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TweakTown News Posts - Page 85

SpaceX delays its first crewed NASA flight to 2018

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Dec 13, 2016 3:31 pm

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft made history back in 2012 when it became the first commercial spacecraft in history to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and safely return cargo to Earth, a feat previously achieved only by governments. Although Dragon currently carries cargo to space, it was designed to carry humans, and it should have a major role in getting to Mars.

 

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The Dragon spacecraft has yet to welcome its first crew onboard, which was planned for December 2017. However, according to NASA's Commercial Crew Program Target Flight Dates list, the 14-day test flight has been rescheduled for May 2018.

 

This decision is most likely related to Falcon 9's explosion in September and the company's investigation of the incident. Elon Musk said that the cause of the accident was "a combination of liquid helium, advanced carbon fiber composites, and solid oxygen," but earlier this month they rescheduled the launch of satellites for Iridium Communications because they are "completing the final steps necessary to safely return to flight."

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Nokia-branded Android smartphone could cost only $150

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 13, 2016 2:26 pm

Earlier this year Nokia signed a strategic brand and intellectual property licensing agreement enabling HMD Global (a Nokia Corporation, the original Nokia, affiliate) to create a new generation of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets. HMD announced that it has agreed to acquire from Microsoft the rights to use the Nokia brand on feature phones, and certain related design rights.

 

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Next year will bring us the first Nokia-branded smartphone by HMD Global. There are reports the company should introduce the phone, currently known as the Nokia D1C, in February next year, at MWC.

 

The smartphone will be launched in two versions which will differ in display size and the amount of memory. The more expensive variant should come with 3GB of RAM and a 5.5-inch display. The expected price is $200.

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Synaptics partners with OXi Technology

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 13, 2016 1:36 pm

Synaptics announced they are partnering up with OXi Technology, a Shanghai-based developer of unique and patented optical fingerprint technology.

 

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The two will work on developing new proprietary optical sensing solutions for smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

 

Rick Bergman, President, and CEO of Synaptics, said in an official statement:

 

Synaptics' strategic engagement with OXi is the company's first move beyond capacitive technology and expands our innovative human interface portfolio into exciting new directions. This innovation will allow the removal of the home button and enable cleaner industrial designs for smartphones. Our close partnership with OXi supports getting to market very quickly with new and advanced optical fingerprint solutions that are scheduled to sample soon, and advances our China presence and support network.

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PS4 Pro patch cuts 4K gaming on old 4K HDMI 1.4 displays

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 13, 2016 1:22 pm

Sony really needs to pay more attention to its firmware patches. The company has just rolled out a new console firmware patch that killed one of the major benefits of the PlayStation 4 Pro, which is being able to play games at 4K 30FPS over HDMI 1.4 on older 4K HDTVs and monitor displays.

 

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Before now, you didn't even need a newer 4K display with HDMI 2.0 to play games in 4K on the PS4 Pro. Having to buy a new $500-700 4K display on top of the PS4 Pro's $399 cost was a deal-breaker for some, so the console's ability to play games in 4K over the older HDMI 1.4 spec was a welcomed addition.

 

Until Sony literally broke that functionality. The PS4 Pro's new Firmware 4.05 has disabled the console's YUV240 mode that allowed users to play games at 2160p at up to 60Hz on HDMI 1.4 displays. The 2160p YUV420 mode drops chroma levels down thereby reducing the bandwidth required for a full 60Hz signal. As Eurogamer notes, this trade-off means that low-resolution artefacting is possible.

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Synaptics helps get rid of fingerprint sensor buttons

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 13, 2016 1:00 pm

Today, Synaptics announced their new optical fingerprint sensor - the FS9100, which is capable of high-resolution scanning through 1mm of full cover glass and enables clean button-free industrial designs.

 

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The fingerprint sensor is designed to be placed under coverglass, meaning it doesn't require its own separate button. The FS9100 can be integrated into a single piece of glass on the front of the phone, so hopefully we can say 'goodbye' to separate buttons for fingerprint sensors and hello to even sleeker phone designs.

 

The FS9100 optical fingerprint sensors are designed for placement under the cover glass, including 2.5D glass, located in the front, bottom bezel of devices. The real innovation is being able to work through the existing device glass, up to 1mm thick, meaning that the fingerprint sensor is now as durable as your gorilla glass (or other glass) screen.

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Vega 10 with 8GB HBM2 plays DOOM at 4K Ultra, hits 70FPS

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Dec 13, 2016 12:21 pm

AMD Tech Summit 2016 - One of the things I've been wanting to tell the world is that I got to see AMD's next-generation graphics card in action at their Tech Summit in Sonoma, California a few days ago - and now, I can.

 

 

I was witness to seeing Vega 10 rocking 8GB of next generation HBM2 technology running DOOM at 4K (3840x2160) on Ultra settings, with an average of 70FPS. Impressive stuff, considering that NVIDIA's fastest GeForce GTX 1080 and Titan X are required to hit those performance numbers in DOOM.

