• Mises à jour et téléchargements de la semaine (Génération NT: logiciels)
    Comme tous les dimanches, retrouvez notre résumé des mises à jour et téléchargements de la semaine.
  • Les virus d'antan ont leur musée en ligne (Génération NT: logiciels)
    The Internet Archive a ouvert un musée des malwares qui étaient distribués dans les années 1980 et 1990 sur les ordinateurs personnels.
  • De récentes mises à jour Adobe CC ont provoqué des pertes de données (MacBidouille)

    Adobe a récemment proposé des mises à jour pour ses logiciels CC. Elles ont depuis été retirées car un bug lié à leur installation a provoqué chez certaines personnes des pertes de données.
    C'est Backblaze qui a tiré la sonnette d'alarme après avoir constaté que la mise à jour effaçait le premier dossier par ordre alphabétique présent dans le dossier root. Or, elle utilise un dossier invisible chez ses clients appelé .bzvol qui était alors systématiquement effacé par la mise à jour.

    Adobe devrait proposer très bientôt des mises à jour purgées de ce défaut.

  • Apple rappelle des câbles USB Type-C (MacBidouille)

    Apple a lancé un rappel de câbles USB-C commercialisés avec des MacBook jusqu'à juin 2015.

    Un défaut touche ces câbles, qui peuvent cesser de fonctionner normalement.

    Pour en savoir plus:

  • Apple Offering Replacement USB Type-C Cables For 2015 MacBook Owners (AnandTech)

    After last month’s “duckhead” power adapter recall, Apple has started another charger-related replacement program. Beginning today, Apple will be replacing early runs of their USB Type-C charging cable for the 2015 MacBook, covering both the included cable and any additional purchased cables.

    In the advisory for the program, Apple notes that cables made through June of 2015 could potentially fail, rendering the cable unable to charge the MacBook or only capable of charging it intermittently. The failed cables aren’t being cited as a safety issue – and hence there’s no recall – but rather Apple appears to be replacing them due to their unreliability.

    Affected (Top) and Resdesigned (Bottom) Cable, Noting the Presence of a Serial Number
    (Image Source: Apple)

    The replacement program itself is being handled based on the serial number of the MacBook, as Apple did not issue serial numbers for USB cables at that time. In fact the means of telling apart an earlier, potentially faulty cable from a newer cable is the presence of a serial number, as newer cables have a serial number stamped on. According to Apple’s advisory, new cables will be going out by the end of this month.

    Finally, hearing that Apple is experiencing an issue with their USB Type-C charging cable is somewhat surprising news. The cable itself is only a USB Type-C 2.0 cable rated to carry additional power – the MacBook charges at 29W – so it’s not a complex cable. The fact that the replacement program isn’t a safety recall makes me suspect that the issue isn’t in the wiring itself (as this is typically a safety hazard), but rather it’s an issue with the controller within the cable that identifies its capabilities to USB hosts and devices via the CC sense pins.  Though this is just an assumption on my part.

    Source: Apple (via MacRumors)

  • StarTech Unveils Dual-Display Thunderbolt 2 Docking Station with 12 Ports (AnandTech)

    Modern laptops are getting thinner with every generation and it becomes increasingly harder for PC makers to integrate multiple ports into them. Nonetheless, end-users still need to connect their external monitors, external storage, various peripherals, LAN, audio equipment and so on to their notebooks. Fortunately, there is the Thunderbolt technology that has plenty of bandwidth and which can be used to connect many devices to a PC at the same time. However, good docking stations with multiple ports are hard to find.

    StarTech this week introduced its new docking station for notebooks equipped with Thunderbolt 2 ports, which can hook up to 12 different devices, including displays, storage, audio and LAN, to a single TB2 connector. The device costs $347.99, which is not really affordable, but it offers a comprehensive set of ports that is not available on other docks (at least, according to ThunderboltTechnology.net web-site) and which significantly expands capabilities of any TB2-equipped laptop.

    The StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station for Laptops (TB2DOCK4K2DP) is based on the Intel DSL5520 (Falcon Ridge) quad-channel Thunderbolt 2 controller that can transfer data at 20 Gbps while simultaneously driving a single 4K (3840x2160) monitor or two QHD (2560x1440) monitors. The docking station can connect to two displays with up to 3840x2160 and 3440x1440 resolutions using DisplayPort and Thunderbolt connectors (ot just two DisplayPorts), essentially adding dual-monitor capability to any PC with a TB2 connector.

