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AMD Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 Presents Some Issues to Users

Users running AMD's latest 17.7.2 driver package are running into issues - which, let's face it, is somewhat understandable, considering all the new features AMD has crammed into this latest driver release. All driver releases ship with a bug here or there - there is even a "Known Issues" checklist on almost all of them - so unless bugs are widespread enough, they don't ever reach the critical mass to be noted by most users. However, users in both our forums and Reddit have been reporting issues after they install their 17.7.2 driver package: namely, the absence of the ReLive tab on the Radeon Control Panel.

The issue persists even after a full DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) cleanup, and appears to be inconsistent in that users with the same hardware and on the same OS have mixed results upon installation. This issue has been confirmed by the Director of AMD's Corporate Strategy, Terry Makedon, on Reddit, who said that "Windows 7 being identified as beta and missing DVR is now reproduced in here and we will issue an update later today to address that. Sorry for that, hopefully we fixed it fast enough." For now, and until AMD releases a fix, there seems to be a workaround, as our own VSG has reported on an update to our Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 Preview: "One potential fix reported is to disable all security components (Antivirus, Malware protection etc) and to use the AMD Web Installer instead (Windows 10 64-bit here, replace 10 with 7 and 64 with 32 in the URL for other options)."

Microsoft Announces the Windows Bounty Program

While Microsoft has been offering bug bounty incentives since at least 2012, Google has arguably been much more vocal in its bug bounty programs. The company recently increased the maximum payout in its bug bounty programs (mainly focused on Android) to a staggering $200,000, and now Microsoft is not only following suit - it's upping the game.

With the Windows Bounty Program, which Microsoft announced yesterday, the company is looking towards an increased incentive to security-hardening suggestions from tech-savvy users. This program will extend to all features of the Windows Insider Preview in addition to focus areas in Hyper-V, Mitigation bypass, Windows Defender Application Guard, and Microsoft Edge. And incentives starting at $500 and going all the way up to $250,000 are very, very respectful.

The King is Dead; Long Live the King - MS Paint's Announced Demise

To be fair, the writing was already on the wall, in a way. It was so when Microsoft announced the introduction of a UWP app called Paint 3D. Paint 3D, which supplants Paint in a number of ways, is like the 1984-introduced app's big brother. It's meaner, faster, and thinks history is all its own. But that's fine.

So yes, Paint is dying. The prognosis: death by deprecation. Paint is being put on a "deprecated" list (which means "not in active development and might be removed in future releases" for Windows 10's latest update, the Fall Creators Update, which means that it's somewhat like Schrödinger's cat: it's in a limbo of life and death. It's not really dead, no; but at the same time, it really kind of is. "Whether you're an artist or just want to try out some doodles-Paint 3D makes it easy to unleash your creativity and bring your ideas to life. Classic Paint has been reimagined, with an updated look and feel and a ton of new brushes and tools. And now, create in every dimension. Make 2D masterpieces or 3D models that you can play with from all angles," Microsoft explains. And that's all well and good; but where is my nostalgia-factor? A small sentence lends hope to the Paint defenders out there, where Microsoft says "Paint will be available through the Windows Store." Alas, even so, it seems tales of Paint's demise weren't greatly exaggerated...

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 384.94 Game-Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of their GeForce drivers, which enable your green-powered card to run smoothly and without issues. This latest driver release is a Game-Ready one, which aims to enable the smoothest possible experience on recently-released game titles. The focus for this 384.94 version of NVIDIA's GeForce drivers was on Lawbreakers and the official release of ARK: Survival Evolved. In addition, under the "Game Ready VR" moniker, NVIDIA is also providing the "optimal gaming experience for EVE: Valkyrie's "Ultra" graphics update."

SLI profiles for ARK: Survival Evolved, IL-2: Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad and Lawbreakers were added or updated, and 3D Vision profiles were updated for "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" (Not Recommended), Lawbreakers (Fair), and ARK: Survival Evolved (Not Recommended). As always, you can grab the drivers right here on TPU. Just follow the link below, and feel free to peruse fixed and current issues after the break.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 384.94 Game-Ready Drivers

Blizzard to Discontinue Support for Windows XP, Vista

Blizzard, best known for their Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo series (who are also responsible for that phenomenon World of Warcraft), has recently announced they are going to cut back support for older Windows-based operating systems. Resource allocation is a real problem; the opportunity cost of having engineers working on ensuring that their most recent updates and recent remasters aren't breaking support for older operating systems always comes at the cost of work on newer OSes.

