AMD Raven Ridge APU Driver Updates Limited To Quarterly Releases

AMD Raven Ridge APU Driver Updates Limited To Quarterly Releases
If you’re the current owner of a Raven Ridge-based APU, then you’ve no doubt gotten used to a somewhat languid pace of new driver releases. While AMD’s standalone Radeon add-in graphics cards frequently receive new driver updates, the company’s APUs haven’t been so lucky.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that this policy will get much better,

Source: Hot Hardware – AMD Raven Ridge APU Driver Updates Limited To Quarterly Releases

iOS 12 to Feature Automatic Location Sharing for 911 Calls

After pissing off law enforcement with its announcement that iOS 12 will include a tool intended to circumvent cracking of iPhone encryption, Apple has a new feature that police will probably like: Automatic transmission of location data when a user calls 911.

Read more…

Source: Gizmodo – iOS 12 to Feature Automatic Location Sharing for 911 Calls

Australia Discontinues Its National Biometric ID Project

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s (ACIC) biometrics project, which adds facial recognition to a national crime database, is being discontinued following reports of delays and budget blowouts. From a report: This announcement comes after the project was suspended earlier this month and NEC Australia staff were escorted out of the building by security on Monday June 4. […] ACIC contracted the NEC for the $52 million Biometric Identification Services project with the view of replacing the fingerprint identification system that is currently in place. The aim of the project, which was supposed to run until 2021, was to include palm print, foot prints and facial recognition to aid in police investigations. The Australian government stated that it wanted to provide Australians with a single digital identity by 2025.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Australia Discontinues Its National Biometric ID Project

GIGABYTE’s X399 Aorus Extreme: The Threadripper 2 Halo Motherboard

Our most popular news during the week of Computex was, without a doubt, AMD’s announcement of the next generation of Threadripper. The new chips, coined Threadripper 2, are set to have up to 32 cores on board and be socket compatible with current X399 motherboards. However, the new chips will be rated at a 250W TDP, which as a result might be limiting to some of the current motherboards on the market. While all of the new CPUs will work in all of the current X399 motherboards, overclocking may be limited. As a result, some manufacturers are working on an X399 motherboard refresh, and GIGABYTE is stepping up with its new top-end halo motherboard, the X399 Aorus.

Aside from all the metallic looking pieces, GIGABYTE’s new motherboard is taking cues from its return to a more traditional finned heatsink design for the power delivery. The new 13 phase motherboard (10+3) is using a connected direct-contact heatpipe between the two main heatsinks to afford a better cooling scenario. Beyond this the motherboard has DRAM and PCIe slot protection, and a massive chipset heatsink area that also supports heatsink cooling for three M.2 SSDs.

GIGABYTE went into a bit more detail on its heatsink cooling. The main finned heatsink is copper, not aluminium, for better cooling performance. The company is also using higher-grade thermal pads in the VRM region, rated at 4-5 watts per kelvin, rather than a standard 1.8 W/K as seen on most other motherboards. The exact rating is still TBD as the engineers/bean counters determine which is best, however GIGABYTE expects a better thermal response here and says it will be crucial for the new CPUs.

One of the elements to this motherboard that GIGABYTE explained to us was the move away from garish LED PCIe and DRAM slots and the like, instead going for a cleaner and premium look that befits a workstation motherboard. Instead the LEDs are limited to the Aorus related logos and underneath the motherboard in order to give it a subtle glow.

For features, GIGABYTE has equipped the motherboard with a 10 gigabit Ethernet port, using Aquantia’s AQC107 controller, as well as two Intel I210-AT single gigabit ports. This motherboard will also be one of the few X399 motherboards with Wi-Fi, using Intel’s AC-9265 802.11ac Wave 2 solution. Audio comes through an ESS 9118 Sabre DAC, which on paper is rated up to 125 dB, although electrical configuration will put it just below that (final numbers TBD). A front-panel Type-C header powered by an ASMedia ASM1143 chip is also in the mix.

The exact release date and pricing is TBD, however GIGABYTE expects it to be ready for the launch of Threadripper 2 later in Q3, if not before.

