Project Cars developer defends AMD performance sabotage claims

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | May 21, 2015 3:36 AM CDT

Slightly Mad Studios has been, well, slightly mad over accusations of deliberate performance gimping when it comes to AMD Radeon cards. But where did all of this start?

A very detailed post on Reddit is the source of all of this, with the user summing up his post with "The entire Project Cars engine itself is built around a version of PhysX that simply does not work on AMD cards". Slightly Mad Studios has said that this is wrong, claiming that the users accusations are "erroneous".

The studio said that it didn't favor NVIDIA or AMD when it came to performance in Project Cars, but it has said that it has a "good working relationship" with both chipmakers. PC Gamer spoke with Slightly Mad Studios, receiving a lengthy statement that started with: "For the past few days, erroneous information posted on Reddit and other websites has spread misinformation with regards to Project Cars' performance on systems using AMD GPUs".

Continue reading: Project Cars developer defends AMD performance sabotage claims (full post)

Another CS:GO pro is hit with a Valve Anti Cheat ban

Chris Smith | Gaming | May 20, 2015 11:32 PM CDT

Indian CS:GO pro player Krishna "kriSSh" Salecha from Team NeckBREAK has been handed an automatic ban through Valve's Anti-Cheating service (VAC) recently on his main gaming account.

This Steam ban has seen an official Facebook reply, including a statement that read "my account was logged in from an unknown computer at 12.10 PM for five minutes. I have contacted Steam to get info on the IP address from where my accounted was logged in," coming after playing a tournament match on local internet cafe computers.

It's obviously quite common for CS:GO players to deny their bans once they have taken place, however Salecha believes the internet cafe may have compromised his account, commenting that the ban has been appealed and is awaiting a response from the official valve team.

Continue reading: Another CS:GO pro is hit with a Valve Anti Cheat ban (full post)

SilverStone shows more brand presence with this old school mATX case

Chris Smith | Cases, Cooling & PSU | May 20, 2015 10:35 PM CDT

In the lead up to COMPUTEX, SilverStone has been pushing out a few more cases to increase their range of SKU into the market.

TweakTown covered the FRZ01 slim form factor chassis recently and now there's the SG12 on offer adding to the, SilverStone SUGO series. Looking old school in design, this case has a little flavor of Thermaltake from the 2000's in the overall aesthetic, seeing a blue strip line the front and center of the front-facing panel.

Featuring support for coolers up to 82mm in height, a built in handle for transportation and capabilities for Micro-ATX motherboards and full ATX power supplies, this case is seemingly targeted at LAN participants.

Continue reading: SilverStone shows more brand presence with this old school mATX case (full post)

AMD hasn't released a WHQL certified Catalyst driver in over 160 days

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | May 20, 2015 10:02 PM CDT

Did you know that it has been nearly 6 months since AMD released a WHQL-certified Catalyst driver? With NVIDIA constantly refining and fine tuning its GeForce driver with a constant stream of Game Ready WHQL releases, even for Windows 10 with DirectX 12 support, AMD has fallen behind the ball, big time.

We used to see monthly releases of Catalyst drivers back in the day, which added performance improvements for new games, increased support for features like CrossFire and Eyefinity, and even support for new GPUs as they were released. But it has been over 18 months since AMD released the Radeon R9 290X, and 12 months since the Radeon R9 295X2.

The last WHQL-certified Catalyst drivers were released on 9/12/14 in the form of the Catalyst 14.12 Omega WHQL, and since then, AMD has released just two Beta drivers, with the Catalyst 15.4 drivers helping out with Grand Theft Auto V, and adding support for FreeSync. With the impending release of an entire new architecture with HBM memory in the form of the Radeon R9 390X, we should hopefully expect AMD to not just release a kick ass new driver, but to keep up with monthly releases to better compete against NVIDIA in the software side of its products.

Continue reading: AMD hasn't released a WHQL certified Catalyst driver in over 160 days (full post)

Underdog Streacom pushes seriously sleek ATX case

Chris Smith | Cases, Cooling & PSU | May 20, 2015 9:26 PM CDT

If you're looking to invest in something a little different, Streacom has just announced the release of its new F12C ATX case.

Being first ATX case on offer by this brand, this ultra-minimalistic design will be shown off at the upcoming trade show known as COMPUTEX in Taipei, Taiwan. Sporting 4mm thick aluminum on the exterior, the latest press release claims that these have been sandblasted for a top notch finish.

Streacom has added water cooling support and additional fan options alongside the ability to support 310mm long expansion cards all contained within the 420x320x184mm structure.