 

I had my hand behind the card, which had its fans cranked up to 100% - and it was pushing out some serious heat - but this is a prototype board that is months from being finished. Still, a major technology turn on for me. We don't know much else about the Vega 10-based graphics card that was inside of the PC, either. There have been leaks all over the place about this, and a few of you have been wondering why I haven't written about it.

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Xbox boss: Project Scorpio isn't a response to PS4 Pro

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Dec 13, 2016 6:47 am

Sony might have its 4K-ready PS4 Pro out right now, but Microsoft has been enjoying success with the Xbox One S thanks to its 4K Blu-ray player (what's going on, Sony?) - and now we're hearing about Microsoft's confidence in its new "monster" Project Scorpio console due in 2017.

 

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Xbox boss Phil Spencer was fielding questions on Twitter as always, where he teased: "Looking forward to E3. We build our Xbox plans for Xbox customers, not in response to others. I think 2017 will be a good year". Then @MasyerGaming asked Spencer "are you guys keeping the promise of 6 teraflop GPU on scorpio rumors are running its been dropped to 5 tell me its not true."

 

Spencer replied: "Nothing has changed since our announce," so we're safe - Project Scorpio still has 6 TFLOPs of GPU performance, and Microsoft asserts it will enable native 4K console gaming, which the PS4 Pro has trouble sustaining.

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ASUS to lead gaming monitor market in 2017

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Dec 13, 2016 5:25 am

We all know that high-end gaming displays are expensive, but holy hell are they beautiful to game on - especially in games like Overwatch, CS:GO, Battlefield 1, and more - when you're hitting that 144Hz+ mark, it's amazing.

 

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ASUS has been running the gaming monitor market for a while now, but things will be changing in a big way in 2017. Right now, ASUS is the largest vendor of gaming monitors with 35% of the market, while BenQ has around 22-24%, and Acer with 17-19%. Worldwide LCD shipments hit 120 million units in 2015, and are expected to reach the same point in 2016 - but in 2015, the 144Hz gaming monitor shipments reached 550,000 - 600,000 units.

 

144Hz gaming monitors are expected to shift from the 600K units shipped in 2015 to a huge 1.2 million in 2016 - and while this represents just 1% of the total 120 million LCD monitor shipments, the average selling price (ASP) of gaming displays is much higher, so there are lots of profits in this market. DigiTimes is reporting that according to vendors current orders, worldwide gaming monitor shipments are expected to reach 2.5 million units in 2017, and a massive 3.5 million in 2018.

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Oppo launches first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Dec 13, 2016 5:00 am

Renowned for producing some of the best Blu-ray players ever made, oppo has finally launched their first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player - and it includes all the features that aficionados have been waiting for.

 

 

From the product breakdown published by the company this week, the UDP-203 is a behemoth, including the following features:

 

  • Full compatibility with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, AVCHD, SACD and CD
  • Firmware upgradeable to support Dolby Vision video output (first confirmed player to do so)
  • Twin HDMI outputs for separate video and audio connections
  • Twin USB 3.0 media ports, supporting a wide range of audio and video codecs
  • High resolution audio with lossless decoding for PCM and DSD
  • 7.1ch analog audio outputs

 

While the company is promising an even higher-end unit in the coming year, on paper their first player looks to be the one to beat. If you're in the US you can order a unit from here, while other locales will launch in the coming months. We can't wait to get our hands-on one!

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Steam client update supports 4K in-house streaming, more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 13, 2016 3:53 am

Valve has pushed out a new Steam client update, with a bunch of tweaks, optimizations, and new features - including higher bandwidth options for those wanting to blast around 4K in-house streaming.

 

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There's also new controller options, as well as a Steam Configurator support for Sony's DualShock 4 controller, improved downloading and patching speeds when games are being downloaded/updated on a mechanical HDD (seriously, buy an SSD). The full update log is below:

 

General

 

  • We have recently updated our Privacy Policy to comply with the Privacy Shield Framework as agreed to by the US Department of Commerce and the European Commission. The Privacy Policy notes our compliance with Privacy Shield and provides contact information in the event customers have questions regarding our privacy practices.
  • Updated web control to CEF v55.0.2883. This version requires Windows 7 or macOS 10.9 and above, users on older OS versions will continue running the existing version.
  • Improved the error message shown when trying to run a 64-bit game on a 32-bit OS.
  • Improved download and patching speeds when games are installed to a traditional non-SSD hard drive.
  • Improved error messages when unable to launch a game that requires a third-party key.
  • Added web links to Steam Support pages in Change Password wizard.
  • Fixed crash on launch if you had some malformed music album images.
  • Fixed third-party mods showing up as the incorrect game name in the friends lists.

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