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Australia's Square Kilometre Array telescope is now online and already finding things. The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope has captured a signal emanating from a cosmic event in a galaxy far away, just four days into becoming operational. Known as fast radio bursts (FRBs), the signals are short, sharp spikes of radio waves that last a few milliseconds. Scientists are still pondering what causes FRBs, but believe they stem from powerful events that took place billions of lightyears away from Earth. Discussion here.
Bitcoin and other alt-currencies experienced incredible price rises last week, leading some to regret that they didn't take it seriously earlier. It had a data file containing 1400 Bitcoin on it. No big deal, at the time. Today, those few kilobytes are worth more than $4 million. Discussion of bitcoin continues here and here in the forums.
PC Perspective report from ARM Tech Day. Several days of meetings and presentations left us a bit overwhelmed by what ARM is bringing to market towards the end of 2017 and most likely beginning of 2018. On the surface it appears that ARM has only done a refresh of the CPU and GPU products, but once we start looking at these products in the greater scheme and how they interact with DynamIQ we see that ARM has changed the mobile computing landscape dramatically.
|Sunday Morning Reviews
Sunday, 28-May-2017 04:59:58 (GMT +10) - by booj
ECS Durathon 2 Z270H4-I Motherboard on Modders-Inc.
Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard on PC World.
RX580 Crossfire on LanOC Reviews.
MSI GeForce GT 1030 on Phoronix.
Asus Strix RX 570 on LanOC Reviews.
Aorus Radeon RX 570 4G on Hardware Asylum.
OWC ThunderBay 4 Mini Thunderbolt 2 on TweakTown.
Lexar High-Endurance 64GB microSDHC/microSDXC UHS-I Card on Funbky Kit.
ADATA AI910 Lightning Card Reader Plus on TweakTown.
HyperX Pulsefire FPS Optical Mouse on APH Networks.
G.SKILL RIPJAWS KM570 MX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard on NikKTech.
iKBC F87 RGB Keyboard on techPowerUp.
ROCCAT Kone EMP Optical Mouse on APH Networks.
Genius Scorpion K20 Gaming Keyboard on Funky Kit.
Genius Scorpion K20 Gaming Keyboard on Funky Kit.
MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop on PC World.
MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop on PC World.
Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop on PC World.
Huawei P10 smartphone on PC World.
Huawei P10 Plus phone on PC World.
SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset on Madshrimps.
BIOSTAR Racing P1 Mini-PC on eTeknix.
EwinRacing Champion Series Gaming Chair on ThinkComputers.
Corsair Commander PRO on Guru3D,
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, 25-May-2017 15:02:23 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Here's a quick snapshot of what people are up to in our Photography Gallery forum.
Thursday, 25-May-2017 11:58:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Now the WannaCry fervour has died down, it's time for EternalRocks, which is potentially even worse. It even names itself WannaCry in an attempt to hide from security researchers, Stampar said. Like variants of WannaCry, EternalRocks also doesn't have a kill-switch, so it can't be as easily blocked off. For now, EternalRocks remains dormant as it continues to spread and infect more computers. Stampar warns the worm can be weaponized at any time, the same way that WannaCry's ransomware struck all at once after it had already infected thousands of computers.
Intel are planning to make Thunderbolt 3 more widespread by integrating it into future CPUs and releasing the protocol specification free of royalties. With Thunderbolt 3 integrated into the CPU, computer makers can build thinner and lighter systems with only Thunderbolt 3 ports. For the first time, all the ports on a computer can be the same – any port can charge the system and connect to Thunderbolt devices, every display and billions of USB devices.
Vortez have an X370 Motherboard Showdown. Our selection of motherboards were all available on release, however, we have now updated each to the latest available BIOS so we can objectively look at their performance and features to see which would be best for you and your requirements. The motherboards we’ll be looking at are: ASRock X370 Taichi, ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero, GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming K7, and the MSI X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM.