    The Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station features two Thunderbolt 2 ports, two DisplayPort outputs, four USB 3.0 type-A ports (including one Fast-Charge port) driven by the Fresco Logic FL1100EX controller, one eSATA connector featuring the the ASMedia ASM1061 controller, one Gigabit LAN port enabled by the Intel WGI210AT chip, two 3.5 mm mini-jacks (TI PCM2912A) as well as one SPDIF optical Toslink audio output (CMedia CM6500). From the architectural standpoint, the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 docking station is a huge PCI Express-based expansion module with hot-plug capability. One USB 3.0 port can be used for charging smartphones or other devices compatible with the USB Battery Charging 1.2 specification (delivery of up to 7.5W of power) even when the dock itself is not connected to a PC.

    Since the vast majority of Thunderbolt 2-enabled systems are Apple MacBook laptops, the docking station unsurprisingly comes in aluminum casin to match design of Apple's notebooks. The first MacBook with Thunderbolt 2 was unveiled in late 2013 and by now tens of millions of laptops featuring the interface have been shipped. The existing MacBook user base is also likely why StarTech is releasing a TB2 dock now, even after the recent release of Thunderbolt 3 technology (which offers higher bandwidth and compatibility with USB 3.1). A TB3 dock would be incompatible with the sizable existing base of TB2 users due to the port change (and no adapters are currently available) and meanwhile the number of TB3 systems in the field is still low as adoption of the TB3 by laptop vendors and users is only beginnng.

    The 12-port Thunderbolt 2 docking station is available from StarTech today for $347.99. According to StarTech's press release, the device will also be available from CDW, Amazon.com, Newegg.com, PC Connection, and Insight and will be distributed internationally by Ingram Micro, SYNNEX, Tech Data, D&H and ASI. The package includes the device itself, one copper Thunderbolt cable, one 72W power adapter, four power cords as well as a manual.

  • Windows XP : un Service Pack 4 officieux (Génération NT: logiciels)
    Depuis mi-2014, Microsoft ne propose plus de patchs aux utilisateurs de Windows XP. Il existe un Service Pack 4 non officiel qui vient d'être mis à jour.
  • Micron 3D NAND Status Update (AnandTech)

    Update: We've got some more information and diagrams from Micron's Winter Analyst Conference earlier today.

    After samples of their upcoming 3D NAND were sighted in the wild at CES, Micron has taken the time to provide some details about the flash memory and their plans for it. A lot of this is a recap of information we've previously covered, but we've got some new details and a better idea of the roadmap for the future.

    The entire flash memory industry has shifted focus to the devlopment of 3D NAND flash memory as the replacement for planar NAND flash memory. Samsung took an aggressive approach and has enjoyed some great success with their V-NAND branded 3D NAND, but it hasn't been an entirely trouble-free transition. Micron has been more conservative both in technology and timing, but they plan on having a strong competitor on the market later this year.

    Micron's first generation 3D NAND takes the form of a 256Gb MLC die and a 384Gb TLC die (compare with their 128Gb 16nm MLC and TLC). At a high level, the die will be partitioned into four separate planes, compared to two planes for most competing NAND. A 480GB drive using the four-plane 256Gb dies will have access to approximately the same amount of parallelism as a 480GB drive using two-plane 128Gb dies, so this capacity jump won't bring the performance drops that have tarnished some NAND process shrinks.

    The key development that allows Micron to produce a four-plane die without inflating die size and cost relative to the two-plane competition is that they've layered much of the required additional circuitry under the 3D flash array, instead of sitting alongside. Micron says that their "CMOS Under the Array" design puts more than 75% of the logic (things like address decoding and page buffers) under the flash memory. It doesn't make the additional segmentation of the four-plane design entirely free, but it allows it to be a very cost effective performance optimization. This is still planar CMOS logic, not any kind of 3D or stacked logic; it's just got some metal interconnect layers and the flash array piled on top.

    On a smaller scale, the 3D NAND will have a page size of 16kB and erase block sizes of 16MB for the MLC and 24MB for the TLC. Because CPUs and filesystems are still mostly dealing with 4kB chunks, Micron has included a partial page read capability that allows for a 4kB read to be done a bit faster and with about half the power of a full 16kB page read. This helps offset some of the penalty the larger page size can have on random 4kB read performance. The large erase block sizes won't have much of a direct impact on performance and are a necessary efficiency measure: erasing requires charge pumps to produce higher voltages than reads or writes use, and it's a slower and more power-hungry operation. If you're going to fire up that extra circuitry and block access to the entire plane for 1ms or more, you might as well erase a usefully large amount of flash.

