Shuttle’s New SH110R4 Barebone Brings Great Features in a Small Size

Shuttle released a new system that once again proves that a powerful system doesn’t need to be large in physical dimensions. The new SH110R4 is the newest family member in the XPC Cube series of 13-liter barebone PCs and it comes with everything available you’ll need, from a Skylake LGA 1151 socket over two M.2 expansion slots to an integrated heat pipe system for CPU cooling.

The Shuttle SH110R4 is built around the Intel H110 chipset and supports dual-channel DDR4 memory with a speed of up to 2133 MHz. You can equip it with a total of 32GB through its two memory slots, but the specifications don’t reveal whether it’s full-sized DIMMs or SO-DIMMs. My bet would be on the last, SO-DIMMs. With the use of a Skylake-based Core, Celeron, or Pentium processor, you also gain 4K video capabilities through the processor-integrated GPU and the onboard HDMI and DisplayPort. A D-Sub VGA port was also added for backwards compatibility.

Besides the graphics connections, you also find all other relevant external connectors. There are four USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet network powered by an Intel i219LM controller, and a 5.1-channel HD audio system powered by a Realtek ALC662 chip.

The Shuttle XPC Cube series are basically mITX systems with a clever cooling solution and users can upgrade the motherboard to pretty much any mITX board they wish at any point. But the included one is pretty good as it is and comes with two M.2 slots, one M.2 2280/2260/2242 Type M slot for high-speed SSDs and one M.2 2230 Type A/E slot for devices like WiFi cards. There’s also a PCIe x16 and a PCIe x1 slot for additional expansion cards such as graphics cards, raid controller, monitor cards, sound cards, etc.

The really cool feature is the Shuttle’s I.C.E 2 cooling engine that utilizes heat-pipe tech to keep the SH110R4 cool. It uses convection cooling to dissipate heat away from and around the CPU. The I.C.E.2 copper tubes, coated in nickel for enhanced tube hardness and rust-proof protection, are filled with distilled water to effectively channel heat and provide highly efficient processor and chassis cooling.

It also comes with a built-in PSU which can deliver 300W and is 80Plus Bronze certified. Overall, you get a small and stable system with great features and a suggested retail price of £172.00.

 

Library Management Software May Be Open to Ransomware Attacks

When it comes to software, schools are either on top of it or a little behind. The reason being is mostly the budgets they have to deal with, one piece of software that is often ignored by schools, which tend to have to work on the “if it isn’t broken we don’t need to replace it” policy, is the Library management software. If people are using any of Follett’s old library management software, they may want to change that approach and update soon as it’s been revealed that the software may be open to ransomware attacks.

The vulnerability was discovered by Cisco’s Talos group and found that users could remotely install backdoors and ransomware code to the JBoss web server element of the library management system, leaving users with either a large bill or no access to their libraries information.

Follett has not sat idly by with them already releasing a patching system to fix the flaws that expose the system and it even picks up any unofficial files which may have been snuck on to compromise the servers. Working with the Talos group, Follett is seeking to inform customers about the security risk and how to address the issue, potentially removing the threat and damage it could do before someone manages to make any money off of your local schools’ library.

Amazon Recommends Users Change Their Passwords

Who doesn’t have an Amazon account? If you do it may be worth changing your password as Amazon recommends users take the precaution after it discovered that some of their Amazon accounts could be found online.

Amazon discovered the leaked passwords were contained within a password list online, and while not exclusive to Amazon services, it has recommended that users change their passwords, even more, so if they use the same password on several sites. If your accounts email address was found to be on any of the lists then Amazon has taken the precaution to force a password reset on your account.

While many recommend against it, it’s common practice for people to use the same password and email combinations on several sites, thus increasing the chance that if one account is hacked, others will be compromised alongside.

While it’s recommended by some that we get rid of passwords altogether, alternative methods like biometric scanners for your fingerprints have been seen as easily bypassed and companies are even looking at using videos or selfies to access your accounts, a technique that has been met with mixed views. Would you prefer to access your account with a selfie or video of yourself or do you believe that the password still has a while to go if used correctly?

UPDATE: We were asked to remove the image, so one of our own, Robert Ainsworth, provided us with a copy of the email he received.

Yahoo Mail Went Down And All They Got Was A Single Tweet

In this day and age, keeping your customers up to date is as important as getting them on board in the first place. Reports started circulating yesterday that Yahoo users weren’t able to access their email accounts, and all they got for their troubles was a single tweet.

Originally reported in the thread titled “Yahoo Mail has been down for 14 hours, affecting thousands of users in Europe”, users went from saying that having their service shut down without any response being unacceptable to the barrage of comments from users asking if the service was ever truly running these days or how many people were actually affected by the problem (including a rather large barrage joking about the use of Yahoo mail for business reasons).

After checking out Yahoo Mail’s twitter page (the quickest way to update people these days on issues it would seem), the page was filled with nothing but advertisements spread out over days with no communications regarding the reported outage. That was until we checked out their support page, Yahoo Care. Amongst a slew of advertisements for their fantasy baseball teams was a single tweet saying that some users were experiencing issues.

With people replying saying that they haven’t been able to access their account for extended periods and with no support, a single tweet hardly seems to be cut it (pun intended).

In this day and age, taking days to fix a problem with little to no support for your users seems like a quick way to lose people to other webmail solutions like Gmail and Outlook. We will try to keep you updated (as well as we can with the little information that seems to be available at this moment).