Tweaktown checked out the performance of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. For all of our testing in this article, I've used an Intel Core i5-7600K and AMD Ryzen 5 1600X processor. This gives us a look at the 4C/4T processor from Intel, and the multi-threaded price/performance king 6C/12T chip in the form of AMD's new Ryzen 5 1600X.
|Thursday Morning Reviews
Thursday, 25-May-2017 11:37:27 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Alphacool Eisbaer 360 and 280 Liquid CPU Cooler on PCPerspective.
Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4 CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.
EVGA Hydro Copper GTX 1080 Waterblock on TechPowerUp.
XFX RX 570 4GB RS on LanOC.
Radeon RX 560 Linux OpenGL/Vulkan Benchmarks on Phoronix.
Azden Pro-XD Wireless Lavalier Microphone on FunkyKit.
Cougar Megara headset on TechPowerUp.
PAPAGO! GoSafe 30G 1080p Dash Camera on NiKKTech.
Portable & Prebuilt:
Samsung Galaxy Book 12 Review: OLED Display Meets S Pen And Portability on HotHardware.
Fierce PC Imperial Hive Ryzen 1700 + GTX 1080 Ti gaming PC on eTeknix.
Alienware 15 R3 Laptop Storage Performance Investigation on Tweaktown.
Acer Predator 21 X gaming laptop on TheVerge.
Fractal Design Focus G on Guru3D.
Norco C-24U Server Cabinet on ComputingOnDemand.
FSP CMT210 Mid-Tower ATX PC Case on ModSynergy.
Cooler Master Cosmos II 25th Anniversary on TechPowerUp.
Cooler Master Cosmos II 25th Anniversary Edition on Guru3D.
G.Skill's Ripjaws KM570 RGB gaming keyboard on TechReport.
Logitech Harmony Elite Advanced Remote Control on Tweaktown.
Corsair Glaive RGB mouse on OCAholic.
Tt eSPORTS X COMFORT (XC500) Gaming Chair on NikKTech.
Synology RT1900ac AC1900 Wireless Gigabit Router on BigBruin.
PS4 Pro SSD Upgrade: Does SATA III Make a Difference? on PC Perspective.
|Tuesday Night Reviews
Tuesday, 23-May-2017 19:48:48 (GMT +10) - by booj
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW2 iCX on Legit Reviews.
PowerColor’s Radeon RX 570 & RX 580 on Techgage.
Toshiba EXCERIA PRO M402 MicroSDXC Card on Madshrimps.
Lexar JumpDrive 64GB Tough USB 3.1 Flash Drive on Funky Kit.
Lexar JumpDrive Tough USB 3.1 Flash Drive on Madshrimps.
ICY DOCK FlexiDOCK MB522SP-B on Madshrimps.
Plextor M8Se 512GB PCIe SSD on Guru3D.
Bitfenix Shogun on techPowerUp.
Corsair Carbide Air 240 Arctic White Micro-ATX Chassis on Funky Kit.
GAMDIAS Hermes P1 RGB Mechanical Keyboard on APH Networks.
Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum Keyboard on Benchmark Reviews.
Razer Blackwidow Chroma V2 on Vortez.
COUGAR MINOS X3 Gaming Mouse on NikKTech.
Razer Blade (2017) on Techspot.
MacBook Pro (2016) on PC Perspective.
ASRock AB350 Gaming K4 AM4 Motherboard on Modders-Inc.
ASUS RT-AC1900p Wireless Router on TweakTown.
Origin Chronos Small Form Factor Gaming PC on TechSpot.
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
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.
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.
Thanks to BM and Simon this week!
|Thursday Morning Reviews
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.
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, 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.
Here's a few more projects from the forums:
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.
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
Saturday, 13-May-2017 17:37:36 (GMT +10) - by booj
GIGABYTE Z270X-GAMING SOC on TweakTown.
MSI Z270 Gaming M7 on ocaholic.
ASRock X370 Killer SLI on Vortez.
MSI X370 GAMING PRO CARBON on TweakTown.
