Divers

  • Mises à jour et téléchargements de la semaine (Génération NT: logiciels)
    Comme chaque dimanche, retrouvez les mises à jour et téléchargements de la semaine.
  • Apple SIM: tout n'est pas si simple (MacBidouille)

    On pensait qu'avec sa SIM universelle Apple avait trouvé la panacée pour que ses clients ne soient plus captifs des opérateurs et puissent en toute liberté en changer au gré de leurs besoins et des opportunités. 
    Ce n'est en fin de compte pas si simple comme le rapportent les acheteurs américains de nouveaux iPad.
    Pour commencer, certains opérateurs qui vendent des appareils via leur réseaux n'ont pas intégré l'Apple SIM dedans mais une de leurs propres cartes. C'est par exemple le cas de Sprint.
    Ensuite, d'autres comme AT&T qui vendent bien les iPad avec une Apple SIM, l'ont programmée afin qu'elle ne fonctionne que depuis leurs réseaux, interdisant toute transition facile vers un concurrent sans la changer.

    Comme on le dit souvent, l'enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions et Apple fait face assez clairement à l'hostilité des opérateurs pour un système rendant leurs clients encore plus volages. On comprend mieux pourquoi Apple a fait le choix de lancer cette nouvelle carte SIM avec son iPad plutôt que l'iPhone. Dans ce dernier cas cela aurait été un vrai casse-tête pour les clients.

  • AMD Releases Catalyst 14.9.2 Beta Drivers (AnandTech)

    As promised earlier this week, AMD has pushed out a new Catalyst beta driver release to go hand-in-hand with this week’s launch of Civilization: Beyond Earth.  Though not entirely Civ focused, 14.9.2’s biggest change is that it enables Mantle support for the recently released turn based strategy game, including Mantle SFR support for Crossfire.

    Otherwise these drivers do contain a handful of other Crossfire fixes, including fixes for Total War: Rome 2, Alien: Isolation, and Shadow of Mordor.

    As usual, you can grab these drivers over at AMD’s website.

  • Civilization: Beyond Earth CrossFire with Mantle SFR: Not Actually Broken! (AnandTech)

    Yesterday after an all-day session of benchmarking on Wednesday, we published our initial performance results for Civilization: Beyond Earth. As can often be the case with limited testing, we ran into a problem and were unable to find a solution at the time. In short, while there was a lot of talk about how developers Firaxis had spent some effort to improve latency using a custom Split-Frame Rendering (SFR) approach with Mantle on CrossFire configurations, we were unable to produce anything that corroborated that story. Emails were sent, but it took half a day before we finally had the answer: enabling SFR actually requires manual editing of the configuration file. Oops.

    We could ask why manual editing of the INI file is even necessary, and there are other user interface items that would be nice to address as well as I noted in the conclusion of the original Benchmarked article. But that's all water under the bridge at this point, so let me issue a public apology for not having the complete information yesterday.

    I've updated the text of the original article (and added a discussion of minimum frame rates in case you missed that), but since many people have potentially read the article already and are unlikely to revisit the subject, I wanted to post a separate Pipeline to update everyone on the true performance of CrossFire with Mantle and SFR. But before we get to that, let me also take this opportunity to provide some of the additional information from Firaxis and AMD on why SFR matters. Firaxis has a couple blog posts on the subject (including one highlighting the benefits of Mantle with multiple GPUs), and here's the direct quote from AMD's marketing folks:

    With a traditional graphics API, multi-GPU (MGPU) arrays like AMD CrossFire are typically utilized with a rendering method called "alternate-frame rendering" (AFR). AFR renders odd frames on the first GPU, and even frames on the second GPU. Parallelizing a game’s workload across two GPUs working in tandem has obvious performance benefits.

    As AFR requires frames to be rendered in advance, this approach can occasionally suffer from some issues:

    • Large queue depths can reduce the responsiveness of the user’s mouse input
    • The game’s design might not accommodate a queue sufficient for good MGPU scaling
    • Predicted frames in the queue may not be useful to the current state of the user’s movement or camera

    Thankfully, AFR is not the only approach to multi-GPU. Mantle empowers game developers with full control of a multi-GPU array and the ability to create or implement unique MGPU solutions that fit the needs of the game engine. In Civilization: Beyond Earth, Firaxis designed a "split-frame rendering" (SFR) subsystem. SFR divides each frame of a scene into proportional sections, and assigns a rendering slice to each GPU in AMD CrossFire configuration. The "master" GPU quickly receives the work of each GPU and composites the final scene for the user to see on his or her monitor.

    If you don’t see 70-100% GPU scaling, that is working as intended, according to Firaxis. Civilization: Beyond Earth’s GPU-oriented workloads are not as demanding as other recent PC titles. However, Beyond Earth’s design generates a considerable amount of work in the producer thread. The producer thread tracks API calls from the game and lines them up, through the CPU, for the GPU’s consumer thread to do graphics work. This producer thread vs. consumer thread workload balance is what establishes Civilization as a CPU-sensitive title (vs. a GPU-sensitive one).