Overclockers UK Titan Dark Zone Gaming PC Review

Introduction


Overclockers UK is one of the leading stockists of PC hardware and their engineering team produces an impressive range of custom rigs to suit contrasting tastes. Whether you’re looking for a silent air-cooled build, or extreme overclocked PC with premium water cooling parts, there’s something designed for your specific requirements. Often, whenever a new game is released which sells remarkably well, consumers like to pay homage with a system based around its theme. This can be a challenge especially if the game in question doesn’t have a distinctive colour scheme. The Division is an open world third-person shooter set in a bleak vision of New York City ravaged by a smallpox pandemic. This intriguing setting and captivating multiplayer confrontations have proved to be incredibly popular! As a result, The Division became Ubisoft’s fastest selling game on record and attracted a very passionate community.

This success story has given Overclockers UK inspiration for their latest gaming PC entitled the Titan Dark Zone. The system opts for orange braided PSU extension cables and vibrant LED lighting which creates a stunning aesthetic design. Combining the orange tones with black jet black components is quite unusual and a reference to The Division’s box art. Therefore, the Titan Dark Zone is a dream come true for fans of this particular title and features a very potent specification capable of powering VR devices without any concessions. The Intel i7-6700K is professionally overclocked to 4.5GHz using the Alpenfohn Broken 2 cooler. As a result, I expect to see an impeccable performance to noise ratio which surpasses many closed-loop-coolers. On another note, the 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 memory, factory overclocked GTX 980Ti and Samsung 250GB boot drive should be able to provide a sensational gaming experience even on high-resolution monitors. Rather surprising, Overclockers UK have decided to use a non-modular power supply which complicates cables management. On the other hand, the PSU has received a great deal of critical acclaim and showcases the careful decision-making process when designing a system’s specification.

Specifications

  • Name: Overclockers UK Titan Dark Zone
  • Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX
  • Motherboard: MSI Z170A-SLI Plus
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K Overclocked to 4.5GHz
  • Processor Cooler: Alpenfohn Broken 2
  • System Memory: Team Group Elite 16GB (8x2GB) 2400MHz CL16 RAM
  • Main Boot Drive: Samsung 250GB 850 Evo SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Seagate 2TB 7200RPM HDD
  • Graphics card: MSI GeForce GTX 980ti Armor X2 6GB
  • Power Supply: XFX TS 750W 80 Plus Gold
  • Peripherals: N/A
  • Monitor: N/A
  • Optical Drive: N/A 
  • Wireless: N/A
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
  • Warranty: Three Year (24 Month Collect and Return plus 12 Month labour) Mainland UK and Ireland Only
  • Price: £1549.99

Packing and Accessories

The system arrived in an extremely large box which cannot fit on my photography backdrop. This is the reason why I’ve taken a snapshot in the hallway to emphasize the package’s mammoth size. Overclockers UK always adopt such an attentive approach to packaging and employ durable materials which enhances the level of protection substantially. It’s evidently clear that the company has considered the strain delicate PCs go under during transit and taken every necessary step to dramatically reduce the probability of damage occurring.

Once the top cover has been removed, we can see an ample supply of durable cardboard inserts which holds the system firmly in position.

The Titan Dark Zone is placed in the original chassis box and secured with strong tape. Honestly, I’d be extremely surprised if you received the system with even cosmetic imperfections considering multiple layers were used for protective purposes.

There’s additional support inside the chassis box via two strong polystyrene blocks.

The system’s internal components are surrounded by three Instapak foam pieces. These are essential additions which protect the CPU mounting and prevent the graphics card from applying too much pressure on the PCI-E slot during delivery.

In terms of accessories, OCUK included a Welcome Pack and Windows 10 Home OEM DVD containing the product code. The Welcome Pack outlines the system’s specification, and warranty terms in an easy to understand manner. Personally, I love the overall presentation and solder joints design on the front cover.

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OCUK Releases Powerful Asteroid mITX Gaming System by 8Pack

When we here 8Pack, then we know that it is followed by something great and it is no different this time around. Overclockers UK introduced the new Asteroid Mini-ITX gaming system by 8Pack – an impressive and very powerful system. The all-new extreme mini PC is designed and built by Ian 8Pack Parry, one of the best-known overclockers in the world. The hardware has been handpicked and tuned for only the best experience.

The 8Pack Astroid isn’t just a powerful system, it is also a beautiful one with its black and red case. It is also built with hard-line tubing for the custom liquid cooling loop that gives it an even better over-all look. The PC is also supplied with a flight case as standard that has been manufactured for portability, allowing the user to also pack their peripherals with the PC.

So by now you’re probably curious what kind of hardware powers this tiny monster. At the heart, it has an Intel Core i7 6700K Skylake processor that has been overclocked to 4.7GHz and the base configuration comes with 8GB memory that has been overclocked to 3866MHz. The graphics part is covered by a Nvidia GTX 980Ti graphics card that also has been overclocked out of the box, in this case to 1450MHz or more. The operating system gets a 512GB solid state drive while there also is a 1TB SSD for files and your game collection. All this is powered by a 1000W 80Plus Titanium rated Super Flower power supply. Wow.

 

In every single 8Pack Asteroid gaming PC, there is always expert craftsmanship with cherry picked hardware and deep testing. With a setup like this, you won’t run into any bottlenecks and get maximum performance from the hardware without any compromise.

As with all Overclockers UK systems, you can also customize the specification away from the standard setup in order to get just the right match for your needs. While many might go for a memory upgrade, the rest is pretty much solid. So what will all this cost you, you might ask. It starts at £3989.99 which is a hefty sum, but it is also a hefty system.

