Russia Has Plans to Nuke Asteroids

We’ve seen the movies. I’m thinking about the one with Bruce Willis in, the asteroid hurtling towards earth and a timer that just won’t stop ticking. I am course referring to Armageddon, a film in which an asteroid could end all life on earth. We’ve heard the chances of asteroids hitting the Earth, NASA even has a task force to deal with the issue. What you probably didn’t know is Russia has a plan for when the asteroids come knocking; nuke them!

A joint country initiative was set up under the European Commission, titled NEOShield. Each country under the scheme was responsible for researching different ways and methods of preventing asteroids and other NEO’s (Near-Earth Objects) from impacting the planet. Russia’s solution has a simple elegance to it, to nuke it. While it may not be able to destroy an asteroid, the scientists believe that a nuclear blast near to the asteroid would burn up its mass, producing a jet thrust effect that would be used to change the asteroid’s path, avoiding the earth.

The announcement of the research details comes alongside the newly stated goals for the Russian Space program, which wants to develop a “space barrier”. A series of satellites that would detect any object that could present a threat to the planet.

With a follow-up program launched (NEOShield-2), even the slightest threat of an object from outer space crashing into the planet is being taken seriously. If it contains just rock or an Alien being, it looks like the world wants to not only know about it, but also how to stop it.

ASUS Announces Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Impact ITX Motherboard

ASUS has officially unveiled the Republic of Gamers, Maximus VIII Impact which supports Intel’s latest Skylake architecture and ultra-fast DDR4 memory. This incredibly compact ITX-design doesn’t skimp on features and utilizes a full-scale voltage regulator module. This allows for a reliable power delivery and headroom to achieve high frequency overclocks. The motherboard also integrates 5-Way Optimization auto-tuning and Pro Clock technology to reach the very limits of your CPU and DDR4 Memory speed capabilities.

There is also a bundled fan extension card to enhance the system’s cooling and maintain low temperatures across the main components. On another note, the SupremeFX impact III chipset contains illuminated audio jacks, supreme audio quality, and shielding. Additionally, the Sonic SenseAmp automatically detects the impedance of your headphones and adjusts the ohms rating up to 6000!

 

In terms of connectivity, the motherboard embeds a single HDMI port, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with all-new MU-MUMO, built-in so you don’t waste any USB ports, USB 3.1 Gen. 2 Type-A and reversible Type-C connections for up to twice the speed of USB 3.0, and the built-in U.2 connector delivers transfer speeds of up to 32Gbit/s. There is a wide array of special features such as an easy BIOS update switch and CMOS reset button. On the rear, an LED post-readout is positioned to help with fault checking.

We can also see the single PCI-e x16 gen 3.0 slot, attractive heatsink design and 4 SATA ports. From a visual standpoint, the board is absolutely breathtaking and we expect to bring you a review in the coming weeks.

What size motherboard are you currently using?

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Turtle Beach Impact 500 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


It’s been a very interesting time for Turtle Beach, with the revealing their new desktop peripherals at CES 2015, we’re now very excited to have them in the eTeknix office. We’ve already looked at their new gaming nice, the GRIP 500 and the GRIP 300, as well as their full-size mechanical keyboard, the IMPACT 700. Today, we’ve got their first Ten Keys Less (TKL) keyboard, the Impact 500.

“The Turtle Beach IMPACT 500 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard for PC and Mac combines precision and power in a minimalist, tenkeyless keycap layout for minimum distance and smaller keyboard footprint. For that sharp, tactile feel, the Impact 500 features Cherry Blue MX mechanical switches that deliver gold-standard responsiveness. Six-key rollover with full anti-ghosting means fast-moving fingers can control games without the fear of missed moves and dropped instructions. And a rubber-coated, steel reinforce chassis provides rock-solid stability in a small footprint occupying less space on your desktop.”

TKL keyboards are very popular with LAN gamers, as they’re much easier to chuck in your bag and transport. They’re also great for those who don’t rely on the number pad, as their compact size frees up a huge amount of space no your desk, which means more room to move your mouse, so they’re perfect for those with limited desk space too.

The Impact 500 TKL comes equipped with the very popular Cherry MX switches, in this case, we have Cherry MX Blue on our sample.

In the box, you’ll find the keyboard, a detachable braided USB cable and a quick start guide.

