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QNAP Unveils the Industry-leading Thunderbolt 3 NAS: TVS-1582TU

QNAP Systems, Inc. today released the TVS-1582TU - a pioneering 19-inch rack-mountable Thunderbolt 3 NAS that is suited for moving vehicles and outdoor media editing environments. The TVS-1582TU includes four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two 10GbE ports, and can utilize its Thunderbolt 3 ports to have USB-C 3.1 Gen2 (10 Gbps) connections for high-speed data transfer and backups. The collection of high-speed connections provides an ideal 4K solution for SNG/OB van live productions in the fast-paced media industries.

"TV and film production and outdoor broadcasting require on-location recording and editing, and need their videos to be backed up immediately to prevent file loss," said David Tsao, Product Manager of QNAP, adding "The TVS-1582TU is designed for this environment, and its 19-inch rack form factor makes it especially usable for SNG/OB van live media production that requires frequent relocation."

Fedora, Ubuntu, and SuSE Linux Available from Windows Store

That's right, Microsoft could soon distribute Linux. Popular PC Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and SuSE, could soon be available through the Windows Store. Microsoft made this startling announcement at its Build 2017 keynote. The idea here is to make Linux distributions available to power-users who want to run the operating systems in virtual machines, or install the OS in a manner that lets you run Linux applications directly on Windows 10.

There are still limits to what you can do with Linux you get from the Windows Store. For starters, the OS can't be installed on the host machine, in say, a separate partition/volume, which you can choose to boot from, using a bootloader such as GRUB. The download also doesn't directly expose the .iso installer disk image of your Linux distro. It could still be useful for developers seeking a turnkey Linux environment instantly for development or testing, or for schools to teach Linux.

Source: The Verge

ASUS Brings "Tinker Board" Raspberry Pi 3 Competitor to North America

ASUS is bringing its higher-performing Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, the "Tinker Board" to markets in North America. Priced at a nice easy 54.99, ASUS touts the machines horsepower as being nearly double that of a Raspberry Pi 3 and says it is "capable of powering all of your projects from robots to media boxes to coding machine for budding programmers."

The machine's specifications are certainly more capable than a Raspberry Pi 3, and being it is Linux based there will certainly be a plethora of community support for this device. Interestingly enough, Android Support is a bit behind (being only on Marshmallow at the moment), but ASUS has a pledge for Nougat support in place.

Specifications are listed below, and I have also kindly provided a link to the products amazon page for those interested.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VSBVQWS/

PS: Yes, I am aware this is not exactly "PC Hardware" but I felt enough of us might have some use for a cheap Single Board Computer to find this interesting.Source: HotHardware

Unigine Superposition 1.0 Benchmark Released

(Re)member that dazzling-looking Superposition benchmark from Unigine - the one that was supposed to have arrived late 2016? The one that apparently wasn't good enough for Steam? Well it has been released, and you can now gobble up all of those realistic graphics for yourself and your GPU of choice. Some standout features include the ability to scale rendering resolution all the way up to 8K, so... Go on ahead, click that link below, make your graphics cards scream, and elbow one another for the top result. I will be with you in a little while. Go on after the break for some more features and a little teaser on what the benchmark is all about.

Download Link: Unigine Superposition Benchmark 1.0Can I just say I love me some Nicola Tesla on the walls?

Microsoft Lifts "Spying" Components in Windows 10 for Chinese Government Version

Reports have started coming in that Microsoft has finalized its special, "non-spying" edition of Windows 10 for the Chinese government. In a joint-venture with China's own CTEC (China Electronics Technology Group), the Redmond-based company has apparently managed to deliver what they themselves thought impossible: a version of their operating system that doesn't spy on its users.

China's government previously banned Windows 8 and its derivatives, citing security concerns, and later launched an anti-monopoly probe against Microsoft. This meant that Microsoft was largely left out of China's huge state-backed enterprises in China - and one can imagine how lucrative a market this one is. Microsoft surely wouldn't be willing to allow such a chance of revenue to just jostle over to the Linux field, following the Chinese government's attempts to craft a custom OS (Kylin, which failed) and recent efforts with new NeoKylin initiative. Microsoft isn't willing to relent so as to what and how were features cut from their Windows 10 version that leads it to continue normal functions even without the heavily baked-in, essential, flaunted telemetry features. What is true, though, is that the company did say telemetry and data collection was so deeply embedded on their operating system that removing them would break it at a fundamental level which is, apparently, only the case if you don't have the money (or potential revenue) to pony up for a custom edition.

