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Monday Evening (4 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 22-May-2017  17:54:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's a push to add fair use to the copyright laws in Australia. Australia’s copyright law is hopelessly out of date. Things that we all take for granted – forwarding emails; quoting; making and sharing memes; cloud storage – are often illegal in Australia. Fair use would fix this. Right now the government is considering whether to introduce fair use. Let’s tell them – we need fair use now.

Meanwhile, Net Neutrality is under fire again in the USA. The US Federal Communications Commission has voted to overturn rules that force ISPs to treat all data traffic as equal. Commissioners at the agency voted two-to-one to end a "net neutrality" order enacted in 2015. Ajit Pai, head of the FCC, said the rules demanding an open internet harmed jobs and discouraged investment. Many Americans and technology firms filed objections to the FCC's proposal prior to the vote.

AMD recently unveiled a new monster CPU, codenamed Threadripper. 16-core, 32-thread versions of AMD Ryzen CPUs codenamed Threadripper will launch this summer, the company revealed at its Financial Analyst Day yesterday. With one of the gnarliest CPU codenames we've ever seen, the Threadripper multicore monsters will go head to head with Intel's Broadwell-E and upcoming Skylake-E High-End Desktop (HEDT) CPUs alongside a new motherboard platform that promises expanded memory support and I/O bandwidth. That's likely to take the form of quad-channel RAM and more PCIe lanes, similar to Intel's X99 platform, but AMD is saving further details for its press conference at Computex at the end of May. Ryzen discussion continues in our AMD Hardware forum.

Panasonic have recalled some tablets due to a fire hazard. Panasonic has discovered that some of the hot-swappable battery packs used in some of its rugged Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets (Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3-series) can short circuit after a prolonged use in extreme temperatures. The company said it had received 16 reports of combusted battery packs between March 2017 and April 2017, including 12 from customers in North America, one from a client in Japan and one owner from Australia.

Wired report on Google's new AI chip. This new processor is a unique creation designed to both train and execute deep neural networks—machine learning systems behind the rapid evolution of everything from image and speech recognition to automated translation to robotics. Google says it will not sell the chip directly to others. Instead, through its new cloud service, set to arrive sometime before the end of the year, any business or developer can build and operate software via the internet that taps into hundreds and perhaps thousands of these processors, all packed into Google data centers.

Meanwhile they are getting closer to SkyNet. One of the more noteworthy remarks to come out of Google I/O ’17 conference this week was CEO Sundar Pichai recalling how his team had joked that they have achieved “AI inception” with AutoML. Instead of crafting layers of dreams like in the Christopher Nolan flick, however, the AutoML system layers artificial intelligence (AI), with AI systems creating better AI systems. Don't take the humans out of the loop!

Babeltech have some benchmark info using the PC game Prey. There is no built-in benchmark but we found and created one from a minute-long Fraps run that is 100% repeatable and reasonably representative of Prey gameplay’s most demanding indoor scenes. Here are our performance results using 17 video cards at 3 resolutions using the default Very High settings.

Some researchers claim to have found a way to defeat WannaCry. In Short: DO NOT REBOOT your infected machines and TRY wanakiwi ASAP*!

Apparently NBNCo spent $12M on airfares last year. If only there was some kind of high-speed network they could use for video-conferencing...

Saturday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 20-May-2017  12:48:03 (GMT +10) - by booj

Motherboards & CPUs:
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 & 1600 CPU on Neoseeker.
AMD Ryzen R5 1600 Hex-Core AM4 Processor on eTeknix.
Gigabyte Z270X AORUS Gaming 7 on Madshrimps.
ASUS ROG Strix X99 Gaming on OCC.
Supermicro C7Z270-PG Pro Gaming on TweakTown.

Graphics Cards:
ASUS ROG GeForce GTX 1050 Ti STRIX on Legit Reviews.
Palit GTX 1050 Ti KalmX 4 GB on techPowerUp.
PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 570 4GB on Legit Reviews.
Gigabyte Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Extreme Edition 11G on Funky Kit.
PowerColor Radeon RX 580 Red Devil on Guru3D.

