Gearbox’s Battleborn Enters Open Beta for the Weekend

Gearbox is known for their successful series, Borderlands. Combining first-person shooters and role-playing game progression, Borderlands was also known for the comical humour and storyline that saw players, laugh cry and rage at the digital world they became engrossed in. Gearbox looks to continue this success with a new game, Battleborn.

Battleborn isn’t just another shooter combined with role-playing elements, this time, they’ve decided to add in some progression elements similar to multiplayer online battle arena games, and with player versus player action, the game doesn’t stop there.

This weekend, or rather from now till April 18th 7am PT (1400 GMT), you can not only enjoy the initial 7 heroes but as you progress and rank up you can enjoy more and more, with competitive versus and story mode letting you earn XP towards temporary helix augmentations and character and command ranks, every game increases your characters strengths.

It should be noted that experience and items obtained within the open beta won’t carry on to the retail version when it releases May 3rd. You can download the games open beta on Steam, found here.

 

With sword-wielding vampires, exploding wrestlers and a mecha wielding penguin, what isn’t to love? With the game available for £39.99 or £51.99 for the Digital Deluxe Pre-order version the open beta may attract more to the game.

NASA Begin Drop Tests of Orion Crew Module

The Orion module’s first mission may be five years away at the earliest, but this hasn’t stopped NASA from proceeding with its development well in advance. NASA’s impact tests for the module have already begun using a mockup of the spacecraft carrying a dummy crew aboard. This series of tests allows the engineers working on the craft to analyse how human bodies would be affected when the module lands in the ocean on its return to Earth.

Engineers at the Langley Research Center have been responsible for running the tests, where the module mockup has been dropped into a 20-foot deep Hydro Impact Basin from a height of 16-feet in the first of the tests. Contained within the capsule are a pair of test dummies, a 105-pound woman and a 220-pound man, which will allow the tests to show the effects of the landing on the different body types of those that could be aboard.

This is the first of a series of nine planned tests, with the remainder of the tests set to measure how the capsule holds up in a number of scenarios that could affect the capsule’s descent and landing. Future tests are set to include simulated factors such as wind and wave conditions as well as drops from different heights to see how it holds up. All of this data will then be fed back into the development of Orion in order to ensure that the capsule is safe for the astronauts that will ride it in future.

Orion is intended to be utilized on deep space trips to Mars and beyond along with the SLS rocket, which may be enough to kick-start a new era of manned space exploration within the next decade.

DARPA To Begin Testing Its Sub-Hunting Drone Ship

Technology is getting smarter, it is now getting to the point where technology can start doing things that would often require a human such as deliver pizzas. DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) is keen on seeing this automated technology makes its way into the battlefield. Recently DARPA revealed its Anti-submarine warfare continuous trail unmanned vessel (named ACTUV for short), a sub-hunting drone ship that can operate without a human crew, and it now seems like they are already testing out what it can do.

ACTUV is already in testing and has already passed its speed tests. Designed to go at 31mph, the ACTUV met these expectations and have left people wondering what the next text may be. The ACTUV is designed to track foreign submarines and will then follow them, the ultimate hope being of either forcing them to emerge or retreat.

The ACTUV was also designed to do more than just hunt subs, with it being able to transport deliveries and perform long-term sea reconnaissance missions, all the while freeing up a human crew for duty aboard another vessel.

You can see the ACTUV launch and test out its speed in the video below. Luckily for those in fear of the robots going to the kill us, the ship isn’t equipped with any weaponry and is purely an advance reconnaissance vessel, no combat use what so ever, a reassurance I’m sure many will be happy with.

Edison’s Blood Tests May Not Be As Accurate As First Reported

When it comes to tests, they normally come at a cost. Not just when it comes to the money but also the process the tests require, with most requiring something from you. Theranos came to the public light earlier in the year saying that its Edison device could carry out over 200 medical tests with a few drops of blood from a finger prick. Now it would seem that leaked documents raise more than a few concerns with the results of the tests not being as accurate as first reported.

