Flash Memory Summit 2013 - Earlier this week, we had the chance to talk with OCZ's Allon Cohen about the company's software and hardware for the enterprise SSD market.
Cohen said that since being acquired by OCZ, SANRAD has had the opportunity to take a look at the entire data path from the time it is requested by the application until it gets stored in the flash.
He said that their software has added on top of this, another element that will make policy based decisions on what data should be stored into the flash, which helps provide their end users a much more efficient and better performing solution.
Our Tweakipedia section has a new post.
We've just written a guide on how to use Windows Updates Downloader, which is a tiny piece of software that downloads specific Windows Updates for you. This can help if you're installing Windows often, or installing Windows to multiple machines on a regular basis. It can also help out immensely when you want to slipstream these updates into an up-to-date Windows installation disc.
You can read more on the Tweakipedia article right here!
According to AMD's Vice President of Channel Sales, Roy Taylor, NVIDIA's CUDA and PhysX platforms are an utter failure. How does he get to that conclusion? Because the industry doesn't like proprietary standards.
Taylor continued: "NVIDIA should be congratulated for its invention. As a trend, GPGPU is absolutely fantastic and fabulous. But that was then, this is now. Now, collectively our industry doesn't want a proprietary standard. That's why people are migrating to OpenCL." The AMD VP says that Intel will continue adding more GPU to their die.
Taylor said that with Intel's Sandy Bridge platform, 17% of the die was GPU. Ivy Bridge notched that up to 27%, and Haswell sees 32% of its die reserved for GPU silicon. He thinks that Intel will eventually use the term APU, but not for a little while yet. He adds: "We think the reason they're doing that is because of GPGPU. It's not because of games. I think they see that HSA is an absolutely unstoppable force. I just don't know why they don't call [Haswell] an APU... it seems just like pride. If you remember [ATI] tried to join the coin term VPU... 'No, no, no, it's a VPU not a GPU,' they would say. GPU just became widely adopted they just quietly adopted it, and I believe Intel will do the same. Look [Intel] it's an APU, why are you protesting?"
AMD have been promising a huge driver update for a little while now, and before we receive this new wonder driver, AMD have released the Catalyst 13.8 Beta drivers.
The new AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta drivers fix the frame latency issues that are apparent on Graphics CoreNext (GCN) GPUs, meaning micro-stuttering issues with CrossFire configurations should see some big improvements. The driver also includes a fix that ensures frames generated by member GPUs of a CrossFire configuration are displayed in an even and regular pace.
AMD have also provided full support for the OpenGL 4.3 API in the latest Catalyst 13.8 Beta drivers. Once you've downloaded them, you can create application profiles within Catalyst Control Center for OpenGL applications, with CAP updates now pushed out for such apps.
Spotify are now working with YouTube channel Official Comedy, where they've launched an app that collects content into a large comedy audio library for your pleasure.
The new app features stand-up specials from comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Aziz Ansari, Louis C.K., Mike Birbiglia, George Carlin, Margaret Cho and Kevin. I didn't know who or what Official Comedy was until today, but they're a division of new media and entertainment company Bedrocket Media Ventures. Spotify's Chief Content Officer, Ken Parks, said in a statement: "The Official Comedy app on Spotify gives our users access to a customized comedy experience that is just as extensive as our music experience."
Spotify's new comedy-themed app is curated and edited by Official Comedy, who provide playlists that are based on specific themes. The app will also be updated regularly and will feature new comedians and playlists. Upon launch of the new Spotify app, there are a bunch of other comedians included: Hannibal Buress, Bill Cosby, Ellen DeGeneres, Jim Gaffigan, Artie Lange, Steve Martin, Patton Oswalt, Monty Python, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman and Daniel Tosh.
Today, Apple began pushing out an update that will bring its Final Cut Pro X software up to version 10.0.9. The new update addresses several issues that result in green artifacts when using Sony XAVC media and issues related to interlaced media and retimed segments that have been causing exports to fail.
