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Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 31-March-2015  05:14:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
Supermicro C7X99-OCE (Intel X99) Motherboard on Tweaktown.
Core i7-5960X vs i7-4960X Gaming-Performance - FullHD, 1440p, UHD on OCAholic.

In Win 703 on TechPowerUp.
Raven RV01 Chassis (SST-RV01B-W), Elegance updated on Bjorn3D.
Phanteks Enthoo Evolv on BenchmarkReviews.

Input Etc:
Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury Gaming Mouse on NikKTech.
Tt eSPORTS Black V2 Gaming Mouse on ThinkComputers.

Prebuilt & Portable:
Intel Server R2208WT2YS System on Tweaktown.
GIGABYTE BRIX BXi7H-5500 Ultra Compact Mini PC on Tweaktown.
Gigabyte P37X Laptop on HWHeaven.
Intel NUC Kit NUC5i3RYK on Vortez.
ECS LIVA X Mini PC on OCClub.

Audio Visual:
Samsung SE790C - 34" Curved 21:9 monitor on OCAholic.
Jenkins J10 Black Earphones on Tweaktown.
LUXA2 Lavi D Bluetooth Headphones on ThinkComputers.

Video Cards:
Gigabyte GTX 960 G1 Gaming on PureOC.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X SLI in 4K Surround, or 6480x3840 on Tweaktown.

480GB HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe SSD on Bjorn3D.
Cooler Master Hyper D92 CPU Cooler on NeoSeeker.

Tuesday Afternoon (6 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 31-March-2015  02:15:39 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A Melbourne man has been surprised by a $191,000 phone bill. Usually when we hear about this kind of thing the telco waives it, but in this case they're taking him to court. But as Mr Beveridge later found out, a monstrous bill had already been accumulated within those 20 hours. He claims there were a total of 4484 calls made with an average duration of 10 minutes within the 20 hour period before the account was disabled.

A few people pointed out the more positive news that various Telstra mobile plans are going to get increased data allowances. Looks like Telstra is gearing up for the mobile streaming revolution! The telco might not be unmetering Netflix on mobile, but it is throwing in loads of bonus data and Presto subscriptions for customers on all sorts of plans.

As we settle into our new world of data retention, it's worrying to be told that the Australian immigration department accidentally leaked details of world leaders at the G20 summit. The Guardian can reveal an employee of the agency inadvertently sent the passport numbers, visa details and other personal identifiers of all world leaders attending the summit to the organisers of the Asian Cup football tournament. The United States president, Barack Obama, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, and the British prime minister, David Cameron, were among those who attended the Brisbane summit in November and whose details were exposed.

Techgage have a recap of the 2015 GTC. The 2015 GPU Technology Conference proved to be an exciting event with a number of big announcements and a slew of other cool bits of information. In this article, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the biggest announcements made at the show, as well as some of the lesser talked-about items that are still worth highlighting.

PCPerspective looked at early DX12 performance. ate last week, Microsoft approached me to see if I would be interested in working with them and with Futuremark on the release of the new 3DMark API Overhead Feature Test. Of course I jumped at the chance, with DirectX 12 being one of the hottest discussion topics among gamers, PC enthusiasts and developers in recent history. Microsoft set us up with the latest iteration of 3DMark and the latest DX12-ready drivers from AMD, NVIDIA and Intel. From there, off we went. LegionHW shared their experience also.

Monday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 29-March-2015  14:54:14 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Kingston SDXC UHS-1 Memory Card (256GB) on TheSSDReview.
Silicon Power Stream S06 4TB USB 3.0 HDD on MadShrimps.
Patriot Blaze 240GB Solid State Drive on APHNetworks.
Enermax 2.5 and 3.5-Inch Mobile Drive Rack Roundup on eTeknix.

Noctua NH-L9x65 CPU Cooler on Modders-Inc.
CRYORIG H5 Universal CPU Cooler on eTeknix.
Scythe Ashura CPU Cooler on NikKTech.
Corsair H100i GTX Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler on LegitReviews.

Video Cards:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB in SLI on Tweaktown.
NVIDIA's $1000+ GeForce GTX TITAN X Delivers Maximum Linux Performance on Phoronix.

Ozone Neon Gaming Mouse and Lepton Mouse Pad on TechnologyX.
KLevv Urbane 2800MHz DDR3 16GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit on Tweaktown.
Samsung Galaxy S6 on MegaTechNews.

Misc Pics (13 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 27-March-2015  03:38:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to mpot and leftarc this week!

Data Retention Laws Passed (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 27-March-2015  03:19:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The data retention laws have been passed by Parliament. The laws will force telecommunications providers to keep records of phone and internet use for two years and allow security agencies to access the records. Companies already retain the data but for varying durations and in an unregulated environment. The Coalition and Labor have argued the laws were necessary to help authorities in counter-terrorism and serious crime investigations.