Source: The Verge

Vulkan Multi-GPU Support to be Available in Windows 10, 8.x, 7, and Linux

Vulkan is arguably the API which has garnered the most positive reactions from enthusiasts. Its implementation in Doom, for example, brought about incredible performance improvements in a game that not only looked and played great, but also performed amazingly well. Vulkan's support for other operating systems other than Windows 10 (where Microsoft still has a lot of ground to cover in acquiring enthusiast trust and interest) is one of its greatest selling points, and the API has been gaining ever more traction in the market, with some developers even going so far as to axe DX12 support in favor of Vulkan.

Now, Khronos Group has come ahead and clarified that "(...) the Vulkan multi-GPU specification is very definitely NOT tied to Windows 10. It is possible to implement the Vulkan multi-GPU extension on any desktop OS including Windows 7, 8.X and 10 and Linux." Khronos also goes on to say that they are aware that some developers are already baking Multi-GPU support into their games in various platforms other than Windows 10. These are sure to come as good news - the fact that Vulkan is platform agnostic is great for consumers and developers alike. And maybe this support - which still depends on developers to implement it - will bring about the shot in the arm that multi-GPU implementations sorely need.

AMD Sends Required Patches for Vega Support in Linux

AMD has recently sent out around a hundred patches, which amount to over 40 thousand lines of code, so as to allow developers to integrate support for its upcoming Vega GPU architecture under Linux. The new code is essential towards baking support for Vega under Linux, considering the many changes this architecture entails over AMD's current-generation Polaris 10 (soon to be rebranded, if sources are correct, to the new RX 500 series.) Also of note is the existence of seven different device IDs for Vega-based products, though this really can't be extrapolated to the amount of SKUs under the Vega banner. For now, that really is just a number.

AMD's Ryzen CPU Series will Need Modern Linux Kernel for Proper Support

So, it's not just Windows that will be pulling the "you need the latest version" card when it comes to Ryzen CPU support. Apparently, Linux will need kernel version 4.9.10 or better to enable a lot of features, SMT included. If you really want good support, the "newer the better" is generally the way to go.

Operating below that version won't necessarily stop Ryzen from functioning as a CPU, but several notable features, most notably SMT, will be completely "broken" according to the article at Phronix.

Phronix notes that the fix landed in early February. It notes in the commit message:
After: a33d331761bc ("x86/CPU/AMD: Fix Bulldozer topology") our SMT scheduling topology for Fam17h systems is broken, because the ThreadId is included in the ApicId when SMT is enabled. So, without further decoding cpu_core_id is unique for each thread rather than the same for threads on the same core. This didn't affect systems with SMT disabled. Make cpu_core_id be what it is defined to be.
So there it is, for you techno-wizards. Apparently, microcode actually is relevant to support features, and Microsoft's claims have some degree of merit.

Source: Phronix

NVIDIA Unveils New Line of Quadro Pascal GPUs

NVIDIA today introduced a range of Quadro products, all based on its Pascal architecture, that transform desktop workstations into supercomputers with breakthrough capabilities for professional workflows across many industries. Workflows in design, engineering and other areas are evolving rapidly to meet the exponential growth in data size and complexity that comes with photorealism, virtual reality and deep learning technologies. To tap into these opportunities, the new NVIDIA Quadro Pascal-based lineup provides an enterprise-grade visual computing platform that streamlines design and simulation workflows with up to twice the performance of the previous generation, and ultra-fast memory.

"Professional workflows are now infused with artificial intelligence, virtual reality and photorealism, creating new challenges for our most demanding users," said Bob Pette, vice president of Professional Visualization at NVIDIA. "Our new Quadro lineup provides the graphics and compute performance required to address these challenges. And, by unifying compute and design, the Quadro GP100 transforms the average desktop workstation with the power of a supercomputer."

