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Thermaltake Releases Riing Trio 12 RGB: A Fan that Responds to Alexa

Thermaltake launches the latest Riing Trio 12 LED RGB Radiator Fan TT Premium Edition (3-Fan Pack) today. A brand new flagship fan series and newly added member of the TT RGB PLUS Ecosystem. The Riing Trio provides LED lighting and fan speed customization via Thermaltake's patented TT RGB PLUS Software and TT AI Voice Control. Starting from the end of the third quarter of 2018, the Riing Trio will be officially Amazon Alexa supported. With the support of the Amazon Alexa Voice Service, users can sync the Riing Trio RGB lighting effects with local or international weather conditions.

In terms of the fan structure, the Riing Trio features a PWM controlled 120mm high-static pressure fan and 3 independent 16.8 million colors LED rings that are pre-installed with 30 addressable LEDs in total. Furthermore, the long-life hydraulic bearing and compression fan blade design guarantees excellent cooling performance and quiet operation.

Supercharge Your Network - Aquantia Multi-Gig Ethernet Adapters for Gamers Now Available

Aquantia, a leader in Multi-Gigabit Ethernet, is pumping new life into networked gaming. Today the company announced the availability of a special gamer edition AQtion AQN-107 Ethernet adapter, available exclusively on Amazon for an introductory price of $89.99. The AQN-107 10Gigabit adapter takes high-speed Multi-Gig networking to the next level, and the gamer edition provides exclusive access to new Aquantia gaming prioritization software. The AQtion AQN-107 gamer edition hardware is clad in classic black and comes with both full-height and half-height powder coated black brackets for the gamer who wants a beautiful, fragging machine.

Arctic Announces Market Availability of New Alpine Passive Series Heatsinks

Dark, reliable, affordable - these are ARCTIC's new CPU coolers, the Alpine AM4 Passive and the Alpine 12 Passive. Both passive coolers are available now and provide silent cooling for the AMD AM4 platform as well as for PC's with an Intel 115X base. The active coolers in other Alpine series will likewise be replaced with newly developed models during the course of the year.

The Alpine AM4 Passive and the Alpine 12 Passive operate fanless and completely silent, yet they are powerful enough to cool all compatible CPUs up to 47 watts. The black anodization of the aluminum heat sink is not just an optical improvement: the heat dissipation of the heat sink is also increased through anodic oxidation.

Twitch Announces 21 Game Giveaway

Twitch joins in the celebration of Amazon Prime Day with the largest giveaway in the subscription service's history. Twitch Prime members can redeem a new game everyday during the duration of the giveaway, which lasts from July 2 to July 17. You can redeem the games at this link. Once the games have been added to your account, they are yours to keep. The list of games includes Pillars of Eternity, Metal Slug 3, The Last Blade, and many more.

US: The Tax Man Cometh After Online Sales Tax Following Supreme Court's Decision

A Supreme Court decision last Thursday may be just what the doctor ordered for states' ability to collect taxes on online sales from a much wider variety of businesses. The decision, passed with 5-4 votes from the Justices involved, overrules previous understandings regarding the physical presence rule: essentially, that a business was only forced to collect sales tax and send it to the State it's operating if it had some sort of physical presence (be it warehouses or some such) in that particular state. If not, taxes were still due - but shoppers had to take the initiative of delivering their taxable amount to the state. That, naturally, very rarely happened, which led to reported billion dollar losses in tax revenue for a variety of US states.

Now, states have essentially been given the green light to pass laws requiring out-of-state sellers to collect the state's sales tax from customers and send it to the state. More than a dozen states have already adopted such laws even ahead of the court's decision, confident in the decision's direction, said state tax policy expert Joseph Crosby.

Acer the First in the Industry to Ship Notebooks with Amazon Alexa

Acer today announced that several of its popular Windows 10 notebook lines are the industry's first to offer Alexa pre-installed, including the Acer Spin 3 and Acer Spin 5 lines, which are available at retailers now. The news today is the first step in Acer's plans to roll out Alexa across its PC portfolio. Alexa will also be pre-installed on the Acer Nitro 5 Spin convertible gaming notebook line next month. It will also be available on select Aspire, Switch and Swift notebooks, as well as Aspire all-in-one PCs, as they are rolled out to Acer's retail partners over the next few weeks.

Additional product lines already purchased by customers will soon be able to be updated with Alexa via the Acer Care Center. The first Acer notebook lines to receive the update will be the Acer Spin 5 and Spin 3 convertible families on May 23 and May 26, respectively.