    For the architecture of the individual memory cells, we have nothing new to report. Intel and Micron are alone in their decision to stick with floating-gate flash technology instead of transitioning to charge-trap flash. We've previously explained how the technologies differ and what kinds of advantages the manufacturers want to reap from the change. The cost is that the design process involves different tradeoffs that are not as thoroughly explored and understood as the dynamics of floating-gate flash, and for now Micron is sticking with what they know. Micron's 3D NAND might not have the best write endurance, but they're expecting to have an advantage in data retention time for healthy flash. They aren't providing exact numbers, but they're estimating that drives relying on simpler BCH ECC can get effective program-erase cycle lifetimes in the thousands and drives with LDPC will have effective cycle counts of tens of thousands. Once the process has matured it should exceed their 20nm planar NAND's write endurance.

    The first 3D NAND Micron has ready for the market will produced to the endurance standards for client drives, with enterprise-grade 3D NAND following later. The MLC is currently a few weeks ahead of the TLC in the qualification process, but given the state of the client SSD market the TLC will be the more popular product and will overtake the MLC in volume produced within a few months of 3D NAND drives hitting the market. Overall their 3D NAND will comprise a majority of their flash output on a per-GB basis by the second half of 2016. Micron is sampling drives with 3D NAND to partners this month and is planning for general availability in June. Other drive vendors using Micron's NAND will be on similar release schedules.

    Micron hasn't announced any specific drive models, but they've given a general roadmap that is unsurprising. Consumer and client products will come during the middle of the year, with the capacity and cost improvements allowing for things like 2TB 2.5" drives and 1TB single-sided M.2 drives. Toward the end of 2016 and into 2017 we'll see enterprise products such as very high capacity (8TB+) drives and updates in the existing product segments for SAS and PCIe drives.

    Looking further to the future, Micron gave a presentation last week at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference entitled "A 768Gb 3b/cell 3D-Floating-Gate NAND Flash Memory". This was more about bragging about their R&D in an academic context than announcing any concrete future product plans, but it does represent the most likely successor to their first-generation 3D NAND. The chip in question provides a whopping 768Gb (96GB) capacity when operated as TLC, and 512Gb (64GB) as MLC. The die size is about the same as their 32-layer 384Gb TLC, the areal bit density is almost doubled, and most of the other details are the same—implying that the layer count has probably increased, though Micron isn't saying how many layers it uses. If Micron has plans to switch to charge-trap flash they're keeping it under wraps for now, and any such transition isn't imminent. The second-generation 3D NAND will start production in their Singapore fab this summer, and volume will be ramping up around the end of 2016 (during the second quarter of their fiscal year 2017). Micron predicts their second-generation 3D NAND will be at least 30% cheaper per Gb than the first generation, which they report to be at least 25% cheaper than their 16nm planar NAND.


  • HP’s New Laptops to Feature AMD FreeSync Technology (AnandTech)

    AMD has announced that the new versions HP’s Envy 15z laptops - powered by the company’s latest-generation A-series APUs - will feature the FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. In addition, all of HP’s consumer notebooks powered by AMD’s latest APUs will also get FreeSync tech in the second half of the year.

    At present, only Lenovo’s IdeaPad Y700 laptop based on AMD’s Carrizo APU and Radeon R9 M380 graphics processor supports the FreeSync technology for notebooks. In the coming months, HP plans to release a new version of its Envy 15z laptop featuring AMD’s Carrizo APUs and the FreeSync technology. The current-gen HP Envy 15z notebooks are powered by AMD’s A10-8700P APU with the Radeon R6 graphics or AMD FX-8800P APU with the Radeon R7 graphics. The systems feature 15.6-inch displays with 1366x768 or 1920x1080 resolution and have a premium metallic finish to stay true to their Voodoo DNA.

    On a brief aside, neither AMD nor HP mention whether the upcoming Envy 15z support dual-channel memory sub-system. At present, many Carrizo-based laptops use single-channel memory sub-systems, which negatively affects their performance, especially in graphics-intensive applications. Currently available HP Envy 15z can be equipped with either 6 GB (two DIMMs) or 8 GB (one DIMM) of DDR3L memory, so it is unclear whether they can support dual-channel mode or not.