Standard Specification:

  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti overclocked (Option to upgrade to Titan X)
  • Memory: Team Group Xtreem 8GB 3866Mhz (Option to upgrade to 16GB 3733Mhz)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 6700K overclocked to 4.7+
  • Storage: Two Samsung 850 Evo Series Solid State Drives. 512GB for OS, and 1TB for games
  • PSU: 1000W Superflower PSU
  • Case: Custom Parvum 8Pack Edition case with built in water cooling reservoir
  • Fan controller: Aquaero 5
  • Flight Case included

While the price of almost £4000 might have put you off a little bit, we got to remember that we don’t just buy the hardware here – this is a little piece of art and it comes with unparalleled support. As a customer of this system, you ‘ll be given 8Packs mobile phone number to contact him if there were any issues or support queries – labour free for 5 years. That isn’t a service that you’ll find anywhere else.

Below you’ll find a lot more images of this beautiful built system and all its details, so have fun drooling and imagining how great it would look on your desk right now.

Robotic Car Sharing Could Have 400 Million Users By 2030

People like using things which are easy to navigate and control. This may be the reason for the recent boom of car sharing app’s and systems in place. With people using systems like Uber to quickly call a taxi and having someone pick you up with ease saving you precious minutes (and $$$) when you need to get somewhere. With the use of automated cars though you could see as many as 400 million users relying on robotic car sharing by 2030.

You wake up and realise you are running late to work. You send a quick text to request a pickup and start getting ready, within half hour a car is sitting outside your house and you are off to work. You’re not driving, and neither is your work colleague who is sharing the same car because he lives in the next set of buildings down the road. Robotic cars could soon see you doing away with steering wheels and instead rely on LiDAR technology and exterior cameras to drive you safely to work.

With groups like the White House looking to create self-driving cars alongside companies like Google, it was only a matter of time before the idea of self-driving sharing taxi’s arrived. Google have already announced that they want to have some out on the roads this year, something that we can all look forward to.

Quantum Computing Could Be A Step Closer Thanks To “Noise-Cancelling” Technology

Mention quantum computing to anyone involved with technology and their eyes will light up like its Christmas day. With the theoretical ability to complete thousands of complicated calculations in a fraction of the time that it takes the most advanced processor available on the market, quantum computing could see your phone becoming as powerful as your computer. While such a great concept the technology needed is far from complete, but maybe one step closer thanks to the recent work to incorporate noise canceling technology into their design.

Quantum computing relies on quantum bits, the problem being is the “noise” these bits encounter. The noise is normally in the form of magnetic disturbances, and if that computer is calculating your finances or the medicine dose you need you really don’t want someone putting a fridge magnet nearby messing it up. Researchers at Florida State University National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) have instead decided to cancel out this noise using the quantum equivalent of noise-cancelling headphones.

Thanks to specially designed tungsten oxide molecules, MagLab were able to keep a quantum bit working without interference for 8.4 microseconds. While that may not seem like long, in the quantum world that time could calculate any number of operations and is a step towards making quantum computing a feasible technology for corporate and public use.

With the likes of NASA and Google working on creating a usable quantum computer, I for one am hoping that I get to see a quantum computer within the next twenty years. A single quantum computer could replace all the advanced servers and systems used by Google and Microsoft, offering us the ability to miniaturize our systems, creating even smarter systems in even smaller packages.

Create Your Own LCARS System Using A Raspberry Pi

Star Trek has had a lasting impact on everything from science fiction to people’s everyday lives. Everybody who has watched the series has their own generation, and for myself it was the Next Generation. I remember watching the first episode when it aired and gazing at the screens as they pressed buttons without having to type long commands into a keyboard. This was all done thanks to a system known as LCARS and thanks to some clever coder you can now create your LCARS system.

With nothing more than a Raspberry Pi and his wits, Toby Kurien created a home automation system based on the classic science fiction interface. If that wasn’t cool enough, Kurien has also released the code for the interface system on GitHub, meaning you can not only download and tinker to your heart’s content if you prefer something a little different you can change out the assets, giving your system a whole new look.

Created using Python, the software supports touchscreen and means that when combined with the latest Raspberry Pi, you can create your own little LCARS tablet or wall panel to help control your home, car or even just to play games on. How long before someone modifies it to control the starship Enterprise drone we wonder.

Xbox Live Is Currently “Limited”

We all have our favourite way of playing online, and those that use Xbox Live may have a bit of trouble this morning when it comes to enjoying that quick game before work or school. Currently, the service is more struggling than it is managing as several parts of the service are listed as having difficulty.

The affected services include people’s ability to buying downloadable items and downloading any previously brought items. This means that if you are looking at downloading a game or treating yourself to a DLC, now might not be the best time. If you are one of the people who likes to stream some music or videos the Xbox Video and Music stores are also currently experiencing problems, joined by Blinkbox also having issues.  Finally, the only other area affected at the moment is account management, with people unable to create

Finally, the only other area affected at the moment is account management, with people unable to create accounts, managing any of their previous accounts or even removing accounts from devices.

The only areas that don’t seem affected are the Xbox One’s website and their matchmaking, so if you wanted to just play a game you should be okay, but beyond that you may experience some trouble. You can find out the latest on Xbox live’s status page located here.

Gladiator Computers APOCALYPSE Gaming PC Review

Introduction


Aria is one of the leading technology retailers in the UK and stocks a huge range of components from luxury 21:9 3440×1440 monitors to extremely affordable pre-assembled gaming PCs. Their custom PC range falls under the GLADIATOR brand and aims to provide an enthralling gaming experience while offering superb customer satisfaction. Clearly, any system is a considered purchase, and it’s vital to have your initial investment backed by a comprehensive warranty. Thankfully, Gladiator supports their builds with a 4-year labour and 1-year parts guarantee. This level of service is often a key selling point for consumers without any hardware experience and feel overwhelmed by the almost endless combination of component choices.