Continue reading: Underdog Streacom pushes seriously sleek ATX case (full post)

Tech companies don't want police to receive encrypted phone data

Michael Hatamoto | Hacking, Security & Privacy | May 20, 2015 7:30 PM CDT

In an open letter to President Obama, more than 140 civil society groups, tech companies and tech leaders signed a statement showing concern regarding the US government's desire to view decrypted smartphone data. Both the FBI and Justice Department claim they support encryption, but want to create backdoors so law enforcement can gain access - but that seems unlikely without creating avenues that cybercriminals and foreign governments can also exploit.

Not surprisingly, law enforcement complain they will lose access to data and communications as more data can be encrypted - with Google and Apple providing ways to prevent outside snooping.

"Strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy's security," the open letter reads. "Encryption protects billions of people every day against countless threats - be they street criminals trying to steal our phones and laptops, computer criminals trying to defraud us, corporate spies trying to obtain our companies' most valuable trade secrets, repressive governments trying to stifle dissent, or foreign intelligence agencies trying to compromise our and our allies' most sensitive national security secrets."

Continue reading: Tech companies don't want police to receive encrypted phone data (full post)

Silk Road helped reduce risks users faced trying to buy narcotics

Michael Hatamoto | Internet & Websites | May 20, 2015 3:30 PM CDT

Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was the mastermind of a billion-dollar online drug ring, according to the US federal government. He was convicted earlier in the year and could face life in prison for his crimes, with prosecutors still quiet on what type of prison term they are seeking at the May 29 sentencing.

Joshua Dratel, Ulbricht's lead defense attorney, has issued a statement saying Silk Road made it safer to purchase and sell drugs. Using the Dark Web, customers could sell or purchase everything from marijuana and hash to cocaine, heroin or LSD - and despite reported overdose deaths - this is an argument that is rather unique.

"In contrast to the government's portrayal of the Silk Road website as a more dangerous version of a traditional drug marketplace, in fact the Silk Road website was in many respects the most responsible such marketplace in history, and consciously and deliberately included recognized harm reduction measures, including access to physician counseling," Dratel said in a recent court filing.

Continue reading: Silk Road helped reduce risks users faced trying to buy narcotics (full post)

Is it possible robots will always need humans to help them function?

Even though there is new concern that artificial intelligence may lead to robots taking over, it's plausible to think that robots will always need humans.

"Pilots, physicians and other professionals routinely navigate unexpected dangers with great aplomb but little credit," states a recent editorial published by he New York Times. "Even in our daily routines, we perform feats of perception and skill that lie beyond the capacity of the sharpest computers."

While that is true, some have wondered if that will begin to change when AI is able to learn - and adapt - to daily life. No one is really sure what is lies ahead for mankind and robotics, however, humans can work to ensure there are proper boundaries in place that robots must adhere to.

Continue reading: Is it possible robots will always need humans to help them function? (full post)

Guillermo del Toro says 'Silent Hills' cancelation left him 'reeling'

Michael Hatamoto | Gaming | May 20, 2015 1:25 PM CDT

Konami is facing management in-fighting and other problems, which led to the cancelation of Silent Hills, and it looks like Guillermo del Toro's foray into video games could be over. Hideo Kojima has reportedly left the company - though was helping with the Silent Hills project - but the budding friendship between Kojima and del Toro had to be placed on hold.

"Well, you know, I've tried twice and I don't know if I'll ever come back to the form," del Toro recently said when asked by reporters. "In one instance, the company went down, and in the second, the completely unexpected happened, which was Kojima and Konami separating. It's kind of left me reeling."

It's a shame that Konami seemingly can't keep its act together, as Norman Reedus, Kojima and del Toro were all reportedly "super happy" with the progress made in Silent Hills. However, del Toro's Crimson Peak will be released in theaters this October, so he has plenty to help keep him busy outside of gaming.

Continue reading: Guillermo del Toro says 'Silent Hills' cancelation left him 'reeling' (full post)

MSI shoots down talks of a possible acquisition by Lenovo

Michael Hatamoto | Business, Financial & Legal | May 20, 2015 12:30 PM CDT

The PC rumor mill is buzzing yet again, with unconfirmed reports published by DigiTimes indicating Lenovo is interested in purchasing the MSI gaming notebook unit. MSI isn't at the top in gaming laptops, but largely releases affordable products that have decent specs - but that doesn't mean MSI wants to get rid of its mobile gaming business.

"In regards to the rumors circulating about [a] Lenovo and MSI acquisition, MSI is not in talk with Lenovo to sell the MSI Gaming Notebook business," said Andy Tung, president of MSI, in a statement to the media.

Even though the deal would make logical sense for Lenovo, which has been unable to break into gaming, MSI apparently isn't happy about the rumors - and has threatened possible legal action. "We are currently seeking the source of this false information and reserve the right to take any legal action," Tung confirmed.

Continue reading: MSI shoots down talks of a possible acquisition by Lenovo (full post)