinds of benefits over LCD (thinner, more energy efficient, and arguably better colours, to name a few), but price has held them back from becoming the technology of choice for manufacturers. That's now changed, as production costs have dropped below LCD production costs for the first time, as predicted they would this year.




IHS Technology data tells us a 5'' "full HD" smartphone display cost $17.10 with AMOLED and $15.70 with LCD to produce as of Q4 2015, but Q1 2016 shows $14.30 and $14.60, respectively.


With this shift, it's expected AMOLED will quickly become the default display technology for manufacturers in regards to mid-range and low-end devices. LCD likely won't go anywhere anytime soon, but it's going to take a hit.

Curious what Polaris' rear connectors looks like? Check inside

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 24, 2016 6:06 pm

AMD's Capsaicin event at GDC was quite the blast, if not for the reveal of their Radeon Pro Duo dual-GPU, VR-focused monster card, they also took time to show off just how potent Polaris 10 actually was. And someone was lucky enough to get a close-up of its behind. And it looks like any other GPU's derrière.




Looking closely, which is easy here, you can see that the connectors include three DisplayPort (presumably 1.3) one HDMI (likely 2.0) and a DVI-D port. And we get our first peek at the prototype PCB as well. Though it's only a prototype, and this could change. There it is. It is an engineering sample, so things could change in the future. The best part is the small form-factor it happens to be in. AMD is definitely committed to bringing more power to smaller form factors.


This is "Big Polaris", or Polaris 10, that's running the newest Hitman using DX12. It's stuffed in a Cooler Master Elite 110 case, meaning the board is minuscule to be able to fit into that case. The PCB is probably around the size of the R9 Nano and should consume less power than any Fiji based board to date.

Internet turns Microsoft's Tay AI into pro-Hitler sex robot

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 24, 2016 5:28 pm

Yesterday Microsoft launched its teen girl 'Tay' Twitter AI. It's designed to interact with followers and become smarter for it, so naturally it was doomed to fail. Within 24 hours, the Internet transformed it into a pro-Hitler sex robot, as the Internet is wont to do.




The tweets in question are deleted now, but screencaps like those below give you a healthy idea of what occurred. Warning: they're not for the easily offended.

Continue reading 'Internet turns Microsoft's Tay AI into pro-Hitler sex robot ' (full post)