Also included in the update are several unnamed stability fixes which we can assume fix issues with other file formats. The update is significant at 1.64GB and can be downloaded via the software's built in update tool. This is the first update since 10.0.8 which was released back in March and included several feature enhancements in a move to hopefully lure back many of the pros that jumped ship to Adobe's Premiere Pro when Final Cut Pro 10 was released.
Piriform have just released the latest version of CCleaner, bringing the cleaning software to version number 4.04. CCleaner 4.04 includes support for the latest operating system from Microsoft, as well as all the latest browser updates from the last month or so.
This version includes support for Windows 8.1 preview, and more:
- Added Windows 8.1 Preview support.
- Added Internet Explorer 11 cleaning.
- Added Opera 15 cleaning.
- Improved Google Chrome cleaning: Flash Cookies, Channel ID Cookies and Last Download Location.
- Improved detection of Chromium based browsers.
- Added Comodo IceDragon cleaning.
- Improved detection and cleaning of portable browsers.
- Improved Monitoring notifications (Pro version).
- Added cleaning for Sony Vegas Pro 12.0, Bing Search, Bing Finance, Bing Maps, Bing News, Bing Sports and Bing Travel.
- Added Hindi translation.
- Minor GUI improvements and bug fixes.
You can download CCleaner 4.04 right here.
Today, ASUS ROG launched the first PCIe-based SSD in the world that works with either Legacy or Modern UEFI BIOS. The RAIDR Express is geared towards hardcore gamers and PC enthusiasts who demand nothing but the best performance possible for their PC. ASUS says that the new PCIe-based SSD combines the best compatibility with incredible performance and durability.
We have seen many other PCIe-based SSDs, but what makes the RAIDR Express so unique is a hardware switch that allows users to switch to either Legacy BIOS or use the more modern UEFI BIOS that is found on more modern high-end motherboards. The switching is made possible because ASUS has included dual BIOS chips on the board, something that has never been done in the SSD world until now.
The RAIDR Express features the latest-generation dual LSI SandForce controller, Toshiba-made 19nm 16K-page size multi-level cell (MLC) sync-NAND flash, 100,000 4K read/write input/output operations per second (IOPS), and 830/810 MB/s sequential read/write speeds, meaning RAIDR Express truly lives up to its name.
Today, Piriform released an update to everyone's favorite PC cleaning utility, CCleaner. The company says that they have been keeping up with the latest operating system and browser updates and have updated CCleaner to version 4.04 to meet all your system tuning needs. This update brings forth support for Windows 8.1 Preview as well as cleaning for Internet Explorer 11 and Opera 15. The company says that they have also improved the way the program cleans unwanted data from Chrome.
The improvements for cleaning Chrome include the ability to remove Flash Cookies, Channel ID cookies, and the last download location. The company also added Comodo Ice Dragon cleaning and improved the detection and cleaning of portable browsers. The professional version added improved monitoring notifications and several bug fixes as well. Finally, cleaning has been added for Sony Vegas Pro 12.0, Bing Search, Bing Finance, Bing Maps, Bing News, Bing Sports, and Bing Travel. You can update CCleaner by simply loading it up on your machine or you can head over to Source #2 and download the latest version.
It is safe to bet that any video professional, enthusiast, or even home theater junkie has heard of and most certainly used the H.264 codec which has become the de facto standard for compressing high-definition video. H.264 uses very complicated algorithms that help accelerate the decoding process, which in turn reduces energy consumption and allows for higher bit rates. Yesterday, we participated in a briefing on the new X265 and HEVC encoder project that is being tackled by a company called MulticoreWare.
The X264 encoder remains one of the leading H.264 encoders on the market and it resides under both the open source GNU GPL license as well as a commercial license which is designed for companies that wish to inject their own proprietary code without having to release it into the open source community. With Ultra HD Video beginning to flow in, H.264 was just not delivering the performance needed for high bit rate, high quality output. This is where H.265 comes in the play along with MulticoreWare.
High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), aka H.265, is being designed to replace H.264 and the official standard was released just over a month ago. And today, MulticoreWare announced its commercial open source project around the x265 encoder. The company has released the source code for x265 and it is available for download at Source #1 below. The x265 encoder is already highly parallel and supports all of the big instruction sets including FMA3/FMA4, AVX, and AVX2.