The keyboard design is pretty straight forward, but not so basic that it is boring, as there’s no doubt that this is still a very nice looking keyboard.

The keyboard is a little heavy, as is the case with most mechanical keyboards. It feels pretty rugged and very well made overall, so it should stand up to lifetime of abuse from those long gaming sessions and LAN events.

The 500 has a slight slope to its design, with a slow curve on the key layout from front to back; this should provide you with a comfortable typing position, but it can be raised further with the kickstands at the back.

The key caps are of a very good quality and they don’t bottom out on the chassis of the keyboard, giving you nothing but the tactile sensation of the MX Blue switch when you’re typing.

There’s an Fn-Shift function on the Impact 500, this gives you access to some basic multimedia, volume and windows lock keys along the top of the keyboard.

There’s also a small LED light on the Windows Lock/F9 key so you can see when this feature is enabled.

To keep the exterior bezel to a minimum, the CAPLK and SCRLK indicators are located just above the INS and HOME keys, further helping to save desk space, without compromising on key spacing or the need to make the chassis bigger.

The arrow keys are located quite close to the corner, but since the keyboard is rather slim here, you won’t need the use of a wrist rest. The keys are slightly recessed into the body of the keyboard too, giving you an even slightly lower design overall.

The trim around the keyboard is nice and clean with no ports or anything on show.

 

There’s a cable track on the underside of the keyboard, allowing you to take the USB cable out the left, right or back of the keyboard.

The Mini-USB connector is recessed under the keyboard, so it’s unlikely you’ll accidentally pull the cable out of its fitting.

Here you can see the cable attached to the keyboard; nice and simple.

There’s four rubber grips on the underside of the IMPACT 500, so it won’t slide around your desk while you’re gaming. There’s also two small rubber grips on the kickstands so you don’t lose the grip when using the extra feet.

Turtle Beach Impact 700 Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


Recently, I’ve been getting engrossed in the world of Turtle Beach peripherals. The company announced they would be breaking away from being an audio only company, set to explore the world of keyboards and mice and we were very impressed with the products we saw at CES 2015. More recently, we’ve been lucky enough to play around with their gorgeous GRIP series mice, such as the GRIP 500 which we recently review and if that’s just a taste of things to come, we should be in for a real treat with their keyboard products.

“The Turtle Beach IMPACT 700 premium-quality backlit mechanical PC gaming keyboard sports Cherry MX Brown key switches for a smooth responsive, tactile feel and laser-engraved keycaps with keyboard-controlled adjustable soft-to-hard red backlighting and multiple illumination modes, all set in a steel-reinforced chassis for stability and maximum durability. Six-key rollover with full anti-ghosting gives fast-moving fingers instant and accurate gameplay control even when hitting multiple keys, including double or triple taps. The IMPACT 700 also includes 3.5mm mic and audio jacks, and two USB 2.0 ports with direct audio pass-through to support a gaming headset and mouse.”

You can’t go far wrong with a mechanical keyboard and since the Impact 700 is equipped with Cherry MX switches, we already know were going to get a great quality product. However, given the rather high price of the Impact 700, which we’ll get to in a little while, I’m expecting or at least hoping for something really special from Turtle Beach and their new keyboard.

The model I have at my disposal today comes equipped with Cherry MX Brown switches and as you can see from the packaging, it follows a similar design to most other Turtle Beach products.

A few cool features on the back of the box, such as audio and dual-USB pass through, LED back-lighting, a steel-mounted chassis and more!

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you started, the keyboard, obviously, as well as a quick start guide, some extra key-caps and a key-cap pulling tool.

The extra key-caps are particularly interesting, even if they’re almost unnecessary. There’s replacement WASD keys, which has a white block around the letters, that’ll let more backlighting through and help you better differentiate the keys. Then we have some rather funky alternative key-cap replacements, such as GG, InCTRL and NoCTRL, they’re just a bit of fun, but I like them.

the Impact 700 comes hard-wired with a rather bulky, but incredibly durable sleeved cable. The thickness is dictated by the fact that the keyboard has two USB headers and two 3.5mm cables.

The key-caps are of a very high quality, with a really nice silky black finish to them. They are laser etched to allow the LED backlighting to shine through and have a nice clear font on them.

Like most keyboards these days, the F-Keys also act as multimedia keys, which can be accessed via the Fn-Shift key; I prefer dedicated multimedia keys, but this is certainly better than nothing.