    What is, perhaps, more important, is that all HP laptops for consumers based on AMD’s 6th generation Carrizo APUs to be released in the second half of this year will also come with displays supporting the FreeSync technology. HP is one of AMD’s biggest customers and if it plans to enable FreeSync on a family of notebooks, this may be considered as a success for AMD.

    AMD’s FreeSync technology is built on top of the panel self-refresh (PSR) feature of the eDP standard, which is used to cut-down power consumption of laptops when high refresh rates are not required. FreeSync is, of course, designed for a completely different purpose – to synchronize framerate with the display’s refresh rate, which requires additional software tweaking as well as special panels that support relatively high refresh rates. Lenovo’s Y700 laptop supports refresh rates between 40 and 60 Hz, which is a pretty narrow range: it not only limits benefits of FreeSync, but also does not support AMD’s low framerate compensation technology (LFC). It is hard to find laptop panels with a wide range of supported refresh rates, so, it will be interesting to see what kind of panels will PC makers plan to use for their AMD APU-based notebooks with FreeSync.

    To enable AMD FreeSync on a PC, a graphics processor with the GCN 1.1 architecture is required. However, since FreeSync is primarily pitched towards gaming, some of the laptops featuring FreeSync will come equipped with an AMD APU as well as with an up-to-date mobile AMD Radeon 300-series discrete GPU (e.g., Bonaire, Tonga, Hawaii, etc.) to enable better performance in games. And for that reason, given AMD’s positions in the market of laptops, I expect AMD and its partners to address mainstream multimedia/gaming enthusiasts with their FreeSync-enabled notebooks.

  • Examining Soft Machines' Architecture: An Element of VISC to Improving IPC (AnandTech)

    Last week, Soft Machines announced that their 'VISC' architecture was available for licensing, following the announcement of the original concepts over a year ago. The concepts behind their VISC architecture, which splits the workload of a single linear thread across multiple cores in an effort to improve IPC, are intriguing and exciting. But as with any new fundamental change in computer processing, it will be subject to a large barrage of questions. We were invited to a presentation and call with the President and Chief Technical Officer Mohammed Abdallah and the VP Marketing and Business Mark Casey, and I put a number of questions on the lips of analysts to them.

  • Un millier de programmes Windows 3.1 dans votre navigateur (Génération NT: logiciels)
    The Internet Archive ouvre une collection de programmes Windows 3.1. Plus de mille jeux et plusieurs centaines d'utilitaires disponibles en ligne dans le navigateur.
  • Bug Bounty : Facebook a déboursé 4,3 M$ depuis 2011 (Génération NT: logiciels)
    En 2015, des rapports de bugs de sécurité de meilleure qualité ont permis à Facebook de se concentrer sur le comblement de vulnérabilités critiques.
  • Le bug qui tue les iPhone (MacBidouille)

    Un bug a été découvert sous iOS. Si l'on change manuellement la date de l'appareil pour choisir le 1er janvier 1970 l'appareil se bloquera de manière permanente. En voici la preuve dans une vidéo.

    Il semble que si l'on sélectionne cette date, l'horloge interne plante irrémédiablement face à un nombre négatif. Bien entendu, nous ne vous conseillons pas d'essayer à moins de vouloir faire échanger votre iPhone en SAV, et ce bug n'a aucune chance de se produire sans un action volontaire ou malveillante.

    Toutefois il semble heureusement que la chose soit réversible une fois la batterie totalement vidée.

  • Des bruits de moteurs dans un centre de test d'Apple (MacBidouille)

    Appleinsider rapporte qu'une personne habitant près du laboratoire secret dans lequel Apple testerait ses futurs véhicules a déposé plainte à cause de nuisances sonores. Il émanerait de ces locaux, jusque tard dans la nuit, d'importants bruits de moteurs.
    Selon d'autres rumeurs, Apple a installé dans ces locaux des bancs de tests et ateliers automobile.

    Il est en tout cas surprenant que l'on puisse entendre des bruits de ce genre à moins qu'Apple ait décidé de révolutionner le domaine du moteur à explosion faute de le faire sur les silencieux.
    Le mystère a donc plus tendance à s'épaissir qu'à se dissiper.