    Because the game emphasizes CPU performance, the rendering workloads may not fully utilize the capacity of a high-end GPU. In essence, there is no work leftover for the second GPU. However, in cases where the GPU workload is high and a frame might take a while to render (affecting user input latency), the decision to use SFR cuts input latency in half, because there is no long AFR queue to work through. The queue is essentially one frame, each GPU handling a half. This will keep the game smooth and responsive, emphasizing playability, vs. raw frame rates.

    Let me provide an example. Let’s say a frame takes 60 milliseconds to render, and you have an AFR queue depth of two frames. That means the user will experience 120ms of lag between the time they move the map and that movement is reflected on-screen. Firaxis’ decision to use SFR halves the queue down to one frame, reducing the input latency to 60ms. And because each GPU is working on half the frame, the queue is reduced by half again to just 30ms.

    In this way the game will feel very smooth and responsive, because raw frame-rate scaling was not the goal of this title. Smooth, playable performance was the goal. This is one of the unique approaches to MGPU that AMD has been extolling in the era of Mantle and other similar APIs.

    When I first read the above, my initial reaction was: "This is awesome!" I've always been a bit leery of AFR and the increase in input latency that it can create, so using SFR to avoid the issue is an excellent idea. Unfortunately, it requires more work and testing to get it working right, so most games simply stick with AFR. Ironically, while reducing input latency is never a bad thing, it honestly doesn't matter nearly as much in a turn-based strategy game like Civilization: Beyond Earth. What we'd really love to see is use of techniques like SFR to reduce input latency on games from genres where input latency is a bigger deal – first-person games like Crysis, Battlefield, Far Cry, etc. and third-person games like Batman, Shadow of Mordor, Assassin's Creed, etc. being prime examples. With that said, let's revisit the subject of Civilization: Beyond Earth and CrossFire performance, with and without Mantle:

    Civilization: Beyond Earth 4K Performance

    Civilization: Beyond Earth QHD Performance

    Civilization: Beyond Earth 1080p Performance

    Civilization: Beyond Earth 1080p High Performance

    Our graphing engine doesn't allow for sorting on multiple criteria, otherwise I might try sorting by average + minimum frame rate. Regardless, you can see that across the range of options the CrossFire Mantle SFR support is now doing what we'd expect and improving frame rates. But it's not just about improving frame rates; as the above commentary notes, improving input latency is also important. We aren't really equipped to test for input latency (that would require a very high speed camera as well as additional time filming and measuring input latency), but the minimum frame rates definitely improve as well.

    What's interesting is that CrossFire without Mantle (which uses AFR) has higher average FPS in many cases, but the minimum frame rates are worse than with a single GPU. The two images above show why this isn't necessarily a good thing. We haven't tested SLI performance, but I have at least one source that says SLI performance is similar to CrossFire AFR: higher average FPS but lower minimum FPS. It's entirely possible that driver updates will improve the situation with D3D, but for now CrossFire with Mantle SFR definitely scores a win over Direct3D AFR as it provides for a smoother gaming experience.

    Let's look at the above charts in a different format before we continue this discussion.

    We can see that even with just two GPUs splitting the workload, our CPU has apparently become a bottleneck with the R9 290X. Average frame rates still show an increase going from 4K Ultra to QHD Ultra to 1080p Ultra to 1080p High, but when we look at minimum FPS we've apparently run straight into a wall. For the R9 290X with Mantle, CrossFire effectively tops out with a minimum FPS of roughly 65FPS while a single GPU hits a lower minimum of around 50FPS without Mantle, and regular CrossFire on the 290X (i.e. without Mantle) has a minimum of 45FPS. Again, there are likely some optimizations that could be made in both drivers and the game to improve the situation, but it wouldn't be too surprising to find that Mantle and SFR with three or four GPUs doesn't show much of an increase over two GPUs.

    I do have to wonder how applicable the above results are to other games. Last I checked, Mantle CrossFire rendering on Sniper Elite 3 was basically not working, but if other software developers can use Mantle to effectively implement SFR instead of AFR that would be nice to see. But didn't we have SFR way back in the early days of multiple GPUs? Of course we did! 3dfx initially called their solution SLI – Scan Line Interleave – and had each GPU rendering every other line. That approach had problems with things like anti-aliasing, but there are many other ways to divide the workload between GPUs, and both AMD (formerly ATI) and NVIDIA have done variations on SFR in the past.

    The problem is that when DirectX 9 rolled around and we started getting programmable shaders and deferred rendering, at some point synchronization issues cropped up and basically developers were locked out of doing creative things like SFR (or geometry processing on one GPU and rendering on another). The only thing you can do with multiple GPUs using Direct3D right now is AFR. That may change with Direct3D 12, but we're still a ways out from that release. Basically, AFR is the easiest approach to implement, but it has various drawbacks even when it does work properly.