Today, Piriform released an update to its popular defragmentation software Defraggler. The company says that this release optimizes the Analyze and the Defrag functions across all operating systems and it contains an improved context menu to better aid in serving up defrag options.
Additionally, the company has added file type and last modified date columns to the file list as well as added progress information to boot time defrag processes. Furthermore, they have improved handling of locked and read-only drives as well as improved the management of unmounted drives. Finally, additional improvements have been made to the GUI and several bugs have been fixed.
In news that isn't so surprising, Adblock have reportedly been receiving money to display ads to their paying customers through Adblock Plus. The news is coming from Hacker News, which states that Adblock Plus has an "acceptable ads" filter that allows certain content through by default.
Adblock has big companies paying for this, with the company stating that this fee is to help maintain their filter lists, which whitelists some small websites and blogs for free. But, it will charge larger companies like Google to do as they wish. This allows companies the size of Google to pay to have their ads in front of people who paid to not see ads at all.
Will this result in a company coming out and making software that completely kills ads? I think not, because ads are what makes the Internet go round, just like oil does for the world.
NVIDIA released their GeForce 320.49 drivers last week, but they arrived in beta form. This week, though, NVIDIA have released them yet again, but have donned them with the WHQL stamp of stability.
We have the usual bug fixes and performance games with a 5-10% increase in performance for Metro: Last Night, Assassin's Creed 3, Starcraft 2 and BioShock: Infinite. A bigger 17-20% jump is given to Dirt and Tomb Raider. Artifacting issues in Battlefield 3 should be fixed, and EvE Retribution and Assassins Creed 3 should also be fixed up no.
The dual-monitor problems that saw GPU's running at higher performance levels has been fixed, so has the issue with GeForce GTX 680M-based notebooks going black after enabling SLI or 3D. You can grab the GeForce 320.49 WHQL drivers here.
Well, DirectX 11.2 is coming folks, and it will be exclusive to Windows 8.1 and Xbox One. Microsoft have confirmed the news, with the new iteration of Microsoft's software including tiles resources, which will allow developers to cram more detail into our games, and much more.
DirectX 11.2 is built to use both system RAM and graphics RAM to store textures, with Microsoft's Antoine Leblond saying that the tiled resources will see DirectX 11.2-based games have much better resolution of textures displayed in-game. Leblond used a live example, showing off a demo that used 9GB of texture data that was held in system RAM compared to graphics RAM.
This is great for PC gamers, but it also means gamers will be looking at a new OS once again. Microsoft are doing it strangely, too, as they won't be offering DirectX 11.2 to Windows 8 - so it looks like Windows 8 is done and dusted for if you're a gamer. Glad I haven't made the switch yet.
Microsoft have just updated their plans and will use their extensive cloud resources to crank out Office updates quicker, increasing the update period to every three weeks.
Jeff Teper, who is the Corporate Vice President for Microsoft's Office division, has told Bloomberg "within a year, users of Internet-based versions of Office productivity software, as well as e-mail, telephony and collaboration tools, will have parts of their software refreshed weekly." Does this news help you at all? An updated Office is a better office, yes?
If you're one that lives on the bleeding edge and use an AMD Radeon GPU, you might want to check out their new drivers. AMD have just announced a specialized driver for Windows 8.1, as the new OS features an upgraded display driver model, WDDM 1.3.
GPU's based on AMD's Graphics CoreNext (GCN) architecture will be supported by Windows 8.1 over WDDM 1.3, but older VLIW4 and VLIW5-based GPU's (such as the Radeon HD 6000 series and older) will be supported through WDDM 1.2-based drivers. Windows 8.1 provides some slick new enhancements to PC graphics, such as support for Microsoft's own standardized wireless display technology; 48Hz dynamic refresh rates for video playback, V-sync interrupt optimization, video conferencing acceleration, and a new instruction to the DirectX 11.1 API named "tiled resources".