As such, in a blog post on their forums, Blizzard has announced that starting in October of this year, "we will begin the process of ending support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm." They went on to explain this decision, in that "Microsoft ceased mainstream support for these versions of Windows in 2009 and 2012, respectively, but since a decent portion of our audience was still using them at the time, we continued supporting them. However, there have been three major Windows releases since Vista, and at this point, the vast majority of our audience has upgraded to one of the newer versions." And if you're thinking that this isn't true end of life for these systems when it comes to Blizzard game support, think again: "The games will not run on these older operating systems once they are no longer supported, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version. We'll be rolling out this change on a staggered schedule, and will post further notices as we get closer to making the change for each game."

Microsoft Decreasing Windows 10 Updates Downtime in Fall Creators Update

If you're a standard Windows user, you probably find Windows updates something of a pain - especially when they force you to reboot your PC after they're installed. But imagine you own a business that constantly has its machines up and running, but also requires the latest security upgrades; each minute of downtime for installing such updates is lost revenue. Because of that issue, which companies brought to Microsoft's attention over the years, the company is streamlining its update process, decreasing the amount of update steps that need to be taken offline (which means less time waiting for the machines to become available to use following an update.)

Windows 10 Support for Older Hardware Encountering Difficulties, Cut Off

As part of its new "Windows as a Service" model, Microsoft elected to provide users with a guaranteed, steady stream of updates with virtually no clear, hard-defined EOL. However, Microsoft took refuge, as well it should, from an increasingly difficult support for different hardware sets: a little footnote, saying that you are eligible for Windows 10 for the "supported lifetime of the device." Yes, it's true you now don't have to purchase a new Windows version. But that also means that your devices potentially won't be supported for Microsoft's previous 5 + 5 policy (meaning, 5 years of feature and security updates, and 5 extra years for security updates only.)

The systems in question - built around Intel's Clover Trail Atom processors - are generally low-cost, low-power machines (mainly 2-in-1) released between 2012 and 2015 under Windows 8 and 8.1. These systems were deemed ready to receive Windows 10; however, they are currently blocked from installing Windows 10 Version 1703 - the "Creators Update." Attempts to install result in a message saying that "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC." The problem is that each Windows 10 update receives security fixes for just 18 months. Version 1607, the latest that these Clover Trail machines can install, will drop out of support in early 2018 - after which they'll cease to receive any patches at all.

Steam Survey Update: It's All About Quad-cores, NVIDIA and Windows 10

An update to the Steam survey results is always worth noting, especially with the added, tremendous growth Valve's online store service has seen recently. And it seems that in the Steam gaming world at least, quad-core CPUs, NVIDIA graphics cards, and Windows 10 reign supreme.

Windows 10 64-bit is the most used operating system, with 50.33% of the survey. That the second most used Windows OS is the steady, hallmark Windows 7 shouldn't come as a surprise, though it does have just 32.05% of the market now. OS X has a measly 2.95% of the grand total, while Linux comes in at an even lower 0.72%. While AMD processor submits may have increased in other software, it seems that at least in Steam, those numbers aren't reflected, since AMD's processor market share in the survey has decreased from 21.89% in February to just 19.01% as of June, even though the company's Ryzen line of CPUs has been selling like hotcakes. Quad-core CPUs are the most used at time of the survey, at 52.06%, while the next highest percentage is still the dual-core CPU, with 42.23%.

Club 3D Announces 2 New Video Splitters With 2x 4K @ 60Hz Support

Club 3D is proud to announce the next generation of SenseVision video splitters today with the introduction of two brand new splitters, CSV-1474 (USB-A to HDMI 2.0 Dual Monitor 4K 60Hz) and CSV-1477 (USB-A to DP 1.2 Dual Monitor 4K 60Hz) with this press release.

Former generation video splitters or USB graphic adapters based on USB 3.0 or 3.1 suffered from a limitation of 30 Hz if you were aiming at using the highest resolutions like 3840 x 2160 (4K). The latest developments from DisplayLink make it possible now that with CSV-1474 and CSV-1477 the resolutions can be taken to a new level. Not only one time 4K60Hz is possible, both splitters offer Dual Monitor functionality and each of the outputs can offer 4K 60Hz. The only requirement is to have a free USB Type A 3.1 Gen 1 socket in your device. The two new SenseVision products are powered by DisplayLink 6950 SoC. Our new future-proof products will be ready for shipment on June 30th. Wide availability of the products in the market we expect in the first week of July.