ASRock Fatal1ty B250M Performance Motherboard on TweakTown.
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.
VIVO CASE-V07 on OCC.
Raidmax Alpha RGB (White) Mid-Tower on ModSynergy.
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.
Thanks to mpot and Allen this week!
|Thursday Morning Reviews
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.
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
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, 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
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.
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.
The Government is pushing to introduce legislation for a broadband tax. Users of “superfast” fixed-line services will pay the tax, which starts at $7.10 a month. The tax will be charged to retail service providers, who the government has admitted will pass on the cost to customers. About 95 percent of those taxed will be NBN fixed-line customers, while the remainder will come from operators such as TPG, which has been deploying fibre-to-the-basement services in metro areas. Honestly, it's hard to know where to begin with this one.
Intel have released a software tool to check if your system is affected by the recent security issue. Given it's mostly workstations and servers, your desktop PC is probably fine. This vulnerability does not exist on Intel-based consumer PCs with consumer firmware, Intel servers utilizing Intel® Server Platform Services (Intel® SPS), or Intel® Xeon® Processor E3 and Intel® Xeon® Processor E5 workstations utilizing Intel® SPS firmware.
Meanwhile, they have apparently recommended not overclocking as a solution to high CPU temps - on an unlocked CPU! The TL;DR version is that everything checks out on Intel's end and users should not overclocked their Core i7-7700K processors, which have unlocked multipliers specifically for overclocking. As you might imagine, Intel's response did not sit well with users.
If you find Siri a little stand-offish, consider a virtual girlfriend instead. Takechi is the creator of Hikari Azuma, a miniskirt-wearing avatar. She can hold a basic conversation and wake you up in the morning by turning on the lights. Hikari will message you at work and greet you when you return home. She'll also set you back about $2,700.
PCGamer have an interesting article about what we'd do if we didn't have Steam. I can’t predict the details of exactly how Steam or any other PC gaming service will change, but I can safely say that they will change. With that in mind, the question becomes: What do we want that change to be? What general possibilities can we imagine, and will they make our experience better or worse?
TechPowerUp have a Prey performance analysis. We test Prey on 14 graphics cards at 1080p, 1440p and 4K using highest settings and also take a look at VRAM usage, which is surprisingly modest. The article also describes how to adjust the field of view (which can't be changed in-game), how to remove the hidden FPS cap and how to skip the intro.
|Sunday Morning Reviews
Sunday, 7-May-2017 05:35:27 (GMT +10) - by booj
ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero on Madshrimps.
ASUS ROG Maximus IX Extreme motherboard on Guru3D.
MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G on Hot Hardware.
Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP! Edition on VR-Zone.
Enermax Steelwing Premium Aluminum Chassis on TweakTown.
Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-04 on Vortez.
Anidees AI Crystal Cube Lite Case on Benchmark Reviews.
Raijintek Thetis Tempered Glass Aluminium Chassis on eTeknix.
Corsair Glaive RGB Gaming Mouse on ThinkComputers.
Corsair Glaive RGB Gaming Mouse on TweakTown.
OZONE Neon M50 Optical Pro Gaming Mouse on NikKTech.
Corsair Gaming Glaive RGB Optical Mouse on APH Networks.
HyperX Pulsefire FPS Optical Gaming Mouse on eTeknix.
EpicGear MorphA X Laser/Optical Mouse on APH Networks.
Logitech G PRO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard on TweakTown.
ASUS Cerberus V2 Headset on Vortez.
Tesoro Tuned on Vortez.
LaCie D2 Thunderbolt 3 10TB Professional Storage Drive on NikKTech.
Super Talent Project-X 16GB DDR4-3600 Memory Kit on Funky Kit.
Zalman Acrux Series 1000W Platinum Power Supply on PC Perspective.
Moto G5 Plus phone on PC World.
ECS LIVA Z Plus on OCC.
Here's a few projects and reviews from 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.
