SilverStone Releases DS222 External Dual-Bay RAID Enclosure

RAID setups are great for speed and redundancy and why should that be limited to your internal drives. SilverStone released a new external USB 3.0 chassis with built-in hardware RAID functionality and space for two 2.5-inch drives. The price and capacity gap between 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives have more or less been closed, making 2.5-inch drives a viable option at a highly reduced footprint as well as power consumption.

The new SilverStone DS222 external enclosure supports the use of the two drives as individual drives, BIG mode, RAID 0, and RAID 1 modes. It also comes with some useful features such as an alarm buzzer that can be turned off should you not want it and it also comes with a dedicated power button for the enclosure itself.

SilverStone’s DS222 should be able to get plenty of power for most drives with just the USB 3.0 connection, but SilverStone also added another micro USB port for 5V power supply, making it easily connectable to a system with plenty of power and without the use of an extra power adapter. That makes the setup a lot easier. The DS222 supports plug and play hot swapping and the entire chassis uses a tool-free design for extra convenience.

The new SilverStone DS222 will be available starting December the 18th for a suggested retail price of $62.48.

Windows 10 Fall Update Removes Apps and Drivers At Will!

Updates are supposed to fix issues or add new features, but it looks like Microsoft is going the other way with their big Fall update for Windows 10. Okay, this is probably not intended but it is what’s happening. The thread about it on Reddit is growing steadily with users reporting not only apps disappearing, but also important drivers such as Intel RST that effectively can render your installation useless.

Among the applications being reported automatically uninstalled are popular monitor tools such as CPU-Z and HW-Monitor, but Piriform’s Speccy is also affected and being uninstalled just as Spybot and several VPN-Clients. These tools, except the VPN client, are minor and can quickly be reinstalled, but something as important as RAID drivers should never ever just be uninstalled by an update.

I’m pretty sure that this is a temporary issue, but Microsoft has yet to officially acknowledge the issues with Windows 10 version 1511. This also means that you might want to hold off updating your system with the latest patches if you’re one of the millions that already made the switch to Windows 10.

Have you experienced any trouble yourself with the newest update or are you happy with Microsoft latest operating system. Let us know in the comments.

Player Recreates the Piano Scene from Big – In Fallout 4!

Have you been enjoying Fallout 4 this week? Some people seem to have completely abandoned the main quest for other pursuits, such as building giant pianos! After 19 hours of work gathering all the required copper and putting all the wire and pressure pads together, the end result is pretty spectacular. OK it’s actually a little bit rubbish, but in all honesty, given that the game wasn’t designed for building pianos, I’m damn impressed.

“This took 19 hours to get all the copper and build all the wires and things i needed for it. BUT ITS F****** AMAZING! Share it with your friends if you think it was cool! It will help me do more cool stuff like this to share with everyone! Please sub to the channel we have big plans!”

Check out the video below, the user did his best effort to play the scene from Big, you know the one with the giant piano in the store? As well as a few other easily recognisable tunes for good measure.

What will the community come up with next? If giant electric pianos are being done within one week of the game being out, who knows what else we have in store from adventurous Fallout Settlement creators.

Fujitsu Purchase 85% Shares in AMD Operations

AMD have just announced that they are now on a joint venture with electronics giant, Fujitsu. The two companies will be pairing together to provide factories in Penang (Malaysia) and Suzhou (China). Fujitsu will be getting a whopping 85 percent of the joint venture, which is suspected to heavily reduce AMD’s capital expenditure. Approximately 1700 workers at the two factories will become employees of the new venture the companies stated. For AMD, this is all for $371 Million in cash and retain a 15% stake in the new entity.

AMD announced on their investor relations page:

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) and Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics Co., Ltd (NFME) (SZSE: TFWD) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to create a joint venture combining AMD’s high-volume assembly, test, mark, and pack (ATMP) facilities and experienced workforce in Penang, Malaysia and Suzhou, China with NFME’s established outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) expertise. Upon close, the new business will leverage the capabilities of 5 facilities and approximately 5,800 employees to offer differentiated ATMP capabilities and scale to service a broad range of customers. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016, pending successful completion of regulatory approvals.

The transaction is expected to be closed in the first half of 2016, pending completion of regulatory approvals. The joint venture positioned to take advantage of the increasing demand for semiconductor assembly and test services (SATS).

AMD also state:

According to Gartner Research, the SATS market revenue is expected to be $27.4 billion for 2015, with growth of 1.1 percent. The 2014 through 2019 CAGR for the market is forecast to be 4.6 percent, leading to approximately $34 billion in total estimated market revenue by 2019

  • AMD will contribute to the joint venture:

    • ATMP facilities in Penang, Malaysia and Suzhou, China
    • Approximately 1,700 employees — including the site leadership teams which will continue to provide management and oversight
  • NFME will purchase an 85 percent share of AMD’s Penang and Suzhou operations, and serve as controlling partner for the new combined business.