The latest revelation comes as federal regulators release a redacted version of an inspection report that covers 121-pages showing some discrepancies with that the company reported and what they actually had achieved. In 2015, the Edison was used to test for testosterone levels and resulted in failure 87 percent of the time when it came to quality control. A similar test to detect prostate cancer failed 22 percent of the time and tests for the hormone prolactin failed 47 percent of the time.

Even internal standards set by the company failed to be met time and time again, with a test for Vitamin D in any given blood sample requiring to be within 20 percent of the results given by the traditionally used machine. On none different and randomly selected blood samples the difference ranged anywhere from 21 percent to a whopping 130 percent difference in Vitamin D levels.

The report doesn’t just argue with the results, it also argues with how the tests were conducted. With test results differing from standard lab devices and even unqualified employees running some of the tests, people have begun to raise more than a few questions regarding the Edison and even the companies viability, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stating that while Theranos have got a plan in place, they were unsatisfied with the plan and would impose sanctions that include fines and retraction of the companies approval to test human samples.

New Service Lets You Test Whether Your VPN Leaks

Millions of users around the world use VPN or proxy services to hide their real location. This can be for a multitude of reasons, may it be to stay anonymous while downloading torrents or to get around geoblocking restrictions, legal or illegal. But users should be aware that the services might not be as secure as thought and that they still could leak their information in several ways. A new service, fittingly named ‘Do I Leak?’, sets out to give you peace of mind by letting you test whether your secure connection actually is secure or whether it is leaking information.

There can be two reasons why your VPN or proxy leaks your location or at the very least reveals that you’re trying to hide it: Either the service you are using isn’t as secure as advertised or you have missed a thing or two in your setup. Especially torrent users need to take a closer look at their settings and disable features such as DHT and PEX in order to fully stay anonymous behind their tunneled connection, otherwise, your real IP might still be visible to everyone.

While services to check these things have been around for a while, none of them have been very complete and most of them fail to take every point of leak into consideration. The new Do I Leak service aims to remedy this by added all the individual tests into a simple package that is easy for any user to deploy. On of the most notable differences to other services is the included torrent check for both HTTP and UDP trackers. UDP is one of those things that often is missed by most of these tools. It will also check whether your DNS is leaking and thereby giving away that you’re trying to tunnel – one of the methods used by NetFlix, for example, to block out VPN users in their recent crackdown.

You can easily run the tests from the official site in two ways, with or without additional torrent checks. If you are a VPN user, then it might be worth to check up on – just to be on the safe side.

World’s Largest Aircraft Set For UK Test Flight

Every few years we hear about something being bigger, faster, crazier, and the Airlander 10 is no exception to this. Clocking into the world of aviation as the world’s largest aircraft, the Airlander 10 is preparing to take its first test flight in the UK in just a few weeks time.

It’s no normal craft either. It generates its lift aerostatically since it’s filled with Helium, but also aerodynamically thanks to its wing-like shape. It’s a hybrid of a lot of technologies overall, blending plane, helicopter and airship into one and that all plays no small part in allowing it to be as big as it is.

Created by Hybrid Air Vehicles in Bedford, UK, the Airlander 10 is expected to be deployed for use in leisure cruises, airborne research and cargo transport due to its less demanding landing and take-off abilities. It’s capable of carrying up to 10-tons, or fitted to carry 48 passengers for a very impressive five days at a cruising speed of around 80 Knots (92mph); there’s also a 50-ton version in the planning stages.

“It’s not an airship. It’s a mix between an aeroplane, an airship with a bit of helicopter thrown in. It uses the latest materials, it’s got the latest fly-by-night technology, avionics and computer software. It’s very much an aircraft for the 21st century.” said company spokesman Chris Daniels.

Obviously, it remains to be tested and it’s questionable how much demand there will be for such a craft, but that doesn’t make it any less cool. Would you take a trip on an air-cruise aboard something like this, or do you prefer the speedy alternative of a jet to fly you to your next holiday destination?

“We are not talking about a mass market products here. We’re talking about something highly specialist. It will be very useful for those who need it. But the number of companies and organizations that are going to need something as specialist as this is not large in number.” added Aviation Expert David Learmount.

