VisionX 420D Review: ASRock’s mini-PC Lineup Continues to Impress

See the original posting on Anandtech

ASRock has been one of the few motherboard vendors to focus on mini-PCs targeting the HTPC and portable gaming markets. Starting from the ION-based nettop days, they have consistently refreshed the mini-PC lineup in sync with Intel’s product cycle. We have been reviewing members of their CoreHT lineup (rechristened as VisionHT last year) since the Arrandale days, but today, we are focusing on their gamer-targeted mini-PCs. The VisionX lineup marked the departure from NVIDIA to AMD for the discrete GPU component, and their Haswell version, the VisionX 420D combines a Core i5-4200M with an AMD Radeon R9 M270X. Read on to see how the mini-PC fares under both gaming and HTPC workloads.

Microsoft teases its Lumia 730 ‘selfie phone’ with a selfie

See the original posting on The Verge

Microsoft started teasing its Lumia 730 “selfie phone” last month with an invite to a press conference in Berlin on Thursday. While the invite teased “join us for more face time” and a Lumia camera, Microsoft has posted a fresh teaser today that’s simply a selfie photo. In an obvious nod to what Microsoft devices chief Stephen Elop previously described as a “selfie phone” during a private internal company meeting, it’s clear Microsoft is preparing to unveil its Lumia 730 on Thursday.

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Using exceptions when designing an API

See the original posting on DZone Python

Many know the tradeoff of using exceptions while designing an application:

On one hand, using try-catch block nicely segregates between regular code and exception handling code
On the other hand, using exceptions has a definite performance cost for the JVM

Every time I’ve faced this quandary, I’ve ruled in favor of the former, because “premature optimization is evil”. However, this…

Reported iCloud hack leaks hundreds of nude celebrity photos

See the original posting on The Verge

Hundreds of nude, semi-nude, and revealing pictures of female celebrities were leaked overnight after being stolen from their private collections. Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, and pop star Ariana Grande were among the celebrities apparently shown in the pictures, which were posted on infamous web forum 4chan.

It’s unclear how the images were obtained, but anonymous 4chan users said that they were taken from celebrities’ iCloud accounts. The accounts are designed to allow iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to synchronize images, settings, calendar information, and other data between devices, but the service has been criticized for being unreliable and confusing. Earlier this year, Jennifer Lawrence herself complained…

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Startup Mentors — How Do You Filter Out The Good, The Bad And The Ugly?

See the original posting on TechCrunch

mentors (1) In light of the recent brouhaha over the actions of a particular European investor who had a habit of attaching himself to accelerators as a ‘mentor’, it seems an appropriate time to do a quick rundown on the kinds of things entrepreneurs need to look for in genuine potential mentor to them and their companies. Because, in case you have been hiding under a rock, there a lot of… Read More

AnandTech founder Anand Shimpi retires from journalism to join Apple

See the original posting on The Verge

If you’ve built your own PC at any time over the past decade and a half, chances are you’ll have come across AnandTech in the course of your research. Founded by a precocious teenager way back in 1997, the tech news site has grown from covering motherboards and other PC components to offering some of the most in-depth technical analyses of mobile devices today. Widely respected for his enormous experience and expertise, the site’s founder and editor Anand Lal Shimpi revealed over the weekend that he was retiring from technology journalism, and now his next destination has been revealed: Apple Inc.

An Apple representative has confirmed the hire for Recode, though there’s predictably little information to go on beyond the fact that one of…

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Microsoft Continues Its Campaign Against A US Warrant Demanding Overseas Data

See the original posting on TechCrunch

microsoft-earnings A search warrant commanding Microsoft to turn over certain customer email data that is currently stored overseas was unfrozen late this week. The company declined to comply. In a statement, Microsoft said that it “will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal.” This protest act by Microsoft, arguing that domestic warrants should not be able to command access to data… Read More

Apple’s New Spaceship HQ Doesn’t Look Like A Spaceship Yet, But It’s Huge

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Screenshot 2014-08-31 18.20.40 Apple’s new spaceship-style campus is one of the last things on the company’s mind right now, with the iPhone launch looming just over the horizon. However, that hasn’t stopped some curious folks from peeking around over at the construction site. YouTuber jmcminn has captured video on a GoPro Hero 3+ using a Phantom 2 drone, and the end result shows us the foundation of… Read More