A Very Real Intelligence Race: The White House Hosts 38 Tech Companies on AI

The White House today is hosting executives from 38 companies for a grueling, embattled day of trying to move through the as of yet murky waters of AI development. The meeting, which includes representatives from Microsoft, Intel, Google, Amazon, Pfizer, and Ford, among others, aims to gather thoughts and ideas on how to supercharge AI development in a sustainable, safe, and cost-effective way.

Fields such as agriculture, healthcare and transportation are being spearheaded as areas of interest (military applications, obviously, are being discussed elsewhere). The Washington Post quotes Michael Kratsios, deputy chief technology officer at the White House, as saying in a recent interview that "Whether you're a farmer in Iowa, an energy producer in Texas, a drug manufacturer in Boston, you are going to be using these techniques to drive your business going forward."

Mixcder Introduces its E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

American global audio specialist Mixcder, is today pleased to announce the availability of its latest wireless active noise cancelling headphone, the E7. Featuring ANC (active noise cancelling) tech and crafted with an easy-to-carry design, E7 is designed to appeal to travellers and commuters who do not want to be disturbed by any external noise. This portable noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones is now available on Amazon for just £41.99.

The Mixcder E7 Bluetooth headphone adopts ANC technology, which can not only isolate noise physically, but also blocks out noise by smart and active technology. When the headphones detect an incoming noise, a digital signal processor (DSP) analyses the sound waves and creates inverse waves to cancel out the ambient sound. To activate the ANC function, users simply switch on the ANC button on the left ear cup. The ANC technology makes E7 ideal for those who want to focus on music but not noise, and those who appreciate a quieter environment.

Alliance for Open Media Announces the AV1 Royalty-free Video Format

Consumers' video expectations are being shaped by the brilliant images promised by 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) video and beyond. However, the technical-based hurdles and data demands of higher quality video mean that the majority of users only have access to full HD or lower video technology. For nearly three years, the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) has been working in lock-step with its members, the world's best-known leaders in video, to develop a better quality internet video technology that benefits all consumers. Today, the Alliance is proud to announce the public release of the AOMedia Video Codec 1.0 (AV1) specification, which delivers cross-platform, 4K UHD or higher online video, royalty-free - all while lowering data usage.

Whether watching live sports, video chatting with loved ones, or binging on a favorite show, online video is becoming a bigger part of consumers' daily lives. In fact, video is so important to users that by 2021, 82 percent of all the world's internet traffic will be video, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index , 2016-2021. To remove many of the hurdles required by older, optical disc-era, video technologies, AOMedia developed AV1 specifically for the internet video-era, paving the way for companies to make more of the royalty-free, 4K UHD and higher video devices, products, and services that consumers love.

EU Plans to Add 3% Tax On Tech Giants' Revenue Based on Customers' Location

"Treat equally that which is equal, treat differently that which is different" seems to be the motto of the new EU proposal for increased taxation on tech giants. The proposal, which will be presented just this Wednesday (March 21st), could lead to increased taxation to tech giants that do business with EU customers by as much (or as little, depending on your point of view) as 3% of their gross revenue (the value still isn't final, but should stay within 1% and 5%). It isn't clear how the customer location business will be defined, but it seems that the EU believes its citizens provide increased revenues for companies than other citizens in other parts of the less developed world do.

This move specifically aims to capture real growth and value of digital-first companies, such as Facebook and Amazon. These are types of companies that the EU feels aren't being taxed proportionally (meaning, they currently provide less than they should to public coffers) to the true value they derive from the region. As most EU matters, any tax proposal will need the unanimous approval of all 28 current members before turning into law, so one country alone could block it.

NVIDIA to Host World's Top AI Experts at 2018 GTC

NVIDIA will host thousands of the world's leading AI experts at its ninth annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC) on March 26-29 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang will deliver a keynote address on Tuesday, March 27, at 9 a.m. Pacific time to an expected 8,000 attendees representing the diverse, rapidly expanding AI and GPU computing community.

"GTC is where the world's leading researchers and business leaders learn how to harness the power of AI," said Greg Estes, vice president of Developer Programs at NVIDIA. "As GPU computing continues to drive the AI revolution, GTC is where you'll see the future take shape."

EA Publisher Sale on Origin and Amazon with Discounts Up to 75%

Electronic Arts is currently running a big sale on Origin and Amazon that you simply cannot miss out on. There's an excellent selection of titles that includes Battlefield 1, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Titanfall 2, and many others. The good news is that the discounts also extend to several DLCs and game bundles. It's worth taking a look even if you're not a big fan of Origin. The EA Publisher Sale runs through until Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 10 am Pacific time. As is the custom, we've highlighted some of the more interesting offers.