F.lux Coming To Android

There are certain pieces of software you just feel like you need. From using an email client like Outlook, or Office tools like Microsoft Office, there are some things you just have to install when you get a new PC. When it comes to the Office the same can be said, we’ve even written an article regarding the go-to software for remote team collaboration. One of the items on that list was F.lux, a piece of software that I have on a memory stick ready to install on any PC I own at a moments notice, it would seem that PC aren’t the only one to benefit though as it looks like the popular tool is coming to Android soon.

F.lux is simple in its premise. As you use a computer late into the night, the light in your house tends to get dimmer and you are left staring at a screen with no backing light up to the moment when you collapse in bed. F.lux runs in the background of your computer, adjusting your screen colours so that when you come to look away from your screen before sleep you are in “sleep mode”, where your brain is better suited to let you rest and sleep.

F.lux does this by altering information from your GPU, slowly removing blue from your screen, ultimately creating a more red “sunset” kinda appearance on your screen. I have been using f.lux for years now and can safely say that you don’t really notice the difference, except when you want to go to bed.

The problem is that we use so many devices these days, the creators behind f.lux have realised this and currently, if you head over to the forums, you can sign up to the beta program for the app on your phone. Say goodbye to the late nights because you’ve watched that “one more episode” on your phone before wanting to go to bed. Sadly though you will need a rooted device to take part in the beta, so maybe the app isn’t ready for everyone just yet.

‘Anti-IS’ Hackers Tested Abilities On BBC Website

Three days ago we reported on the BBC’s web services being down, from their website to iPlayer, their on-demand streaming service. It has now00000000000000000000 come to light at that a group has claimed responsibility, stating that the attack was just to test their capabilities.

The group calls itself New World Hacking and in their message they claim that “it was only a test” and they then go on to state that “we didn’t exactly plan to take it down for multiple hours. Our servers are quite strong”. The group claims it carried out the attack, a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS), a method which sees websites and servers knocked offline by swarming the system with more traffic than it can handle.

Claiming to be based in the US they stated in a tweet to BBC technology correspondentRory Cellan-Jones and were striving to “take down Isis-affiliated websites, also Isis members”.

A group member, calling himself Ownz, claimed that the team is formed of twelve people, eight male and four female, who started working together back in 2012 and have since taken part in operations against the Ku Klux Klan and #OpParis, both activities designed to track down, name and expose people who use the internet as a tool.

The group claims it will use the technique against IS websites and a new list of targets, associated with the group, from Tuesday.

Image courtesy of the BBC.

Thecus Working Hard on ThecusOS 7.0 and Demo Available

Next to the hardware itself and the build quality, the operating system is the vital factor in a NAS and it is what gives it the features and functionality that it has. Thecus has been hard at work on a new version and the public beta demo is now available for everyone to test on Thecus’ own website.

Previously ThecusOS has been more traditional than others when it comes to the user interface design, but the new ThecusOS 7.0 mixes that up quite a bit with a modern and fresh user interface that resembles a desktop more than a web page. The new OS has been designed on a 64-bit architecture in order to get the most out of the hardware as well as offer the best possible features. The new ThecusOS 7.0 is also fully compliant with HTML5 which should ensure browser compatibility for a long time. It is also nice to see companies embracing the new standards and making a switch from old to new.

The new operating system doesn’t just provide improvements in design and user experience, it also speeds everything up with some extra performance. Thanks to Thecus, I’ve already had the pleasure to test the beta locally on the Thecus N5810pro NAS and despite not being done, it’s already pretty awesome.

One of the new features in ThecusOS 7.0 is the integration of the File Center feature that provides you with a centralized portal to manage your data. Sharing your files with friends has also been made a lot easier through URL and QR code usage that also can be password protected for limited sharing. The addition of SSD cache is also a welcome feature that provides an overall increased performance and efficiency to the system.

ThecusOS 7.0 also got a boost in the multimedia capabilities and will be able to stream to DLNA, Apple TV, Chromecast and similar devices next to the HDMI, VGA, and USB device options depending on NAS model. The new Photo Station will give users a convenient and centralized hub to upload, store, browse and share their images and photos.