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Source: AnandTech – GIGABYTE’s X399 Aorus Extreme: The Threadripper 2 Halo Motherboard

iOS 12 will automatically share your location during 911 calls

Apple is joining Google, Uber and others in providing accurate location data that could save your life in an emergency. The company has revealed that iOS 12 will automatically (and importantly, securely) share your location with first responders dur…

Source: Engadget – iOS 12 will automatically share your location during 911 calls

As mega-constellations loom, US seek to manage space debris problem

Enlarge / Artist’s impression depicting a wide variety of existing and future satellites for communication, surveying Earth resources, and mapping them, circa 1978. (credit: Space Frontiers/Getty Images)

Space is getting ever more crowded. The US Strategic Command’s Space Surveillance Network tracks more than 19,000 objects in orbit around the Earth, and there are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of more objects 1cm or larger in space near the planet. Because they are traveling at tens of thousands of km per hour relative to Earth, even small objects pose a significant danger.

The National Space Council thinks we could do a better job of tracking and mitigating this debris. On Monday morning, the executive secretary of the space council, Scott Pace, outlined some of the space traffic management changes in a call with a handful of space reporters. “This is a new national policy to address the challenges of a congested space environment,” he said. “Unfettered access to space is a vital US interest.”

President Trump is expected to sign this Space Policy Directive-3 later on Monday. The policy directs the US Department of Defense to modernize its approach to tracking space debris and to increasingly rely on commercial debris-detection services to enhance the country’s “space situational awareness.” The Department of Commerce will provide a basic level of space situational awareness for public and private use, based upon the DOD catalog.

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Source: Ars Technica – As mega-constellations loom, US seek to manage space debris problem

A working original Doctor Who K-9 prop

When Abertay University purchased some unwanted Doctor Who props from the BBC in 2011, they could never have known that their future computer science student Gary Taylor would transform a water-damaged robot corpse into a working K-9, the cutest (and snarkiest) of all the Doctor’s companions.

K-9 Doctor Who Raspberry Pi Prop

image c/o The Courier


If you’re unfamiliar with Doctor Who, you may not be aware of the Doctor’s robotic-canine best friend, K-9. I won’t wax lyrical about the long and winding history of this iconic science fiction character (though I could), but those of you who want to learn more can watch the video below.

History of K9 – History of Doctor Who

Hello and welcome to the Whoniverse and to another instalment of the History of Doctor Who series, this time I’m not looking at a universe conquering species but a tin dog. Yes the Doctor’s past travelling companion K9. There have been many versions of K9 and he has appeared alongside numerous Doctor’s and other companions.

Tl;dw: K-9 is basically a really clever, robotic dog invented in the year 5000.

Resurrecting a robotic dog

For his final-year dissertation, computer science student Gary Taylor decided to bring K-9 back to life, having discovered the prop damaged by a water leak in the university hackspace.

“I love robotics, I love programming, I love dogs, and I love Doctor Who.” Don’t we all, Gary. Don’t we all.
Image c/o The Courier

For his dissertation, titled Creating an Autonomous Robot Utilizing Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Ultrasound Sensors for Mapping a Room, Gary used modern-day technology to rebuild K-9’s original and often unreliable radio-controlled electronics from the 1970s.

However, Gary’s K-9 is more than a simple remote-controlled robot. As the dissertation title states, the robot uses ultrasound sensors for room mapping, and this function is controlled by both an Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

A block diagram taken from Gary’s dissertation

An Arduino Mega 2560 controls the wheels and three ultrasound sensors located at the bottom of K-9’s body. It passes the sensor data to the onboard Raspberry Pi 3, and the Pi plots obstacles and walls to create a map of K-9’s surroundings.

The three ultrasonic sensors can be seen along the bottom of K-9’s body

The Raspberry Pi also connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth, where Gary runs a custome app to remotely control K-9 and view the map it creates.

More information? Affirmative!

The team at the Electronic Engineering Journal has written up a very thorough explanation of Gary’s dissertation. Those interested in the full details of the robot won’t be disappointed!

For a video of Gary and K-9 that refuses to embed itself in this blog post, head over to The Courier’s website.

And for more Doctor Who–related Raspberry Pi builds, check out Jeremy Lee’s remake of Captain Jack’s Vortex Manipulator, a synthesised rendition of the classic theme using a Raspberry Pi Zero, and a collection of builds and props in this Doctor Who roundup, including a sonic screwdriver, a Dalek, and a TARDIS in near-space.

Oh, and another thing…

BBC released some cool behind-the-scenes images and photos from season ten of Doctor Who, including this production art for Nardole’s tracking device:

The Pi Towers staff may have let out a little squee of delight when we noticed the Raspberry Pi included within.