Today, we’re taking a look at the GLADIATOR APOCALYPSE which targets a very reasonable price of £749.99. I’d describe this as a mid-range system and caters to someone with expectations of a fluid framerate at 1920×1080. Around the £800 mark, it’s essential to prioritize the graphics card and make concessions on the CPU without it becoming a bottleneck. This is because the majority of modern game engines are GPU bound, and the benefits from enhanced CPU performance is fairly minimal in comparison. NVIDIA’s GTX 970 is currently the most popular graphics card among Steam users, and for good reasons. For example, the GPU offers a fantastic price to performance ratio and remains exceptionally cool under extreme load. As a result, I’m pleased to see this particular graphics card in the GLADIATOR APOCALYPSE and expect it to perform superbly on a 1080P display.

Specifications

  • Name: GLADIATOR APOCALYPSE
  • Case: AeroCool Aero-800 Windowed Midi Tower
  • Motherboard: ASUS Z170-E
  • Processor: Intel i5-6400 2.70GHz Quad Core Skylake CPU
  • Processor Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Evo
  • System Memory: 8GB DDR4 3000MHz – Corsair Vengeance LPX
  • Main Boot Drive: 1TB Seagate Barracuda SATA III Hard Drive
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): N/A
  • Graphics card: ASUS STRIX NVIDIA GTX 970 4GB GDDR5
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 Challenger 600W 80+ Certified
  • Peripherals: N/A
  • Monitor: N/A
  • Optical Drive24x LiteOn DVD Re-Writer
  • Wireless: N/A
  • OS: Not Included
  • Warranty: 4 Years Labour, 1 Year Parts
  • Price: £749.99

Packing and Accessories

The system is delivered in a humongous outer box which offers outstanding protection against accidental damage. On the top, some durable fragile tape is used to instruct the courier to adopt a gentle approach when handling the item. One slight area for improvement revolves around the lack of side handles. This makes it quite difficult to lift especially in tight spaces.

Once opened, there’s an ample supply of packing peanuts to cushion the chassis box and prevent it from moving around during shipment. I was thoroughly impressed with the quantity of packaging materials, as it emphasizes the company’s attentive approach.

Here we can see the main chassis box containing a plastic cover and two thick polystyrene supports. As a result, the chance of cosmetic damage occurring is exponentially reduced.

The secure foam insert surrounds key components and keeps them firmly in position. I cannot emphasize enough how important these foam packs are because without them it’s possible for cables to become dislodged. Furthermore, it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities that a heavy GPU could droop and snap during transit. Thankfully, the foam pack holds up it upright and adds a great deal of structural support.

In terms of accessories, the system comes with the original packaging and documentation for each component. There’s also driver disks, a setup leaflet, attractive lanyard and UK power cable. The setup leaflet is fantastic and instructs beginners to remove the supportive foam before connecting the power cord.

That’s not all though because the package includes a CPU installation tool, spare parts, and screws to connect an M.2 SSD.

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Microsoft Patents a Modular Computing Device

Microsoft applied for this patent as far back as July last year and it was now published just a few days ago. Microsoft has now patented a “modular computing device” that would enable people to put together the exact PC components they want instead of purchasing a completely new system.

Yes, you are completely right with your initial thought. We already have that, it’s called PC parts. We review and post news about those every day here at eTeknix. But that isn’t what we are talking about here, these are modules rather than individual PC components. You might remember Razer’s modular PC called Project Christine or Acer’s Revo Build Mini PC and this new patent is in the same regards.

While the Christine and Revo Build never turned into any real products, there is a good chance that Microsoft has bigger plans for this, especially considering this patent. Microsoft is also taking it one step further and adding everything as module options including the display. This is something that reminds of Google’s Project Ara and its block system, just on a bigger scale.

The stackable hardware connected to the display using a hinge can contain a removable battery, a processor, a graphics card, memory, storage, speakers, and a wireless communication element. There could even be a gesture recognition component or a holographic projection unit. Each of these components can also have housings that are connected magnetically and are swappable.

I really love this idea and I hope that it will turn into a real product line. I most likely wouldn’t purchase it myself, but it would allow every normal user without any knowledge to upgrade his or her system part for part instead of throwing the entire thing in a trashcan and purchasing a completely new device. It would save a lot of costs for those people, but most importantly, it would save a lot of trash. Why should you upgrade more than what’s outdated and don’t waste resources?

“In this way, the computing device may be altered and changed readily by a user in an intuitive manner without requiring detailed knowledge of the hardware.”

Philips V800 Flip Phone Is in the Pipeline

Remember when the flip mobile phone design was all the rage? For some of you, this may seem an impossibility owing to the now ubiquitous smartphone look. Well, it looks as if Dutch Electronics Company Philips is set to release a new product by the name of the V800 flip phone to consumers.

Below is a summary of the key features along with a selection of images to convey this product.

  • The Phone Weighs 206g
  • The casing size is 8x60x19.1mm
  • It utilizes a Quad-core 1.5GHz processor
  • The Phone has two identical screens and a IPS LCD touch screen with a resolution of 1280×720
  • It is equipped with 13 Mega Pixel rear camera and 5 Mega Pixel front camera
  • The Phone runs on Android 5.1 system.