Asus Maximus VIII Extreme Overclocking Review

Introduction


The Maximus VIII Extreme is the new top of the line socket 1151 board from Asus that just begs to be paired with a 6600K or 6700K for some overclocking goodness. The board was built for overclocking from the ground up and it should be fairly capable in extreme overclocking too. We are going to put it through its paces and see just how fun and powerful this board can be when pushing 6700Ks to the extreme, but first, let’s take a look at the features that will help us achieve the overclocks we desire.

Now we see the Maximus VIII Extreme without the heat-sink in all its black on black glory, the color scheme really looks beautiful. The board is built from the ground up for overclocking and has really gone a bit overboard with the features. The board will take dual 8-pin connectors for power along with the standard 24pin.

Onboard buttons for power, reset, safe boot, MemOK, and a POST led display. There are toggles for disabling DIMM channels as well as toggles for LN2 mode and Slow Mode for extreme overclocking. There are also voltage read points for various different board voltages.

Here we have the dual BIOS chips that are thankfully socketed instead of soldered. Why is that important you may wonder well it is much easier to replace one of these socketed chips by yourself than having to send the whole board into the company for RMA.

The inclusion of the combo PS2 mouse and keyboard is always a welcome sight as it simplifies things and will also reduce the load on the CPU over USB based options while you are overclocking.

For the CPU, the board is using an 8-phase fully digital VRM controlled by ASP1405 (IR based). Mosfets are Infineon BSG0812 (dual N-MOSFET with high + low side in the same package) capable of delivering 50A each. As for the iGPU, it is the same components again, but scaled down to a 4-phase design. DRAM has a dual-phase design with the digital ASP1103 controller.

Touch Screen Devices are ‘Eroding’ Digital Skills for Children

Hands up if you own a touch screen phone? How about a touch screen laptop/tablet? How many of your devices use a touch screen these days? It would seem that this may not be amazing news if you’re handing these devices to children as an Australian educational body noted that there was a ‘significant decline’ in what is classed as IT literacy among some students, in part due to the wide adoption of touch screens.

Think about how you open up a link or perform an action on your phone or your tablet compared to how you would do it on your computer, now think about how often do you use a touch screen for office work.

The report produced by Australia’s National Assessment Programme states that 16-year-olds have a lower than average IT proficiency than any other year. Among the tasks to complete were creating invitations using graphics software, setting up a tablet and installing apps and even promoting an event through social media.

The lower results could be due to the use of mobile technology, an area where skills are developed but are not commonly associated with ICT literacy. A new emphasis was put on teaching relevant knowledge and the skills and understanding to use this knowledge in both personal and professional environments.

What Happens to an iPhone in a Car Accident?

At some point, we can all probably admit picking up our phones while behind the wheel of the car, even if it’s just to get it out of your pocket because the vibration is annoying. Even worse than that, a small percentage of drivers go further and actually use the phone while driving. We all know the legal and most safety consequences of doing this, but what about the airbags in the event of a crash?

The people over at EverythingApplePro has gone and tested this for us in a very Mythbusters style by pitting multiple iPhone 6S phones against airbags in different scenarios.

For those that do not have a stable internet connection, the testing pretty much shows multiple iPhones getting destroyed.

I can safely say that it is scary what happened to the device. I know that in most cases there are never two airbags directed at each other, but in some newer cars there are airbags very close to each other to protect front and side impacts. Imagine if they caught your hand while holding the device?

This channel previously tested whether an iPhone would be a viable alternative to conventional brake pads, I can tell you that they’re not.

Image Courtesy of TechTimes

ASMedia Demonstrates 750MB/s via USB 3.1

The USB 3.1 era is upon us and ASMedia were the first to become officially authorized by the USB-IF official organization. Up until now, USB 3.1 has been more a gimmick and a sales pitch than a useful product, there simply haven’t been any devices around that really could take advantage of what the new host controller and protocol can perform.