Corsair Force Series MP500 240GB NVMe SSD on The Tech Report.
Kingston Digital Gold microSD UHS-I Flash Card on Legit Reviews.
Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXC Memory Card on TweakTown.

Notebooks and Systems:
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) on Hot Hardware.
ECS LIVA Z mini PC on OCC.
Gigabyte Aero 15 Notebook on TechSpot.

NZXT Aer F120 and F140 Cooling Fans on APH Networks.
Vertagear Triigger 275 Gaming Chair on techPowerUp.
TP-Link AC1900 Touch Screen Wi-Fi Router on Funky Kit.
Seasonic PRIME 1200W Gold Power Supply on PC Perspective.
Riotoro CR480 Mid-Tower Chassis on TweakTown.
1MORE Capsule Dual Driver In-ears on techPowerUp.

Misc Pics (41 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 19-May-2017  15:00:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to BM and Simon this week!

Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 18-May-2017  01:58:43 (GMT +10) - by booj

CPUs & Motherboards:
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 Processor on Madshrimps.
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 on Guru3D.
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.2 GHz on techPowerUp.
Biostar Z270GT8 Motherboard on techPowerUp.
AMD Ryzen R5 1400 on eTeknix.

Corsair Vengeance RGB 3000 MHz DDR4 on eTeknix.
Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-3466 on Benchmark Reviews.

ASUSTOR AS1004T NAS Server on NikKTech.
Drobo 5N2 Five-Bay NAS on TweakTown.
Lexar JumpDrive S75 USB 3.0 Flash Drive on Madshrimps.
Toshiba FlashAir Wireless SD Card on Funky Kit.

Asus ROG Strix GL502VS Gaming Laptop on Techspot.
MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop on TweakTown.

Input etc:
Cherry MX Board Silent on ThinkComputers.
SteelSeries Arctis 7 on Vortez.
Corsair Glaive RGB on Vortez.

Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN1070K Gaming Mini PC on Funky Kit.
Ableconn PEXM2-SSD M.2 PCIe SSD to PCIE 3.0 x4 Adapter on ModSynergy.
In Win 301 case on ocaholic.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition on TechARP.
Corsair VENGEANCE LED DDR4-3200 32GB Memory Kit on ThinkComputers.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 on Hot Hardware.

Wednesday Afternoon (11 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 17-May-2017  15:10:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Microsoft's CEO says we need to design things in such a way as to avoid a dystopian future. "What Orwell prophesied in '1984,' where technology was being used to monitor, control, dictate," Nadella said. "Or what Huxley imagined we may do just by distracting ourselves without any meaning or purpose. Neither of these futures is something that we want." So, he asked, what are we going to do?

MP3 is officially dead, kinda - thanks FOTW. Symbolically at least, the MP3 is now officially dead, after the German research institution that helped to develop the famous (and equally infamous) standard announced that all licensing for the file format had been terminated. While any MP3s in your possession will still play fine on any devices that support the audio format – no matter how you acquired them – it signals the end of the road for the ubiquitous music file, which will no longer be officially supported.

TomsHardware have an article about Windows 10 on ARM CPUs. Earlier this year, Qualcomm announced that its next-generation chips will be the first to fully support Windows 10, including all the programs built for the x86 architecture. In a recent video, Microsoft demonstrated how both x86 and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps would run on ARM chips. It also talked about the underlying technology enabling x86 apps to run on ARM chips with near-native performance.

Google have given the world a glimpse into some of the hidden hardware behind their giant brains, the Tensor Processing Unit. There’s a common thread that connects Google services such as Google Search, Street View, Google Photos and Google Translate: they all use Google’s Tensor Processing Unit, or TPU, to accelerate their neural network computations behind the scenes. We announced the TPU last year and recently followed up with a detailed study of its performance and architecture. In short, we found that the TPU delivered 15–30X higher performance and 30–80X higher performance-per-watt than contemporary CPUs and GPUs.