Below are images of this phone, as you can see, it looks noteworthy, the colours are atmospheric dark gray for the outer casing while the keyboard has a gold colour design which gives the phone a more luxurious feel.

There is no word as yet as to the pricing or release date, but it could be on the horizon when you consider it has passed through the TENAA (China’s wireless regulator). The phone may also have a limited appeal when you consider the flip phone design is now predominately sold within the Far Eastern market.

Image courtesy of wikimedia

Imperia by Oswalds Reimagines Audio Speakers

The way audio is transmitted to the consumer has evolved over the past decade or so, from higher quality headphones, well, some brands more than others, to the diverse sound systems that have incorporated today’s modern MP3 players, Smartphone’s and also transformed the flat audio from paper-thin Televisions into a Cinema experience. Audio company OMA (Oswalds Mill Audio) have decided that modern speakers are just too rudimentary in their design and have therefore announced a product by the name of the “Imperia”.

Below is an image and also a summary of this eye-catching product.

  • The Imperia has a four-way horn system with a vertical array of conical horns covering 100 Hz to 20 kHz.
  • Two rear loaded subwoofer horns using a massive 21″ neodymium woofer handling 20 Hz-100 Hz.
  • A special OMA sub is 104db 1w/1m and is powered by its own solid state amplifier.
  • The system as a whole is extremely efficient at 105db 1w/1m and is entirely time aligned.
  • The 100hz and 300hz wooden conical horns are made from a choice of solid Pennsylvania Black Walnut, Cherry or Ash.
  • The Dimensions are H 86″ D 60″ (max depth at horn) W 41″ Base footprint 41″ x 41″

OMA have stated that they are the “only manufactures to use the straight-edged cone speaker design, this is due to the fact that such a design will not add to the sound wave deformity”

I know what you’re thinking, how much? Answer is too much when you consider this product is expected to retail for around $280,000 dollars (£191,744) The product is certainly unique and provides a new dimension to sound systems, but I think I will stick to my current audio setup for the time being until this design is available at a considerably cheaper price.

QNAP Added Netflix Support to TAS-x68 Dual-Systems

QNAP released their new innovative dual QTS and Android-based NAS a little while ago now they’ve improved more upon it with the addition of Netflix support. Android has grown into on of the largest app platform that can run on a lot of different types of hardware, including NAS servers. The QNAP TAS-168/268 uses this to its advantage and it is the first Android-based NAS that supports Netflix. Users can now simply download the free Netflix app from Google Play and get all the benefits from streaming service directly on their TV or monitor.

Users will simply need to connect their TAS-168/268 NAS to an HDMI display and they’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of this dual-system. Enjoy the numerous programs and multimedia content on Netflix with a smooth and convenient streaming experience. You can also attach a keyboard and mouse to directly to the NAS besides using the included remote control to take control of the playback.

“Netflix is one of the most popular Internet video streaming services in the world, and we are pleased to announce that it is compatible with our Android-based TAS-168/268 NAS.” said Hanz Sung, Product Manager of QNAP, “with the addition of Netflix, TAS-168/268 users can further maximize their home entertainment options by streaming their favorite movies and TV shows to a big screen in their living room.”

The QNAP TAS-168/268 are powered by an ARM v7 dual-core processor and come with 2GB DDR3 RAM. It is officially certificated by Google and Netflix isn’t the only available multimedia app. With access to the entire Google Play library, you got nearly endless possibilities in games and applications. There is no need to purchase an extra android TV box when your NAS already has these capabilities on top of terabytes of storage. The system can handle 4K (H.265 & H.264) HDMI output which makes it the optimal budget-friendly multimedia NAS that provides near-unlimited entertainment possibilities.

We will also have a full review ready for you shortly on the QNAP TAS-268, so stay tuned for more.

UK Nuclear Submarines Use Windows XP

Technology changes all the time, and operating systems are no different. From the era of DOS and punch cards to modern day touch screens and augmented reality, you can find every generation making their mark in a new way. With Windows 8 no longer receiving updates people are recommended to update to either 8.1 or Windows 10 to avoid security risks. The problem being, Nuclear Submarines use Windows XP still.

With the argument raging regarding if the UK still requires nuclear submarines, the large cost of which is a key part of the argument, cutting a few pounds here and there can only be good right? In a recent decision, the Royal Navy installed a variant of Windows XP (Windows for Submarines) onto their Vanguard-Class Submarines.

While operating in isolation and with so many years of updates and security investigations on the operating system, the Ministry of Defence is confident that the system will “remain safe and secure”. This comes amongst a series of wargames and exercises designed to help test and train people from across the world, all while concerns about submarines long term “stealth abilities” are being questioned due to the addition of swarms of drones and new systems being developed to counter them.

Networks are most at risk due to their access from external sources, and while cutting down on these is a great first step you will always be at risk. Using outdated software is risky, no matter how much support has been put into it but with more and more research and development being made into these systems you can be certain that anything they find will quickly be fixed.

Air Force Cyberspace System is Fully Operational

I know it sounds like it comes straight out of a movie but I promise this is all really happening. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) is a part of the United States Air Force, focused mostly on supporting worldwide operations through digital means such as satellites or cyber tools. As with every part of the government and even business, any system connected to another proves a risk. One of the first ways you can limit that risk though is to limit the number of points you can access the system through. Something that the Cyberspace System can now do thanks to its fully operational status.