The AMD Windows 8.1 Preview Catalyst driver is in beta, so you've been warned. You can download the new drivers right here.
NVIDIA have released the GeForce 320.49 Beta drivers, which are perfect for the just-released GeForce GTX 760 GPU. The new beta drivers not only include support for NVIDIA's latest mid-range GPU, but they include a bunch of fixes that were reported with previous drivers.
These fixes include problems with image corruption and artifacting Eve Online: Retribution, Assassin's Creed III, Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. The GeForce 320.49 Beta drivers also include, or add SLI support for a number of titles: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Natural Selection 2, Trackmania 2: Canyon and GRID 2.
You can download the drivers right here.
Good guy Razer is giving their Surround Virtual 7.1 software away for free, asks you to donate to charity if you like it
Razer has just announced a new software package targeted at gamers that will allow them to turn their boring old normal headphones into a 7.1 channel surround beast. Razer Surround, according to the company, goes above and beyond existing multi-channel simulation packages by giving users a calibration system that tunes the effect for individual listeners.
The software is designed as an add-on for the Razer Synapse 2.0 software package and the company has plans to offer it for sale in 2014 for $19.99, but the company is offering a pretty sweet deal to early adopters. Anyone wishing to purchase Razer Surround before January 1, 2014 will receive an unprecedented 100-percent discount.
Razer simply asked that if you find the software useful that you donate some cash to the Child's Play charity (source #2). The software is compatible with Windows Vista and higher and provides preconfigured calibrations for all razor audio products. Custom configurations can be built to calibrate for third-party headsets and users will need to register for Razer Synapse 2.0, so an online connection is needed.
After one million streams on Pandora, the music streaming service only paid the artist $16 - the US government is to blame
After streaming out one million times over Pandora, artist David Lowery received just $16.89. The songwriter and musician's song "Low" was streamed 1,159,000 times on Pandora in a three-month period, where he received that piddly amount of money.
Spotify streamed his song 116,620 times and paid him $12.05 for this amount and lastly, Sirius XM streamed the song 179 times paying him $181.94 - more than $1 per stream, a much better amount. Who is to blame here from this piddly amount paid from Pandora? The US government, and more specifically, the US Congress.
US Congress are the ones who set the rates at which royalties are paid to artists. Lowery himself explains:
For you civilians webcasting rates are "compulsory" rates. They are set by the government (crazy, right?). Further since they are compulsory royalties, artists can not "opt out" of a service like Pandora even if they think Pandora doesn't pay them enough. The majority of songwriters have their rates set by the government, too, in the form of the ASCAP and BMI rate courts-a single judge gets to decide the fate of songwriters (technically not a "compulsory" but may as well be).
TechPowerUp's GPU-Z is something every enthusiast and power user should have installed, and if you don't - it's about time you get it. The graphics hardware information, diagnostic and monitoring utility has been updated to version 0.7.2.
The new version includes support for new GPU's, such as the upcoming GeForce GTX 760, as well as the new mobile GPU solution, the Radeon HD 8970M. There's also improved support for Intel's HD 4xxx series of embedded graphics found in the Haswell processors, and more user interface feature additions. A full change-log is below:
- Added support for NVIDIA GTX 760, Tesla K10, GT740M (GK208)
- Added support for AMD HD 8490, HD 8970M, HD 7400D
- Improved support for Intel Haswell graphics
- Added die size, transistors, release date for Haswell
- Added AMD graphics card logo
- Added translations: Greek, Portuguese (Brazil)
- Updated translation: French
- Fixed rare crash during DirectCompute detection
When Adobe announced that it would be moving its entire suite of creative software into a cloud based subscription model, analyst and industry insiders everywhere thought that this would finally solve the piracy issues that have
plagued benefited Adobe for years. As it turns out, that was not the case.
Not even a full 24 hours after it was released, Adobe's Photoshop Creative Cloud has been pirated. Photography website Fstoppers is reporting that pirated copies of the just released software are already popping up on BitTorrent sites.
The files reportedly do not require authentication through Adobe's servers as the pirated software takes advantage of the software's offline mode.