So we need a demonstration of what it can do, some real figures to work with instead of theoretical figures. We all know that USB theory doesn’t equal USB reality. During the Intel IDF 2015 we now got that demonstration from ASMedia. They had an MSI notebook and an ASUS USB 3.1 enclosure box connected to show what the host controller can do. The ASUS USB 3.1 enclosure box had two M.2 SSDs on the insides, making sure that there is enough performance to test the bus to the max. The USB 3.1 host controller also supports RAID on a hardware level, which is really nice.

And the result is pretty impressive for a USB connection. We see a sequential performance of up to 735MB/s and a sequential write performance up to 748 MB/s. The random QD32 4K performance isn’t without either and is something that the previous USB connections weren’t good at, not at all. Now we just have to wait for some actual drives to be released that take advantage of this, instead of the unimpressive USB 3.1 flash drives that don’t perform any better than a USB 3.0 does.

Thank You LegitReviews for providing us with this information

Guy Attempts to Use iPhones to Brake His Porsche

We have seen a lot of videos where people destroy good hardware in the name of “what would happen if” and “can it survive this or that”, and there doesn’t seem to be any end to it either. A guy has now attempted to see if he could replace the brake pads in his Porsche 911 with iPhones and use those as a temporary replacement. The idea behind the experiment was: What if you drove up on a mountain and your brakes give out, can you collect your friends iPhones and use them as a temporary solution? The short answer is that it does work, well kind off. To some degree,

This particular car was chosen because the brake pads have about the same size as the iPhones. Two wheels will get phones that face the brake surface with their screen while the other two wheels will use phones that face the surface with the rear, testing both methods.

First of all, I’d like to question the theory on its pure basis. If you’re trapped on a mountain and all four brakes give out at the same time, in a Porshe 911, then you’ll call for triple-A or similar roadside assistant with your phone instead of using it as brake pad. It’s probably also a rare occurrence that you have 8 people seated in a Porsche 911, and probably even rarer that they all have iPhones. The good news is, there now are 8 iPhones less in the world, more or less. I don’t want to spoil everything for you by telling every detail, as it’s a lot better to watch the video yourself.

Largest Plane on Earth Will Be Airborne as Early as Next Year

Meet Stratolaunch, the largest plane on Earth! Codenamed the “Roc” after the mythical bird of prey, this ‘beast’ looks to be a true king of the sky. In terms of size, it is said to be 65 feet wider than the “Spruce Goose” H-4 Hercules and 95 feet wider than the spaceship-carrying Soviet Antonov An-225, so you can imagine how small you may feel when next to it.

In addition to the size, the “Roc” boasts six Pratt & Whitney jet engines, 28 landing gear wheels and a 385 foot wingspan. But the plane was not made to enter the Guinness record book. Microsoft’s co-founderm Paul Allan, is the guy behind the project and he aims to make the “Roc” the next big alternative to launching rockets into space.

The plane is able to hold a three-stage rocket between its fuselages, as shown in the picture above, which can then be launched at extremely high altitude and detatch its payload into space. So why is this helpful? Well, think about weather conditions. Having to launch a satellite from the edge of Earth’s atmosphere takes away a lot of unwanted variables, so it makes it easier and somewhat safer to launch from up above the clouds.

This is why Stratolaunch was designed so big and massive, weighing in at 1.3 million pounds (including the rocket). But will it do what is expected of it? We won’t know until they do the test runs, which are said to begin as early as next year. If they prove to be a success, Stratolaunch’s first mission is said to be planned for 2018. Until then, here’s a simulation of how the plane and rocket launch should take place. Enjoy!

Thank you Yahoo! for providing us with this information

Scientists Find a Way to Reveal Your Viral Past With Just a Drop of Blood

During our lifetime, we get exposed to dozens of viruses, but luckily our bodies are well equipped to deal with it. Our immune system produces antibodies to deal with foreign agents and make us well again. However, the antibodies tailored for these viruses tend to linger in our bodies prolonged periods of time.

A team of researchers from Harvard, MIT and Howard Hughes Medical Institute got a brilliant idea of making use of the above-mentioned antibodies and came up with a new method of revealing what viruses your body was exposed to. The method is called VirScan and it can reveal your entire viral history with just a drop of blood.