    Of course there are other potential pitfalls with doing alternative workload splitting like SFR. They can require more work from the CPU, and as you add GPUs the CPU already creates a potential bottleneck. AMD informed us that the engine in Civilization: Beyond Earth is actually extremely scalable with CPU cores, so while we're testing with an overclocked i7-4770K, AMD said they even saw a 20% improvement in performance (with Mantle) going from hex-core Ivy Bridge-E to octal-core Haswell-E with R9 290X CrossFire. There are apparently other cases where certain hardware configurations and game settings can result in an even greater improvement in performance thanks to Mantle (e.g. the 50% increase in minimum frame rates on the R9 290X at our 1080p High settings).

    The bottom line is that if you have an AMD GPU, games like Civilization: Beyond Earth can certainly benefit. Maybe Direct3D 12 will bring similar options to developers next year, but in the meantime, congrats to both AMD and Firaxis for shining the light on the latency subject once again. NVIDIA made some waves with similar discussions when they released FCAT last year, but the topic of latency and jitters is definitely important – and don't even get me started on silliness like capping frame rates at 30FPS by default (cough, The Evil Within, cough).

  • GIGABYTE BRIX GB-BXBT-1900 Review: A Bay Trail UCFF PC (AnandTech)

    Over the last couple of years, the ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) has emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC market. Intel kickstarted the category with their Sandy Bridge NUC kits in early 2013. Recognizing the popularity of this segment, other vendors also began to promote similar products. GIGABYTE targets this market segment with an extensive lineup of products under the BRIX brand. We recently looked at the high-end Haswell BRIX, the GB-BXi7-4500. Today, we will take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum - the Bay Trail-D Celeron J1900-based GB-BXBT-1900. As a note, due to GIGABYTE's regional marketing policies, this model is currently not being sold in the North American market, but targets price conscious buyers everywhere else.

  • Outlook.com, OneDrive, Office Online : nouveau lanceur d'applications (Génération NT: logiciels)
    Microsoft propose une nouvelle manière de basculer entre ses différentes applications Web depuis Outlook.com, OneDrive et Office Online.
  • iOS: Apple propose un moyen simple de réaliser des bêta test (MacBidouille)

    Apple a lancé un nouveau programme appelé TestFlight.

    Il permet aux développeurs iOS de réaliser des bêta tests de leurs logiciels facilement. Ouvert à 1000 utilisateurs, il est simple à mettre en place puisqu'un lien envoyé par mail permet de télécharger l'application en cours de développement.
    Ce programme est issu du rachat de la société Burstly par Apple. Le fait de ne plus avoir besoin de récupérer les UDID des appareils cible est une réelle facilitation de la mise en place des tests.

  • Microsoft Q1 FY 2015 Financial Results: Record Revenue On Strong Consumer Sales (AnandTech)

    This afternoon, Microsoft announced record first quarter revenue for its fiscal year 2015 which ended September 30. Revenue was up 25% year-over-year, and came in at $23.2 billion. Gross margin was up 12% year-over-year at $14.9 billion. As a percentage, Gross Margin was down however, which resulted in a lower operating income of $5.8 billion, which is down 8% from last year. Net income came in at $4.5 billion, which is down 13% from 2013. Because of this, earnings per share also slipped to $0.55 per share, down from $0.63 a year ago.

    Microsoft Q1 2015 Financial Results (GAAP)
      Q1'2015 Q4'2014 Q1'2014
    Revenue (in Billions USD) $23.201 $23.382 $18.529
    Operating Income (in Billions USD) $5.844 $6.482 $6.334
    Gross Margin (in Billions USD) $14.928 $15.787 $13.384
    Net Income (in Billions USD) $4.540 $4.612 $5.244
    Margins 64.3% 67.5% 72.2%
    Basic Earnings per Share (in USD) $0.55 $0.55 $0.63

    Microsoft breaks their product and services into two divisions. Devices and Consumer focuses on end user products such as Xbox, Surface, Lumia phones, and the related consumer focused software options. Commercial focuses on enterprise which means Server, System Center, SQL, volume licensing, and other enterprise software and services.

    Devices and Consumer (D&C) revenue grew 47% to $10.96 billion, as compared to Q1 2014. On the D&C Licensing segment, Windows OEM revenue was down 2%, however there was growth in the number of licenses sold. Microsoft changed the licensing fairly substantially during their 2014 fiscal year, which results in Windows being no cost for a lot of the lower cost devices. Windows OEM Pro licensing was down 4%, which the company feels is in-line with normal business PC replacement cycles. This would also not cover any businesses which utilize volume licensing, with that revenue falling under the Commercial branch. Continuing with licensing, Office Consumer revenue was down 5% for the quarter, with that loss being expected with the move to Office 365 for consumers. Windows Phone licensing revenue was down 46%, which is not unexpected when the operating system license fee was removed. The Gross Margin for D&C Licensing declined 3%, which Microsoft accounts for due to the end of the Nokia commercial license agreement with Nokia’s phone business being purchased last fiscal year. Overall, D&C Licensing revenue was down 9% to $4.09 billion.

