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European Commission Fines Valve, Five Game Publishers in €7.8 Million for Regional Pricing and Geo-blocking Practices

Wed, 20 Jan 2021

The European Commission has issued a fine to Valve and five game publishers (Bandai Namco, Focus Home Interactive, Capcom, Koch Media, and ZeniMax after an antitrust probe decided the companies violated EU antitrust laws. The Commission investigated regional pricing and geo-blocking practices that were put in place by valve and the hitherto fined publishers, and says that these rule-breaking pricing manipulations resulted from bilateral agreements between game publishers and Valve between 2010 and 2015, as well as from purpose-built licensing and distribution licenses between four out of five fined publishers between 2007 and 2018.

The European Commission found these practices to relieve "European consumers of the benefits of the EU Digital Single Market and of the opportunity to shop around for the most suitable offer in the EU". In particular, the offendants sold video game licenses relative to some 100 different titles at lower pricing in certain Eastern Europe countries, and which could not be activated in Western Europe. The fine's total amount of €7.8 million is shared between Valve (€1,624,000); Bandai Namco (10% fine reduction for cooperation, €340,000); Capcom (15% fine reduction for cooperation, €396,000); Focus Home Interactive (10% fine reduction for cooperation, €2,888,000); Koch Media (10% fine reduction for cooperation, €977,000), and ZeniMax (10% fine reduction for cooperation, €1,664,000). Valve didn't receive any fine reduction because the company elected not to cooperate with the Commission.

NVIDIA to Re-introduce GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 SUPER GPUs

Wed, 20 Jan 2021

We are just a few weeks away from the launch of NVIDIA's latest GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards based on the new Ampere architecture, and there is already some news regarding the lineup position and its possible distortion. According to multiple sources over at Overclocking.com, NVIDIA is set to re-introduce its previous generation GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 SUPER graphics cards to the market. Once again. The source claims that NVIDIA is already pushing the stock over to its board partners and system integrators to use the last-generation product. So far, it is not clear why the company is doing this and we can only speculate on it.

The source also claims that the pricing structure of the old cards will be 300 EUR for RTX 2060 and 400 EUR for RTX 2060 SUPER in Europe. The latter pricing models directly competes with the supposed 399 EUR price tag of the upcoming GeForce RTX 3060 Ti model, which is based on the newer Ampere uArch instead of the last-gen Turing cards. The possibility for such a move is a possible scarce of GA106/GA104 silicon needed for the new cards, and the company could be aiming to try and satisfy the market with left-over stock from the previous generation cards.

Linux Gets Ported to Apple's M1-Based Devices

Wed, 20 Jan 2021

When Apple introduces its lineup of devices based on the custom Apple Silicon, many people have thought that it represents the end for any further device customization and that Apple is effectively locking-up the ecosystem even more. That is not the case we have today. Usually, developers working on Macs are always in need of another operating system to test their software and try it out. It means that they have to run some virtualization software like virtual machines to test another OS like Linux and possibly Windows. However, it would be a lot easier if they could just boot that OS directly on the device and that is exactly why we are here today.

Researchers from Corellium, a startup company based in Florida, working on ARM device virtualization, have pulled off an incredible feat. They have managed to get Linux running on Apple's M1 custom silicon based devices. The CTO of Corellium, Mr. Chris Wade, has announced that Linux is now fully usable on M1 silicon. The port can take full advantage of the CPU, however, there is no GPU acceleration for now, and graphics are set to the software rendering mode. Corellium also promises to take the changes it made upstream to the Linux kernel itself, meaning open-source and permissive license model. Below you can find an image of Apple M1 Mac Mini running the latest Ubuntu OS build.

(PR) MediaTek Launches 6nm Dimensity 1200 Premium 5G SoC

Wed, 20 Jan 2021

MediaTek today unveiled its new Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100 5G smartphone chipsets with unrivaled AI, camera and multimedia features for powerful 5G experiences. The addition of the 6 nm Dimensity 1200 and 1100 chipsets to MediaTek's 5G portfolio gives device makers a growing suite of options to design highly capable 5G smartphones with top of the line camera features, graphics, connectivity enhancements and more.