Fully operation status (or FOC) means that the new system is online and ready to control traffic between and in bases while also looking at the communications coming into the Air Forces operations. Previously the Air force had over 100+ regionally managed entry points to the network, imagine tracking down all those different access points if there was a problem! The new system means there are only 16, offering a much smoother and controlled entrance into their systems, effectively creating a solid wall to help reduce risks to their network and operations.

While impressed, Brigadier General Stephen Whiting, the Director stated, “This is a great achievement for the Air Force and the first cyberspace weapon system to achieve FOC.  We look forward to continued rapid progress and maturation of the Air Force Cyberspace mission. As we all know, our mission is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace”

So next time you see that movie and they are tapping away at the keys pinging nodes from all over the world to try to find a way into your system, you can be safe that the people using those systems know what their doing and are watching out for those who might misuse them!

Nest Being Turned Off By Glitch From 2015

Nest is a name that flies around these days, settling in homes all over the world. The little piece of hardware is designed to allow you remote and smart control of your heating, from detecting when you’re nearly home, to turning the temperature down while at work, the device is there to make your life easier and you feel more in control. That was until people were hit by a glitch from 2015 that resulted in Nest being turned off!

People stormed online, like they often do these days when things go wrong, saying they were waking up in the dead of a night to a cold house. Finding that it is a known problem, but there was no fix in place for it yet.

Matt Rogers, the founder and vice president of engineering at Nest, stated that the bug came from a software update in December. “We had a bug that was introduced in the software update that didn’t show up for about two weeks”, in his statement apologizing for the issue. While Nest state that the issue has been fixed for 99.5% of their customers, the fix that is recommended features everything from turning it off and back on again to charging it for several hours.

While only a small problem for some, Nest is often seen as an option for those who are unable to move around a lot, such as the elderly, letting their friends and family check in and ensure that their heating is at a suitable level during the cold winters. A small problem for some can be a serious matters for others, and I’m certain that Nest will be looking into how this software update caused this problem.

“YAZI” Venator Class Star Destroyer Gaming Desktop Removed From eBay

Sander Van der Velden’s incredible reproduction of a Star destroyer is mind-blowing and one of the best case mods I’ve seen! The attention-to-detail throughout is hard to believe and constructed from aluminium pieces via 3D printing techniques. It’s certainly worth checking out the build log on here which provides a great insight into the techniques used to attain such a marvellous finish. After being showcased in the MSI suite, the creator listing the PC at a starting price of $2600.

However, the listing has now ended and is no longer available. This is because the item has been purchased by MSI as a showpiece for events.

In terms of its specifications, the device sports an MSI 780Ti lightning, MSI B150M motherboard, Intel Core i5-6600K, Avexir 16GB DDR4 memory, OCZ Vector 960Gb SSD, Thermaltake 1200 watt power supply and Thermaltake water cooling apparatus.

What would you pay to own this particular mod project?

MSI Bundles Limited Edition Heroes of the Storm with Select Systems

Blizzard had a very long and impressive success with World of Warcraft and while that is declining, they haven’t really found the next big thing to capture the users on the same level. Heroes of Storm has been off to a relatively good start, but nothing compared to World of Warcraft. That means that the marketing has to change and we see a lot of promotions lately with Heroes of the Storm packages bundled. The latest in this series is MSI that now bundles limited edition versions of Heroes of the Storm with select gaming systems.

While the game in itself is free, there are many items to get and these bundles include downloadable limited edition items for Heroes of the Storm. MSI’s bundle comes with their desktops and All-in-One PCs that are officially authorized and recommended by Blizzard Entertainment. While we have seen other bundles in the past, this is the first time that Blizzard teamed up for full systems.

Most people should know Heroes of the Storm by now, even if they haven’t played it themselves. It is a multiplayer online battle arena game that features heroes from Blizzard’s other games such as Diablo, Warcraft, and StarCraft. The game uses both free-to-play and freemium models and is supported by micropayments, which can be used to obtain heroes, visual alterations for the heroes in the game and mounts.

The limited edition MSI GAMING 24 and GAMING 27 all-in-one PCs have been engraved with Blizzard’s Heroes to make it remarkable. Users will find an exclusive voucher with the Hero character named Valla inside. The Nighblade MI2 system comes with an exclusive voucher with Hero character, Diablo with a Kaijo Skin while the MSI Nightblade X2B comes with a voucher for the Hero character Gazlowe and a Big Top skin.

These MSI systems might be compact and small, but they still pack great power that is backed by Intel i7’s and Nvidia 900 series graphics cards, among other things. If you just want something simple that works right out of the box, then solutions like these could be perfect. If you also play Heroes of the Storm or want to start it, then they might be perfect.

iBuyPower Reveals Revolt 2 eSports Gaming Desktop

The first Revolt gaming desktop by iBuyPower was released back in 2013, and it enjoyed incredible success among enthusiasts and casual gamers alike. The next iteration of iBuyPower’s premium gaming rig is the Revolt 2, which is based on a highly original case and a plethora of high-end components. What makes the case special apart from its unique shape is the fact that it offers a clear view of the system’s graphics card, as this is arguably the most crucial part of any gaming desktop. The graphics card is showcased through a see-through window located at the top of the case, and it is flanked by customizable Smart Lighting technology.

As for the motherboard, it features a mini-ITX form factor and is complemented by full ATX components. The system can accommodate a full ATX power supply, a 280mm liquid cooler, a pair of solid state drives and one HDD. Moreover, iBuyPower has worked closely with several eSports organizations in order to create a special SSD swapping system, which is bound to receive praise from enthusiasts. Below you will find a complete list of specifications for iBuyPower’s Revolt 2 eSports gaming desktop.