Steam and Linux on the PS4 - AMD's "Bonaire" GPU Register Reference Found

While trying to hack the PS4 in order to make it run Linux (in a bid to get Steam and possibly other programs running on the PS4's hardware), hackers hit a snag: they couldn't get the PS4's GPU to display any kind of output or process any kind of graphics. Like any good researcher would, when hit with a snag, the hackers turned to scouring the Internet in hopes of finding any kind of documentation that could help them harness the PS4's Pitcairn-based GPU.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Pro Drivers Information Also Leaked

Other information to surface from WCCFTech's leak on the upcoming Radeon Software Crimson ReLive drivers, is its dual nature, for both consumers and professionals. The Radeon Technologies Group is seemingly on a crusade to bolster AMD's software support recognition with customers, and that naturally extends towards the professional side of the equation as well.

As such, the first immediate feature to be introduced is AMD's Pro Renderer, a physically-based rendering engine that enables production of photorealistic images, with both plugin and native integration support from the big names in professional workflows, such as Autodesk's 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya, and Blender (just to name a few), along with game-engine integration and support through the Unity Engine and Stingray. LiquidVR support is also headed for professionals, enabling professional VR workflows in design, engineering, animation, filmmaking, and VR game engines.

AMD Announces the Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Driver

AMD FirePro and Radeon Pro graphics empower content creators and designers at many levels, from casual makers and students all the way up to seasoned professionals and enterprise workstation users. It's not just hardware, though, that lets professionals unleash their creativity; powerful software is critical too, and today we are introducing the first of many Radeon Pro Software releases.

The Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Driver 16.Q4 is designed to address the specific needs of enterprise users and also will support the upcoming release of AMD's next-generation of professional graphics, the Radeon Pro WX series.

Microsoft Joins the Linux Foundation

On Wednesday, during its annual Connect(); developer event, Microsoft Corp. unveiled a series of products and partnerships that strengthen the company's Azure cloud platform for building intelligent, cross-platform apps and services. Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie detailed significant steps Microsoft is taking to empower the ecosystem by giving developers greater choice in the tools they use - including joining the Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member to better collaborate with the open source community, welcoming Google to the independent .NET Foundation, and working with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to enable .NET developers to build apps for more than 50 million Samsung devices worldwide.

Guthrie also demonstrated a preview of Visual Studio for Mac, which enables developers to write cloud, mobile and macOS apps on Apple's Mac operating system using the popular development environment; a preview of the next version of the company's flagship SQL Server database with support for Linux, Linux-based Docker containers and Windows-based environments; and a preview of Azure App Service on Linux with support for containers.

QNAP Announces Cost-efficient TS-x31P NAS Series

QNAP Systems, Inc. today released the TS-x31P NAS series, including the TS-131P, TS-231P, and TS-431P. Powered by an AnnapurnaLabs, an Amazon company Alpine AL-212 dual-core 1.7GHz processor, this series provides a high-performance and secure private cloud NAS solution tailored for home, SOHO and workgroup users. In addition to basic requirements such as file storage, sharing and backup, the TS-x31P series supports value-added cloud-based note-taking app, centralized email account management, contacts management, and abundant multimedia applications.

"A cost-efficient and reliable NAS solution is undoubtedly a key investment for small businesses and organizations to improve workflow efficiency; whereas home users generally like simple and practical storage devices with real-time data accessibility that helps create a modern digital home," said Dan Lin, Product Manager of QNAP. "The TS-x31P is designed to fulfill such user needs to ensure data security and to bring a comprehensive business and multimedia experience," added Lin.

Logitech Introduces Its First Ever Silent Mice

Today Logitech announced the Logitech M330 Silent Plus and the Logitech M220 Silent Wireless Mice, the first quiet mice ever developed by Logitech. The M330 Silent Plus and M220 Silent mice deliver the same precision, durability and "click" feel without the noise. "We live in a social world, whether you work in a shared space or at home, but sometimes silence really is golden," said Anatoliy Polyanker, global portfolio and brand director at Logitech. "That's why we created the M330 Silent Plus and the M220 Silent mice. Our engineers studied the sources of noise made by a computer mouse and created ways to reduce the decibel level without sacrificing quality."

With the M330 Silent Plus and the M220 Silent you can work quietly without compromise. These mice provide the traditional click feel, but with over 90 percent noise reduction. And with Logitech Advanced Optical Tracking, they are ultra-precise and work on almost every surface. Both the M330 Silent Plus and M220 Silent provide a wireless connection up to 33 feet away thanks to a plug-and-forget nano receiver, and the mice work with Windows, Mac , Chrome OS or Linux -based computers with no hassle. Plus, they have received the Quiet Mark seal of approval from the Noise Abatement Society.

