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Monday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 21-August-2017  14:38:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The ACCC have taken action on NBN advertising. Telcos should "immediately implement measures" set out in the guide, which include: providing consumers with typical peak evening speeds, adopting standardised labelling of peak evening speeds, offering customers discounts or refunds if they cannot get the speeds they expect, and making it clear to consumers on fibre-to-the-node and fibre-to-the-basement that they may not get typical NBN speeds.

Meanwhile more than 50 pirate websites will be blocked in Australia within a few days, with more info here, thanks AmB. The targeted internet service providers have 15 days to disable access to the online locations found to have been engaging in or facilitating copyright infringement. The two cases in NSW Federal Court, brought by Roadshow Films and Foxtel, which is jointly owned by Telstra and News Corp, ordered internet service providers to block access to 59 websites and 127 web domains delivering access to copyright-infringing material.

Kaspersky have been a mainstay of the antivirus scene for a long time, but now the FBI is urging people to cut ties with them, following an earlier push for a military ban. The briefings are one part of an escalating conflict between the U.S. government and Kaspersky amid long-running suspicions among U.S. intelligence officials that Russian spy agencies use the company as an intelligence-gathering tool of global proportions.

Elon Musk continues to warn the world about killer robots. Tesla’s Elon Musk and Google’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous weapons. The UN recently voted to begin formal discussions on such weapons which include drones, tanks and automated machine guns. Ahead of this, the group of founders of AI and robotics companies have sent an open letter to the UN calling for it to prevent the arms race that is currently under way for killer robots.

Techspot have an article on how you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free, if you missed the earlier push and now decide you want it. Although Microsoft concluded its free Windows 10 upgrade program on July 29, 2016, the company has yet to close some of the loopholes that it originally opened for folks running Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. If you thought about taking advantage of the launch promotion but never got around to it, there's still nothing stopping you from downloading a free copy of Windows 10 from Microsoft's servers.

There's some angst out there about AMD's RX Vega pricing - Techgage have a summary of the current state of things. I don’t think enough stink is being raised about these shenanigans. AMD told a ballroom full of press and analysts that Vega 64 carried an SEP of $499. As we understand it today, this price was never meant to be permanent. Launch reviews were based on that $499 pricing. AMD had to have known that within 15 minutes of the card going on sale, that price would no longer be relevant.

HotHardware checked out Whisper Mode for NVIDIA-powered gaming laptops. Like its recently introduced Max-Q technology that paves the way for thinner and lighter gaming laptops such as the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501, Whisper Mode is another type of mobile gaming optimization, except it focuses on noise output with the intrinsic benefit of lower power draw as well. Short and to the point, it is an intelligent framerate pacing technology designed to lower GPU power consumption, utilization, and ultimately fan noise, while still delivering a smooth and playable gaming experience.

It turns out that playing video games can either grow or shrink your brain, thanks metamorphosis. The study, conducted over four years at the University of Montreal, recorded brain scans of players before and after they played first-person shooters for 90 (non-consecutive) hours. It found a reduction in gray matter in every participant who navigated games like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor using memorized directions, or “non-spatial memory.” In participants who navigated using landmark-based spatial memory, however, the researchers found an increase in gray matter.

This month's second "Retro Let's Play" is Klonoa: Door to Phantomile from 1997. Playing less like the newer 32bit all-3D Mario, Sonic Adventure or Crash Bandicoot games and returning to side-scrolling 2D (using 3D effects more for visuals than anything), Klonoa was a throwback to games more like the previous 16 bit generation, only not terrible.

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