ADATA Updates External Hard Drive Range with HD710 Pro and New HD650

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the HD710 Pro durable external hard drive alongside an addition to the best-selling HD650 range. The HD710 Pro improves on its HD710 predecessor by exceeding IP68 dust and waterproofing plus military-grade shock resistance. It enhances the safeguarding of stored data against accidents, damage, and the rigors of active lifestyles, and is available in four colors. The HD710 Pro offers up to 4TB capacity. The refreshed HD650 arrives in a stylish light blue over black color scheme, also providing 4TB capacity - a new milestone for unpowered USB external hard drives. Together, these two new USB 3.1 models bolster the ADATA external hard drive portfolio, giving consumers more choice.

Microsoft Wants in on the Summer Sales: Announces "Ultimate Game Sale"

Summer is getting known more by the amount of game sales than by days spending creating a sunny side up on your skin. After GOG's Summer Sale and Steam's Summer Sale (which is still going strong until July 5th, to the woe of many households), Microsoft has just announced the "Ultimate Game Sale", which is striving to be the game sale to end all others.

Microsoft's sale isn't restricted to a single marketplace, encompassing all platforms where Microsoft does gaming business: Windows Store, Xbox Store, and Windows store. This sale also encompasses hardware, so if you're looking for some, this might be your chance. You'll have to wait for June 30th to get a look at the deals (the sale starts on June 30th and goes on through until July 10th), but you should temper expectations. Microsoft says games on this sale will be available for up to 50% off, which while welcome, isn't that much of a steep discount as it is. If that makes you twitch your face in discontent, you might want to take a selfie, so you can participate on Microsoft's "Ultimate Game Face Sweepstakes".

Futuremark Releases PCMark 10 Basic and Advanced Editions

Futuremark, a UL company, has made available today the much-awaited update to their PCMark 8 benchmark suite. PCMark benchmarks measure complete system performance using tests based on real-world apps and activities. In PCMark 10, these tests include everyday tasks such as browsing websites, video chats, written documents and spreadsheets, photo and video editing, 3D modelling and simulations, and for the first time a full gaming benchmark.

PCMark 8 catered more to the day-to-day working professional than the ever-growing PC gaming market, and their own 3DMark program thus more popular in usage among enthusiasts - including here on TechPowerUp. With PCMark 10, Futuremark has added 3DMark Firestrike as part of the PCMark 10 Extended benchmark. Currently missing from the suite however is a dedicated storage and battery test which Futuremark clarified is "being worked upon", and which will be released as an update shortly.

After Kaspersky's Shots Across the Bow, Microsoft Reacts

You probably have heard about security giant Kaspersky having previously fired some shots (figurative ones, which translated into a very real antitrust complaint recently) towards Microsoft. The gist of the issue stands on Windows' handling of third party security software suites, with Windows sometimes removing those suits' installations on basis of "incompatibility" with more recent Windows versions. Other points of conflict mention the coloring in Windows Defender, where a user's security status appears as "not green", which leads customers towards believing that even though their systems have a third party security software installed, only Windows Defender can really and fully protect them (which is visually conveyed by the Window adopting a green coloring when customers select to activate Windows Defender.)

Metro: Exodus Announced at Microsoft's XBOX E3 Presentation

At Microsoft's XBOX E3 presentation, the worldwide premier trailer for the next in the Metro line of games debuted. Named Metro: Exodus, the new Metro game is expected to continue 4A games' mastering of graphical showcases and of atmospheric game worlds. The new game is still based on Dmitriy Glukhovskiy's books, Metro 2033 and Metro 2035, though there is now a divergence between the game and the story that has already been portrayed in the books.

4A games' have been known for being graphical powerhouses, especially the Redux versions (which you should grab if you already haven't). The new Metro takes away from the previous games' linear exploration towards an open-world approach. The jury, as always, is still out to see in what manner that will impact the studio's focus and storytelling ability. This is one of the more cinematic first-person experiences, if the trailer is anything to go by. Captured in-engine, I have to say this really got my eyeballs staring in awe at the amount of detail and atmosphere in the game world. And did you see those animations? Here's hoping they make the final cut for the 2018 release date of the game. At this time, Metro: Exodus has only been announced for Windows PCs and the XBOX family of consoles. Check the games' trailer after the break.