QNAP Partners with Canonical to Enhance NAS with Ubuntu OS

QNAP Systems, Inc. has announced today a partnership with Canonical. The partnership will provide an advanced platform for the development of services and applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) using both Ubuntu and QTS operating systems. Canonical and QNAP will cooperate to provide, promote, and enable the creation of an ecosystem of IoT applications across home, SMB, and enterprises.

QNAP leverages its NAS operating system, QTS, with its built-in, mature, and comprehensive virtualization platform and further, integrates the Ubuntu operating system to provide a complete and familiar software development platform for software developers. Users are able to enjoy simultaneously the wide variety of apps from the QTS App Center, and diversified services available on Ubuntu.

NVIDIA Talks Vulkan, Supports it on "Kepler" and "Maxwell" GPUs

NVIDIA talked Vulkan in its latest GeForce blog post, announcing that your GeForce GTX graphics card already supports the "industry forged" API. NVIDIA is offering Vulkan hardware-acceleration on its "Kepler" and "Maxwell" GPU architectures at this time, and on Windows 7 and above; PC Linux, and Android. NVIDIA is all praises for Vulkan's low-latency and high-efficiency pathways, which streamline the process of drawing graphics.

Vulkan makes its big mainstream debut with a major update to "The Talos Principle," by Croteam (the people behind the "Serious Sam" franchise). This update adds a Vulkan renderer to the game, and ships later today. NVIDIA has an driver ready with the Vulkan API, which you can download from here. Maintained by the Khronos Group, Vulkan is a successor to OpenGL, although it's built from the ground up, with a major chunk of its code being contributed by AMD, from its Mantle API.

Source: NVIDIA Blog

AMD Zen Architecture Supports Up to 32 Cores per Socket: Leaked Linux Patch

AMD's next-generation "Zen" x86-64 CPU micro-architecture will support up to 32 cores per socket, according to leaked Linux kernel patch on LKML. We know from older reports, that AMD clumps groups of four cores in subunits it calls "Zen quad-core units." Not to be confused with its current "module" design, a quad-core unit is a group of four completely independent cores, which share nothing other than an L3 cache. TechFrag used this bit to deduce that the "Zen" architecture is scalable up to eight quad-core units per socket, or 32 cores per socket.

Source: TechFrag

AMD Announces Opteron A1100 Series 64-bit ARM Processors for the Datacenter

AMD marks a major step towards delivering choice and innovation in the data center with the launch of the AMD Opteron A1100 System-on-Chip (SoC), formerly codenamed "Seattle". Jointly with its software and hardware partners, AMD is accelerating time-to-deployment of ARM-based systems and driving forward ecosystem support for ARM in the data center.

"The ecosystem for ARM in the data center is approaching an inflection point and the addition of AMD's high-performance processor is another strong step forward for customers looking for a data center-class ARM solution," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, Enterprise Solutions, AMD. "The macro trend of convergence between networking, storage and servers is an important catalyst in this evolution. Customers now have access to 64-bit ARM processors from the only silicon provider that also has decades of experience delivering professional enterprise and embedded products."

QNAP Launches the Powerful Quad-core TS-531P With 10GbE Support

The brand new 5-bay TS-531P business NAS is now available. A tower form factor NAS with an Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-314 quad-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 processor and 2GB/8GB DDR3 RAM (upgradable to 8GB), the TS-531P features RAID 5/6 support, hardware-accelerated encryption and SSD cache support. With four Gigabit LAN ports, the TS-531P can deliver up to 418 MB/s read & write speeds and allows users to install a 10GbE SFP+ or 10GBASE-T network expansion card to connect to 10GbE networks. The TS-531P also supports Container Station for LXC and Docker lightweight virtualisation technologies, offering businesses an ideal cost-efficient and high-performance NAS solution.

"Business' demands for IT virtualisation have increased dramatically, but 10GbE storage solutions available on the market are still out of reach for most SMB budgets", said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP, adding "The quad-core TS-531P is energy efficient, features a full spectrum of business applications and provides an ideal storage base and 10GbE readiness for SMBs at budget-friendly prices."

