Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for August 4th, 2017

What kind of gaming rig can run at 16K resolution?

Posted by kenmay on August - 4 - 2017

The consumer gaming world might be in a tizzy about 4K consoles and displays of late, but that resolution standard wasn’t nearly enough for one team of PC tinkerers. The folks over at Linus Tech Tips have posted a very entertaining video showing off a desktop PC build capable of running (some) games at an astounding 16K resolution. That’s a 15260×8640, for those counting the over 132 million pixels being pushed every frame—64 times the raw pixel count of a standard 1080p display and 16 times that of a 4K display. The key to the build is four Quadro P5000 video cards provided by Nvidia. While each card performs similarly to a consumer-level GTX1080 (8.9 teraflops, 2560 parallel cores), these are pro-tier cards designed for animators and other high-end graphic work, often used for massive jumbotrons and other multi-display or multi-projector installations. The primary difference between Quadro and consumer cards is that these come with 16GB of video RAM. Unfortunately, the multi-display Mosaic technology syncing the images together means that mirrored memory doesn’t stack, leading to the rig’s most significant bottleneck. All told, the graphics cards alone would cost over $10,000, including a “quadrosync” card that ties them all together to run a single image across 16 displays. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / A Charter Spectrum vehicle. (credit: Charter ) Charter Communications has moved 30 percent of the customers it acquired in a blockbuster merger onto new pricing plans, resulting in many people paying higher prices. Charter closed the acquisitions of Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House Networks in May 2016. Before the merger, Charter had about 6.8 million customers; afterwards, Charter had 25.4 million customers in 41 states and became the second-largest US cable company after Comcast. The merger was quickly followed by customer complaints about pricing in the acquired territories. In November 2016 , we noted that “tens of thousands of ex-Time Warner Cable video subscribers have canceled their service since the company was bought by Charter, and pricing changes appear to be the driving factor.” At the time, Charter CEO Thomas Rutledge explained that the TWC video customer base was “mispriced” and needed to be moved “in the right direction.” Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / An F/A-18 flies above the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) as its pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Jaime Struck, prepares for the first arrested landing aboard the new carrier on July 28. (credit: US Navy ) Last week, an F/A-18F Super Hornet from the US Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 successfully landed and then took off from the recently commissioned USS Gerald R. Ford —the first full use of the ship’s next-generation flight arresting system and electromagnetic catapult. The landing and launch off the Virginia coast are a pair of major milestones for the systems, which have seen their share of controversy (and cost overruns). But the test doesn’t close the book on the catapult’s problems. The catapult, called the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), has suffered from control problems that have prevented the Navy from certifying it for use with fully loaded strike aircraft. Earlier launches at a test site at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, in April of 2014 caused a high level of vibration in the wings of F/A-18s loaded with 480-gallon wing-mounted fuel tanks—the configuration commonly used to launch aircraft on long-range strike missions. The vibrations were so strong that Navy officials were concerned about the safety of launching aircraft fully loaded. US Navy Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The neutron source at Oak Ridge National Lab. (credit: Oak Ridge National Lab ) Neutrinos are noted for being extremely reluctant to interact with other matter. While it’s possible to build hardware that will detect them, these detectors tend to be enormous in order to provide sufficient material for the neutrinos to interact with. Those interactions also take the form of energetic events that transform the identity of particles (for example, converting protons to neutrons). Given the neutrino’s low mass and tendency not to interact, the idea of detecting one simply bumping into another particle seems almost ludicrous. But that’s what scientists from Oak Ridge National Lab are reporting today. They’ve seen brief flashes as atoms get nudged by a neutrino, which imparts a tiny bit of its tiny momentum to the atom’s nucleus. Oak Ridge National Lab is home to some hardware called the Spallation Neutron Source. This accelerates a beam of protons and smashes them into a tank of mercury. This creates debris that includes lots of neutrons, which are used for a variety of scientific purposes. But the debris also includes some neutrinos that are otherwise lost in the spray of particles that come flowing out of the collisions. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Man sues Los Angeles for parking ticket, gets $650K