MadShrimps have an Intel X99 Benchers Memory Battle. The launch of Broadwell-E last summer confirmed that Intel's X99 LGA 2013-V3 is still the platform to be used for benchmarks like Vantage, Catzilla, 3DMark11 and them tough Firestrike runs; especially the Futuremark versions can benefit from a well-dialed in memory subsystem, reflecting in a better total score thanks to improved PhysX and combined scores, so time to explore what these B-Die memory kits can mean for you, besides burning another hole in your wallet :)

On a related note, PC Perspective look at memory latency on Ryzen and its effect on 1080p gaming performance. This has led me down another hole recently, wondering if we could further compartmentalize the gaming performance of the Ryzen processors using memory latency. As I showed in my Ryzen 5 review, memory frequency and throughput directly correlates to gaming performance improvements, in the order of 14% in some cases. But what about looking solely at memory latency alone?

For the newbies or those who need to brush up, here's an article about common PC building mistakes. In this post, we’ve highlighted 31 of the most common PC building mistakes that first-time builders make. Knowing these mistakes will help you be better prepared to handle any issues that might arise during your upcoming build.

Forum Projects (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 15-May-2017  20:39:56 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a few more projects from the forums:

alexciobanu has a modded
CM MasterCase Maker 5t

zwof has a cool
fishtank-themed PC

SYF_Karma modded an
Inwin Tou2.0 case

alexciobanu also has a
modded In Win H-Frame 2.0

while Zenator built a
slimline custom PC

and oRiCLe built a
HyperCube 3D Printer

Monday Midday (9 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 15-May-2017  12:43:26 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It's apparently National Consumer Fraud Week this week. Increasing numbers of Australians are encountering—and losing money to—scams on social media. If you use social media, we encourage you to be particularly alert for dating and romance scams and fake trader scams. These scammers abuse the trust of social media users by pretending to be real people looking for love or legitimate retailers, creating emotional distress for their victims and financial losses that are usually impossible to recover.

It's, uh, also Privacy Awareness Week. This Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) we explore privacy through the theme Trust and Transparency. This speaks to the consumer and community trust that flows to organisations who handle personal information transparently, and with care, throughout the information life cycle.

Australia has received a roasting from the New York Times over our bungled NBN. Eight years after the country began an unprecedented broadband modernization effort that will cost at least 49 billion Australian dollars, or $36 billion, its average internet speed lags that of the United States, most of Western Europe, Japan and South Korea. In the most recent ranking of internet speeds by Akamai, a networking company, Australia came in at an embarrassing No. 51, trailing developing economies like Thailand and Kenya.

It seems Google Chrome won't be allowed to run on Windows 10 S. Microsoft's newest Windows 10 edition is designed to allow desktop apps that have been converted to packages for the Windows Store. But a provision in the store's policies blocks desktop browsers like Chrome. Is it about security, or something else?

Anandtech have coverage of NVIDIA's keynote at the GPU Tech conference. Techgage have their coverage too. One of the main announcements is NVIDIA's Volta GPU. If you want an early look at what to expect with NVIDIA’s next generation of high performance GeForce graphics processors, code-named Volta, today at GTC 2017 the company's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang just offered the first public unveiling of a product based on the next generation GPU architecture. Discussion here in our Video Cards & Monitors forum.

Ransomware Attacks (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 15-May-2017  11:26:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The big news story of the weekend is the massive ransomware attack sweeping the world. The UK's National Health Service was heavily disrupted, as were FedEx, the German train service and many others. So far there doesn't appear to be much impact in Australia. Interestingly, the spread was slowed by an accidental hero who registered a domain which triggered the malware to deactivate. One annoying aspect of all this is that it seems to use an exploit known to the NSA and kept secret for their own purposes.

There's a guide to protecting yourself here on Wordfence, with info on new variants of the ransomware. In short: make sure you are up to date with your Windows patches.

This issue is being discussed here in our Current Events forum and here in our Business & Enterprise Computing forum.

Saturday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 13-May-2017  17:37:36 (GMT +10) - by booj

MSI Z270 Gaming M7 on ocaholic.
ASRock X370 Killer SLI on Vortez.
ASRock Fatal1ty B250M Performance Motherboard on TweakTown.