Thursday, 4-May-2017 13:33:47 (GMT +10) - by Agg
May the 4th be with you!
Microsoft have unveiled their Surface Laptop. Microsoft is launching a new Surface-branded device today: the Surface Laptop. While the device leaked last night, Microsoft's devices chief Panos Panay came onstage at the company's New York City event to unveil it officially today. It's a 13.5-inch laptop that's designed to work with the company's new Windows 10 S operating system.
"Standards are great - there's so many to choose from!" Now there's another one for power supplies. The efficiency and noise certifications are labeled as ETA and LAMDA, respectively. Starting with the former, Cybenetics says its efficiency ratings offer greater accuracy "compared to the currently available programs," which is a veiled reference to 80 Plus. More info here.
Beware any unexpected Google Docs invites, as there's a phishing scam doing the rounds. If you received an out-of-the-blue email purporting to share a Google Docs file, you're not alone -- and whatever you do, don't click the link inside. Many people online, including more than a few journalists, have been bombarded with phishing emails (currently from a mailinator.com account) that try to trick you into opening a fake Google Docs link.
IBM have accidentally shipped malware with storage tools. The company warned in an advisory Tuesday that an unspecified number of USB flash drives shipped with the initialization tool for Storwize systems contain malicious code. IBM instructed customers who received the V3500, V3700 and V5000 Gen 1 systems to destroy the drive to prevent the code from replicating.
Intel are patching a long-standing security hole in certain workstation and server chipsets. "Consumer PCs are not impacted by this vulnerability. We are not aware of any exploitation of this vulnerability. We have implemented and validated a firmware update to address the problem, and we are cooperating with equipment manufacturers to make it available to end-users as soon as possible."
Continuing the bad news, apparently the robots are coming to take Australian jobs. But the reality was the opposite, said Ms Evans, who suggested Australians “take their heads out of the sand” and wise up to the dramatic transformation that had already begun. “The reality is that 40 per cent of current jobs in Australia won’t exist in 10 to 15 years due to automation — that’s five million jobs gone,” she said, citing the latest report on the topic by CEDA. More on this topic here on CNBC.
Nature have an article on the problems associated with old digital media. Retrieving information from defunct data-storage media is like unlocking a series of cages, says Bertram Lyons, an archivist with AVPreserve in Madison, Wisconsin. “Scientists have information trapped in older formats. Some are physical barriers, some are encoded structures. Both can go obsolete.”
|Thursday Midday Reviews
Thursday, 4-May-2017 12:21:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Portable & Prebuilt:
Corsair ONE PRO prebuilt mini-PC on PC Perspective.
Velocity Micro Raptor Z55 Gaming PC on Tweaktown.
Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone on TechARP.
ZTE’s Blade V8 Pro smartphone on TechGage.
Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 on OCAholic.
Raijintek Asterion Classic on TechPowerUp.
Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV mATX Tempered Glass on BenchmarkReviews.
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T & 1055T in 2017 on GamersNexus.
Surgeon Simulator: ER (PC) (PS4) (VR) game on GamingNexus.
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS HDD on eTeknix.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 GAMING video card on Bjorn3D.
Patriot Viper V570 RBG Laser Gaming Mouse on Modders-Inc.
HyperX CLOUD Revolver S Pro Gaming Headset on eTeknix.
Scythe Fuma Twin-Tower CPU Cooler on FunkyKit.
|Wednesday Morning Reviews
Wednesday, 3-May-2017 07:38:32 (GMT +10) - by booj
Aorus AX370 Gaming 5 on Hardware Asylum.
BIOSTAR Z270GTN Mini-ITX on TweakTown.
ASUS Maximus IX Apex on VR-Zone.
Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB on eTeknix.
Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition on Funky Kit.
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme on Guru3D.
EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 11 GB on techPowerUp.
Tt eSPORTS Ventus Z RGB Gaming Mouse on TweakTown.
HyperX Pulsefire FPS Gaming Mouse on Legit Reviews.
HyperX Pulsefire Gaming Mouse on Vortez.