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 382.53 Game Ready Graphics Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of their GeForce graphics drivers. Version 382.53 of their drivers is a special, Game Ready release that provides the optimal gaming experience for DiRT 4 and Nex Machina. In addition, NVIDIA has added/updated SLI profiles for Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, Little Nightmares, the phenomenon PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and Transformers Online.

This release also features updated 3D Vision profiles for Tekken 7 (Fair); DiRT 4 (Not Recommended); Nex Machina (Not Recommended) and Quake Champions (Good). As always, you can grab the drivers right here on TPU. Just follow the link below, and feel free to peruse fixed and current issues after the break.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 382.53 Game Ready Drivers

Microsoft to Introduce Windows 10 Pro for Workstation PCs

Microsoft is seemingly going to introduce another version of their Windows 10 operating system. After introducing Windows 10 S earlier in the year, followed by the "Chinafinitive" Windows 10 China Government Edition, the company is seemingly responding to specific market demands of professionals and enterprises. The new Windows 10 Pro for Workstation PCs (which was first leaked by Microsoft itself through an erroneous upload to the Insider Program) will apparently come in two variants, a standard variant, and the N variant, which is built to comply with EU regulations.

The new Windows 10 Pro for Workstation PCs will introduce ReFS, the successor to the tried and true NTFS file system. The new ReFS is designed for fault-tolerance and is optimized for handling large data volume, including auto-correcting capabilities and backwards-compatibility with NTFS. Additionally, Microsoft is baking in SMB Direct protocol file sharing in Windows 10 Pro for Workstation which allows for high throughput, low latency and low CPU utilization when accessing network shares. It will also introduce support for systems with up to four CPUs (up from Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro dual CPU limit) and 6 TB of RAM.

AMD Announces AGESA Update 1.0.0.6 - Supports up to 4000 MHz Memory Clocks

You've probably heard of AMD's AGESA updates by now - the firmware updates that are ironing out the remaining kinks in AMD's Ryzen platform, which really could have used a little more time in the oven before release. However, kinks have been disappearing, the platform has been maturing and evolving, and AMD has been working hard in improving the experience for consumers and enthusiasts alike. As a brief primer, AGESA is responsible for initializing AMD x86-64 processors during boot time, acting as something of a "nucleus" for the BIOS of your motherboard. Motherboard vendors take the core capabilities of AGESA updates and build on them with their own "secret sauce" to create the BIOS that ultimately populate your motherboard of choice. The process of cooking up BIOS updates built on the new AGESA will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but AMD's Robert Hallock says you should be seeing BIOSes based on this version halfway through the month of June - if your vendor isn't already providing a Beta version of some kind.

This new AGESA update code, version 1.0.0.6, should be just up the alley of enthusiasts, however, in that it adds a grand total of 26 new parameters for memory configuration, improving the compatibility and reliability of DRAM, especially for memory that does not follow the industry-standard JEDEC specifications (e.g. faster than 2667, manual overclocking, or XMP2 profiles). Below you'll find the 26 parameters that were introduced.

Microsoft Officially Announces the Windows 10 "China Government" Edition

Remember that piece regarding Microsoft's Windows 10 for the chinese government? Well, Microsoft has just officially announced it in its Shanghai presentation today. In a joint-venture with China's government, CETC (China Electronics Technology Group), CMIT (a conglomerate of China-based manufacturers), and Lenovo, 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. Lenovo, as you might have guessed already, will be one of the first OEM partners to preinstall Windows 10 China Government Edition on new devices.

Based on Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, the Windows 10 China Government Edition ironically ticks all the boxes for what enthusiasts would like to see from their OS: it's a modular approach to Windows, where users (read, in this case, government entities) can remove features they aren't looking to take advantage of (like OneDrive), whilst giving the capability to "manage all telemetry and updates." Aren't those just great features to have?

WannaCry: Its Origins, and Why Future Attacks may be Worse

WannaCry, the Cryptographic Ransomware that encrypted entire PCs and then demanded payment via Bitcoin to unlock them, is actually not a new piece of technology. Ransomware of this type has existed nearly as long as the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has. What made headlines was the pace with which it spread and the level of damage it caused to several facilities dependent on old, seldom-updated software (Hospitals, for example). It's not a stretch to say this may be the first cyberattack directly attributable to a civilian death, though that has not been concluded yet as we are still waiting for the dust to settle. What is clear however is WHY it spread so quickly, and it's quite simple really: Many users don't have their PCs up to date.

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."