    The next D&C segment is Computing and Gaming Hardware, which is a look at the Surface and Xbox platforms. Surface enjoyed a strong quarter with revenue coming in at $908 million. Surface Pro 3 interest is strong, with Microsoft seeing good sales to students, professionals, and enterprise adoption of their latest tablet.  Xbox sales were also up, with 2.4 million consoles sold in Q1. There was no break down of Xbox One vs 360 numbers provided. I’m sure Microsoft is hoping for better Xbox One sales, with the new console launching in 28 additional markets last quarter. This segment had a good quarter, with revenue up 74% to $2.45 billion, and Gross Margin was up 134% to $480 million.

    Phone Hardware, which technically did not exist as part of Microsoft a year ago, had a solid quarter as well. Microsoft sold 9.3 million Lumias in Q1, which was a modest gain year-over-year. They are seeing better sales in Europe, and especially with the lower priced phones. It seems to be that this is where the Lumia brand is focused, with the majority of the product launches this year being lower cost devices. The former Nokia feature phone line “performed in line with the market for feature phones” and there was no additional information here. The Phone Hardware segment came in at $2.61 billion in revenue and had $480 million in Gross Margin, although the margin gain was partially from non-recurring items which means those gains will not carry forward for Q2.

    The final consumer segment is D&C Other, which is the consumer cloud offerings from Microsoft. Office 365 Consumer (Personal and Home versions) is now up to 7 million active subscribers. This is a 25% gain from the previous quarter. This helps explain the traditional D&C Licensing drop for Office, with Microsoft seeing good success in the subscription model for Office. Search revenue was up 23% due to higher revenue per search in addition to search volume. Bing search share in the US was up 140 basis points to 19.4%. Worldwide figures were not given. Gross margin for the cloud offerings was down due to investments in online infrastructure, and clocked in at $310 million. Overall revenue was up 16% to $1.81 billion.

    Commercial revenue is the bigger piece of the pie for Microsoft, and this side of the house had a revenue gain of 10%, with $12.28 billion in Q1. Gross margin for Commercial gained was up 9% to $9.91 billion. Breaking down the segment, Licensing was up 3% to $9.87 billion, with Server product revenue up 11% which was due to double-digit growth for SQL Server, System Center, and Windows Server. Windows Volume Licensing was up 10%, and Office Commercial products declined 7% due to the transition of customers to Office 365.

    Commercial Other had a 50% revenue gain, with a Q1 revenue of $2.41 billion. This gain was heavily assisted by a 128% increase in Commercial Cloud revenue and the adoption of Office 365, and especially the higher priced SKUs. Customers are also purchasing additional cloud features such as Enterprise Mobility Suite and Azure Active Directory.

    Microsoft Q1 2014 Segment Overview (in Billions USD)
      Q1'2015 Q4'2014 Q1'2014 Percentage for quarter
    D&C Licensing Revenue $4.09 $4.90 $4.48 17.6%
    D&C Licensing Gross Margin $3.82 $4.52 $3.92 25.6%
    D&C Computing and Gaming Hardware Revenue $2.45 $1.34 $1.41 10.6%
    D&C Computing and Gaming Hardware Gross Margin $0.48 $0.02 $0.21 3.2%
    D&C Other Revenue $1.81 $1.76 $1.55 7.8%
    D&C Other Gross Margin $0.31 $0.29 $0.32 2.1%
    Phone Hardware Revenue $2.61 $1.99 N/A 11.2%
    Phone Hardware Gross Margin $0.48 $0.054 N/A 3.2%
    Commercial Licensing Revenue $9.87 $11.22 $9.58 42.5%
    Commercial Other Revenue $2.41 $2.26 $1.60 10.3%
    Commercial Overall Gross Margin $9.91 $10.99 $9.08 66.3%

    Fiscal Year 2015 has had a solid start for Microsoft, with record revenue for Q1. A little bit less impressive is the decline in net income. With a PC industry that has pretty much leveled off, the traditional businesses of Windows and Office are losing some of their luster. With Microsoft moving Windows to a no cost licensing model for lower cost PCs and smaller devices, we can expect Windows revenue to continue to drop over the next while. Low cost is generally higher volume, so this could mean a substantial decrease in revenue from the Windows team. However there are some good signs as well in the Consumer segment. Surface sales are almost at $1 billion for the quarter, but more importantly Surface is also making money. Anyone who follows Microsoft earnings will likely never forget the massive write down for the initial Surface lines, so it is promising to see the Surface team having some success. Also, as the traditional licensing method of Windows and Office has seen decreases, Microsoft’s cloud offerings are gaining a lot of traction and continue to see large gains in users and revenue.