The method involves mixing a patient’s blood with a set of known human viruses. Each virus carries a unique protein signature that the antibodies are trained to identify and attack. This means that dropping a blood sample filled with antibodies in a pool of viruses will ‘activate’ the antibodies and tell the researchers which virus strains were targeted.

To test their theory, the researchers performed tests on 569 patients. The results revealed that, on average, we are exposed to 10 viral species, with some even being exposed to up to 84 viral species. VirScan has also proved to be a cheap testing method, allowing doctors to perform a variety of tests at once for about $25.

The researchers say that VirScan is not only about identifying your past viruses. The method can also be used for early detection of viruses such as hepatitis C and HIV, as well as give doctors more insight on some viruses we don’t quite understand yet.

Thank you Newsweek for providing us with this information

Ofcom is Standing up for Slow Broadband Users

The UK is a relatively small place when compared to the likes of Russia, USA and China. This is evident when you consider that 77% of UK adults have broadband installed in their homes in the UK compared to a comparatively small 70% in the USA.

So with such a small ground coverage, the UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are all covering the same areas, offering some places super-fast broadband, while others in more rural areas are getting stuck with slower internet speeds.

Up until now, if you signed up for 19 – 30Mb, but only received 17Mb; you could complain to your ISP and hope they will either increase your speed, reduce your bill or terminate your contract. Today is a turning point where Ofcom, UK communications regulator, has announced that if you are not receiving the paid speeds; you can cancel your contract, even mid-term. This will govern all of the major providers such as BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk, etc…however, Virgin Media is excluded as this new plan only covers copper and Fibre based broadband up to 80Mbps.

Along with this, Ofcom also plans to make it easier for customers to switch provider. Starting from June 20th, it will put more power in the hands of the ISP you plan to change to, rather than from. If you are using a traditional BT phone line, you can simply jump between the major providers using Ofcom’s new “one touch” process. It plans on offering the same for mobile contracts, but that will come to light next month.

Thank you engadget for providing us with this information.

Should You Build Your Own Steambox?

Introduction


Steambox has been a topic of much debate in the PC gaming community, promising a more gamer-centric PC experience, removing the need for the Windows operating system by providing you with a free alternative, while also bringing PC gaming into the casual mainstream, much like consoles, only a lot better.

It’s been an ambition of mine to buy a Steambox, simply because “why not” and while that’s all good and well, there’s not really a lot of options out there that I’m happy with. A few system integrators have released beta-systems, but what I would like to call a “final product” still seems to be sitting on the horizon. What if we could simply do it ourselves? A Steambox is just a PC with a fancy Linux Distro installed on it anyway…

I’ve picked out a few choice components to build my own Steambox, nothing crazy expensive or overly powerful, but more than enough to provide good 1080p gaming performance. I’m sure many of you love to bash consoles from time to time, so we’ll just round that up with “it’s going to be more powerful than consoles.”

Space Travel By Sailing? Ahoy!

Space travel has long since been a thing of dreams, science fiction fans have long enjoyed the notion that one day our race would spread out into the stars and claim other planets as homes. First though we will need to reach the planets in question, but that may be one step closer today.

In recent weeks, NASA has been posting their findings on an EM drive, a concept that has long been considered impossible. By bouncing microwaves around a chamber, an EM drive would be able to create thrust from just electrical energy, removing the need for any fuel. This, however, is considered impossible by many because it violates the conservation of momentum, what is considered a fundamental law of the universe. With positive results seen so far we could be one step closer to a future among the stars.

Bill Nye is known for his famous insight into the world of physics, today he is taking a step towards another form of interstellar travel. Almost 40 years ago Carl sagan began to explain a new form of space travel, the concept using radiation from a star to help propel a vessel in a fashion comparable to using a sailboat on the sea.