  • Windows : une faille critique qui concerne toutes les versions (Génération NT: logiciels)
    A l'occasion de la diffusion de son dernier tuesday patch, Microsoft a colmaté une faille critique présente sur toutes les versions de Windows, y compris Windows 10.
  • Des hackers justiciers veulent bouffer le botnet de Lizard Squad (Génération NT: logiciels)
    The White Team commence à marcher sur les plates-bandes de Lizard Squad. Ce sont des hackers white hat œuvrant pour assainir des appareils embrigadés à leur insu dans des attaques DDoS.
  • Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon Wear 2100 IoT SoC (AnandTech)

    Along with today's announcements of the Snapdragon 425, 435 and 625, we also see the reveal of a new wearables-oriented SoC: the Snapdragon Wear 2100. In the past we've seen vendors use low-end smartphone SoCs such as the Snapdragon 400 (Motorola Moto 360 2nd gen). In fact, to date only Samsung (Exynos 3250) and Apple (S1) were able to employ chipsets that were specifically designed for wearables. This was rather unfortunate for other wearable vendors as devices such as smartwatches require much higher efficiency and lower power than what "off-the-shelf" SoCs were able to offer. Qualcomm sees to fix this by introducing a new lineup of chips called Snapdragon Wear that are designed with wearables in mind. 

    The Snapdragon Wear 2100 is a quad-core Cortex A7 running at up to 800MHz or 1.2GHz (Qualcomm at various points states both) with an Adreno 304 GPU and 400MHz LPDDR3. The choice of using a Cortex A7 is warranted by the fact that Cortex A53s are too power hungry for wearables and that it's likely too early to see Cortex A35 based SoCs as ARM announced the core only a couple of months ago. A big advantage that Qualcomm has with the Wear 2100 is that it's able to offer an integrated X5 modem for basic cellular connectivity (Supporting all current standards). 

    With the Wear 2100 Qualcomm is now able to offer a fitting SoC for wearable devices and it's very likely that consumers will see direct benefits such as improved battery life. Qualcomm hasn't specified any availability for the SoC but discloses that there are multiple devices in development using the processor.

  • Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 625, 425 & 435 Mid- and Low-End SoCs (AnandTech)

    Today Qualcomm announced three new SoCs in the mid and low-end Snapdragon lineup. At the lowest end we find the Snapdragon 425 offering a very frugal CPU configuration consisting of 4x Cortex A53's clocked in at 1.4GHz. The chipset is aimed at replacing the Snapdragon 410 and 412 and improves on them with an upgrade on the modem block as well as media decoder and encoder capabilities, now enabling 1080p HEVC decode and encode.

    The Snapdragon 435 replaces the Snapdragon 430 which was only announced just a few months ago and also sees an improvement in the modem block used as we see it now going from UE Category 4 to UE Category 7. On the CPU side we see a 200MHz boost in the frequency of the faster of the two quad-core A53 clusters, now reaching 1.4GHz. In both the Snapdragon 425 and 435 we don't see a change in the GPU but it's possible clocks have changed; unfortunately details on the matter are still sparse. Both the Snapdragon 425 and 435 are manufactured on a "28nm LP" process but sadly it wasn't specified which foundry is manufacturing them.

    New 2016 Mid & Low-End Snadpragons
    SoC Snapdragon 425
    Snapdragon 435
    Snapdragon 625
    CPU 4x A53 @ 1.4GHz 4x A53 @ 1.4GHz

    4x A53 @ ? GHz
    4x A53 @ 2.0GHz

    4x A53 @ ? GHz
    Memory 1x 32-bit @ 667MHz

    5.3GB/s b/w
    1x 32-bit @ 800MHz

    6.4GB/s b/w
    1x 32-bit @ 933MHz

    7.45GB/s b/w
    GPU Adreno 308 Adreno 505 Adreno 506
    H.264 & HEVC (Decode)
    H.264 & HEVC (Decode)
    Camera/ISP Dual ISP
    Dual ISP
    Dual ISP
    "X6 LTE" Cat. 4
    150Mbps DL 75Mbps UL

    2x20MHz C.A. 
    (DL & UL)
    "X8 LTE" Cat. 7
    300Mbps DL 100Mbps UL

    2x20MHz C.A. 
    (DL & UL)
    "X9 LTE" Cat. 7
    300Mbps DL 150Mbps UL

    2x20MHz C.A. 
    (DL & UL)
    Mfc. Process 28nm LP 14nm LPP

    Most importantly comes the announcement of the Snapdragon 625. This is the successor to the Snapdragon 617 which along with the 615 has seen quite a lot of success in mid-range and budget smartphones. The CPUs remain two quad-core clusters of Cortex A53's but now the performance cluster is clocked at up to 2GHz representing a large increase to the 1.5GHz SoCs which the 625 is replacing. The GPU has also been upgraded from an Adreno 405 to a newer generation Adreno 506. The modem again has seen a slight upgrade from an X8 to an X9 block, allowing for an increase in the uplink performance if the network supports it.