    On the Commercial side, it is interesting to see the strong gains because not only is the on-premise infrastructure seeing strong gains, with > 10% grown for Server, SQL, and System Center, the cloud based infrastructure, which at one point was thought to be a replacement for on-premise servers, also saw a 128% increase in revenue for the quarter. As companies move to the cloud for their computing needs, Microsoft has a strong offering here due to being able to provide both on-premise and cloud products that work together. It is fascinating to see double digit growth in a product like System Center, when someone looking in would assume a legacy product such as System Center, which is used to primarily manage desktops, would be replaced by a cloud solution like Microsoft Intune. Clearly businesses are seeing a need to expand into the cloud, but keep some or all of their existing infrastructure as well.

    Unfortunately the Microsoft press release did not have any forward looking statements, as they were saved for the webcast which should be available by the end of Thursday. I will try and update this article with that information when it is released.

    Source: Microsoft Investor Relations

  • Yosemite : Activer Handoff et Continuity sur des Mac non compatibles (MacBidouille)

    À l'adresse suivante vous trouverez un script destiné à activer sous Yosemite Handoff et Continuity sur des Mac non supportés par Apple.
    https://github.com/dokterdok/Continuity-Activation-Tool/
    Attention toutefois, si cela marche facilement et sans modifications sur certaines machines comme le Mac mini mi-2011 ou le MacBook Air mi-2011, il faudra sur des machines plus anciennes commencer par trouver et installer une carte Wi-Fi / Bluetooth qui supporte les fonctions nécessaires à l'échange direct avec un iPhone.

  • Foxconn va aussi fabriquer les écrans d'iPhone (MacBidouille)

    Foxconn est en pourparlers avec les autorités chinoises dans le but de faire sortir de terre dans les prochaines années une usine destinée à la fabrication d'écrans LCD qui seront voués à être intégrés dans les iPhone.
    Foxconn veut donc devenir de plus en plus omniprésent dans la fabrication des appareils d'Apple et commencer à fournir des composants de plus haute technicité. L'écran est aujourd'hui le composant le plus coûteux de l'iPhone, ce qui fait le bonheur de LG Display.
    De plus, en devenant fournisseur de ce composant, Foxconn aura un moyen de rendre Apple un peu plus captif de ses usines alors que la société a diversifié ses sous-traitants en allant de plus en plus souvent produire chez un des concurrents de Foxconn, Pegatron.

  • Sonos poursuit Denon pour violation de brevets (MacBidouille)

    Si les procédures judiciaires se sont nettement calmées dans le monde des smartphones et tablettes, elles restent vives dans le domaine de l'électronique grand public. Sonos vient ainsi d'annoncer avoir lancé une procédure judiciaire contre Denon, qui violerait quatre de ses brevets.
    Le produit concerné par ces violations de brevet est le Heos, un système audio multipoints très proche de celui que propose Sonos, aussi bien dans sa présentation que dans ses fonctions.
    Il faut dire que Denon a fait fort.
    Les produits de cette gamme Sonos s'appellent Play:1, Play:3, Play:5 et Connect:Amp (pour les trois enceintes et le module d'amplification). Ceux de Denon s'appellent Heos 3, Heos 5, Heos 7 et Heos Amp.

    Sonos en plus de lancer la procédure invite Denon à des pourparlers afin de trouver le moyen que ce concurrent ne viole plus ses brevets. Il n'y aura aucun accord de licence, Sonos ne veut pas partager ses technologies.

  • Wi-FI 802.11ac: excellente nouvelle pour les anciens Mac Pro (MacBidouille)

    En juin 2013, quand Apple a commencé à se mettre au 802.11ac, nous avions acheté une carte ASUS PCE-AC66 afin de l'installer dans un increvable Mac Pro 2008 et lui permettre de se connecter aussi rapidement que possible au réseau.

    Hélas, nous n'avions jamais réussi à la faire fonctionner de manière fiable, ni avec les pilotes de la 10.8 compatibles avec le 802.11ac, ni avec aucune version de Mavericks.

    La donne a changé avec Yosemite. Comme par miracle la carte fonctionne maintenant de manière optimale.
    La liaison est stable et les débits sont excellents. Nous avons même réussi à accrocher les 1053 Mbits/s !.

    Ainsi, il est possible de transférer des données sans fil à près de 60 Mo/s, ce que propose au mieux cette technologie dans des conditions optimales mais réelles.

    En fait, grâce à ses antennes, certes disgracieuses, elle assure une bien meilleure connexion à une borne AirPort 802.11ac que tout Mac en étant nativement doté par Apple.

    Si vous avez un ancien Mac Pro et que vous voulez passer au 802.11ac (pour peu que vous ayez un emplacement PCI-Express libre), ce seront certainement les 75 euros les mieux investis depuis un moment.