"MediaTek continues to expand its 5G portfolio with highly integrated solutions for a range of devices from the high-end to the mid-tier," said JC Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of MediaTek's Wireless Communications Business Unit. "Our new Dimensity 1200 stands out with its impressive 200MP camera support and advanced AI capabilities, in addition to its innovative connectivity, display, audio and gaming enhancements."

MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Force Motherboard Pictured

Wed, 20 Jan 2021

Here's the first picture of the MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Force, an interesting new product from MSI slotted in its upper-mid tier MPG line of motherboards. This Socket LGA1200 motherboard based on the Intel Z590 chipset is characterized by a Hip Hop design language that's a break away from the company's other MPG Z590 motherboards, with a dash of neon-noir colors. A pair solid ridged heatsinks cool the board's 16-phase CPU VRM. Another set of three heatsinks cover its three M.2 NVMe slots, one of which is PCIe Gen 4 and wired to the LGA1200 socket, and the other two to the Z590 PCH.

Expansion slots on the MPG Z590 Gaming Force include two PCI-Express 4.0 x16 (x8/x8 with both populated), an x16 (electrical PCI-Express 3.0 x4) slot that's wired to the PCH, and a pair of x1 slots. The rest of the board's feature set appears to roughly match the MPG Z590 Gaming Carbon, including a 6-pin PCIe power input to supplement the two 8-pin EPS and 24-pin ATX power inputs, POST debug readout, a fairly premium onboard audio solution, and other connectivity that possibly includes 2.5 GbE.
MSI MPG Z590        <br><br><br>
       <a href='https://www.techpowerup.com/277502/msi-mpg-z590-gaming-force-motherboard-pictured' target='_blank'>Read more (Opens in new window)</a>     </div>
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GIGABYTE Outs GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming OC WaterForce WB

Wed, 20 Jan 2021

GIGABYTE is ready with its GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming OC WaterForce WB graphics card. This card is extensively based on the company's more affordable Gaming OC custom-design RTX 3080 PCB, but comes with a factory-fitted full-coverage water-block, and is targeted at those with DIY liquid cooling setups. GIGABYTE sells another such custom RTX 3080 card, the RTX 3080 AORUS Xtreme WaterForce WB, which is based on the top-tier AORUS Xtreme PCB. The new RTX 3080 Gaming OC WaterForce WB is about 32 cm in length, same as the air-cooled card it's derived from, is 2 slots thick, and standard height. In comparison, the AORUS Xtreme WaterForce WB is 25.2 cm in length (just about the length of the PCB), 16.3 cm tall, and the block is single-slot thick, although its I/O forces it to be 2-slot.

The GIGABYTE RTX 3080 Gaming OC WaterForce WB uses nickel-plated copper as its primary material for the water-block, capped by an acrylic top that's mostly covered by by a plastic+metal shroud. The top is studded with addressable RGB LEDs that can be controlled using GIGABYTE's RGB Fusion software. The card comes with the same 1800 MHz GPU Boost factory-OC as its air-cooled sibling (compared to 1710 MHz reference). It does not come with the leak-detection feature you get with the AORUS Xtreme WaterForce WB. Connectivity includes three DisplayPort 1.4a and two HDMI 2.1 connectors. The card pulls power from two 8-pin PCIe inputs. The company didn't reveal pricing.

(PR) HP Powers Digital Classroom Experiences with New Chromebooks

Wed, 20 Jan 2021

HP Inc. announced five new Chromebooks to help teachers and students stay connected, productive, focused, and secure whether at home, in the classroom, or a blend of both. The PC has never been more essential in education. There has been a 46% increase in device shipments for teachers and students over the past year and 66% of teachers expect blended learning to continue after the pandemic. With nearly 70% of teachers and students feeling less connected to each other during the pandemic,4 HP's technology solutions foster collaboration and community during this time of unprecedented change, ensuring teachers can find new ways to connect with students, and students can be seen and heard regardless of their location.

"HP is committed to enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025. With education no longer confined to the four walls of the classroom, HP is creating technology that helps teachers, students, as well as parents, thrive in blended learning environments," said Bill Avey, General Manager and Global Head of Education, Personal Systems, HP Inc. "HP's innovative Chromebook lineup gives educators and students access to flexible, engaging, and personalized devices that are critical to ensuring a quality education."