    The biggest surprise out of today's announcements is the fact that the Snapdragon 625 is manufactured on Samsung's/GlobalFoundry's 14nm LPP process. Qualcomm thus is the first vendor to announce a non-high-end SoC to use a new FinFET manufacturing process which is quite astonishing as I hadn't expected vendors be able to do the migration so early on in the technology's lifetime, which may be a positive indicator that we might be seeing FinFET adopted across the mid-range earlier than expected.

    The new SoC should be sampling to vendors in mid-2016 with availability in commercial devices in the second half of 2016.

  • EVGA Begins Selling "VR Edition" GeForce GTX Video Cards for VR Gaming Rigs (AnandTech)

    EVGA this week began to sell their GeForce GTX 980 Ti VR Edition video cards, a new lineup tailored for those who plan to use a virtual reality headset. The graphics boards are equipped with an internal HDMI port and a special adapter for 5.25-inch bay that simplifies plugging VR headsets to PCs.

    The family of EVGA’s VR Edition graphics cards currently includes two models, both of which are modifications of EVGA's existing GTX 980 Ti card designs. The first VR Edition card is the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti VR Edition Gaming ACX 2.0+ (06G-P4-3996), which uses the company’s own ACX 2.0+ cooler featuring 8-mm copper heatpipes, aluminum radiators, two fans and a memory/MOSFET cooling plate,  while the second is the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti VR Edition Gaming (06G-P4-3998), which uses NVIDIA’s reference cooler for high-end boards. As these are GTX 980 Ti cards, both cards are based on the GM200 GPU with 2816 stream processors, 176 texture units, 96 ROPs as well as a 384-bit memory bus. The GPUs are clocked at 1000 MHz/1076 MHz (base/boost), whereas the attaced 6 GB of GDDR5 memory is clocked at 7 Gbps.

    A brief examination of the pictures provided on EVGA's website indicates that both VR Edition graphics cards are using PCBs that resemble NVIDIA’s reference designs for the GeForce GTX 980 Ti/Titan X (8pin + 6pin power inputs), but they feature an important addition. The adapters have an internal HDMI 2.0 port that connects to a special adapter for 5.25-inch bay that has an HDMI output as well as two USB 3.0 connectors. The adapter is designed to connect the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive or any other VR headset to a PC without using ports on the backside of the computer, which makes the process considerably more comfortable.

    EVGA's product literature indicates that they're primarily focused on first-time buyers - those who will be building or upgrading systems ahead of the spring VR headset launches - as these headsets will be launching some time before any 16nm high-end GPUs. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the VR Edition cards also proved popular with gamers who already have a PC powered by the GeForce GTX 980 Ti and are looking forward to build a multi-GPU system to play VR games, as VR SLI scaling is looking optimisitc thanks to the ability to forgo AFR and assign a GPU to each eye.

    From a design perspective, routing HDMI port to the backside of the card should be relatively easy. EVGA hasn't released any board shots, but they likely only had to slightly modify voltage regulating module of their GeForce GTX 980 Ti boards without any significant changes to its design. Consequently I wouldn't be surrprised if other makers of video cards do something similar later on - the idea seems rather obvious in hindsight - though for the moment EVGA is the first and only game in town. Perhaps, if VR gaming takes off in the next year or two, AMD and NVIDIA could add internal graphics ports to their reference designs.

    Both EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti VR Edition graphics cards are available now for $699, which comes at around a $70 premium over their normal reference-clocked GeForce GTX 980 Ti boards (usually $620 - $630). As it appears, VR gamers will have to pay a extra for the VR adapter for 5.25” bays. However, given the additional comfort, it may well worth the investment, especially for those who plan on frequently plugging and unplugging VR headsets (or for that matter even tradtional HDMI displays).

  • The Lenovo Ideapad Y700 Laptop Review (AnandTech)

    The PC gaming market has been pretty strong market over the last couple of years, and recent developments have pushed the boundaries again. With launches of virtual reality headsets, we’ve seen even notebook manufacturers getting prepared to drive these new devices, but it takes a lot of compute to do it. Manufacturers going after sales of gaming notebooks are going to be able to eke out better margins too, so it’s an area many of them focus on. But the typical gaming notebook is going to be quite expensive. A powerful mobile GPU, nice display, and good processor, are all going to add to the bill of materials. For those that want to get into the market for a gaming notebook, sometimes you don’t want to break the bank.

