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Intel Core i9-7960X review: It beats Threadripper, but for a price

Ars Technica - 3 hours 33 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Mark Walton)

Whether the Core i9-7960X was always part of Intel's plans for the high end desktop (HEDT), or whether it was haphazardly rushed to market to combat AMD's bullish Threadripper platform, one thing is clear: Intel once again has the fastest slice of silicon on the market. With 16 cores and 32 threads, matching AMD's flagship Threadripper 1950X, the i9-7960X is an unashamedly over-the-top processor that breaks benchmarking records, and powers through heavy production tasks.

But a processor is more than its raw number crunching prowess. Threadripper raised the bar for HEDT with the rich, consumer-friendly X399 platform, which offers a full set of features without spurious lockouts. More importantly, AMD doesn't charge through the nose for it. The Threadripper 1950X features 16C/32T and costs £950/$1000. Intel's Core i9-7900X offers just 10C/20T for the same price. With the exception of gaming, the 1950X is a much more powerful processor.

Unfortunately, despite the strong competition, Intel isn't yet willing to compete on price. The i9-7960X costs a whopping $1700/£1700—and while it might be faster, it certainly isn't £700 faster. That's not to mention that Intel continues to use a weak thermal material to mount its CPU heat spreaders, instead of the superior solder that AMD uses. It makes the i9-7960X a bear of a chip to overclock and noisy at stock without suffering serious thermal issues.

Read 42 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Insteon and Wink home hubs appear to have a problem with encryption

The Register - 3 hours 39 min ago
Which is to say neither do it

Security researchers have discovered that two popular home automation systems are vulnerable to attacks.…

Tesla Model 3 owners are sharing more info on model as deliveries increase

Ars Technica - 3 hours 43 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Tesla)

If the past is anything to go by, we expect it might be some time before Tesla has any Model 3 electric cars for us to review. The company's order books are overflowing, and in the past we've seen that any production capacity is prioritized for paying customers rather than the press. But as Model 3s start finding their way into the hands of customers who aren't Tesla employees, plenty more details about the hotly anticipated car are becoming public, thanks to owners at the Model 3 Owners Club.

Members of the club complied a list of over 80 different features of the car they're curious about, including questions about how the car operates (does the card unlock all the doors, where does the UI show you that your turn signals are active), physical aspects of the car (what does the tow hitch attachment look like, how much stuff can you fit in the front and rear cargo areas), and subjective details (how aggressive is the energy regeneration, does that wood trim cause glare).

At least two members of the club have received delivery of their cars, and unlike Tesla employees and special friends of the company who have cars, they appear to be under no requirement to keep this info quiet. So far, we've learned a few interesting facts. For instance, the windshield wipers are turned on and off by a stalk like just about every other car on the market, but changing the speed (slow/fast/intermittent) is handled by a menu on the touchscreen. The stalk also does double duty turning on the headlights, and there are no rain sensors for the wipers.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google wants to be Apple again. Here's the problem - CNET - News - 3 hours 58 min ago
Commentary: To succeed in mobile hardware, Google will have to master something for which it has never shown expertise: product marketing.

Barack Obama warned Mark Zuckerberg about impact of fake news - CNET - News - 4 hours 2 sec ago
The then-president tried to give Facebook's CEO a wake-up call in mid-November.

Microsoft Ignite: Skype for Business merging into Teams

Ars Technica - 4 hours 10 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's Ignite business and IT conference started today in Orlando, and, as we've come to expect, the big emphasis was on the continued evolution of Microsoft's cloud, machine learning, and software-as-a-service offerings.

The company is shaking up its communications offerings for Office 365 users, as it continues to try to figure out how to make the best use of its various assets. Those with long memories will remember that Microsoft had Messenger (or Windows Messenger, or MSN Messenger) for its mass-market consumer messaging platform, with instant messaging, Internet-based voice and video chat, and Office Communications Server—later renamed Lync—for its enterprise messaging platform. It offered a similar set of capabilities to Messenger but over private servers, with greater administrative controls. It also offered connectivity to the regular phone network.

Microsoft then bought Skype. On the consumer side, it folded the Messenger and Skype networks together and then ditched the Messenger branding, unifying under the Skype name. On the corporate side, Lync was renamed (again) to Skype for Business. Skype for Business picked up the ability to bridge to the Skype network. Microsoft also rebuilt the Skype communications infrastructure, moving away from Skype's old peer-to-peer system to a more conventional client/server system, with the company arguing that this made better sense for enabling features such as synchronized message history across devices, and the abundance of occasionally connected devices like smartphones.

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Microsoft Ignite: SQL Server 2017 for Linux goes live; or Windows, if you want

Ars Technica - 4 hours 11 min ago

Apparently. (credit: Microsoft)

SQL Server 2017 went into general availability today. Today's release is a remarkable step in SQL Server's history, because it's not just a release for Windows. Today marks the general availability of SQL Server 2017 for Linux. There's also a containerized version for deployment using Docker.

SQL Server for Linux was announced in March of last year to widespread surprise. SQL Server is the kind of software that shifts Windows licenses—people buy Windows Server for the express purpose of running SQL Server—so porting it to Linux would risk forfeiting its corresponding Windows Server revenue.

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president for cloud and enterprise, acknowledged that risk but felt that it was offset by the opportunity SQL Server for Linux presented. SQL Server has a rich feature set, and potential customers were telling Microsoft that they'd love to use it—but they were Linux shops or were dependent on Docker and containerization. As such, being Windows-only prevented sales to these customers.

