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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.
Java is notoriously full of security holes, with several being exploited earlier this year and sending Oracle scrambling to patch them up. Oracle's latest Java patch brings with it fixes for some 40 security holes. Because of all of the security patches, Oracle recommends that you apply the patch as soon as possible.
34 of those major security fixes are in the client distribution of Java 7. Of those 34, eleven were given the highest security risk score from Oracle's Common Vulnerability Scoring System. This patch is important to apply as all but three of the exploits are exploitable over the network without any authentication.
Eric Maurice, Oracle's Director of Software Assurance:
Oracle recommends that this Critical Patch Update be applied as soon as possible because it includes fixes for a number of severe vulnerabilities. Note that the vulnerabilities fixed in this Critical Patch Update affect various components and, as a result, may not affect the security posture of all Java users in the same way.
Apple has released an update for Java 6 on Mac OS X. This update brings with it important security updates, reliability improvements and compatibility improvements. This Java 6 update is available from Apple, while the newer Java 7 is available directly from the developers at Oracle.
Apple details the improvements to Java 6:
Java for OS X 2013-004 delivers improved security, reliability, and compatibility by updating Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_51.
On systems that have not already installed Java for OS X 2012-006, this update disables the Java SE 6 applet plug-in. To use applets on a web page, click on the region labeled "Missing plug-in" to download the latest version of the Java applet plug-in from Oracle.
Please quit any web browsers and Java applications before installing this update.
See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5717 for more details about this update.
See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222 for information about the security content of this update.