The Solar sail project, founded by Carl Sagan, is currently headed by Bill Nye, and aims to explore the potential of using this method of transport instead of modern day rockets with fuel and chemicals powering their engines. The result of this is two small craft, built by Stellar Exploration Inc, the first of which is set to launch on the 20th of May. A full timeline of which can be seen here, on the planetary.org website. The first test flight aims to test the craft’s ability to deploy the four sails from a central cube, that will hold the arms and initially contain the sheets used for the sails. With the craft only capable of space travel, it requires an initial boost to leave the atmosphere, traditionally attached to a rocket before being detached and released into space when it has left Earth’s gravitational pull.

With space flight becoming a larger part of research and development, and with more of these showing promise such as the EM drive, only time is what separates us from space travel and the stars.

Thank you to CNet, Planetary.org and The Verge for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of ISSS.

Microsoft’s New Surface 3 Runs With Windows 10

Microsoft’s new Surface 3 will launch on the 5th of May, but some people in the industry already got their hands on the new dual-usable systems. The Surface 3 runs the full version of Windows 8.1 and is said to be working with Windows 10 too once that is released. That’s pretty much a given, but how does it handle the current beta builds?

Pretty good from the looks of it. The guys over at Neowin wanted to know for sure and they tried it out, and the results look promising. The direct update through Windows Update did take quite some time but completed successfully.

There are a few hiccups and things that don’t work yet, but that was to be expected. The onscreen keyboard disappeared during the login password entry, but the Type Cover and the pen both worked well and as they should. A few app crashes were noted too, but nothing too major and no bluescreens. Well, that’s not entirely true, there was an occasionally blue screen that required a tap on the power button to fix after logging in, but no BSODs.

Users who decide to test this for themselves once the Surface 3 arrives should remember to create a backup USB drive in case things go wrong and you need to revert back to the original system. You should also keep in mind that this is a passive cooled system and the update put significant stress on the tiny unit.

Thank you Neowin for providing us with this information

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

First Alpha for Eve Valkyrie Requires a Powerhouse PC to Test Out

Fans of Eve Valkyrie with lower PC specs will be extremely disappointed with the news that the first Alpha for the title will require a powerhouse PC to be able to run it. CCP is reaching out to users with PC that are able to run the title at ultra settings, so if your PC doesn’t meet the required specs, bad luck.

“I can tell you for the first alpha test, it’s going to be quite high,” Sigurdur ‘Siggi’ Gunnarsson, Valkyrie’s lead programmer stated. “We’ve already had to do a lot of optimisation to get the game running, what you see today. But we need to do a lot more before we launch the game. The alpha test’s going to be pretty high spec.”

It isn’t quite clear what type of PCs CCP is targeting, but Gunnarsson stated that users with one of the latest NVIDIA 900 series or AMD 200 series graphics cards will be “pretty safe”. The trailer also provides a bit of a tease for players to go out and spend their money on a new graphics card.

Thank you PCGamesN for providing us with this information

NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX Titan X Gets Its First Benchmark Results Posted

While NVIDIA tends to keep information about its latest Titan X graphics solution at bay, there are more and more sources coming forth with information about the card. This time, VideoCards comes forth with new benchmark results for the Titan X.

However, VideoCards is said to have revealed information such as testbed configuration, driver versions or other details about the tests performed on the card, nor whether the information comes from their testers or third-parties. Based on the results revealed by VideoCards, we see the following alleged results for the GeForce GTX Titan (performed at default clock speeds of 1GHz GPU and 7GHz memory):

  • 22903 points in 3DMark 11 Performance, which is 34.8 per cent faster compared to reference GeForce GTX 980
  • 7427 points in 3DMark 11 Extreme, which is 39.9 per cent faster compared to reference GeForce GTX 980
  • 17470 points in 3DMark FireStrike, which is 36 per cent faster compared to reference GeForce GTX 980
  • 7989 points in 3DMark FireStrike Extreme, which is 36 per cent faster compared to reference GeForce GTX 980

If the information above proves to be accurate, then NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX Titan X would perform as expected, namely 33% faster than the GTX 980 in most cases.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

Image Too Blurry to Identify Someone in a Security Footage? Fujitsu Has the Answer

A new image-processing technology has been developed by Fujitsu, who claims that it now can be used to track people even in heavily blurred footage from security cameras. The company states that this tech is the first of its kind that can detect people in low-resolution imagery where faces are indistinguishable.