Posted by kenmay on August - 4 - 2017

In 2015 Cody Weiss got a ticket for parking longer than the posted time limit. He says the ticket was wrongfully issued, and decided to contest the ticket. He learned that the City of LA doesn’t directly review tickets; it outsources the job to a private company. That didn’t sit well with Weiss, so he sued the city and won. Yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council approved a $650,000 payout. From the LA Times : Weiss argued that his ticket, which he received for parking longer than the posted time limit, was wrongfully issued. The court found a problem with the fact that the initial review was handled by a company called PRWT, a subcontractor for Xerox. An investigation by NBC4 found that PRWT automatically denied most ticket appeals, even when strong evidence was presented that someone was wrongly ticketed. Image: Charleston’s TheDigitel

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iOS 11 camera features may include scene recognition

Posted by kenmay on August - 4 - 2017

Smartphones may have effectively killed off dedicated point-and-shoot cameras, but Apple is looking to them for inspiration with iOS 11. Developers have dug through beta firmware for the HomePod, and tucked inside the code for Apple’s smart speaker, there are hints that the next version of its mobile OS will feature something called “SmartCam.” iOS 11 (or the next iPhone) will have something called SmartCam. It will tune camera settings based on the scene it detects pic.twitter.com/7duyvh5Ecj — Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) August 2, 2017 If you’ve ever used a point-and-shoot camera, the feature should sound pretty familiar: different scene modes and photo settings depending on what you’re shooting. So, one each for fireworks, foliage, pets, skies, snow, sports and others, as SlashGear notes. There’s even one for documents. The “smart” in its name suggests that maybe machine learning will play a role here as well, potentially analyzing the scene for you and picking the best settings. This might not use machine learning to improve photography a la what Google does with the Pixel , but it could make Apple’s woefully basic camera app a little more full featured. Whether this will be exclusive to Apple’s next round of mobile hardware — whenever it’s announced — or if it’ll apply to legacy handsets too is hard to tell. Via: SlashGear Source: Guilherme Rambo (Twitter)

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Marcus Hutchins, the 23-year-old security researcher who is credited with halting the spread of the WannaCry malware program earlier this year has been arrested by the FBI while attending the DefCon security conference in Las Vegas, Motherboard reports . This is a developing story and details remain scarce as of the publication of this post, however The Telegraph states that “UK law enforcement and security agencies confirmed a British citizen has been arrested” as part of an ongoing FBI investigation. I can confirm @MalwareTechBlog was detained yesterday and FBI/US Marshalls won’t tell me where he is. https://t.co/lV5SxZjsRi — Andrew Mabbitt (@MabbsSec) August 3, 2017 Hutchins was hailed as a hero in May when he found the killswitch to the WannaCry virus, a malware program that had infected vulnerable targets across Europe and Asia, including the UK’s National Health Service and a Spanish telecommunications company. Hutchins, who works for Kryptos Logic, halted the virus’ spread by registering a web domain that the program’s code relied on. Motherboard reports that as of early Thursday morning Hutchins was being held in the Henderson Detention Center in Nevada, however he was later moved to an undisclosed location. “I’ve spoken to the US Marshals again and they say they have no record of Marcus being in the system. At this point we’ve been trying to get in contact with Marcus for 18 hours and nobody knows where he’s been taken, ” an unnamed friend of Hutchins told Motherboard . “We still don’t know why Marcus has been arrested and now we have no idea where in the US he’s been taken to and we’re extremely concerned for his welfare.” Engadget has reached out to Kryptos Logic and the FBI for comment. This story will be updated as they reply. Update (2:29 pm EDT): Hutchins has reportedly been located and is being held at the FBI’s Las Vegas field office. Finally located @MalwareTechBlog , he’s in the Las Vegas FBI field office. Can anyone provide legal representation? — Andrew Mabbitt (@MabbsSec) August 3, 2017 Update: (2:45 pm EDT) : The Department of Justice has just announced that Hutchins is in custody not for his role in the Wannary event but for “his role in creating and distributing the Kronos banking Trojan.” According to the DoJ, between July 2014 and July 2015 Hutchins developed the malware and shared it online. Source: Telegraph UK , Motherboard

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