  • Researched and developed along with an extensive eSports network.
  • Support for 2.5 slot GPUs 300mm long, showcased under a transparent window.
  • Cooling Flexibility: Compatible with two 120mm, one 120mm and one 140mm, one 240mm or one 280mm radiator.
  • Allows for Full-size PSU, two solid state drives, and one mechanical hard drive.
  • Quick Change SSD system.
  • iBUYPOWER signature Smart Lighting included.
  • Lifetime Technical Support and a 3-year warranty.

iYogi Accused of Using Scam Tactics

Indian firm iYogi are well-known for their technical support, but recent claims could see their reputation quickly becoming something they wish to hide. A lawsuit could see iYogi paying out thousands if not millions in compensation for what is being described as scam and scare tactics.

Microsoft estimates that nearly 3.3 million Americans lose around $1.5 billion each year due to tech support scams. With these figures it’s no surprise that Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief legal officer has applauded Washington state’s hard approach on the claims.

While iYogi, who operate over 5,000 employees in call centres based in India, deny the claims the Attorneys General Office has made several large allegations against iYogi. iYogi are said to claim association with Microsoft, Apple and HP, offering support for those companies while also gaining remote access to users systems before asking them to download diagnostic software and flagging up false reports about files, finally offering users the chance to buy everything from yearly support plans and anti-virus software. The claims even state that the company offer to update PC’s to Windows 10 for $80, a service that Microsoft is currently offering for free to Windows 7 and 8 users.

Seeking $2000 in civil penalties per violation of Consumer Protection act and a further $100,000 per violation of the Computer Spyware Act, the bill could quickly shoot up for iYogi.

While it is hard to go off so little information, the claims sound very similar to something I have suffered through many times. A phone call saying that your computer is sending error messages to Microsoft (or Apple) and saying they can walk you through the support process. If this sounds familiar, please read our advice below.

  1. Companies can not track down your personal details from your system, any company attempting to call you claiming to be from Microsoft or Apple is almost certainly not who they claim to me.
  2. Never download software someone tells you to unless you are certain that the person in question only means good for you and only if you know the person, not someone from an email or on the other side of the phone.
  3.  If you do suspect your system is compromised, either by a virus or someone asking you for access, seek help from someone with technical experience such as at a local PC store.
  4. If you feel like a laugh and want to confirm that the person on the other end of the phone is lying to you. When they state they are from Microsoft, tell them that you only own Apple products in that house. If they quickly say that’s what they are there to help fix, you know they are being deceitful.

Do you have any tips for dealing with fake support calls? Tell us your stories in the comments and let’s see if we can’t help someone avoid the pain of paying for “support”.

OneDrive Placeholders May Be Replaced Back in Windows 10 ‘Redstone’

Windows 10 has so far received a mixed reception since its release, the many positive aspects which have included the return of a usable start menu has somewhat been outweighed by an operating system thin on privacy, and also a lack of communication to users concerning the update schedule. Now, Microsoft hopes to win back consumers by adding improvements within the “Redstone” update and includes a rumour that a feature by the name of “Placeholders” may return.

If you’re not familiar with this feature, Placeholders had been a handy space-saving feature within Windows 8.1 that allowed any file to be accessed from a OneDrive account by simply double clicking on an icon within file explorer, the difference was the file wouldn’t actually be downloaded to your machine until the user specified. Sounds good, well many users thought so until Microsoft took a crowbar and removed this feature from Windows 10 OS.

According to persistent rumours, this feature is set to be repackaged in time for Windows 10 Redstone release, which is due to be offered to consumers around Spring time of next year (2016).  Why had this feature been removed in the first place? It seems not everyone was able to understand how this handy tool functioned, this included consumers wondering why they were unable to update their files from the cloud when they had no internet connection to their data that was stored online, indeed.

It will be interesting to see the path with which Microsoft treads concerning the development of Windows 10.

Vibox Defcon 3 Red Gaming PC Review

Introduction


Selecting any pre-configured PC can be a daunting experience especially if the end-user feels overwhelmed by the huge array of options. Thankfully, Vibox is one of the leading system builders in the industry and adopts a basic scoring system to help novices gauge the suitability of each configuration. More specifically, the company even outlines typical gaming performance and quantifies the difference between each specification in a transparent manner. This is an essential tool to put people at ease and ensure they purchase the right system for their personal requirements.

Recently, we reviewed the Vibox Element X Green and couldn’t believe how well it performed in a number of demanding games for the price point. Out of all the systems so far, it’s probably the best value proposition I’ve seen and the perfect choice for a console gamer trying out PC gaming for the first time. However, the system’s CPU performance was inhibited somewhat by its AMD FX-6300 processor and wasn’t ideal for non-gaming workloads. The beauty of PC hardware means you can prioritize CPU performance, memory capacity, or graphical grunt. Although, it’s important to create a balanced system and eliminate any bottlenecks.

Vibox decided to send out for review purposes the Defcon 3, which features an Intel 6500 quad-core processor, 8GB DDR4 2800MHz memory and GTX 950 2GB. This basic setup is accompanied by an Aerocool 500 watt 80+ Bronze power supply, 120GB solid state drive, Thermaltake closed-looped liquid cooler, and 1TB data drive. The package is housed in the highly acclaimed, Corsair Carbide Spec-01 chassis and backed by a lifetime support service. As you can see, this particular build opts for a better CPU and lower-end graphics solution. As a result, it will be fascinating to see how it compares to the Element X, and I expect it to perform much better in synthetic benchmarking tasks.