  • Windows 10 : authentification à deux facteurs native (Génération NT: logiciels)
    La fin du mot passe viendra probablement. Microsoft y pense avec l'authentification à deux facteurs qui sera intégrée nativement dans Windows 10.
  • GT Advanced et Apple annoncent une fin de contrat à l'amiable (MacBidouille)

    Avec un GT Advanced en dépôt de bilan qui mettait sa crise sur son dos, Apple faisait face à une situation délicate. Tous les contrats signés entre les deux sociétés pouvaient se retrouver sur la place publique. Apple craignait plus que tout cette situation et avait déjà demandé sans grande conviction à la justice de les sceller.
    Les deux sociétés viennent d'annoncer, sans en dévoiler les détails, avoir mis fin à l'amiable au contrat les liant, ce même contrat dont des clauses ont provoqué cette faillite.
    Cet accord devrait permettre à Apple d'éviter la divulgation de ces documents. Il reste à voir s'il sera suffisant pour permettre à GT Advanced de sortir de sa crise.

    [MàJ] Le contrat mettant fin à leur discorde a été dévoilé.
    En résumé, GT Advanced s'engage à rembourser à Apple les 439 millions de dollars avancées dans les quatre prochaines années et à renoncer à la production de saphir (elle va proposer les outils pour en produire à la place).
    Pour finir, les deux sociétés renoncent à toute poursuite réciproque.
    GT Advanced va se rencentrer sur un autre business, vendre des fours spécialisés dans la fabrication de saphir synthétique. Apple pourrait même un jour devenir l'un de ses clients, ou plutôt un sous-traitant d'Apple.

  • Investigating NVIDIA's BatteryBoost with MSI GT72 (AnandTech)

    BatteryBoost initially launched with the GTX 800M series earlier this year, and our first look at the technology came with the MSI GT70 with GTX 880M. That may not have been the best starting point, and unfortunately most of the gaming notebooks we've looked at since then haven't been much better. Armed with the latest MSI GT72 sporting a Maxwell 2.0 GTX 980M, NVIDIA claims that BatteryBoost is finally going to hit the 2+ hours mark for gaming. Read on for our in-depth testing of BatteryBoost.

  • Benchmarked - Civilization: Beyond Earth (AnandTech)

    One of the longest running gaming franchises around, the Civilization series goes all the way back to my high school years. There have been many changes along the way, but the core turn-based strategy gameplay remains. With this latest release, Civilization once again heads beyond the confines of our planet. What sort of hardware does it require to run the game, and does this fifth Mantle enabled title add anything new to the mix? That's what we're here to find out.

  • ApplePay : des clients débités deux fois (MacBidouille)

    ApplePay est à peine sorti que déjà le premier problème s'est posé. Suite à un bug, des clients de Bank Of America ont été débités deux fois de leurs transactions.
    Ce bug n'aurait affecté que 1000 transactions et la banque va bien entendu rembourser ses clients.

    Comme toujours, ce sont les premiers à se lancer qui essuient les plâtres.

  • Antivirus : avast! édition 2015 est disponible (Génération NT: logiciels)
    Avast Software publie sa nouvelle gamme 2015 de produits avast! comprenant sa populaire version gratuite.
  • L'iPad Air 2 démonté (MacBidouille)

    iFixit a démonté l'iPad Air 2.

    Pour le rendre plus fin encore, Apple a laminé directement la vitre de protection (et tactile) à la dalle LCD, qui sont maintenant inséparables. Si cela permet aussi une diminution des reflets, la casse de la vitre sera bien plus coûteuse à réparer via les circuits parallèles puisque l'ensemble sera à changer. Offrez-lui donc une coque bien protectrice.

  • Apple abandonne le SSL3 dans les notifications push (MacBidouille)

    Faisant suite aux nombreuses failles découvertes dans le protocole SSL3 et le rendant caduc au niveau de la scurité, Apple a annoncé aux développeurs qu'à partir du 29 octobre ils devraient utiliser le TSL pour envoyer aux appareils des notifications push. A ce moment-là, les requêtes envoyées en SSL3 ne passeront plus.
    Il risque d'y avoir un gros rush des développeurs ces prochains jours et certains vont passer énormément de temps à faire des mises à jour.

  • Protection des données de l'iPhone : le Congrès américain ne luttera pas contre (MacBidouille)

    Depuis qu'iOS 8 chiffre toutes les données et qu'il est impossible de demander à Apple d'en donner les clés, le directeur du FBI ne cesse de vociférer, accusant Apple de protéger les criminels.
    Prêt à tout, il avait dans l'optique de faire passer une loi obligeant Apple à lui fournir une porte dérobée pour passer outre. Il vient de prendre une douche froide après que des membres du Congrès américain et un sénateur ont clairement affirmé qu'une telle loi n'aurait aucune chance de passer.
    Ces derniers temps le FBI et surtout la NSA ont donné une trop mauvaise image des agences américaines pour que les hommes politiques au pouvoir prennent le risque de se mettre à dos leurs électeurs et le reste du monde.
    Le FBI devra donc attendre des jours meilleurs ou trouver tout seul (avec l'aide de la NSA) une faille dans le chiffrage d'Apple.

    Nous ne pouvons malgré tout nous départir d'un certain malaise devant tant de bruit autour de cette affaire. Habituellement ce genre de linge sale se lave en privé, dans des bureaux feutrés et insonorisés. Nous avons réellement l'impression que tout cela ressemble à un show bien orchestré pour faire oublier les affaires des écoutes de la NSA et aider à retrouver la confiance dans les hommes politiques et les sociétés américaines.