More multimedia functions here, this time for volume control.

The LED brightness can be dialed up or down using F11 and F12, again, via the Fn-Shift function.

The arrow keys are as you would expect and the key spacing is pretty standard stuff; nothing to complain about, that’s for sure.

Those with a keen eye will notice I don’t have a UK layout keyboard here today, but UK/US will be available dependant on your region when the keyboard is released.

The 700 is quite a chunky keyboard, but that’s no bad thing as it’s as durable as it looks. The Steel chassis on the interior does add weight, but it also means the 700 is strong, rattle free and isn’t going to slide around your desk in the heat of battle.

The included key-cap removal tool is a welcome bonus, as it makes cleaning and general maintenance a lot easier. It also means it’s nice and easy to swap out the stock key-caps for the included alternatives.

Such as these lovely WASD keys which you can see below.

Around the back of the keyboard, you’ll find a pair of USB ports and a pair of audio jacks. This is perfect for connecting your other peripherals, such as a gaming mouse, microphone, headset and similar devices, without having to fiddle around behind your computer.

There are four side and tough rubber grips on the base of the keyboard, giving it a firm hold on your desk.

the kickstands are plastic, but they’re thick and strong, so it’s unlikely they’ll break anytime soon; they’ve also been treated to small rubber grips of their own so you don’t lose too much traction on your desk.

Google’s Self-Driving Cars Might Come with External Airbags

Airbags are the main protection feature inside a car, aiding in protecting the driver and passengers from serious harm in the event of a violent accident. However, we still don’t have anything to protect the car itself or the objects it might hit.

Google has been thinking about adding an extra protection feature to the exterior of its self-driving cars and came up with the idea of having external airbags. As shown in a patent filed by the company, it looks like its self-driving cars might come with a new revolutionary protection feature in the near future.

The external airbags are said to help protect the car, other cars or even people if an unfortunate accident occurs. However, the airbags might have an opposite effect on people, sending them flying and suffering more severe injuries. Google apparently thought about this problem and came up with a solution which involves a visco-elastic material that would have a bit of give to help prevent serious injury.

Though the idea might become a reality in Google’s hands, it’s worth pointing out that Volvo was the first to think about this solution. External airbags seem to have a lot of potential on paper, but do they really do the trick in real life situations? That would remain to be seen.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

More Asteroids Could Hit Earth In The Upcoming Years

With the strike in Chelyabinsk, Russia this year, scientists say it’s time to get serious. Tom’s Hardware states that a couple of articles come to the conclusion that asteroid strikes will be more frequent. For those interested, the articles are published in Nature, one of the most prestigious academic journals.

The guys currently tracking asteroids look for the ones that could cause total disasters and end of human life as we know it scenario. Most asteroids we know of have 1 kilometer in diameter or more. But there are however smaller ones that could devastate cities and even countries, the only thing is that we don’t really know where they are and when they will strike.

A project with its goal set to detect much smaller threats has been formed, named B612, led by former astronaut Edward Lu. According to the project, there are a million “near-Earth asteroids large enough to substantially damage or destroy a major city.” Equivalent to a massive minefield of nuclear warheads, this is not a threat we can simply ignore.

Scenarios like the one at Chelyabinsk are likely to happen once in a decade or two. However, a large surface of the Earth is uninhabited and given that we have more water than land masses, the probability of asteroids hitting large cities is unlikely. But nobody can be certain of that fact.

Thank you Tom’s Hardware for providing us with this information

Facebook Rolls Out New Like And Share buttons

It appears that Facebook’s “Like” and “Share” buttons are changing according to Facebook Developer Blog, and the thumbs up symbol we’ve long associated with it is no more.

Both buttons are seen daily around 22 billion times across 7.5 million websites, making the buttons a very important feature for Facebook. We see changes in design everywhere, some for the better and some not that great. But the change in design for the “Like” and “Share” buttons is more important than people think. It also has a pretty serious impact web content and the way that businesses promote their products.

Facebook’s Ray C. He had this to say on the blog:

“Today, we’re introducing a new design for both Like and Share to help people share more great content across the web. We’re already seeing a favorable increase in Likes and Shares with the new design and will be rolling these buttons out to everyone in the coming weeks. If you are currently using the old Like button, you’ll be automatically upgraded to the new design as part of our roll out.”

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Facebook