The official media release from the Attorney-General is here. By passing this Bill, the Parliament has ensured that our security and law enforcement agencies will continue to have access to the information they need to do their jobs. No responsible government can sit by while those who protect us lose access to vital information, particularly in the current high threat environment. At the same time, the Bill contains safeguards to protect our cherished rights and liberties, including through the establishment of additional oversight mechanisms covering the security and law enforcement agencies. Metadata is the basic building block in nearly every counter-terrorism, counter-espionage and organised crime investigation. It is also essential for child abuse and child pornography offences that are frequently carried out online.

Bizarrely, Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications, is openly telling people how to get around it. If you have a device, you know, a phone or a smartphone, and if I call you through the mobile phone network there will be a record. Say my phone’s with Telstra, there’ll be a record with Telstra that I’ve called your number. If on the other hand I communicate with you via Skype for a voice call or Viber, send you a message on WhatsApp or Wickr or Threema or Signal or Telegrammer — there’s a gazillion of them — or indeed if you make a FaceTime call, then all that the telco can see is that my device has had a connection with the Skype server or the WhatsApp server…but it doesn’t see anything happening with you.

Crikey have a guide summing up the issue. Crikey has been covering data retention for several years, and we’ve written tens of thousands of words in that time explaining what it is, why it’s important and the threat it poses to Australians. We know that a lot of people, especially in the media, have only started to focus on the issue in recent days, so we’ve further expanded this Q&A we prepared last year to take into account recent developments and give you a one-stop document for what will be Australia’s biggest ever mass surveillance regime.

Discussion continues in this thread.

Friday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 27-March-2015  03:03:28 (GMT +10) - by Agg

CRYORIG H5 Universal on TechPowerUp.
Bitspower THOR EIX99 Full Cover Water Block for EVGA X99 Classified/FTW on Modders-Inc.
CRYORIG R1 Universal CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.

Power Supply:
EVGA SuperNOVA 550GS and 650GS Gold PSU on PCPerspective.
SilverStone Strider Gold 1500W on NikKTech.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Hands-On With Lenovo's 2015 ThinkPad X1 Carbon on HotHardware.
Gigabyte Brix S BXi7H-5500 Broadwell Mini PC on HotHardware.
The Dell XPS 13 Notebook Review - Broadwell and Battery Life on PCPerspective.

InWin Gaming Black 707 Full-Tower on Tweaktown.
Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX on OCAholic.
SilverStone Precision Series PS11 on ThinkComputers.
SilverStone Kublai KL05B on BenchmarkReviews.
Be Quiet! Silent Base 800 on OCClub.

Audio Visual:
Microlab T2 Bluetooth Headset on Vortez.
Ozone Blast Ocelote World 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound Gaming Headset on eTeknix.
Tesoro Kuven Devil 7.1 Virtual Gaming Headset on TechnologyX.
Inateck BTSP-10 Plus Bluetooth Speaker on APHNetworks.
Soniq Rock 7 Bluetooth Outdoor Portable Speaker on Tweaktown.

Input Etc:
Cougar 700K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard on NeoSeeker.
Sentey Lumenata Pro Gamer Series Mouse on Tweaktown.
Steelseries Kinzu V3 on OCAholic.
CM Storm Octane Mouse & Keyboard Combo on eTeknix.
Cougar 200K Scissor Gaming Keyboard on PureOC.

Video Cards:
PowerColor R9 285 2GB Turbo Duo on Modders-Inc.
XFX Double Dissipation R9 290 (4GB) on TechnologyX.
Zotac GeForce GTX980 AMP Omega Edition on Bjorn3D.

Synology DS1815+ on TechPowerUp.
ASUS USB 3.1 Type-A Card on LegitReviews.
OCZ Vector 180 SATA SSD Full Capacity Roundup - Barefoot 3 M00 with PFM Plus on PCPerspective.
Mushkin Chronos 480GB on LanOC.
Crucial BX100 1TB Solid State Drive on eTeknix.
Kingston Technologies Data Traveler microDuo 3 on Bjorn3D.
Patriot Ignite 480GB Solid State Drive on ThinkComputers.
Crucial MX200 250GB SSD on NikKTech.
Kingston HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe SSD (480GB) on TheSSDReview.

KLevv Genuine 2666MHz DDR3 16GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit on Tweaktown.
KLevv Neo 2400MHz DDR3 16GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit on Tweaktown.

Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Review - Making Light, Personal on Tweaktown.
Battlefield Hardline Benchmarked on TechSpot.
Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion Overclocking Motherboard on HWAsylum.

