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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2198

Apple damage control: says iPhone 5S' Touch ID keeps your info secure

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 11:28 am

Within days of the massive iOS security flaw, Apple has come out defending the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5S, stating that it keeps users' personal data secure.

 

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Apple released an updated version of its iOS Security white paper - something you can read here - which explains what happens to your fingerprint data after you tap the Touch ID sensor. Each A7 processor has a unique secure space that Apple says it, nor can the A7 read, with each and every authentication session being encrypted end-to-end.

 

The company is also offering a detailed explanation of what it does with each of your fingerprint images, stating that the image of your fingerprint only lasts in memory until it is turned into a decryption key. There are also safeguards, which have been known, where after 48 hours of inactivity, it will wipe your key away, with a reboot or five failed login attempts performing the same action.

Physicist wants 1,000 feet high walls to block tornadoes in the US

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 10:31 am

Central America is home to some of the most ferocious tornadoes on the planet, but one scientist wants to see mother nature stopped, through the use of gigantic walls built across Tornado Alley.

 

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Rongjia Tao, a physicist with Temple University, says: "If we build three east-west great walls in the American Midwest .... one in North Dakota, one along the border between Kansas and Oklahoma to the east, and the third one in south Texas and Louisiana, we will diminish the tornado threats in the Tornado Alley forever".

 

Tao says that the walls would need to be 1,000 feet high, and around 150 feet wide. But at an estimated cost of $60 billion per 100 miles, and the engineering challenges, "it wouldn't work", according to tornado researcher Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma. Brooks said that "If his hypothesis was true, we'd already have the thing he wants to build naturally. This is essentially a case of a physicist, who may be very good in his sub-discipline, talking about a subject about which he is abysmally ignorant".

Continue reading 'Physicist wants 1,000 feet high walls to block tornadoes in the US' (full post)

Microsoft's DirectX update will bring you 'closer to the metal'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 9:34 am

The Game Developer's Conference 2014 is being held next month, where Microsoft will be hosting a session called "DirectX: Evolving Microsoft's Graphics Platform". The session is being hosted by Anuj Gosalia, Developement Manager for Windows Graphics. The session is described as:

 

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"For nearly 20 years, DirectX has been the platform used by game developers to create the fastest, most visually impressive games on the planet.

 

However, you asked us to do more. You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal and to do so on an unparalleled assortment of hardware. You also asked us for better tools so that you can squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, tablet, phone and console.

 

Come learn our plans to deliver."

 

Referring to 'closer to the metal' means more control over your GPU, with lower CPU overheads - which is similar, if not identical to AMD's Mantle technology. If this is the case, it could be quite the benefit to PC gamers, as it will increase performance across the board of hardware, not just limited to AMD GPUs, but NVIDIA, Intel, and others.

Google continues pushing its modular smartphone concept, Ara

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 8:22 am

Back when Google owned Motorola, it talked about a modular smartphone that it was working on, known as Project Ara. Well, the company has just announced it is hosting the first Ara Developers' Conference in April.

 

 

It will be the first of three conferences where the Mountain View-based giant will show developers what they'll be able to do with Ara. The first conference will be held over the Internet through a live webstream, with an interactive Q&A session hosted to a select few people able to attend in person at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

 

The conference itself will be focused around an alpha release of the Ara Module Developers' Kit, which will provide developers with all of the information requires to make an "Ara module". The company will also walk through the existing and future features for the Ara platform, with prize challenges for module developers.

Continue reading 'Google continues pushing its modular smartphone concept, Ara' (full post)

Facebook shuts down its email service because most users dont use it

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 8:15 am

Despite having a social networking website with one billion users, Facebook is forced to discontinue its email service. The '@Facebook.com' email service was started in 2010 so that users can chat and send email through Facebook messages.

 

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Though many users did not appreciate the social networking company deleted many user's originally submitted email address to '@Facebook.com' counterpart. It was found that most people did not use it, and therefore decided to take it down.

Continue reading 'Facebook shuts down its email service because most users dont use it' (full post)

Hungry? Why not cook some french fries using the heat from your PC

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 7:28 am

When I had my old Intel Pentium II system, I was quite content playing the Quake and Unreal titles at the time, but I never once thought of cooking up some fries with my system.