Systems and notebooks:
ECS LIVA Z on techPowerUp.
Corsair One on The Tech Report.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop on Funky Kit.
Sound BlasterX Katana on LanOC Reviews.
SteelSeries Arctis 5 USB Gaming Headset on Madshrimps.
G.SKILL Flare X Series 16GB DDR4 3200MHz AMD Memory Kit on Legit Reviews.
PrimoChill Praxis WetBench on ThinkComputers.
HTC U Play Smartphone on PC World.
360 Fly UK action camera on PC World.
SilverStone SX800-LTI 800W Power Supply on APH Networks.
|Win a Scorptec PC
Tuesday, 2-May-2017 11:02:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Scorptec have a new contest where you can win an eSports-ready gaming PC!
click to enter!
ASIGN_Baz continues to attract media attention, and rightly so, for his Iron Man project. Here's a story on ABC News. Mr Armstead hopes the Starlight Foundation event will be the start of many more charitable outings for the suit. "The Starlight Foundation is about enriching the lives of sick kids and that's why I started this whole project — to put a smile on the face of sick kids." There's a radio interview (skip to 1:09:20) too. Discussion continues in the worklog thread and don't forget you can see him in person at ZiNG Tuggeranong this Saturday!
FunkyKit have an article on flashing an RX480 to RX580. There have been many reports that you can literally flash your AMD Radeon RX 480 to a RX 580. That’s why I love PCs! You can mod, hack and flash your components to increase performance and more. While many out there might dispute this … I for one think it’s worth a try. The newly flashed RX 480 may not performance as fast as an original RX 580, but what the heck …
Pirates have taken things to the next level. After stealing and releasing 10 episodes of the fifth season of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black a month before its planned premiere, a hacking group now is threatening to release shows by four other networks unless the networks pay a ransom.
It didn't take long before a metadata breach occurred. An investigator with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) sought and acquired the call records of a journalist without a warrant, Commissioner Andrew Colvin says. He said "human error" was responsible for the breach, which occurred during an investigation into a leak from inside the AFP.
Jimmy Wales is looking to take the Wikipedia model to make a news site. Those who donate will become supporters, who in turn will have a say in which subjects and story threads the site focuses on. And Wales intends that the community of readers will fact-check and subedit published articles.
Microsoft will allow their Edge browser to get its own updates instead of relying on Windows Update. Will anyone notice? Does anyone out there use Edge? Should I be using it? Hrrm.
NASA recently released their detailed plan for getting humans to Mars. NASA is leading the next steps into deep space near the moon, where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems needed for challenging missions to deep space destinations including Mars. The area of space near the moon offers a true deep space environment to gain experience for human missions that push farther into the solar system, access the lunar surface for robotic missions but with the ability to return to Earth if needed in days rather than weeks or months.
|Monday Afternoon Reviews
Monday, 1-May-2017 16:22:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Motherboard & CPU:
Pentium G4560 CPU on HWSecrets.
MSI Z270 GAMING PRO CARBON on TechPowerUp.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti: Windows 10 Creators Update vs. Ubuntu Linux Gaming on Phoronix.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW2 on Guru3D.
XFX Radeon RX 580 8GB GTS Black Edition on OCClub.
Audioengine HD3 Desktop Computer Speakers on APHNetworks.
Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Camera on FunkyKit.
Roccat Cross Gaming Headset on TechPowerUp.
VicoVation Vico-Opia 2 Premium Pack Car Camcorder on NikKTech.
Primochill Praxis Wetbench on LanOC.
Raidmax Sigma ATX Chassis on FunkyKit.
ThunderX3 TGC40 Series Gaming Chair on NikKTech.
ASUS USB-AC53 Nano AC1200 Wireless Adapter on Tweaktown.
QNAP TS-453Bmini Vertical NAS with Intel Quad-Core CPU and 4K on MadShrimps.
Asus ROG GR8 II Mini Gaming PC on TechSpot.
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