PC PowerPlay #265 News

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PCPP 265 News

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The ACCC want to see how fast Australia’s Internet is[BODY]

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) want to independently test the quality of broadband in Australia. To do this, they want to place a little box in 4,000 households across Australia, that will report back to the ACCC how fast each person’s connection is at various times of the day, to various international and domestic websites. They’ll be testing NBN and ADSL services, but not mobile, satellite or fixed wireless connections. Each quarter, a report will be published that’ll name and shame ISPs that underperform compared to the rest of the market, bringing some long-wanted transparency for Australia Internet users. If you’re interested in taking part in the ACCC’s program, visit http://www.accc.gov.au

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Ryzen 3, AMD’s new entry level CPU

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AMD has rounded out their Ryzen range with a new, entry level CPU. The Ryzen 3 is AMD’s budget range of Ryzen chips and consists of the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200. Each CPU has 4 cores and 4 threads, an 8MB L3 cache, 65W TDP and includes a Stealth cooler in the box. The main difference between the 1300X and 1200 is clockspeed. The 1300X operates at a base frequency of 3.5GHz, a turbo frequency of 3.7GHz and will boost itself to 3.9GHz using the XFR feature if the conditions are right. The Ryzen 3 1200’s base is 3.1GHz, turbo is 3.4GHz and will do a mild XFR overclock to 3.45GHz. From early benchmarks, it looks like the Ryzen 3 1300X is great bang for buck versus Intel’s top end i3 and low end i5 offerings. The Ryzen 3 CPUs are out now and start at $149 for the 1200 and $175 for the 1300X.

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Yet another USB standard – USB 3.2 coming soon

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Just as you’ve become comfortable with USB 3.1, the USB 3.0 Promoters Group has thrown USB 3.2 into the mix yet another USB format. USB 3.2 is only available with the new, smaller Type-C connector and provides up to double the speed of USB 3.1, with bandwidth increasing from 10 Gbps to 20 Gbps. The speed increase comes from using two USB channels at once (current USB 3.1 Gen 1/2 devices use a single “super-speed” channel) – obviously both host and client devices need to support USB 3.2 for the speed increase to occur. Use of any alternate mode activities (e.g: DisplayPort, MHL, HDMI) on the same cable removes this speed increase. Luckily, USB 3.2 is fully backwards compatible with USB, but be careful, not all USB Type-C cables can support full USB 3.1 speeds, particularly those bundled with smartphones, that only support USB 2.0 speeds.

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Razer to launch IPO on Hong Kong stock exchange to further expansion and new product R&D

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Many gamers will be familiar with the Razer brand of gaming mice, headsets, laptops and other lifestyle products. They’ve filed to start an IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange, which will raise US$600m. Razer have taken this step to become a public company listed on the stock exchange to raise capital to grow their business in the Asia Pacific region, as well as increase the amount of R&D funds available so they can develop cool new products for us to buy. Razer will also use the IPO investment to further its plans to launch a smartphone in 2018 off the back of its purchase of NextBit, revamp the OUYA Android based microconsole and release a more powerful Steam Machine based gaming console style PC. Things are looking very bright for Razer fans

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Room scale VR, Zero Latency, to open Brisbane facility

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Zero Latency is opening a second room scale VR facility in Australia. The new joint is set for Brisbane and will open in October. Maybe you’ve heard of Zero Latency already, but for those who haven’t, think laser tag, but with a VR kit strapped to you. You’ve got a laptop in a backpack, an Oculus Rift/HTC Vive style headset and full-sized prop guns for a fully immersive experience. It all takes place in a ~400sqm warehouse with up to 7 of your buddies (8 players all up) and you all pretend there’s zombies chasing you, shooting the bastards into oblivion as you escape the infested hellhole. Everyone gets scared, runs around like wild and has a great time. If you aren’t in Brisbane, Zero Latency’s Melbourne facility has been operating for a while now and is ready to take your booking if you want to give room-scale VR a shot.

[TITLE]Adobe sets December 2020 as Flash’s retirement day

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Adobe have announced an end date for Flash. Yes, the software we all love to hate, but still find ourselves using more often than we should, will become “end of life” in December 2020. After this date, there will be no more updates. Adobe acknowledges that newer standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly are now better suited to do the things Flash has done every so faithfully all these years. Microsoft, Google and Mozilla have also announced how they plan to handle the depreciation of Flash over the coming years. Basically, Flash will be disabled by default and if you want to view any Flash elements on a website, you must click through a dialog box warning you about Flash’s poor security and performance. By 2020, Flash will be disabled entirely in web browsers. So long Flash, it was good while it lasted.