Specifications

  • Name: Vibox Defcon 3
  • Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-01 Red LED
  • Motherboard: MSI Z170A PC Mate Motherboard
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 6500 Quad Core CPU @ 3.2GHz
  • Processor Cooler: Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer
  • System Memory:  8GB Patriot Viper Xtreme DDR4 2800MHz
  • Main Boot Drive: Patriot Blast 120GB SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): 1TB Seagate ST1000DM003 Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 7200rpm 64MB Cache 8ms
  • Graphics card: MSI GeForce GTX 950 Gaming 2GB
  • Power Supply: Aerocool Integrator 500W 80+ Bronze
  • Peripherals: None
  • Monitor: None
  • Optical Drive24x DVD-RW Optical Drive
  • Wireless: None
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Warranty: Lifetime Evolution Warranty – Build Charge, Shock-Proof Packaging, Express Delivery, 2 Year Parts Cover, Lifetime Labour & Tech Support
  • Price: £699.92

Packing and Accessories

The system is packaged in a 15Kg box containing precautionary fragile labels and two handles to make the carrying process remarkably easy. Additionally, the cardboard is relatively thick and helps to reduce any impact during shipping.

Once opened, there is a UK power lead, Vibox leaflet and ample supply of padding. Underneath this section, is the main chassis box.

It’s always recommended to reinforce the main chassis with an external box as this holds it in position and stops the chassis’ edges from scraping against anything. As a result, this should reduce the probability of cosmetic damage occurring during transit.

In terms of accessories, the Defcon 3 comes with a user’s guide, hardware manuals, driver disks, DVI to VGA adapter, fan adapter, and standard UK power cable. The user’s guide is superb and walks you through the installation in simple English without using technical jargon. Additionally, it also includes all the contact details you need in case of any system faults.

CPU-Z


GPU-Z

Microsoft Embrace Linux With Azure Certification

Microsoft is a company best known for a range of options, both hardware and software, in the modern world. From their Surface tablets to Microsoft Office, a widely known thing about Microsoft is that you pay for what you get. While they offer some free tools, Office and even Microsoft Windows, cost a small amount if you want to use them. This makes it all the more surprising when they announced that you can now get a certification for managing an operating system on Azure, their cloud based system. The operating system in question will cost you nothing, it’s Linux.

The new Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate Linux on Azure Certification will be used to show that you as a professional can run and manage Linux based servers on Microsoft’s cloud system (Azure). While this is a surprise, only a few years ago Azure didn’t support anything like Linux, however, it is not a giant surprise given the recent push by companies and governments to embrace open source software.

In order to get the new certification, you need to have passed not only the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator but also the Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure solutions exam.

While it’s nice for Microsoft to continue supporting open source software, and even with competing operating systems, I see it being a rare case where people (and companies) will be paying out hundreds for certification of free software.

Volvo Is Testing In-Car Delivery System

Do you remember back in April Amazon announced plans to make deliveries to the boot of your car? No? Well, it seems nothing has come of it yet, so Volvo has taken the reigns with Swedish postal company PostNord to offer this system in Sweden.

Try and think of all of the times where you have been at work, out of town or even just so lazy that you didn’t get out of bed to catch that 7:45am delivery. Now try to think of that delivery never being missed again because you can have that packed dropped safely into the boot of your car and locked away until you pick it up. That’s the ideal plan set out by this joint venture of Volvo and PostNord.

The process is simple, you place your order, tell the delivery company your car location and a special uniquely generated entry code for your car and wait for the item to be delivered.

I still have my reservations for this process though, what if you forget about that laptop you left on the back seat or that money in the centre console just ripe for the picking? I know that the selected drivers would have to pass security tests, but still.

Lenovo and Razer Partner for New Gaming Systems

This is one of the pieces that I almost skipped due to its content, but then I thought: Why not give our readers a good laugh on a cold winter Tuesday. Why? Because Lenovo and Razer announced that they will “Revolutionize Gaming Devices” with their new cooperation. This was announced during DreamHack Winter where Razer revealed their first gaming desktop prototype that will be fully presented at CES 2016 in Vegas.

The two companies have partnered for this adventure and the new Razer Edition gaming PCs will be Lenovo’s Y-series gaming devices with special Razer Edition models. So in short, just the run-of-the-mill default pre-built gaming PC with some fancy lighting and probably some bundled Razer peripherals.

I have no doubt that quite a few people will buy these systems just as people are buying Dell’s Alienware systems, but will it truly be something special? I don’t think so and it certainly isn’t a revolution unless they can push the price to an amazingly cheap one, but that isn’t something I would count on either. Branded systems like these tend to sell for a premium price and as such lose the appeal for the average consumer.

The two companies are naturally thrilled themselves as it can be seen in the official comments below. Would you buy a Razer-Lenovo Y-series pre-built gaming PC? I think I already know the answer to that, but let us know anyway.

“We are thrilled to partner with Razer and bring out the best from both companies to deliver a better, more immersive gaming experience for customers,” said Victor Rios, vice president and general manager, Workstation BU, Gaming and Industry Solutions, Lenovo. “While we bring to the table our engineering expertise, design muscle and scale, Razer adds in the finesse and experience of serving the gaming community for the last decade. We believe our partnership is a strong first step that will lead to the delivery of winning PC gaming solutions and a brand new experience to our customers.”

Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan said, “This agreement opens opportunities to advance the gaming lifestyle through world-class product in unprecedented ways. Lenovo is the world’s #1 PC maker. Razer is the world’s #1 gaming lifestyle brand. Together we have the passion, insight and operational capabilities to delight and empower the PC gaming community worldwide.”