  • Windows 10 : un nouveau canal de test pour les Insiders (Génération NT: logiciels)
    Après l'anneau Rapide et Lent, voici venir le Release Preview. Le moins périlleux de tous les canaux de diffusion pour les Windows Insiders.
  • 10.11.4 beta 3 proposée au public (MacBidouille)

    Apple propose dorénavant dans le cadre du programme de beta publique de télécharger la 10.11.4 beta 3.
    Notez que sa numérotation est 15E39d et que la même est également proposée aux développeurs alors que la première beta 3 était la 15E39c.

  • Etats-Unis: La bataille autour du chiffrement des smartphones continue (MacBidouille)

    La bataille entre ceux qui veulent maintenir un chiffrement incontournable des smartphones et ceux qui veulent qu'il soit affaibli ou doté d'une porte dérobée pour que les autorités y accèdent continue aux Etats-Unis.
    Récemment, des projets de loi ont été déposés dans les états de Californie et de New York visant à obliger les fabricants, dont Apple, à y installer des portes dérobées.
    Un nouveau projet de loi fédérale a été déposé pour contrer ces initiatives locales et ainsi interdire la mise en place de portes dérobées destinées aux autorités pour accéder au contenu.

    Dans un contexte politique où tout le monde est focalisé sur les futures élections de 2017, chacun fourbit ses armes, à commencer par les groupes de pression. D'un côté on à ceux qui prônent une protection de libertés individuelles et veulent soutenir les lobbys des fabricants, de l'autre ceux qui veulent pouvoir accéder aux contenus très largement et qui sont derrière les agences fédérales, NSA, FBI et locales comme les polices des Etats.

    Cela promet une belle bataille dont il est très difficile de prédire le vainqueur.

  • ARM se porte très bien (MacBidouille)

    ARM a publié hier ses derniers résultats trimestriels. La société se porte bien et elle a enregistré en 2015 une hausse de 22% de son chiffre d'affaire qui approche le milliard de Livres Sterling dont plus de 400 millions de bénéfices.
    Ces résultats sont liés à la forte augmentation du nombre de licences ARMv8 vendues.
    La société reste très optimiste pour l'avenir malgré le tassement de la croissance des ventes de smartphones. Elle a encore plein de vecteurs possibles pour voir son chiffre d'affaire augmenter que ce soit les autres produits de l'internet des objets que le marché automobile qui est de plus en plus demandeur en processeurs puissants.

  • LibreOffice en version 5.1 majeure (Génération NT: logiciels)
    La suite bureautique libre LibreOffice monte en gamme avec la disponibilité d'une version 5.1. Elle propose une interface utilisateur réorganisée mais pas chamboulée, la lecture et écriture de fichiers sur des serveurs Cloud.
  • Un boîtier PC clone du Mac Pro en préparation (MacBidouille)

    Merci à Olivier d'avoir attiré notre attention sur ce projet kickstarter.

    Il vise à créer un boîtier PC très fortement inspiré du Mac Pro.
    Ce boîtier sera bien plus grand, capable de contenir une carte graphique performante et on pourra y installer une carte mère au format mini ITX.

    Il reste à voir si Apple va apprécier cet "hommage".

  • Apple veut proposer de nouveaux designs d'horloges sur l'Apple Watch (MacBidouille)

    AppleInsider a déniché une offre d'emploi dans laquelle Apple recrute un ingénieur logiciel qui aura la charge de créer de nouveaux designs d'affichages d'horloge dans l'Apple Watch.

    La société en propose déjà 12 différents et dont on peut modifier le contenu. Dans l'avenir il y en aura encore plus.

  • La première panne d'Apple Pay (MacBidouille)

    Depuis quelques heures, les services d'Apple liés à Apple Pay sont bloqués.

    Pour être précis, il semble que ce soit la liaison entre les serveurs d'Apple et ceux de Visa qui soit coupée, empêchant d'enregistrer de nouvelles cartes. Les autres cartes bancaires continuant à être acceptées.
    C'est à notre connaissance le premier problème lié au service de paiement d'Apple.