The In Win D-Frame Mini Makes a Comeback

In Win originally released their D-Frame Mini open-air chassis back in 2014. Despite it becoming one of the most popular cases among PC enthusiasts, the Taiwanese case manufacturer only produced a limited number of units at the time. If you missed out on purchasing the D-Frame Mini four years ago, now's your opportunity to make your dream come true. The rereleased D-Frame Mini is the exact same model that we reviewed back then except for two minor changes. The case was available in orange, red, and black colors. In Win has added three more colors to the mix: blue, green, and white. The brand also reduced the price significantly from $350 all the way down to $199. The D-Frame Mini is available at Amazon starting right now.

US Lawmakers to Pull Up Intel, ARM, Microsoft, and Amazon for Spectre Secrecy

In the wake of reports surrounding the secrecy and selective disclosure of information related to the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities leading up to the eventual January 3 public release, US lawmakers are unhappy with leading tech firms Intel, Microsoft, ARM, Apple, and Amazon. The five companies, among a few unnamed others, are being pulled up by a house committee over allegations of selective access of vital information that caught many American companies off guard on the January 3rd. Barring a few tech giants, thousands of American companies were unaware, and hence unprepared for Meltdown and Spectre until January 3, and are now spending vast resources to overhaul their IT infrastructure at breakneck pace.

In letters such as this one, addressed to CEOs of big tech firms, lawmakers criticized the secrecy and selective disclosure of information to safeguard IT infrastructure, which has left thousands of American companies out in the lurch, having to spend vast amounts of money securing their infrastructure. "While we acknowledge that critical vulnerabilities such as these create challenging trade-offs between disclosure and secrecy, as premature disclosure may give malicious actors time to exploit the vulnerabilities before mitigations are developed and deployed, we believe that this situation has shown the need for additional scrutiny regarding multi-party coordinated vulnerability disclosures," they write.

Intel's Patch for Meltdown, Spectre "Complete and Utter Garbage:" Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, the most popular datacenter operating system, proclaimed Intel's patches for the recent Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities "complete and utter garbage." Torvalds continues to work on the innermost code of Linux, and has been closely associated with kernel patches that are supposed to work in conjunction with updated CPU microcode to mitigate the two vulnerabilities that threaten to severely compromise security of data-centers and cloud-computing service providers.

Torvalds, in a heated public chain-mail with David Woodhouse, an Amazon engineer based out of the UK, called Intel's fix "insane" and questioned its intent behind making the patch "toggle-able" (any admin can disable the patch to a seemingly cataclysmic vulnerability, which can bring down a Fortune 500 company). Torvalds also takes issue with redundant fixes to vulnerabilities already patched by Google Project Zero "retpoline" technique. Later down in the thread, Woodhouse admits that there's no good reason for Intel's patches to be an "opt-in." Intel commented on this exchange with a vanilla-flavored potato: "We take the feedback of industry partners seriously. We are actively engaging with the Linux community, including Linus, as we seek to work together on solutions."

ASUS Announces Innovative Blue Cave AC2600 Wi-Fi Router

ASUS today announced Blue Cave, a stunningly designed high-performance AC2600 Wi-Fi router based on Intel's connected home technology that's built to meet the demanding needs of modern smart homes. Winner of a 2017 Computex Best Choice Golden Award, Blue Cave is an easy-to-use, innovatively designed router with stylish good looks and family-friendly features. It's built to cope easily with the increasingly complex and bandwidth-heavy demands of smart home networks, offering superb multi-device performance powered by the Intel Home Wi-Fi chipset, comprehensive commercial-grade security with ASUS AiProtection, and out-of-the-box IoT integration with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.

"Combining years of ASUS experience in wireless innovation and Intel's connected home technology, Blue Cave delivers ultrafast Wi-Fi speeds throughout the home," said Tenlong Deng, General Manager, ASUS Networking and Wireless Devices Business Unit. "Not only powerful, its eye-catching design with no external antennas blends perfectly with any décor."

Jabra Launches Third-Generation True Wireless Earbuds

At CES 2018, Jabra today unveiled the Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t, the company's third generation of true wireless earbuds, built for a consistently stable wireless connection and up to 15 hours of battery life (with cradle). In launching the Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t, Jabra has reinvented a set of true wireless earbuds, incorporating its knowledge about usage, comfort and design from the first true wireless innovation. The new earbuds have a distinct focus on the voice experience, delivering superior audio quality for calls and music without wires. The products come in two versions: one for daily on-the-go use and an 'Active' version, made for training and sport.