Graphics Cards:
XFX RX 570 RS 4GB XXX Edition on Neoseeker.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 GAMING on Hot Hardware.

Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4 120mm U-Type Tower Heatsink on Hardware Asylum.
Fractal Design Celsius S24 Water Cooling System on APH Networks.
Scythe Fuma on techPowerUp.

Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 5 on APH Networks.
Raidmax Alpha RGB (White) Mid-Tower on ModSynergy.

Input etc:
Corsair Glaive mouse on LanOC Reviews.
Corsair GLAIVE RGB game mouse on Guru3D.
EpicGear Morpha X Modular Gaming Mouse on TweakTown.
Roccat Kone Pure Owl-Eye on techPowerUp.
Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum on Vortez.
SteelSeries Rival 700 Elite Performance Gaming Mouse on NikKTech.

Corsair ONE Pro on Vortez.
Corsair Dominator Platinum Torque DDR4-3200 RAM on TweakTown.
ADATA SU900 512GB Ultimate SATA SSD on Legit Reviews.
ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom on TechARP.

Misc Pics (21 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 12-May-2017  14:53:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to mpot and Allen this week!

Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 11-May-2017  06:50:32 (GMT +10) - by booj

Motherboards & CPUs:
ASUS Prime Z270-A on PC Perspective.
ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming K4 on TweakTown.
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 Processor on Madshrimps.

Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 5 on Hardware Asylum.
CoolerMaster MasterBox Lite 5 on Modders-Inc.
RIOTORO CR280 Compact Mini-ITX Chassis on TweakTown.

Fractal Design Celsius S24 Liquid CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.
Fractal Design Celsius S24 Liquid CPU Cooler on PC Perspective.
Fractal Design Celsius S36 Liquid CPU Cooler on Guru3D
Fractal Design Celsius S36 Liquid CPU Cooler on TweakTown.

HyperX Cloud Revolver S Gaming Headset on Funky Kit.
Brainwavz B200 In-ears on techPowerUp.

Input etc:
AZiO MK Retro Typewriter Mechanical Keyboard on NikKTech.
Corsair GLAIVE RGB Gaming Mouse on Madshrimps.
HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard on techPowerUp.

Palit GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GameRock Premium on Guru3D.
Tesoro Zone Balance Gaming Chair on ThinkComputers.
Motorola Moto G5 smartphone on PC World.
AOC Agon AG251FZ Monitor on Techspot.
Corsair Vengeance RGB 32GB DDR4-3000 Memory Kit on FunkyKit.
SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB CFast 2.0 Memory Card on Legit Reviews.

Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 10-May-2017  14:08:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a quick snapshot of what people are discussing in the forums. Remember that OCAU has official Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages - if you can follow or like us on those, it helps us keep you up to date.

Mother-in-law woes (phone scam) in Newbie Lounge.
Participate in a study about Healthy Gaming in PC Games.
I have malware but I don't have malware? in Troubleshooting Help.
Honey, I bricked the SSD (950 Pro NVMe) in Storage & Backup.
Unigine Superposition in Video Cards & Monitors.
Servo or stepper motor? in Electronics & Electrics.
Software for dashcam editing and other in Graphic Design & Digital Art.
Information for beginners, on Buying, Selling, Building and Playing the Guitar in Musicians.
Jazz Jackrabbit 'Tubelectric' remix - metal/synth/acoustic in Musicians.
Ideas for travelling with a toddler in Holidays & Travel.
RC Multicopter Discussion Thread in Other Toys / Hobbies.
Bitcoins as an investment? in Career, Education & Finance.
How will you pay off your mortgage? in Career, Education & Finance.
Budget 2017 in Politics & Policies.
Are we crowdfunding away personal responsibility? in Current Events & Serious Discussion.
Learn to hold your Tool in Lifestyle.
Tesla wall, solar panels, battery storage, tme in Lifestyle.
2017 MotoGP Championships in Motorsport.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017) in Entertainment.
XMR Squad DDoS ransom attacks in Australia in The Pub.
Funny It request ticket in The Pub.