The technology is said to use computer-vision algorithms in order to analyse the footage and recognize shapes such as head and torso, which remain even if the image is distorted or multiple people in a frame overlap. The algorithm is then compared with footage from different cameras and determines if an individual is the same person by focusing on distinctive colours of a person’s clothing.

Fujitsu said that an indoor test of the system has been performed, having been able to track the paths of 80% of the test subjects. The company also claimed that detecting people’s movement could be useful for retail design, reducing pedestrian congestion in crowded urban areas or improving evacuation routes for emergencies.

Thank you PC World for providing us with this information

HIV Can Now Be Detected in Just 15 Minutes – With A Smartphone!

Researchers from Columbia University have apparently created a $34 plastic smartphone STD scanner which would “accurately” identify HIV and syphilis antibodies. The scanner is said to be compatible with Google Android and Apple iPhone smartphones.

In order to perform one of these tests, a pin-prick of blood is needed for the scanner and from there onwards, the app is said to spit out the results in just 15 minutes. It is said that the device is able to replicate the mechanical, optical and electronic functions of a traditional lab-based STD analysis.

“This work is a proof of how technology can improve diagnosis and care, making it faster and simpler and cheaper without compromising the existing quality,” said Sabin Nsanzimana, the Rwanda’s Ministry of Health manager of STDs. Although “it may take time, or bigger studies” before additional knowledge of the dongle is known

However, attaching such a device to a smartphone should have raised concerns on power consumption. This is where the researchers stated that they chose a “one-push vacuum” instead of a power-consuming electrical pump.

The device is said to have been field-tested over two weeks at three health clinics in Kigali, Rwanda. The outcome stated that the accuracy was “on par with ELISA tests, but are significantly cheaper”. This means that similar tests can be completed in remote villages and health clinics.

The ultimate goal of the researchers over at Columbia University is to expand the testing beyond HIV and syphilis. But until then, additional testing could drive the price down while allowing mass adoption of the technology in the developing world, which is a good start.

Thank you Daily Tech for providing us with this information

100 Real People to Test Volvo Self-Driving Cars in 2017

Volvo, the Scandinavian automaker, has said that they will begin testing of their first driverless vehicles with real drivers in 2017. Yes, that means anyone, not special scientists or engineers. The tests will also be on public roads as well, in real traffic on the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Volvo is seeing this as an example of their edge over the competition. The head of R&D at Volvo, Peter Martens, poked fun at their German counterparts.

“We do this in real traffic with real customers and real cars,” he said. “It’s relatively easy to put together a mockup or a show car which drives around race circuits with 250 kilometers [per hour] or put living rooms on four wheels and pretend that this is the car interior, how it looks like in 10 years. It’s much more complicated and much more real-life to really put the cars into the traffic where it’s the most complicated situation.”

If Volvo’s plans go ahead, they would mark a significant development in the evolution of driverless cars, marking the first literal public testing programme.

Source: The Verge

iOS 9 to Focus on Stability, Public Beta to Come in the Summer

9to5Mac, the venerable source for Apple rumours, has said that iOS 9 will be heavily focused on stability and performance improvements. To achieve this, Apple will apparently have the first ever public beta for iOS. To date, the company has only issued betas to members of its $99 developer programme, but they will soon be freely available to consumers.

Prior to last year, Apple had rarely given the public access to beta software, but changed that when it opened a testing programme for OS X Mavericks updates and later a beta for the then-upcoming OS X Yosemite. At the time, many saw it as an example of things to come, suggesting that such a programme may come to iOS in the near future. 9to5Mac now says that the iOS programme will begin in mid-March, giving the public the chance to try out a beta of iOS 8.3. Then, following the announcement of iOS 9 in June, that programme will be extended to the new version of iOS.

It’s said that iOS 9 will be heavily focused upon improving the stability of the operating system, rather than the addition of any new major features. This comes after complaints regarding the last release of iOS being less stable than its predecessor. A number of minor bugs have been encountered by some users – something rare for the usually highly stable iOS.

Source: 9to5Mac