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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.