Tech News and Miscellany

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#36
The new Bigscreen update uses new drivers for audio streaming that only work with windows 10, so those of us on windows 7 can no longer host movie nights and stuff in BigScreen.

Welp.
There's a ray of hope, though it's just a single ray.
WoW now coming with DX12 support for Win7

No standalone runtime, though. It's only bundled with the game. And there are these 2 FAQs:
Any other DirectX 12 game coming to Windows 7?
We are currently working with a few other game developers to port their D3D12 games to Windows 7. Please watch out for further announcement.

How are DirectX 12 games different between Windows 10 and Windows 7?
Windows 10 has critical OS improvements which make modern low-level graphics APIs (including DirectX 12) run more efficiently. If you enjoy your favorite games running with DirectX 12 on Windows 7, you should check how those games run even better on Windows 10!
--Patrick
 
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#38
Now I just need to get a graphics card that supports DX12...
Radeon 2xx/GeForce 5xx or newer, for the curious.
There are some other, older cards which say "DX12 support" but they support DX12 at "Feature level 11_1" which is not the same.

--Patrick
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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#39
And, once again, Facebook is being fucking disturbing.

Facebook said it accidentally hid bizarre and "inappropriate" messages inside "tens of thousands" of virtual-reality controllers, including "Big Brother is Watching" and "The Masons Were Here."
Yeah, they've got the quotes around the wrong words. That should read: Facebook said it "accidentally" hid bizarre and inappropriate messages inside tens of thousands of virtual-reality controllers....
 
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#42
These days, Safari and Firefox are just about the only browsers not using Blink, so that's kinda important.

--Patrick
 
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#45
RIDL, Fallout, and other MDS attacks also detailed.

Not a good time to be Intel, which is a downright shame, since the conditions that allow these vulnerabilities to exist are also what enables their CPUs to be faster than AMD's CPUs. When everything is finally patched/microcoded out, will they still be able to hold their performance crown?

Even Apple is exposing the controls to deliberately disable hyperthreading/SMT, which will completely disable these kinds of attacks...at the cost of no longer being able to run 2x threads/core, that is, which can translate to about a 20-30% performance hit. PC users who want to similarly harden their systems by disabling hyperthreading have it easier since there's usually just an option to turn HT/HyperThreading/SMT off in the BIOS/EFI settings.

--Patrick
 
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#46
So yeah, about that Adobe thing:

March 2018: Adobe Creative Cloud prices will increase April 16th, Photography Plan will stay the same
the Individual All App plan increasing in price to $53/month (previously $50), Creative Cloud for Individual Single App plans will now cost $21/month (previously $20), and Creative Cloud for Teams All App plans will now cost $80/month (up from $70) [but] the Creative Cloud Photography plan price is not changing. You will still pay $10/month for Photoshop CC, Lightroom Classic CC, and Lightroom CC with 20GB of cloud storage
May 2, 2018: Adobe doubles basic "Photography Bundle" pricing from $10/mo to $20/mo. Syke!
May 13, 2018: Adobe says they never removed the $10/mo plan. Ha ha it was just a test (to see if people would pay it anyway?) we promise.
May 14, 2018: Adobe removes access to older Creative Cloud apps, says anyone who continues to use them is in violation of the end user licensing agreement. Licensing issues mean users who continue to use older versions are potentially opening themselves up to be sued by 3rd-parties.
Well, I'm not exactly sure how continuing to use an unmodified older Adobe product could make ME liable to anyone other than Adobe, but I'm not a lawyer, so what do I know.

In response, people have been putting together lists of alternatives, like this one from Lifehacker, or, if you're a more visual type, there's the following image:
heyheyitsnotadobe.png



Stuff to keep in mind if you use any of these, I guess.

--Patrick
 
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#49
Linus is all aboard the AMD hype train.
He's not wrong. I was all set to go Intel for my next build, but since my wallet says that's probably still 6 months out, there's a good chance I'll be sitting and waiting on the very real possibility that it'll end up being a Ryzen3 PCIe 4.0 build, instead.

The tech world is in a huge upheaval right now. AMD's CPUs are becoming competitive on performance, Intel is getting slammed for CPU vulnerabilities and dumped their 5G modem project (Oh, and their mysterious discrete GPU should be showing up soon), Apple's having some quality issues, Qualcomm is still stuck dealing with its legal issues, the whole world has decided to hate on Huawei right now, SSD prices are falling to where they're about to push HDDs off a cliff, and Trump & Co are badmouthing China so hard that tech manufacturers are actually moving entire facilities over to other countries rather than have to deal with the headache.

"Interesting times," indeed.