  • iMac: Il est temps de mettre à jour les Mac Pro (MacBidouille)

    De nombreux sites comme Engadget ont testé le nouvel iMac Retina. Tous ont été bluffé par son écran, d'une définition inédite non seulement en informatique mais d'une manière globale.

    Au niveau de ses performances, il s'en sort aussi très bien, comme le montre ce comparatif.

    Dans les faits, il est pratiquement aussi rapide que le Mac Pro d'entrée de gamme et si l'on prend le processeur 4 GHz en option, il devrait passer assez facilement devant. Pour être franc, il ruine tout intérêt ou presque pour le Mac Pro premier prix. Certes, il y aura toujours des personnes pour dire que le Mac Pro est une machine pro (avis que nous ne partageons plus), mais dans les faits et au quotidien nombre de professionnels préfèreront un iMac 27" 5K à moins de 3000 euros (avec le Core i7 à 4 GHz) à un Mac Pro vendu nu à 2999 euros (et un stockage interne ridicule de 256 Go).

    Apple va donc certainement faire évoluer rapidement la gamme de Mac Pro. Tout est prêt, à commencer par les processeurs Intel. Il est fort probable que la société fera le choix de proposer les configurations de base avec un processeur 6 cœurs histoire de marquer la différence, mais même là il ne sera pas évident d'en vendre beaucoup.

  • La division écrans de LG va très bien (MacBidouille)

    LG Display, la division spécialisée dans la fabrication d'écrans chez LG, a annoncé ses résultats pour le troisième trimestre 2014, qui ont été excellents. Ce sont les meilleurs en deux ans et ils ont progressé depuis l'an dernier de près de 29%.
    La société attribue cette embellie à la forte demande en grands téléviseurs mais aussi à la fourniture de dalles pour les iPhone 6, qui a été très forte et profitable.
    Elle prévoit également une augmentation de ses revenus pour le trimestre en cours, certainement aidée par l'arrivée des iMac Retina 27", qui vont non seulement lui permettre de vendre des dalles à un coût plus élevé mais aussi de faire décoller le marché des écrans 4K et 5K, sur lequel les bénéfices sont plus importants.

  • NVIDIA 344.48 WHQL Drivers Available; DSR Added To Fermi & Kepler (AnandTech)

    NVIDIA just released their latest driver updates today, bringing us up to version 344.48. These are WHQL certified drivers, and they're also Game Ready for several upcoming titles. NVIDIA specifically calls out Civilization: Beyond Earth (launching tomorrow), Lords of the Fallen (coming October 28), and Elite: Dangerous (a Kickstarter game currently available in Beta form). You can snag the drivers at the usual place, or if you're like most people and are running a desktop GPU on Windows 7/8.1 64-bit, here's the direct link; the drivers are also available for most NVIDIA laptops.

    Looking over the complete release notes, the 344.48 drivers also bring DSR (Dynamic Super Resolution) support to Kepler and Fermi GPUs, there are a few tweaks to upcoming games (e.g. Assassin's Creed Unity notes that control panel FXAA is disabled), and SLI profiles have been added for ten new games. There are no specific details on performance improvements with the new drivers, which is insteresting as usually about a month or two after a major GPU launch (i.e. GM204), NVIDIA will further refine their drivers to extract more performance; perhaps we'll see some performance enhancements in the near future for GM204 owners.

  • AMD APU Price Cuts and Bundles, October 2014 (AnandTech)

    AMD officially announced price cuts on their current APU product stack yesterday, which means the cost of a "mainstream" AMD system is now $20-$30 lower than before. Here's the quick rundown of features and pricing for the affected APUs, which include both the new Kaveri APUs as well as previous generation Richland APUs:

    AMD APU Pricing, October 2014
    Kaveri APUs
    A-series APU Model CPU/GPU Cores CPU Clock Graphics GPU Clock TDP (cTDP) MSRP (USD)
    A10-7850K 4CPU + 512GPU 3.7-4.0 R7 720 95 (65/45) $143
    A10-7800 4CPU + 512GPU 3.5-3.9 R7 720 65 (45) $133
    A10-7700K 4CPU + 384GPU 3.4-3.8 R7 720 95 (65/45) $123
    A8-7600 4CPU + 384GPU 3.1-3.8 R7 720 65 (45) $92
    A6-7400K 2CPU + 256GPU 3.5-3.9 R5 756 65 (45) $58
    Richland/Trinity APUs
    A10-6800K 4CPU + 384GPU 4.1-4.4 8670D 844 100 $112
    A8-6600K 4CPU + 256GPU 3.9-4.2 8570D 844 100 $92
    A4-6300 2CPU + 128GPU 3.7-3.9 8370D 760 65 $34
    A4-5300 2CPU + 128GPU 3.4-3.7 7480D 723 65 $31
    A4-4000 2CPU + 128GPU 3.0-3.2 7480D 720 65 $27

    Obviously there are differences between the Kaveri and Richland/Trinity platforms and APUs, so keep in mind that Kaveri requires a socket FM2+ motherboard while Richland/Trinity uses socket FM2 (though there are boards that support both chips). The Kaveri graphics are also GCN based while Richland/Trinity use the older VLIW4 architecture, so you can't simply compare the number of GPU cores and clock speed to determine which is faster. The CPU architectures are also different, Steamroller for Kaveri and Piledriver for Richland. Finally, Kaveri APUs support Configurable TDP (cTDP), which allows you to run the APU at lower power targets while potentially giving up a bit of performance in fully loaded situations.