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Microsoft sparks up Ignite conference with new Azure and Office 365 features

The Register - 4 hours 11 min ago
Redmond also shows off SQL Server 2017 and internal Bing

Microsoft has kicked off its annual Ignite conference with a fresh crop of products and services for the enterprise.…

Microsoft makes play for next wave of computing with quantum computing toolkit

Ars Technica - 4 hours 11 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

At its Ignite conference today, Microsoft announced its moves to embrace the next big thing in computing: quantum computing. Later this year, Microsoft will release a new quantum computing programming language, with full Visual Studio integration, along with a quantum computing simulator. With these, developers will be able to both develop and debug quantum programs implementing quantum algorithms.

Quantum computing uses quantum features such as superposition and entanglement to perform calculations. Where traditional digital computers are made from bits, each bit representing either a one or a zero, quantum computers are made from some number of qubits (quantum bits). Qubits represent, in some sense, both one and zero simultaneously (a quantum superposition of 1 and 0). This ability for qubits to represent multiple values gives quantum computers exponentially more computing power than traditional computers.

Traditional computers are built up of logic gates—groups of transistors that combine bits in various ways to perform operations on them—but this construction is largely invisible to people writing programs for them. Programs and algorithms aren't written in terms of logic gates; they use higher level constructs, from arithmetic to functions to objects, and more. The same is not really true of quantum algorithms; the quantum algorithms that have been developed so far are in some ways more familiar to an electronic engineer than a software developer, with algorithms often represented as quantum circuits—arrangements of quantum logic gates, through which qubits flow—rather than more typical programming language concepts.

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See How Human Activity Is Changing Animal Migration Patterns

Wired - 4 hours 11 min ago
A new book maps how animals navigate a world heavily altered by urban development and climate change.

Cantina Talk: There Might Be a 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Trailer Soon!

Wired - 4 hours 11 min ago
The latest round of Star Wars rumors has some details on when fans could get a new look at Rian Johnson's movie.

Google and Levi's Made a Jacket that Connects to the Internet

Wired - 4 hours 11 min ago
Welcome to the future of internet-connected fashion.

Intel Coffee Lake i7-8700K brings six cores to the mainstream on October 5

Ars Technica - 4 hours 27 min ago


Coffee Lake desktop processors, the follow up to 2016's Kaby Lake processors, launch on October 5, Intel announced today. Like the recent U-series Kaby Lake Refresh laptop processors, which also launched under the "8th generation" moniker, Coffee Lake is largely based on the same core 14nm architecture as Kaby Lake, which in turn was essentially just Skylake, but with more cores across the range.

The top-of-the-line 17-8700K features six cores and 12 threads, 12MB of L3 cache, and a boost clock up to 4.7GHz. The i5-8600K keeps the six physical cores, but ditches hyperthreading, while the i3-8100 and i3-8350K both feature four physical cores. The latter, which matches the core count of the older i5 7600K, could prove to quite the bargain for gamers on a budget, particularly as it's unlocked for overclocking.

Previously, Intel processors with more than four cores fell under the high-end-desktop (HEDT) E-series and X-series ranges, which cost significantly more than mainstream processors. Unfortunately, while Coffee Lake is more affordable than an X299 chip—the questionable quad-core i5-7640X and i7-7740X excluded, prices are higher than Kaby Lake across the board.

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David Meade death threats in end-of-world trolling

BBC Technology News - 4 hours 28 min ago
Mind-reader David Meade receives death threats after being mistaken for a US conspiracy theorist.

Poor coding limits IS hackers' cyber-capabilities, says researcher

BBC Technology News - 4 hours 36 min ago
Three attack tools created by one large IS hacker collective were "garbage", the researcher said.

Brit military wants a small-drone-killer system for £20m

The Register - 4 hours 39 min ago
Too small for lasers, too big for nets

Fresh from showing off its gotta-zap-'em-all Dragonfire laser cannon, the Ministry of Defence is now buying a £20m anti-drone system.…

How the evolution of wearables has changed security requirements

ZDnet News - 4 hours 42 min ago
As wearables have evolved to standalone IOT devices, and as different enterprise use cases have emerged, security demands have changed, explains Samsung's Eric McCarty.

Liveblog: Satya Nadella lays out Microsoft’s vision at Ignite this morning

Ars Technica - 4 hours 43 min ago

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (credit: Microsoft)

View Liveblog

Microsoft's IT-focused Ignite conference—the one that to many of us is still more familiar as "TechEd"—starts on Monday. In a shake-up from the normal routine for these things, the opening keynote will be a short, one-hour affair, in which Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will present the company's vision for the future. This will be followed by three separate technology keynotes running in parallel.

We'll be liveblogging the vision keynote at 9am Eastern time on Monday September 25 to learn about Microsoft's goals for cloud computing, machine learning, and how it plans to deliver on its stated (and rather wordy) goal of "empowering every person and every organization to achieve more."

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Baseball pitches augmented reality to catch fans - CNET - News - 5 hours 6 min ago
Commentary: Apple and Major League Baseball’s At Bat app are adding AR so fans can watch a game within the game. Count me in.

Gatorade settles over 'misleading' Usain Bolt water game

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 7 min ago
The app featured a character based on Usain Bolt losing energy when he came into contact with water.

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