Building on the success of the Jabra Elite Sport - the best-selling, most technically advanced true wireless sports earbuds - the new devices are engineered to deliver an even better voice and music experience, and come with new design and color choices.

HP Unveils the Narrow Bezel HP t310 G2 All-in-One Zero Client

HP announced its first narrow bezel HP t310 G2 All-in-One Zero Client with seamless visuals, improved ergonomics and maximum data security. Powered by Teradici and compatible with VMware and Amazon virtual workspace environments, the HP t310 G2 AiO Zero Client allows customers to take their work to new heights with the design and performance they want, and the security they need.

With a virtually borderless full HD display, customers can enjoy an impressive visual experience with one or more monitors to create a seamless and aesthetically beautiful workspace. The comfort designed stand can be adjusted up, down, tilted, swiveled or rotated to support landscape and portrait mode, so customers can customize their workspace to meet their unique needs.

Dear Intel, If a Glaring Exploit Affects Intel CPUs and Not AMD, It's a Flaw

Intel tried desperately in a press note late Wednesday to brush aside allegations that the recent hardware security-vulnerability are a "bug" or a "flaw," and that the media is exaggerating the issue, notwithstanding the facts that the vulnerability only affects Intel x86 processors and not AMD x86 processors (despite the attempt to make it appear in the press-release as if the vulnerability is widespread among other CPU vendors such as AMD and ARM by simply throwing their brand names into the text); notwithstanding the fact that Intel, Linux kernel lead developers with questionable intentions, and other OS vendors such as Microsoft are keeping their correspondence under embargoes and their Linux kernel update mechanism is less than transparent; notwithstanding the fact that Intel shares are on a slump at the expense of AMD and NVIDIA shares, and CEO Brian Kraznich sold a lot of Intel stock while Intel was secretly firefighting this issue.

The exploits, titled "Meltdown," is rather glaring to be a simple vulnerability, and is described by the people who discovered it, as a bug. Apparently, it lets software running on one virtual machine (VM) access data of another VM, which hits at the very foundations of cloud-computing (integrity and security of virtual machines), and keeps customers wanting cost-effective cloud services at bay. It critically affects the very business models of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Alibaba, some of the world's largest cloud computing providers; and strikes at the economics of choosing Intel processors over AMD, in cloud-computing data centers, since the software patches that mitigate the vulnerability, if implemented ethically, significantly reduce performance of machines running Intel processors and not machines running AMD processors (that don't require the patch in the first place). You can read Intel's goalpost-shifting masterpiece after the break.

DTS Announces First Wireless Speakers to Support Works with Amazon Alexa

DTS, a global leader in high-definition audio solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corporation, is pleased to announce the first DTS Play-Fi-enabled wireless speakers to support the Works with Amazon Alexa functionality. Initial products supported include the Pioneer Elite Smart Speaker F4, Onkyo Smart Speaker P3 and the Phorus PS10. Additional DTS Play-Fi-enabled products, including the Klipsch Stream wireless multi-room audio lineup, as well as McIntosh Laboratories, MartinLogan and THIEL Audio, will add the capability by the end of Q1 2018.

Available via a Works with Amazon Alexa over-the-air firmware update, consumers can now control audio playback on select DTS Play-Fi products from another room using an Amazon Echo, Dot or Show. This functionality allows users to verbally ask Alexa to play a song in a specific room, groups of rooms or the whole house, adjust volume, skip the track forward, mute, pause and stop the music.

Intel Secretly Firefighting a Major CPU Bug Affecting Datacenters?

There are ominous signs that Intel may be secretly fixing a major security vulnerability affecting its processors, which threatens to severely damage its brand equity among datacenter and cloud-computing customers. The vulnerability lets users of a virtual machine (VM) access data of another VM on the same physical machine (a memory leak). Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are among the big three cloud providers affected by this vulnerability, and Intel is reportedly in embargoed communications with engineers from the three, to release a software patch that fixes the bug. Trouble is, the patch inflicts an unavoidable performance penalty ranging between 30-35%, impacting the economics of using Intel processors versus AMD ones.

Signs of Intel secretly fixing the bug surfaced with rapid changes to the Linux kernel without proper public-visibility of the documentation. The bulk of the changes involve "kernel page table isolation," a feature that prevents VMs from reading each other's data, but at performance costs. Developers note that these changes are being introduced "very fast" by Linux kernel update standards, and even being backported to older kernel versions (something that's extremely rare). Since this is a hardware vulnerability, Linux isn't the only vulnerable software platform. Microsoft has been working on a Windows kernel patch for this issue since November 2017. AMD x86 processors (such as Opteron, Ryzen, EPYC, etc.,) are immune to this vulnerability.

