Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for February 3rd, 2017

Sony’s new PS4 Pro provides a noticeable visual upgrade to games that have been patched to take advantage of the console’s extra horsepower. But what about all the rest of your games that developers haven’t updated yet? Well, a thread over at the NeoGAF forum indicates those games may soon look better too, thanks to a new feature called “Boost Mode.” A posted Japanese screenshot from a PS4 Pro shows a description for Boost Mode reads: “Games that launched before the PS4 Pro (CUH-7000) can now have its in-game frame rates improved. If any unwanted reactions/gameplay effects occur, please turn this mode off.” It seems like this mode would help intense games that drop frames maintain a higher frame rate — but, it won’t magically let games that are locked at 30 FPS go above that limit. It’ll just keep things consistently higher. Similarly, it could let games with variable resolutions stick closer to 1080p more consistently. Sony just pushed out a beta version of the big 4.5 update it has planned for the PS4 to testers, so that appears to be where this screenshot came from. Of course, there are a lot of unknowns here right now, but we’ve reached out to Sony to see if it can clarify Boost Mode’s existence and how it works for us. Of course, since the 4.5 software that’s out in the wild is just a beta, it’s entirely possible this feature gets removed, but it’s good to see Sony may have a way for more games to take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s hardware. Update: A spokesperson has gotten back to us with the following information and confirmed Boost Mode is part of the beta firmware: “Boost Mode lets PS4 Pro run at a higher GPU and CPU clock speed for smoother gameplay on some PS4 games that were released before the launch of PS4 Pro (and has not been updated to support PS4 Pro). Games that have a variable frame rate may benefit from a higher frame rate, and load times may be shorter in some games too.” Source: NeoGAF

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Swirling Underwater Fish Tornado Makes Sharknado Look Tame

Posted by kenmay on February - 3 - 2017

As currents shift in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, they bring an abundance of nutrients and plankton to the region, luring predators of all sizes. Swarms of anchoveta arrive first for an easy meal, but soon find themselves having to come up with unique ways to fend off larger predators like sharks and tuna. The… Read more…

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On Tuesday, a 42-year-old Indian woman went to the hospital, complaining of an extremely painful “tingling, crawling sensation.” After being transferred three times, doctors determined that there was a “foreign body that seemed to be mobile” in her head. Read more…

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These Pom-Pom Crabs Are Everybody’s Super Bowl Mascot

Posted by kenmay on February - 3 - 2017

Here’s a great cheer for any cheerleading boxer crabs planning to watch the Super Bowl this weekend: Read more…

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IMDB Kills Its Message Boards and Nothing of Value Was Lost

Posted by kenmay on February - 3 - 2017

Whether you’re trying to remember the name of that guy from the thing, or just contrasting a score against Rotten Tomatoes’s to see if it’s worth spending 15 goddamn dollars to see something in theaters, the Internet Movie Database is an indispensable consumer resource. There are many reasons IMDB has become an… Read more…

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Pretty much ever since the Blu-ray remasters for the original Star Trek series and The Next Generation were unveiled, fans have wondered when DS9 or Voyager would get a similar treatment. But according to Robert Meyer Burnett, who worked extensively on the HD re-releases those series, the odds of such a thing ever… Read more…

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It’s Super Bowl weekend, which means snacks, beer and, of course, football. If you don’t have cable and you want to stream the game on you might be wondering how to stream the game. Not to worry—we’ve got you covered. Read more…

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Boeing may have pushed the Starliner’s first trip to the ISS back to 2018, but we’re sure to get more details about the space taxi between now and then. Reuters reports the spacecraft will pack more than 600 3D-printed parts thanks to Boeing’s recent deal with Oxford Performance Materials. Printed with a plastic called PEKK, the parts are expected to perform well under the stress of spaceflight and extreme temperatures. What’s more, the material offers both weight and cost savings for parts that are typically made out of metal and other plastics. Oxford says PEKK is strong as strong as aluminum, but it weighs “significantly” less. The company says its plastic is also fire and radiation resistant in addition to being able to withstand temperatures that range from minus 300 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Boeing will use the PEKK material for components in a number of areas, including brackets for the propulsion system and parts for the air revitalization system. Boeing is currently constructing three Starliner capsules under a $4.2 billion contract from NASA. Elon Musk’s SpaceX is also building a space taxi capsule with its $2.6 contract with the US space agency. While Boeing expects to launch a test flight in June 2018 with a manned mission to follow in August, SpaceX also eyes a 2018 launch for its Dragon capsule. Of course, when Boeing sends a Starliner into space, its crew will be outfitted with fancy new spacesuits . Source: Reuters

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Orome1 quotes a report from Help Net Security: Cisco has patched a critical authentication bypass vulnerability that could allow attackers to completely take over Cisco Prime Home installations, and through them mess with subscribers’ home network and devices. The vulnerability (CVE-2017-3791), found internally by Cisco security testers, affects the platform’s web-based GUI, and can be exploited by remote attackers to bypass authentication and execute any action in Cisco Prime Home with administrator privileges. No user interaction is needed for the exploit to work, and exploitation couldn’t be simpler: an attacker just needs to send API commands via HTTP to a particular URL. The bug exists in versions 6.4 and later of Cisco Prime Home, but does not affect versions 5.2 and earlier. “Administrators can verify whether they are running an affected version by opening the Prime Home URL in their browser and checking the Version: line in the login window. If currently logged in, the version information can be viewed in the bottom left of the Prime Home GUI footer, next to the Cisco Prime Home text, ” Cisco instructed in the security advisory. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Ransomware Completely Shuts Down Ohio Town Government

Posted by kenmay on February - 3 - 2017

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: In another interesting example of what happens when you don’t manage your backups correctly, the Licking County government offices, including the police force, have been shut down by ransomware. Although details are sparse, it’s clear that someone in the office caught a bug in a phishing scam or by downloading it and now their servers are locked up. Wrote Kent Mallett of the Newark Advocate: “The virus, accompanied by a financial demand, is labeled ransomware, which has hit several local governments in Ohio and was the subject of a warning from the state auditor last summer. All county offices remain open, but online access and landline telephones are not available for those on the county system. The shutdown is expected to continue at least the rest of the week.” The county government offices, including 911 dispatch, currently must work without computers or office phones. “The public can still call 911 for emergency police, fire or medical response, ” wrote Mallett. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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