This Labor Day, Reflect On Diversity And The Future

See the original posting on TechCrunch

5049340990_4a026d1bdd_o 2014 is the year that work became a central point of discussion in Silicon Valley. For the engineers and knowledge workers in the region, issues of diversity and inclusion finally got their turn in the limelight, forcing us to question our deeply-held views about the meritocracy of Silicon Valley. We also had to confront news that several of our most iconic technology companies conspired to… Read More

‘Dota 2’ is on the front page of today’s New York Times

See the original posting on The Verge

If anyone is still questioning the legitimacy of e-sports, today should be a bit of a wake up call. The lead photo on the front page of today’s New York Times is of this July’s $10 million Dota 2 tournament, The International. That’s right: The Gray Lady has taken note, running a story on the rise of e-sports on the front page of its Sunday edition. The accompanying article is the first in a series exploring how competitive video gaming has developed into a spectator sport. The Times certainly isn’t the first big media company to pay attention to e-sports: ESPN broadcast a preview of The International on its one of its cable channels, and, of course, Amazon just purchased Twitch for $970 million. Even with all of this attention, however,…

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Last night on ‘Doctor Who:’ journey to the center of a Dalek

See the original posting on The Verge

For this season of The Doctor, Ross and Kwame Opam will be sounding off on each episode in a series of emails we’ll be publishing on the site. Warning: spoilers ahead.

After a season premiere all about Peter Capaldi finding himself as the new Doctor, “Into the Dalek” is his first true post-regeneration adventure. Or rather, it’s more of a parable: an outrageously weird story that serves to highlight a darker truth of the Doctor’s own soul. “The Doctor goes literally into his worst enemy to try and understand good and evil… and comes out learning about the good and evil in himself.”  It’s a great pitch for an episode that mostly pulls it off. Mostly.

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Apple reportedly reaches agreement with American Express for iPhone mobile payments

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple is widely expected to reveal a mobile payments system alongside the iPhone 6 at its press event on September 9th. The system — supposedly designed to take on Google Wallet, Isis, Paypal, and others — would allow you to use your phone to pay for items at the cash register, and it appears Apple’s gained a strong ally in its quest. Recode reports that American Express has agreed to “work together” with Apple on the rumored payments system.

The report, which cites sources familiar with the matter, does not go into the nature of the agreement. American Express is one of the major companies Apple will have to make partnerships with if it hopes to make a truly comprehensive and compelling alternative to traditional credit cards. The…

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Apple’s new spaceship is looking more like a landing site

See the original posting on The Verge

When it’s complete, Apple’s Campus 2 will resemble an enormous space disc descended upon the leafy suburbs of Cupertino, but as of today, it’s looking more like a dustbowl landing site. Still, just seeing the outline for the futuristic new headquarters is impressive, with the nearby blocks of housing giving a good sense of the grand scale at which Apple’s next home is being built. A GoPro-equipped DJI Phantom 2 drone has done an 8-minute aerial tour of the site, taking in a full 360-degree view of its surroundings and eventually descending for a closer look at the foundations presently being laid down.

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A spaceship in Cupertino: Apple’s journey to build a new headquarters

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple is a stupendously wealthy company, and it’s in the middle of building a new corporate headquarters befitting of that success. The Norman Foster-designed Campus 2 — commonly referred to as “The Spaceship” due to its distinctive circular design — will add 2,800,000 square feet of office space to the company’s Cupertino, California operations, and it will hold more than 12,000 employees. It will also be entirely powered by renewable energy, thanks to one of the largest solar arrays ever designed for a corporate campus. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs oversaw the building’s design before his death, but the campus has struggled to get off the ground. It’s reportedly $2 billion over budget and it’s been delayed by at least a year. It’s…

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Blogging History: NSA spied on Al Jazeera; Dick Cheney, proud torturer; Soros v “drug lord” accusation

See the original posting on Boing Boing

One year

Docs leaked by Snowden show NSA spied on Al Jazeera: “The US intelligence agency hacked into protected communication, a feat that was considered a particular success.”

Five years

Dick Cheney, proud torturer: Former US Vice President Dick Cheney proclaimed once again over the weekend that he believes torture applied to war-on-terror detainees in U.S.

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