Original Xbox Game Phantom Dust Re-Releases Today - Available for Free

The original Xbox's Phantum Dust was an original, striking game, which carved itself a cult following for its original gameplay. The re-release has had a troubled development, being downgraded from full remake towards a remaster of sorts, though Microsoft says the game's assets will scale up with your system up to 4K resolution. One interesting tidbit regarding this re-release is that the original game's source-code was apparently nowhere to be found, and Microsoft thus had to reverse engineer the engine so as to be able to carry this re-release torch forward. Interesting that Microsoft would go to all this work for a game it is now releasing for free. Looks like the Redmond company really is looking out after its image in gamers' eyes.

The game is now available for the Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms, through Microsoft's UWP. This might sour the release for some of you, but why not give it a go? It's free, and it's kind of a throwback Tuesday - and the game is only 3.4 GB in size, so you won't have to be staring at Microsoft's storefront for that long. Phantom Dust is an Xbox Play Anywhere title (with cross-play between Windows 10 and Xbox One,) complete with progression syncing and roaming in-app purchases (so, Microsoft is looking to recoup some of the investment made on bringing this game back from the dead.) The game's ability system revolves around deck building mechanics, with each card representing a different skill in your character's load-out, which you can customize as you see fit.

Microsoft to Launch First-Party Titles for Its Mixed Reality HMDs?

Microsoft has been slowly building up its mixed reality endeavor, by baking in support for the platform in its latest Windows 10 updates, as well as the recent announcements of actual HMDs from hardware partners like HP and Acer. Acer's solution, their Mixed Reality HMD, will ship to developers and customers with a $400 price-tag for both the headset and a pair of 6 DoF controllers, which easily remind users of HTC's Vive and Oculus's Rift controllers. Microsoft's implementation, however, makes away with the Rift's and Vive's ouside-in trackers, only needing to be within "sight" of the sensors on the front of the HMD to which they're connected, thus making them truly world-scale (if at the expense of some sweet swordplay moves, but I digress.)

Google Project Zero Finds Windows Vulnerabilty, "Worst in Recent Memory"

Google's Project Zero has found yet another critical Windows Vulnerability, this time going so far as to call it "Crazy Bad" in a lone tweet by Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy. Tavis went on to elaborate that the vulnerability "works against a default install, [you] don't need to be on the same LAN, and it's wormable."

Sounds like the stuff of nightmares from a security perspective, right? The good news is Google's policy is to give companies 90 days to patch bugs like this before revealing the exploits details. The idea is to pressure developers to fix vulnerabilities before the reveal, so users remain protected and companies are forced to act rather than adopt a "wait and see" approach. Microsoft however, does not have the best follow-up reputation, having left at least two major security bugs unpatched for the entire 90-day security-flaw reveal window as recently as this year.

Meet Microsoft's New Take on Windows: The Windows 10 S

The "RT" ghost is still alive in people's minds, as is particularly fluent on people's tongues whenever someone brings up Microsoft's new Windows 10 S OS. The one that limits the scope and variety of applications you can run on your own system. That forces you to go through Windows' still lackluster Store (sorry, but I've never seen such bad flow, bugs and hiccups on an app as I do in that one.)

It's only right, really - the reduced compatibility and walled-garden approach is there still, even if this one OS now isn't limited to ARM - or to x86, for that matter. This new approach now allows both UWP apps and Win32 apps which have been ported using Desktop Bridge from the store to work. However, expect Win32 apps with a native, non-ported installer to fail. Not all is bad, though: Windows has an amazing backlog for legacy hardware, software and applications, but that same legacy means it's more opened up to security vulnerabilities, and even applications which can wreak havoc on the system with excessive permissions, and unpatched issues.

Microsoft Announces the New Generation Surface Laptop

Earlier today, we shared our vision for empowering today's students and teachers to create the world of tomorrow. This is a vision that resonates deeply with us on the Surface team because it taps directly into why we created Surface - to empower people to bring their ideas to life. To bring hardware and software together to transform the way people learn and create. This is what Surface has always been about. We built Surface Laptop to do two things: refresh the classic laptop form factor that our customers, especially college students, have been asking for; and make a Surface that works seamlessly to showcase the best of Windows 10 S.

The result is the most personal and balanced Surface we've ever made. This Surface perfectly blends fabric and function, power and portability, beauty and performance. It does all of this without compromising on the things we know are important to higher education students: battery life, display quality, storage, and portability.
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