EDIT: Oh and it seems we now have some preliminary specs on Ryzen 3k to tide us over until the July release. The 3700X looks especially tempting for m-itx builds.

--Patrick
 
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#51
Yeah, Hyperthreading adds almost a flat 30% performance overall.

Even Apple is feeling the bite, posting instructions on how to disable Hyperthreading* in order to guard against data leakage BUT with the warning that doing so may impact performance by as much as 40%.

Phoronix (one of the hardcore *nix sites) did a few pieces on how much it'll impact your Linux performance, too. Multicore desktops (-20%), dual-core laptops (-25%), or servers (-15%). But AMD chips? Eh, just ~5% or so. You had better believe that Intel is not happy about all of this. Not happy at all.

--Patrick
*But only for machines using Sandy/Ivy Bridge (i.e., Core ix-2xxx/3xxx) or later, since Intel has decided anything older is not worth their time to release a fix, regardless of whether it's in a Mac, Dell, Gateway, or whatever.
 
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#53
NVIDIA still hasn't forgiven Apple for being snubbed almost the last 10 straight years.
Apple used to go back and forth between NVIDIA and ATI/AMD for their graphics chips every couple of years, keep them competing, but starting in 2011, Apple used Radeons for everything and hasn't looked back, even making NVIDIA have to roll their own drivers every time Apple updates the OS.

--Patrick
 
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#55
We keep telling them, but they don't listen.
Faster speed just means less time to hit the data cap.
The only reason to cap data is to punish cord-cutters. That's it. That's the only reason.

--Patrick
 
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#61
What that picture doesn't show is that those prices are all after being reduced $50 yesterday after NVIDIA announced their "Super" lineup of cards. Scott Herkelman, AMDs VP/GM of Radeon, famously tweeted "Jebaited" right when the price dropped, suggesting this price drop was their plan all along.

Testing shows them performing close to the 1070Ti/RTX 2060 Super/RTX 2070 (non-Ti/non-Super) if you're comparing.

--Patrick
 
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#62
What that picture doesn't show is that those prices are all after being reduced $50 yesterday after NVIDIA announced their "Super" lineup of cards. Scott Herkelman, AMDs VP/GM of Radeon, famously tweeted "Jebaited" right when the price dropped, suggesting this price drop was their plan all along.

Testing shows them performing close to the 1070Ti/RTX 2060 Super/RTX 2070 (non-Ti/non-Super) if you're comparing.

--Patrick
I saw the Gamers Nexus news video a couple hours later and had to double-check what I'd posted.
 
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#63
Apparently some issues running NVIDIA cards with new Ryzen 3xxx series, looks like it might just be a bug with NVIDIA drivers or with AMD's new PCIe drivers. It's fouling reviews, but does not appear to be an actual hardware problem. Let's hope it's just growing pains.

--Patrick
 
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#65
Read that article this morning. Thought about posting it, but figured Gas had already chased off all the Mac users but me.

Security through obscurity at its finest, by which I mean at its worst.
tl;dr: If you install Zoom on a Mac, visiting a website with a "join this call" URL embedded within it allows that page to activate your camera (and mic?) without your consent and/or knowledge, and uninstalling the Zoom app doesn't help because it actually leaves behind a running process that will "helpfully" reinstall the app again and open it right up without your intervention if an embedded URL (such as the above "join this call") requests it.

--Patrick
 
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#68
Zoom has issued the following statement:

backtomyroom.png


"We thought it more convenient to leave security holes open than to make our users have to click a box, but since this story is now becoming uncomfortably popular we went ahead and implemented these changes even though we didn't lift a finger over the whole 90-day window the security researcher originally gave us."

Please.

--Patrick
 
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#69
Zoom has issued the following statement:

View attachment 31825

"We thought it more convenient to leave security holes open than to make our users have to click a box, but since this story is now becoming uncomfortably popular we went ahead and implemented these changes even though we didn't lift a finger over the whole 90-day window the security researcher originally gave us."

Please.

--Patrick
A more honest read would be:

"We felt it far more beneficial to us not to allow users to uninstall our software, because fuck 'em, that's why."
 
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#70
Read that article this morning. Thought about posting it, but figured Gas had already chased off all the Mac users but me.

Security through obscurity at its finest, by which I mean at its worst.
tl;dr: If you install Zoom on a Mac, visiting a website with a "join this call" URL embedded within it allows that page to activate your camera (and mic?) without your consent and/or knowledge, and uninstalling the Zoom app doesn't help because it actually leaves behind a running process that will "helpfully" reinstall the app again and open it right up without your intervention if an embedded URL (such as the above "join this call") requests it.

--Patrick
I alerted my University and they genuinely did not seem to know. They will be pushing it updates to Zoom now, though.
 
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