QNAP Launches the Powerful Quad-core TS-531P with 10GbE and Container Station

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the release of the brand new 5-bay TS-531P business NAS. A tower form factor NAS with an Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-314 quad-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 processor and 2GB/8GB DDR3 RAM (upgradable to 8GB), the TS-531P features RAID 5/6 support, hardware-accelerated encryption and SSD cache support. With four Gigabit LAN ports, the TS-531P can deliver up to 418 MB/s read & write speeds and allows users to install a 10GbE SFP+ or 10GBASE-T network expansion card to connect to 10GbE networks. The TS-531P also supports Container Station for LXC and Docker lightweight virtualization technologies, offering businesses an ideal cost-efficient and high-performance NAS solution.

"Business' demands for IT virtualization have increased dramatically, but 10GbE storage solutions available on the market are still out of reach for most SMB budgets", said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP, adding "The quad-core TS-531P is energy efficient, features a full spectrum of business applications, and provides an ideal storage base and 10GbE readiness for SMBs at budget-friendly prices."

Steam Hardware Available Now

Valve today announces the official launch of its line of Steam Hardware devices in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe. A leading platform for PC, Mac, and Linux games, Steam offers more than 6,000 titles to millions of gamers around the world. The Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Steam Machines are a collection of hardware devices designed to expand the Steam gaming experience into any room in the home.

Earlier this fall, Valve announced dedicated Steam Sections in most GameStop, GAME UK, and EB Games stores. The sections will feature the Steam Hardware devicesas well as a variety of Steam prepaid cards. In addition, Steam Machines will be available from their respective PC manufacturers, and the Steam Controller and Link are available via Amazon and directly from Steam.

Qualcomm Announces its First Socketed Enterprise CPU

Qualcomm, which holds a ton of ARM SoC patents, and put them to good use with its Snapdragon line of SoCs for smartphones, tablets, and convertible notebooks, is foraying into enterprise computing market. The company is ready with its first prototype of a 24-core high-performance CPU based on the 64-bit ARM machine architecture. ARM-based processors are picking up momentum in the server and micro-server markets owning to their low cost, low cooling requirements, and high energy-efficiency; and Qualcomm wants a slice of that pie. Most enterprise Linux and FreeBSD distributors have versions of their server operating systems for the 64-bit ARM architecture, as do most popular server software providers.

The prototype 24-core CPU is socketed, and ships in a large land-grid array (LGA) package, much like Intel's Xeon chips. The first production chips will have a lot more than 24 CPU cores, said Qualcomm senior vice president Anand Chandrasekhar. As a proof of concept, Qualcomm assembled three server blades using these chips, which were running Linux with a KVM hypervisor, streaming HD video to a PC using a LAMP stack (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP) built with OpenStack. Qualcomm's target consumers are big Internet companies like Google and Facebook, which purchase hundreds of thousands of CPUs each year to cope with growing user- and content-traffic.

Source: PC World

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 Launches With Broad Industry Support

NVIDIA today launched NVIDIA GRID 2.0 with broad industry support for its ability to deliver even the most graphics-intensive applications to any connected device virtually. Nearly a dozen Fortune 500 companies are completing trials of the NVIDIA GRID 2.0 beta. Major server vendors, including Cisco, Dell, HP and Lenovo, have qualified the GRID solution to run on 125 server models, including new blade servers. NVIDIA has worked closely with Citrix and VMware to bring a rich graphics experience to end-users on the industry's leading virtualization platforms.

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 delivers unprecedented performance, efficiency and flexibility improvements for virtualized graphics in enterprise workflows. Employees can work from almost anywhere without delays in downloading files, increasing their productivity. IT departments can equip workers with instant access to powerful applications, improving resource allocation. And data can be stored more securely by residing in a central server rather than individual systems.

Intel Compute Stick Now Available

The Intel Compute Stick, a new pocket-sized computer based on a quad-core Intel Atom processor running Windows 8.1 with Bing, is available now through Intel Authorized Dealers for much of the world.

The Intel Compute Stick can transform any HDMI display into an entry computer capable of working with productivity apps, playing local or streamed content, driving basic digital signage or enabling thin clients. It will support Wireless 802.11 b/g/n, a microSD card for expandable memory, MicroUSB power supply and Bluetooth 4.0 for keyboard and mouse.
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