(PR) Acer Unveils Tough New TravelMate Spin B3 Laptop for Classrooms

Wed, 20 Jan 2021

Acer today announced the new TravelMate Spin B3 (TMB311R-32) convertible laptop with military-grade durability, a device specially designed for classrooms. The touchscreen device features a Full HD webcam and blazing-fast Intel Wi-Fi 6, providing students with everything they need to succeed in interactive or virtual classrooms that make heavy use of media-based teaching materials.

Ultimately, the Acer TravelMate Spin B3 is a reliable device that strives to provide protection against common accidents, allowing parents and teachers to focus on what matters most: learning.

Privacy Focused DuckDuckGo Search Engine Surpasses 100 Million Daily Searches

Wed, 20 Jan 2021

The privacy-focused DuckDuckGo search engine has seen tremendous growth recently surpassing 100 million daily searches on January 11th 2021. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from competing search engines by not customizing ads to a specific user instead showing ads purely based on the search term. Since DuckDuckGo was launched in 2008 they have grown from processing 100,000 searches a day to now over 100 million searches daily. For comparison, Google processes roughly 5.5 billion searches a day and Bing 200 million so while DuckDuckGo still has a long way to go to becoming a household name they have made remarkable progress. This latest round of growth can be attributed to the upcoming WhatsApp privacy policy changes which have reminded consumers of the importance of internet privacy and security.

(PR) Thermaltake Introduces the ToughDesk 500L RGB Battlestation Gaming Desk

Wed, 20 Jan 2021

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, today announced the ToughDesk 500L RGB Battlestation Gaming Desk. The new technology and extensive functions of the desk include electric height adjustment control, anti-collision safety sensor, cable management space, and a built-in full surface RGB mouse pad for users to customize their own battle colors! The illuminating full surface mouse pad comes with 16.8M RGB color combinations; brightness, speed, and direction of the lighting effects are customizable via the iTAKE software. Exterior design and functionalities of the ToughDesk 500L RGB Battlestation Gaming Desk are conceptualized for both multi-monitor gaming setups and office use.

NVIDIA Quietly Relaxes Certification Requirements for NVIDIA G-SYNC Ultimate Badge

Tue, 19 Jan 2021

UPDATED January 19th 2021: NVIDIA in a statement to Overclock3D had this to say on the issue:
Late last year we updated G-SYNC ULTIMATE to include new display technologies such as OLED and edge-lit LCDs.

All G-SYNC Ultimate displays are powered by advanced NVIDIA G-SYNC processors to deliver a fantastic gaming experience including lifelike HDR, stunning contract, cinematic colour and ultra-low latency gameplay. While the original G-SYNC Ultimate displays were 1000 nits with FALD, the newest displays, like OLED, deliver infinite contrast with only 600-700 nits, and advanced multi-zone edge-lit displays offer remarkable contrast with 600-700 nits. G-SYNC Ultimate was never defined by nits alone nor did it require a VESA DisplayHDR1000 certification. Regular G-SYNC displays are also powered by NVIDIA G-SYNC processors as well.

The ACER X34 S monitor was erroneously listed as G-SYNC ULTIMATE on the NVIDIA web site. It should be listed as "G-SYNC" and the web page is being corrected.
NVIDIA has silently updated their NVIDIA G-SYNC Ultimate requirements compared to their initial assertion. Born as a spin-off from NVIDIA's G-SYNC program, whose requirements have also been laxed compared to their initial requirements for a custom and expensive G-SYNC module that had to be incorporated in monitor designs, the G-SYNC Ultimate badge is supposed to denote the best of the best in the realm of PC monitors: PC monitors that feature NVIDIA's proprietary G-SYNC module and HDR 1000, VESA-certified panels. This is opposed to NVIDIA's current G-SYNC Compatible (which enables monitors sans the G-SYNC module but with support for VESA's VRR standard to feature variable refresh rates) and G-SYNC (for monitors that only feature G-SYNC modules but may be lax in their HDR support) programs.

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