Thursday Afternoon (5 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 26-March-2015  02:54:50 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The internet is abuzz with news that the BBC have dropped Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear, after investigating an "unprovoked physical and verbal attack" on a BBC producer. Responding to the news, Prime Minister David Cameron said he believed that "if you do something wrong at work there can be consequences" and that "aggressive and abusive behaviour is not acceptable in the workplace". Discussion of Top Gear UK continues in this thread.

Internode co-founder and now NBN Co board member Simon Hackett has indicated FTTP is still his preference over FTTN. "Ideally, the NBN would have been built with 100 percent fibre," said Hackett at the Communications Alliance's Fast Forward/Rewind event in Sydney on Wednesday. "[But] it's not my money."

SMH have a guide to the new video services recently released in Australia. Netflix, Quickflix, Presto and Stan are all fighting for your attention, but how easy are they to use and how hard will they hammer your internet connection?

Meanwhile the website blocking legislation has been introduced to Parliament today. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull today introduced proposed laws to allow content owners to apply for websites faciliating online piracy to be blocked, taking over responsibility for the bill from Attorney-General George Brandis.

Wired report on an interesting upcoming NASA mission, which is a test run for a Mars mission. Except it’s not a movie: That’s the real-life idea for the Asteroid Redirect Mission, which NASA announced today. Other than simply being an awesome space version of the claw arcade game (you know you really wanted that stuffed Pikachu), the mission will let NASA test technology and practice techniques needed for going to Mars.

I don't normally link Kickstarter stuff, but there's a drive to get a new Descent: Underground game up and running. Descent was, from memory, the first proper game I ever played all the way through on the PC. I used to have Descent dreams.. Descent is back! Pilot your ship & battle foes through twisting, turning tunnels with unrestricted 3D movement & FPS action in Zero-G!

Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 25-March-2015  14:27:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
ASUS X99-A on ThinkComputers.
A10-6800K vs. Core i3-4150 CPU on HWSecrets.
Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion, Budget Overclocker on Bjorn3D.
AMD A8-7650k Kaveri APU on eTeknix.
ASRock X99 WS-E Motherboard on TheSSDReview.

OCZ Vector 180 480GB SSD on LegitReviews.
Enermax EMK3203 3.5? Mobile RAID Rack with 2x 2.5? Drive Bays on eTeknix.
Seagate ST3000DM001 3TB HDD on TechnologyX.
OCZ Vector 180 SSD on TheSSDReview.
OCZ Vector 180 960GB SSD on Tweaktown.
OCZ Vector 180 Series SSD on Guru3D.
480GB HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe SSD on LegitReviews.
OCZ Vector 180 SSD on HWHeaven.
OCZ Vector 180 Solid State Drive on HotHardware.
OCZ's Vector 180 solid-state drive on TechReport.
OCZ Vector 180 480 Gigabyte on OCAholic.
Western Digital RED 6TB 3.5? NAS HDD Four Disk RAID on eTeknix.
Plextor M6e Black Edition PCI Express SSD on TechnologyX.
Synology DiskStation DS3615xs on LegionHW.
Stockplop Pure Plop Superspeed USB 3.0 SSD Enclosure on TheSSDReview.
Silicon Power Slim S80 240GB SSD on TheSSDReview.

Portable & Prebuilt:
ASUS Reveals The Transformer Book Chi & ZenBook UX305 on TechARP.
Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 Octa-Core 1.4GHz Smartphone on ModSynergy.
HTC One M9 on TechSpot.

Video Cards:
Battlefield Hardline VGA graphics performance on Guru3D.
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X on LegionHW.

Wednesday Morning (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 24-March-2015  22:58:52 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Scott Ludlam still seems to be the primary voice of opposition to the data retention scheme in Parliament. Ludlam began by expressing his frustrations with the blanket-nature in which the bills are going to pass, and the lack of broad democratic process that's been involved in the bill's debate. But far from simply targeting the Government about the legislation, Ludlam sharpest barbs were saved for the Labor party and their perceived cave-in and lack of opposition in debating and challenging the bill on some of its finer points.

If you're also opposed to the data retention scheme, you can protest by going dark today. This scheme is rushed, costly, ineffective, and against the public interest. Also, absurdly, the flawed legislation leaves open numerous loopholes, which can be used to evade the scheme. This means the data retention dragnet will capture the data of innocent Australians and cost millions of dollars, while allowing those who don't want to be caught to remain hidden.

Live video streaming service Twitch is the latest to report report a security issue and requires users to change their passwords. "For your protection, we have expired passwords and stream keys and have disconnected accounts from Twitter and YouTube," reads the statement. "As a result, you will be prompted to create a new password the next time you attempt to log into your Twitch account. We also recommend that you change your password at any website where you use the same or a similar password."

All original content copyright James Rolfe.
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