  • Offres d'emploi (MacBidouille)

    Inter-Actif, Apple Premium Reseller depuis 15 ans, recherche dans le cadre de son développement plusieurs profils :

    - des Technico-Commerciaux pour ses boutiques implantées à Roissy-en-France et Versailles

    - des Techniciens pour ses boutiques situées à Roissy-en-France et Thionville

    - un Responsable de boutique à Versailles

    Vous souhaitez vous lancer dans un défi professionnel au sein d’une équipe de passionnés de la marque Apple. Transmettez-nous votre CV et vos motivations à jobs@inter-actif.net

  • Plextor Introduces M6S Plus SSDs with Toshiba’s 15nm MLC NAND (AnandTech)

    Plextor this week introduced its M6S Plus SSDs that use Toshiba’s latest MLC NAND flash memory as well as a proven controller from Marvell. The new SSDs offer the same level of performance and the same feature set as their predecessors, the M6S drives introduced in 2014. The drives offer read and write speeds expected from SATA SSDs as well as Plextor’s technologies designed to guarantee high reliability and high performance after long periods of usage.

    The new Plextor M6S Plus SSDs are based on the Marvell 88SS9188 controller as well as Toshiba’s newest 15 nm MLC NAND. Earlier Plextor offered M6S solid-state drives based on the same controller chip, but featured Toshiba’s older 19 nm MLC NAND. Apparently, Plextor will have to switch to a new type of NAND as manufacturers tend to decrease production of memory using outdated process technologies. The new drives are offered in 2.5-inch/7 mm form-factor and use the SATA-6 Gb/s interface.

    The Plextor M6S Plus SSDs feature 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB capacities. They are rated to offer maximum sequential read/write speed of up to 520/440MB/s. Maximum random 4K read/write speed declared by Plextor is 94K/80K IOPS (input/output operations per second). It is noteworthy that to guarantee high performance, the new SSDs from Plextor are equipped with up to 768 MB of DDR3 DRAM-based cache.

    Specifications of Plextor M6S Plus SSDs
      PX-128M6S+ PX-256M6S+ PX-512M6S+
    Capacity 128 GB 256 GB 512 GB
    Controller Marvell 88SS9188
    NAND Toshiba, MLC 15nm
    Cache 256 MB DDR3 512 MB DDR3 768 MB DDR3
    Sequential Read Speed up to 520 MB/s up to 520 MB/s up to 520 MB/s
    Sequential Write Speed up to 300 MB/s up to 420 MB/s up to 440 MB/s
    4K Random Read up to 88K IOPS up to 90K IOPS up to 94K IOPS
    4K Random Write up to 75K IOPS up to 80K IOPS up to 80K IOPS
    Form-Factor 2.5-inch/7mm
    Interface SATA-6 Gbps

    Notably, the performance specifications for the new M6S Plus lineup is identical to that of the previous M6S series. As Plextor didn't switch controllers and didn't switch NAND vendors, this means that they most likely are just using 15nm NAND as a drop-in replacement for their existing designs, and there won’t be any generational performance changes such as using fewer, higher capacity NAND dies. This has been an issue in the past when vendors have switched to newer generation NAND and labeled the resulting product under an old brand, so kudos to Plextor for making the 15nm drives their own line anyhow.

    However while the switch to 15nm NAND doesn't impact performance, it's unclear whether the endurance of the newer M6S Plus series has been impacted, as the company hasn't published any endurance figures for the new drives. Typically, MLC NAND produced using thinner fabrication process has lower P/E cycle rating compared to flash memory produced using thicker manufacturing technology. The 19nm M6S series was rated for 72TB, so it will be interesting to see where the M6S Plus ends up.

    Moving on, contemporary Plextor’s SSDs also ship with the company’s PlexTurbo RAM caching technology, which is aimed to improve performance beyond limitations of SATA-6Gb/s interface. The caching works like RAM disk, hence, uses system memory. The M6S Plus also supports TrueSpeed (supposed to guarantee maximum performance over long usage periods) and TrueProtect (a multi-layer error correction capability) firmware-based technologies developed by the company.

    Finally, exact MSRPs of the Plextor M6S Plus drives are unknown. However, Amazon plans to start selling the 128 GB version for $62, the 256 GB model for $91 and the 512 GB flavour for $166 shortly.

    The Plextor M6S Plus SSDs appear to be pretty affordable, in fact, even more affordable than their predecessors. Apparently, the recent price drops of NAND flash helped Plextor to build inexpensive SSDs based on 15 nm MLC NAND flash from Toshiba, which is not a bad choice, considering the fact that the company managed to maintain performance numbers of the M6S. By contrast, many of Plextor’s rivals are using TLC NAND to make cheap SSDs.

Jamais mal acquis ne profite.
-+- François Villon (1431-1463?), Le Testament CLVIII -+-