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Category: Technology

internet troll

The internet is chock-full of terrible memes, terrible rumors and terrible click-baiting articles designed to be as sensational as possible in order to attract advertising revenue. Out of those three, the rumors are the ones that spread the fastest. Hoaxes get propogated through e-mail and social networks, websites pick up on rumors with little fact-checking being done and some websites put up these rumors with headlines that not only convince you that it must be real, but that it’s also completely true. One Overclock.net forum poster set out to see how far he cold spread a rumor on his own and the results, although hilarious, do highlight a trend that’s being going on for years on the internet.

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Laptop-buyer's-guides-600-x-272

It’s the second-last episode of the Laptop Buyer’s guide for this month and we’re settling into the mid-range market here, hoping to hit some of the sweeter spots that would make picking up a laptop instead of a desktop a realistic choice. Although it’s true that a desktop rig for the same price usually nets you about twice the performance, mid-range laptops usually have fantastic build quality to them and aren’t very likely to give up the ghost a year into the warranty. Hit the jump to see what your month buys you this week.

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ram-modules

DDR4 memory is coming with the Intel Haswell-E launch in September/October 2014, but there hasn’t been much in the way of price indications for computer enthusiasts looking to upgrade their high-performing rigs to the latest cutting-edge stuff. Although there have been reports of DDR4 selling in some Taiwanese shops, you absolutely can’t use it at all. Now, though, a Norwegian online retailer has listed the first consumer-bound ECC kit of DDR4 memory and things are already looking very promising.

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windows 7 desktop

Gaze upon yonder picture, little ones. It may be the last time that you ever see a fresh install of Windows 7. Microsoft very quietly and very sneakily ended retail sales of Windows 7 last year, warning users that stock of the OS licenses on shelves would be returned on 30 October 2013, despite it being officially the most popular desktop operating system on the personal computer.

Now it’s time to remind you that 2014 is the year that Microsoft kills it off in the consumer space for good.

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Laptop-buyer's-guides-600-x-272

It’s been a long time coming and I never thought that this would ever get really going again. While the System Builder’s Guide has been relatively straightforward to lay out, the mobile market is a different beast altogether. There’s a distinct lack of choice when it comes to which vendor to support and the minefield of laptop OEMs with their own ideas of what a ultraportable, or an ultrabook or a gaming laptop should look and feel like makes this a much more difficult subject to consider. Throw in the convertible tablets and tablets and you have a recipe for disaster as you try to wade your way through 40-plus tabs of options with anything between 3-5 open looking at slight variances of the same model from the same name brand.

The desktop market is sensible, clean and doesn’t put you in a box as much. Still, a lot of NAG Online readers do so from a mobile device and it’s time to get back into helping you figure out what you need to buy and what needs to be prioritised when you finally get to deciding what notebook or tablet you need to buy. Head on in for the first episode of the Laptop Buyer’s Guide in over a year!

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Chrome 64-bit header

A developer-side split in the versions of Google’s Chrome browser have now forked into a native 32-bit and 64-bit version of the “world’s fastest browser.” According to Google on the Chromium Blog, the new 64-bit version takes advantage of more memory, has new security features, uses modern instruction sets for newer processors and is far more stable, achieving 50% less crashes than 32-bit Chrome. The new browser is still in constant development but it’s fairly usable as things stand, although a few minor issues still have to be ironed out.

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AMD-Mantle-header-grey

One of AMD’s tenets to their evolution in the hardware is that adoption of HSA, or heterogeneous software acceleration needs to be pushed more into the public sphere. HSA is a collection of software and hardware technologies that work together to accelerate software that can take advantage of both CPU and GPU resources. HSA has many applications in a lot of different industries, from gaming to CAD work and even things like weather prediction. The goal here is to get the CPU and GPU working together in the most efficient way with all available system resources, pushing much of the multi-threaded code onto the graphics hardware while single-threaded portions of code get chewed up by the CPU.

To help this movement, the HSA Foundation works with manufacturers and software vendors to help their developments along and recently AMD published a brand new HSA driver for the Linux kernel.

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tesla_model_s

It’s not often that companies give out their trade secrets for the benefit of others. Nvidia doesn’t do it for Physx, Intel doesn’t give out the details of the x86 IP to just anyone and Apple will never reveal just how their A-series processors work, or show off the die shots. In all industries related to technology, intellectual property is closely guarded thanks to patents and it’s the main way in which these things are protected.

But when companies take the step to open-source their work to benefit the industry, their competitors and mankind in general, some wonderful things happen. We’ve already seen incredible work in the open-source software industry thanks to Linux Torvald’s forking of the UNIX project into what we know today as Linux and more and more people are shying away from protecting inventions or other creations behind walls which just serve to stifle development. Last month, that same thing happened to Tesla Motors and the electric car industry and the news didn’t exactly catch on in most areas of the internet.

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via s3

You may recognise this logo because it was once the crowning glory of VIA Technologies, the only other surviving manufacturer of x86 processors, aside from AMD and Intel. Although my memories of VIA chipsets, processors and S3 graphics isn’t as rosy as others, this is still an interesting gambit for a company that most considered to be dead in the consumer computing market. Their last processor shipped was the Isiah, a quad-core part designed to be used in a variety of small-form-factor chassis that were suited to use in business applications, or for powering dumb terminals connecting to mainframes.

Alongside ARM, VIA also kept at it in the embedded processor market and there are still VIA-powered NAS devices floating about on the internet. They also had a very capable processor in the form of the VIA Nano Quad, a quad-core x86-64 processor that could have easily kicked Intel’s Atom processors in the shins and run away with the netbook market. But now things are very different and the company is ready to re-enter the market with a product designed to be competitive with Intel’s Bay Trail and AMD’s Kabini processors.

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Intel Devils Canyon header_edit

Although it isn’t a Devil’s Canyon processor, Intel’s Pentium G3258 Anniversary Edition could be considered a nod to the overclocking-focused past that the brand is famous for. The G3258 is the cheapest, multiplier-unlocked dual-core Haswell processor available on the market and it is making life hell for AMD, particularly when the software market is still so heavily focused on single-threaded performance. What does this little Pentium offer, then, to the consumer and what would you need to get the most out of it? Hit the jump to read a little more into this tiny monster.

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