  • As consideration for the transaction, at close AMD expects to receive approximately $371 million from NFME, record cash of $320 million, net of expenses, and retain 15 percent ownership of its Penang and Suzhou operations.

  • Post close, AMD expects the transaction to be cost neutral with significantly reduced AMD capital expenditures.

  • There are no planned workforce reductions at AMD’s Penang or Suzhou facilities in conjunction with the creation of the joint venture.

I think AMD are back on the radar now, they seemed to be struggling in the market recently and share value was dropping rapidly. This move by Fujitsu has helped AMD get back into the market and will hopefully providing us with some awesome new chips and tech. The company reported that they were down 5% on their gross margin this year, due to an inventory write down of $65 million. Their woes were concentrated on its PC business, with suffered a $181 million loss on $424 million revenue.

AMD have been serving us for 45 years now, they’ve driven some serious innovation in their processors, graphics and visualization technologies, big building blocks for gaming, immersive platforms and data centers.

 

US Navy Testing Electromagnetic Catapults to Help Launch Aircraft from Carriers

Aircraft carriers have been equipped with steam-powered catapults from the very start in order to help launch fighters and bombers and get them airborne quick. However, this old-fashioned technology seems to be a bit too old for the Navy to use it on newer multi-million aircraft.

As an alternative, the US Navy is now looking to replace its technology with an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). The technology is currently being tested aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford and uses bursts of electromagnetic energy to launch planes much more smoothly and efficiently compared to the steam catapults.

While aircraft carriers are one of the biggest ships found on the sea, they are still not big enough for aircraft to generate enough lift before they reach the end of the ship. This is why they required some auxiliary help, such as the steam catapults, to generate that extra lift force to get them into the air.

However, steam catapults come with some drawbacks. The old technology is said to take up a lot of space and weigh in at 1,300 lbs. The systems are said to take a long time to recharge and after each launch, the launch itself is said to be abrupt. This means that there is no smooth acceleration for a steam piston, putting a lot of wear on the aircraft each time it launches.

Steam catapults are also said to use more power than the EMALS system, which is rather surprising. The switch to EMALS is said to bring smoother acceleration, improved reliability and a more efficient design.

Thank you Geek for providing us with this information

Bye Bye Plasma TV Technology

In 2005, Sony and Toshiba announced their departure from the plasma business, followed by Hitachi and Pioneer in 2008. Now South Korean companies Samsung and LG Electronics have announced their abandonment of the once-popular panel option.

Samsung and LG have recently cancelled their investment plans into plasma panels into Taiwan’s Chungwa Picture Tubes, with us seeing more companies gradually making the move to alternative sources, citing plasma panels to be out-of-date technology akin to the CRT’s seen above.

Changhong has become one of the lone survivors in the plasma business, often being asked by media if they’re going to give it up. A Changong representative answers publicly when asked this question, but dodged it entirely – providing a complete ‘non-answer’. In 2005, Changhong completed their Plasma TV market dominence and set forward with a $2 billion investment in 2007. Nine years down the road, it seems that Changhong has made the wrong decision.

Changhong had previously invested over 40 billion yuan ($6,525,822,000 US) into plasma projects, resulting in losses every year following ans deciding to call it quits – selling eventually for a grand sum of 64.2 million yuan ($10.4 m USD). To this day, it’s hard to say if the failure is due completely due to the plasma markets decline, or also due to Changhon technology in itself.

Unfortunately before the sale, Changhong found themselves in some hot water – seeing hundreds of employees waiting for resettlement discontinued and providing a ruthless end to a once glorious reign. News has just surfaced on November the 2nd of their plans to sell their assets for the aforementioned 64.2 million yuan – relieving the owners of their failing factories burden.

When is the last time you saw a plasma TV on the market? Personally, I didn’t really notice their slow fade into non-existence, but it’s becoming clear that crystal, LCD and LED is now king of the tech-jungle.

Image courtesy of Post Independant

Apple’s New iOS 8 Update – Too Big to Download?

If you’re currently rocking a 16GB iPhone, then we’ve got some bad news for you. Today, Apple released their iOS 8 update providing users with a massive 1.6GB download and a total of 5.8GB once installed.

Obviously there’s been a large public outcry, especially with those who own smaller capacity iPhones such as the 16GB variant – people have been forced to delete their photos, music and other apps or media simply to make room for the iOS update.

So what can you do if you’re stuck in this situation? Thankfully if you’ve got a computer nearby, there is a little leeway that can be had.