    In terms of performance, the fastest AMD APUs basically match up against the Core i3 Intel parts on the CPU side, while the GPU portion of the APUs tends to be quite a bit faster. You can legitimately run most games at moderate details with the Kaveri R7 options, while in many cases Intel's HD 4600 will need to drop the resolution and/or quality to reach reasonable frame rates. As for Kaveri vs. Richland, the CPUs end up mostly being equal (Kaveri wins some tests and Richland wins others) while the GPU favors Kaveri.

    Besides the price drops, AMD is also announcing a gaming bundle through the end of October for their A10 APUs (7850K, 7800, 7700K, 6800K, and 6790K): purchasers of one of those APUs can select one of Murdered: Soul Suspect, Thief, or Sniper Elite 3 using the code that comes inside the box. Alternatively, the code can be used to purchase Corel Aftershot Pro 2 for $5 (instead of the normal $60+).

    Finally, AMD notes that the above price changes may take some time to show up at retailers. Checking Amazon and Newegg, it looks like the APUs are still priced a bit higher than the suggested prices in the above table. I've linked the prices, and all of the Kaveri APUs remain $15-$25 than the MSRP. The faster Richland APUs on the other hand are much closer to the above prices, but the budget APUs tend to be closer to $15 above MSRP right now. Most of the prices should sort themselves out in the coming days, but you'll want to shop around. Note that there are other APUs that AMD did not specifically list in the price cuts, so prices may or may not decrease on those parts.

  • Test : Windows 10 Technical Preview, l'aboutissement de Windows ? (Génération NT: logiciels)
    Sitôt annoncé, Windows 10 a eu droit à sa Technical Preview disponible gratuitement. L’occasion de tester les nouveautés en germes dans cette version au seuil (« Threshold ») du renouveau de Windows.
  • Google Introduces Inbox for Gmail (AnandTech)

    Today Google announced a new Gmail related product that has been years in the making. It's called Inbox, and it's a re-imagining of the email inbox to adapt to the changes in how email is used that have occurred over the past few decades. With email becoming more prominent, and increasingly focused on sending media as well as text, there have always been initiatives to better adapt the email inbox to these changes. Last year Google introduced categories to the Gmail inbox which sorts emails into different sections such as Social emails, Promotions, and Updates. Inbox expands upon these concepts to better organize your mail.

    Bundles are a new feature within Inbox that expand upon categories by grouping emails into specific groups. For example, all purchase receipts and financial statements are grouped together so they can be easily found and navigated. Inbox can also group emails based on ways you specify.

    Highlights is a feature that grabs the relevant information from emails and presents it in an easily readable manner. Google claims Inbox will even add additional information not explicitly stated in emails like package tracking status or flight times.

    Reminders allows the user to set reminders from within the app, and Assists are cards that Google will bring up with information that may help a user complete a task they have reminded themselves to do. These can also be snoozed if they come up at an inconvenient time.

    Inbox is currently in a closed beta, and Google is already sending out the first round of invitations to users. Users who are invited will be able to invite their friends to join the beta program as well. Users can also email inbox@google.com to get invites as soon as the next wave becomes available. Google has put together a video explaining the features and benefits of Inbox, which has been embedded below.

  • Le patron d'Apple discute sécurité avec la Chine (Génération NT: logiciels)
    Tim Cook a rencontré le vice-Premier ministre chinois Ma Kai. Au cours d'un échange, il a été question de la protection des données personnelles des utilisateurs.
  • Interacting with HTPCs: Adesso Keyboard Options Reviewed (AnandTech)

    There are many options in the market for users wanting to interact with HTPCs and media streamers. In this short piece, we review the keyboard / trackball / touchpad options from Adesso and look at how they stack up against the Logitech K400 and some of the options from IOGEAR and SIIG that we have reviewed before.

  • 0-day : Microsoft sonne l'alerte à cause de SandWorm (Génération NT: logiciels)
    Microsoft publie un avis de sécurité au sujet d'une vulnérabilité non corrigée actuellement exploitée dans des attaques à l'encontre d'utilisateurs de Windows. Un exploit lié à SandWorm permet de passer outre un précédent patch.
Il n'y a point de gens qui aient plus souvent tort
que ceux qui ne peuvent souffrir d'en avoir.
-+- François de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), Maximes 386 -+-