Amazon's Lumberyard Game Engine Receives Beta 1.12 Update, 400+ Updates

Amazon might soon be caught in the crossfire between Crytek and Cloud Imperium Games over alleged unlawful usage of Crytek's intellectual property - and CryEngine - in the making of Kickstarter stars Squadron 42 and Star Citizen. However, that isn't stopping the company from further updating and increase ease of use of its game engine, which it licenses for free to would-be game developers - nor should it.

Software solutions such as SpeedTree 8, EMotionFX, and ScriptCanvas look to make sure that developers have access to a multitude of tools that allows them to populate their worlds with believable environments, characters, and scripting events, with the least amount of work and repetition possible. Cloud Gems is Amazon's Lumberyard cloud-connected features, which allows developers to build cloud-connected systems in their games, such as voice recognition, or even procedural voice generation for thousands of NPCs in an MMO - through the power of the Cloud. Starter Game is a way for would-be users of Lumberyard to acquaint themselves with the engines' capabilities, offering 500+ free assets and systems for those training wheels-required sessions. Read up on some of the new Lumberyard Beta 1.12 capabilities after the break, and feel free to follow the source links to download the engine - and maybe tinker with it.

Google Uses the Nuclear Option Against Amazon, Pulls YouTube from Fire TV

Google Tuesday announced that it is discontinuing YouTube on Amazon's home entertainment platforms Fire TV and Echo Show. YouTube is the world's most popular on-demand video service, and continues to be the largest video sharing site. In a statement, Google said that the decision to pull YouTube from Amazon platforms was in reciprocity to Amazon continuing to hamper sales of Google devices, and preventing Amazon Prime Video from working on Google Chromecast. "Amazon doesn't carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn't make (its) Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of (our sister company) Nest's latest products. Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and Fire TV," Google said.

As if preventing Prime Video from working on Chromecast doesn't amount to "selectively blocking customer access to an open website," a hypocritical Amazon retorted "Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website." Google has, in its statement, left the door open for a possible agreement between the two. "We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon," Google stated. This could likely see Google devices such as Chromecast and Google Home return to Amazon, and the availability of Prime Video on Chromecast and other Google Cast platforms. If it gets any worse from here on, Google has another, more destructive weapon in its arsenal against Amazon - Search results.

Intel Collaborates with Amazon to Build $250 DeepLens AI Camera

Today, Amazon Web Services announced DeepLens, its first fully programmable, deep learning-enabled wireless video camera designed for developers. It was revealed during AWS CEO Andy Jassy's keynote at its annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. AWS and Intel collaborated on the DeepLens camera to provide builders of all skill levels with the optimal tools needed to design and create artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning products.

AI and machine learning are poised to power a new generation of smart industries, including smart homes, smart retail, smart industrial and many others, making lives easier through intelligent interactions with devices. This collaboration reinforces Intel's commitment to providing developers with tools to create AI and machine learning products, and follows the recent introduction of the Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit, which provides a complete audio front-end solution for far-field voice control and makes it easier for third-party developers to accelerate the design of consumer products integrating Alexa Voice Service.

Activision and Bungie Bring Amazon Alexa Skill to Destiny 2

Bungie and Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), announced the introduction of the Destiny 2 Ghost Skill for Alexa, giving players of one of the best-selling video games of 2017 to date the first-ever Alexa voice integration in a live game experience. Revealed on stage by Tom Taylor, senior vice president, Amazon Alexa and Byron Beede, Activision's senior vice president of Product Management for Destiny at the AWS re:Invent 2017 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Destiny 2 Ghost Skill, voiced by the in-game Ghost's voice actor Nolan North, is available now for Alexa customers to enable, free of charge, through the Alexa app.

The Destiny 2 Ghost Skill serves as a premier companion for Destiny 2 players, creating brand-new ways to interact with the game, players can say, "Alexa, ask Ghost to…" with a variety of utterances - from "…tell me which friends are online," to asking "…what should I do next?" giving recommendations for what to play next based on players' real-time current progress, to "…call for back up," which offers an easy way to interact with friends in their clan to enhance the social experience of Destiny 2, to "… equip my Raid loadout," equipping players' favorite weapons and armor for a number of different gameplay activities, to learning more about the world and characters of Destiny 2 with a request like, "…tell me who are the Red Legion?"
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