Simply plug in your iPhone or iPad to your PC or Mac and use iTunes to update your mobile device though your computer. This will save your phone a bit of space (the 1.6GB download) but overall won’t save you the pain of a 5.8GB install size. Instead of deleting all of your media, you can also back up some files on your Apple iCloud online storage platform.

Both of these handy tips are nice for those with suitable internet, unfortunately for users without access to a computer or living in an internet-poor country such as Australia – we provide our deepest condolences (I live here).

Android users are expected to run rampant over social media in the weeks following this update, most likely preaching their platform and the quite often utilized Android phone ability to install an SD card into their devices. Unfortunately for Apple fanatics, there’s nothing much you can do other than grit your teeth and wait for all of this to blow over.

To see if you need to do this update, head to your “Settings” menu, select “General” and tap “Software Update”.

Image courtesy of NewsComAu

Google’s $1 bn Aquisition of Twitch Said to be Confirmed

Most gamers have dreamt about it – wouldn’t it be great to be paid to play video games all day in my room? In this day and age, that is quite a logical possibility – all you need to do is stream it to others at the same time.

Twitch.tv is the current common vehicle for such people to broadcast their games, tournaments or practise out to the world – with their main competition, own3D.tv being shut down recently after quite a stint of drama.

There have been many jokes made online about Google’s apparent upcoming world domination with them reportedly accounting for 40% of the whole internet, this claimed acquisition may be bringing them one step closer to controlling our feeble minds.

As reported today on Venturebeat, their ‘sources’ have confirmed the take-over although no official statements have been found from either of the concerning parties.

“We don’t know everything about this deal, such as when it will be announced and the exact purchase price. We do know that Twitch investors who participated in past rounds are pleased that they will be getting significant returns that are multiple times the amount they originally invested.” Venturebeat

This deal is no big surprise to us, given how much Twitch has grown over the past few years. Since distancing itself from its parent, Justin.tv, Twitch has been the mainstay for all large streaming personalities and tournaments throughout the world.

For example, Twitch recently was the official streaming partner (alongside ESPN) for Valves latest International Dota 2 tournament boasting a massive prize pool of over $10m USD, more than that of some world-class sporting events. Unfortunately, the International 4 (2014) viewership hasn’t been yet released to the public, but from reports, the Twitch streams were garnishing over 250k concurrent viewers throughout the group stages.

Interested in some more mind-blowing stats?

“Twitch has more than 50 million monthly active users and more than 1.1 million members who broadcast videos each month. Back in June 2011, Twitch had just 3.2 million monthly active users. Twitch also distributes shows from partners including CBS Interactive’s GameSpot, Joystiq, and Destructoid, all gaming-news sites. More than 13 billion minutes of video are watched per month on Twitch.” Venturebeat

Where are we going with this? Gaming is getting massive. Huge! It only makes sense for Google to get on board now as we believe gaming is on the tipping point of exploding into the ‘mainstream’.

Google and Twitch are currently silent on the matter, but they’re booked to be speaking at the GamersBeat 2014 event coming this September – here’s hoping for more information.

Stay tuned for more Twitch and Google partnership news in the near future on eTeknix.

 

Cover image courtesy of TERA Today

Inset image courtesy of Uloop

Project Flare To Render a World 17 Times Larger Than Skyrim

Bethesda has made a great job and eventually ended up with Skyrim’s huge map, having it be one of the largest ones out there ever found in a game. However, if users thought the Skyrim world was large, then Project Flare’s world capabilities could be deemed to be a gigantic one. Square Enix’s presentation of Project Flare at E3 2014 revealed that the game will have a map approximately 17 times larger than the one found in Skyrim.

For those who are unaware, Project Flare is said to use cloud gaming technology involving supercomputers to help render the gaming world due to the fact that a console or regular PC is not able to handle the immense world. In its presentation at E3 however, a 32 x 32 km forest world was rendered in full detail on a single machine, involving over 600,000 trees, hundreds of packs of creatures, hills, mountains and many other objects.

What really is impressive is the fact that Project Flare was created by only 2 programmers and one artist in just 6 months. Square Enix’s Director of Business, Jacob Navok, said that while other games are emerging gamers in a world full of smoke and mirrors, Project Flare is designed to take gamers into the real meaning of a ‘living world’. Also, Project Flare is said to allow each and every player to be on the same server compared to existing MMOs, where players are divided into multiple servers.

Square Enix also said that they are looking into licensing Project Flare to other developers and partners. The company stated that it wants its technology to be used with other studios in order to create and publish new types of games. In addition to that, Square Enix’s Japanese HQ is looking into using the new technology, having Tetsuji Iwasaki, the one who created the servers architecture for Final Fantasy 11, intrigued by Project Flare.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information