Wednesday Midday (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 10-May-2017  12:19:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg

One interesting aspect of the new Federal Budget is that it accomodates digital currencies. As part of its push to foster innovation and fintech startup businesses in Australia, the government's 2017 Federal Budget will cut the GST for purchases of digital currency, allowing Bitcoin and online games' in-game money to be treated just like plain Australian dollars for tax purposes. At the moment, anyone purchasing a digital currency in Australia is technically liable for GST expenses on that purchase. From 1 July 2017, though, the government is exempting purchases of digital currency from Australia's 10 per cent Goods and Services tax. Discussion of Bitcoin etc is in this thread.

Meanwhile, ACCAN have cautioned the government about their proposed broadband tax. “Funding un-economical geographic services through levies on broadband connections is likely to increase the cost of services in commercial areas,” ACCAN said in its submission. “In effect it could reduce the ability of low income consumers in commercial areas to afford services.”

There's an emergency patch for a critical Windows vulnerability. On Twitter, prominent vulnerability hunter Ormandy revealed the existence of a zero-day flaw in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine (MsMpEng), used by Windows Defender and other security products. The researcher deemed the find a "crazy bad" bug which may be "the worst Windows remote code exec [execution flaw] in recent memory."

A more bizarre bug has Microsft Edge displaying one set of numbers and printing something else. This currently unknown issue scrambles digits in a PDF document. For example, a simple sequence like “123456” will be replaced by “114447.” See image above for a visual representation of the issue. To make matters worse, Edge is also the default application for viewing (and indirectly printing) PDF documents on Windows 10.

If you're unsure about the benefit (or point) of Intel's Optane Memory, maybe this article on LegitReviews will help. We don't see too many people buying the 32GB model as a boot drives due to the $76 (USD) price point, but we were curious how an Intel Optane Memory module would perform as a primary boot drive, a secondary drive and then as a RAID 0 array with two of them. We managed to get our hands on a second Intel Optane Memory Module 32GB, so we fired up our storage test platform and gave it a quick look.

TechSpot have built a budget eSports PC (pricing is in USD). Currently at $80 the RX 550 is not the best value, but given the competitive landscape it's our hope that it'll soon be selling for as little as $60, a price at which it starts making sense, especially when you consider the potential in a $120 combo with the G4560 for an uber-affordable eSports build. That's precisely what we're doing here today.

Backblaze have released their latest HDD stats. In this update, we’ll review the Q1 2017 and lifetime hard drive failure rates for all our current drive models, and we’ll look at a relatively new class of drives for us – “enterprise”. We’ll share our observations and insights, and as always, you can download the hard drive statistics data we use to create these reports.

Bladerunner is pretty much my favourite film, so I've been feeling conflicted about the arrival of a sequel. But this new trailer looks pretty good!

Tuesday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 9-May-2017  17:00:51 (GMT +10) - by booj

Motherboards & CPUs:
ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Pro Gaming on TweakTown.
The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Octa-Core Processor on TechARP.
Biostar Racing B350GT3 AM4 Motherboard on Modders-Inc.
MSI X370 SLI PLUS on Tweaktown.

Graphics Cards:
MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X+ 8G (11Gbps) on TweakTown.
Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 11G on The Tech Report.
Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP! Extreme 11 GB on techPowerUp.
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 GAMING X PLUS on Modders-Inc.

Samsung PM961 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD on TweakTown.
Patriot Hellfire PCIe M.2 Solid State Drive on ThinkComputers.

Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 5 on Funky Kit.
Raijintek Metis Plus Aluminium Mini-ITX Chassis on eTeknix.

Alphacool NexXxos Cool Answer 360 D5/UT Water Cooling Kit on PC Perspective.
EVGA CLC 280 Water Cooling on LanOC Reviews.

Corsair GLAIVE RGB Gaming Mouse on Legit Reviews.
Bloody M660P Gaming Headset Review on Benchmark Reviews.
Sangean WFT-3 Digital Receiver on NikKTech.
Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube on Hot Hardware.
Fibaro Home Center Lite Z-Wave Smart Home Controller on Bigbruin.
Oppo A57 phone on PC World.

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