The post A working original Doctor Who K-9 prop appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Source: Raspberry Pi – A working original Doctor Who K-9 prop

iOS 12 To Enhance 911 Emergency Services With This Critical Feature

iOS 12 To Enhance 911 Emergency Services With This Critical Feature
One of the features Apple is rolling out with its iOS 12 update for iPhone users is better location sharing when calling 911. The company says iPhone users in the United States will be able to automatically and securely share their location data with first responders after applying the update, enabling emergency service workers to respond

Source: Hot Hardware – iOS 12 To Enhance 911 Emergency Services With This Critical Feature

How to Transfer Data Between Two Computers Without Losing Anything

If you’ve treated yourself to a shiny new computer then the excitement might be tempered somewhat by the thought of having to shift all your files and programs over to the new machine. With the right tools and know-how though, this doesn’t have to be a chore—here’s how to get it done quickly.

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Source: Gizmodo – How to Transfer Data Between Two Computers Without Losing Anything

New Set Footage From Wonder Woman 2, and More

Could The Walking Dead be flashing back to some familiar departed faces? Patrick Wilson sets the tone for his Aquaman villain. Samuel L. Jackson is already hyping up Captain Marvel’s role in Avengers 4. The CW’s DC universe is getting some cast shuffling. Plus, what’s to come on the season finale of Westworld.…

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Source: Gizmodo – New Set Footage From Wonder Woman 2, and More

Using W10Privacy To Boost Ubuntu WSL Performance On Windows 10

While Microsoft is working on low-level improvement to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to yield better I/O performance, it is possible to dramatically increase some disk workloads by removing a number of running Windows services via the independent W10Privacy application. Here are some benchmarks of W10Privacy on the overall performance impact to Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64 itself and of Ubuntu 18.04 running on the Windows 10 installation via WSL.

Source: Phoronix – Using W10Privacy To Boost Ubuntu WSL Performance On Windows 10

NVIDIA SLowMo Even Better than Real SloMo

NVIDIA is using its neural network to interpolate frames in video to produce smoother slow motion playback, and quite frankly the results are tremendously impressive. It even gets more impressive when NVIDIA takes slomo video and made it even slomoer. It has to be some of the most slomoest slomos ever slomoed. Thanks @cageymaru.

Researchers from NVIDIA developed a deep learning-based system that can produce high-quality slow-motion videos from a 30-frame-per-second video, outperforming various state-of-the-art methods that aim to do the same.


Source: [H]ardOCP – NVIDIA SLowMo Even Better than Real SloMo

Influence Buying Comes Under Fire

After riding “influencers” advertising into the ground, and decided it has been abused as much as possible, one of the world’s largest advertiser is getting out of the buying influence business, or so they say. At least we are safe from this kind of a abuse in the computer hardware enthusiast category. You will never find any products being “covered” by Youtube talking heads, without ever being tested in any way, even if they are using these components to put in their own personal computers. Thanks @cageymaru.

LONDON (Reuters) – Consumer goods giant Unilever (ULVR.L) (UNc.AS), the world’s second-biggest advertiser, is cutting ties with digital media “influencers” that buy followers, saying it wants to help make advertising more transparent.

The practice of buying followers risks eroding trust and therefore damaging one of the fastest-growing areas of advertising – the billion-dollar-a-year market now known as “influencer marketing” – and Unilever says it wants it to stop.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Influence Buying Comes Under Fire

iPhone Will Give Exact Location to 911 Soon

Apple has now decided to let the caller’s exact location to be transmitted during 911 calls, just like every other app on your phone.

Under the new system, iPhones will send their exact location to a RapidSOS dispatcher, which will then forward the coordinates to local emergency response centers. That should make it easier for ambulances and paramedics to reach callers and shave precious minutes off response times, potentially saving 10,000 lives per year, according to federal regulator estimates. The new feature will be packaged as part of iOS 12, an iPhone software update due later this year.


Source: [H]ardOCP – iPhone Will Give Exact Location to 911 Soon

Computers Returned in Walmart Scam

This is why we can’t have nice things at Walmart, but this is also why you can get really cheap computer hardware deals on Craigslist. This guy was buying computers from Walmart, pulling hardware from those systems, then returning the computers for a full exchange. Apparently he did this more than once as well as the grand total of the fraud amounts to $1.3M.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Computers Returned in Walmart Scam

Let In Your Pet Sitter or Overnight Guests With This Alexa-Compatible Deadbolt

This Kwikset smart deadbolt combines the flexibility of a smartphone and Alexa-connected smart lock when you want it, and the relative simplicity of a code-based lock if you don’t. That means you can lock your front door from your bed with a voice command, and set up temporary access codes for pet sitters or overnight…

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Source: LifeHacker – Let In Your Pet Sitter or Overnight Guests With This Alexa-Compatible Deadbolt