 

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Well, a KitGuru reader did just that with his old Pentium II system, where he cooked french fries in oil using the head generated by his ageing CPU. I don't know how healthy this would be, so we don't recommend doing it at home, but it has to be a first for me - seeing someone put their system into a baking tray and cooking a meal using the heat generated from their computer.

Call of Duty: Elite shuts down tomorrow

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 6:25 am

Activision launched Call of Duty: Elite back in 2011, an online service dedicated to the game and its players, but come tomorrow, it will be shut down for good.

 

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Elite launched with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, then went free when Black Ops II launched, and from there, it has been a downhill ride. In-game stats will still be shown for both Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops II, but Elite will be gone as of 1pm Eastern time tomorrow.

SAPPHIRE's upcoming Radeon R9 290X VAPOR-X features 8GB of RAM

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 5:31 am

A tease of SAPPHIRE's upcoming blue-and-black themed Radeon R9 290X VAPOR-X GPU has me foaming at the mouth... why? Well, it will ship with 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, that's why.

 

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We've seen the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X Tri-X, which is a great GPU, but 4GB of RAM really holds it back for monster resolutions like 4K and triple-monitor setups. One of the other changes to the VAPOR-X GPU is the beautiful backplate. This won't do much for most people, but with all of that memory (and dual-sided memory modules) it'll do wonders for temperatures.

 

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There's not many more details on this new GPU, but you can bet your bottom dollar we'll get some of these in for some 4K and triple 2560x1440 monitor testing.

Star Citizen's Hangar Module now supports Oculus Rift

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 5:11 am

Roberts Space Industries has just pushed out Star Citizen Patch 11.1, which has enabled support for Oculus Rift within the Hangar Module. This is quite the surprise, but something that was promised when the game hit its $12 million stretch goal.

 

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All you'll need to do is make sure your game is up-to-date with the latest patch, and then create a file named 'user.cfg' in your Star Citizen/CitizenClient folder, and add the lines 'sys_currentHMDtype=1' and 'r_stereostrength=-8' and voila, you have virtual reality support thanks to the Oculus Rift, in Star Citizen.

 

There are various issues of course, as this is just early days yet:

 

  • KNOWN ISSUE - To enable Oculus Rift mode create a file named 'user.cfg' in your 'StarCitizen/CitizenClient' folder and add the lines 'sys_currentHMDtype=1' and 'r_stereostrength=-8'
  • KNOWN ISSUE - You may be able to get a better picture by setting the resolution to the native Oculus Rift resolution (1200-800)
  • KNOWN ISSUE - When in-game, your look direction is independent from your travel direction. The player's body can be turned using the mouse to adjust the player's movement direction.
  • KNOWN ISSUE - There are some camera pops and camera direction changes when entering vehicles and during other animation-driven movements.
  • KNOWN ISSUE - During some player animations the camera may stop being updated by the Rift.
  • KNOWN ISSUE - There is some stereo separation when looking at objects close to the player, eg. ship controls when in cockpits.
  • KNOWN ISSUE - There can be some render skewing/warping when viewing the game at extreme angles.
  • KNOWN ISSUE - Rift head tracking only functions in 1st person mode.
  • KNOWN ISSUE - Some animations can cause the Rift view to become offset from the player's body.
  • KNOWN ISSUE - UI elements such at the "Use" icon are doubled.

Mobster's daughter sues over GTA V, says it copied her life story

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 4:14 am

John Gotti was taken down by a mobster's daughter, who is now suing the makers of Grand Theft Auto V, alleging that a minor character in the game is based on her life story, and that it was used without her permission. She is seeking a massive payment of $40 million.

 

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In GTA V, "Antonia Bottino" is someone you rescue in a random encounter called "Burial", at the far north of the map. Karen Gravano says that this is part of her life story. Gravano's father was Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, a Gambino family underboss who back in 1991 cooperated with federal prosecutors in the trial of Gotti, one of the most notorious latter-day American gangster.

 

Gravano provided evidence that saw Gotti receive a life sentence, while her father received a five-year sentence. He then went into the federal Witness Protection Program, moving out to Arizona. Karen Gravano ended up appearing on the first three seasons of VH1's "Mob Wives" reality TV show, and is currently publishing another book about her life soon.

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