Computing

Google Fuchsia OS on PixelBook: possible but not yet worth it

Google Fuchsia OS on PixelBook: possible but not yet worth it

Google is not one to sit still on anything, be it a design language, product, or platform. It’s almost a miracle that Android, let alone Chrome OS, has lasted this long, though both have undergone deep surgery repeatedly. So it isn’t exactly shocking to learn that Google was, and still is, working on yet another operating system, the so-called Fuchsia OS. While it’s still mostly under wraps, it’s possible to actually test it on the latest Google PixelBook. It’s not an easy journey though, and one that might be worth it just for curiosity’s sake.

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Here’s how Intel’s Spectre and Meltdown patch affects server CPUs

Here’s how Intel’s Spectre and Meltdown patch affects server CPUs

Last week, Intel shared initial benchmarks for its Spectre and Meltdown patch for recent consumer-focused Core i7 CPUs. Those benchmarks showed us the average performance hit we could expect when doing various tasks, with some tasks suffering a larger performance drop than others. Looking at the new benchmarks Intel shared today, the same is true on the data center side of things.

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Surface Book 2 15-inch goes up for pre-order in 17 new markets

Surface Book 2 15-inch goes up for pre-order in 17 new markets

The Surface Book 2 is a pretty solid piece of hardware, assuming you've got the money to put down for one. The device is still relatively young, having only launched back in November, and thus far, only its 13-inch models have been available in most regions. That all changes today, as Microsoft has announced that it's bringing the 15-inch Surface Book 2 to 17 new markets.

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Microsoft AI reads documents, answers questions better than humans

Microsoft AI reads documents, answers questions better than humans

Some bemoan how present society has devalued reading skills and comprehension, which doesn’t bode well for human civilization as a whole. To add insult to injury, it seems that computers may soon become even better than humans at comprehending what they read. The Microsoft Research team in Asia have created an artificial intelligence that can not only read a document, it can even answer questions about said document, scoring higher than humans on that same test.

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Free Windows 10 upgrade still available, but you need to be quick

Free Windows 10 upgrade still available, but you need to be quick

Back when Windows 10 first launched, Microsoft made a huge push to get those on Windows 7 and 8.1 to upgrade. Most notably, this included a promotion that offered Windows 10 upgrades for free for a year, along with the sometimes infuriating desktop pop-ups that came with it. That promotion ended some time ago, but as it turns out, there's still a way to get a free Windows 10 upgrade if you're currently on Windows 8.1.

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Chrome OS Android APK sideloading will soon be easier

Chrome OS Android APK sideloading will soon be easier

Just because it can install Android apps doesn’t make Chromebooks Android devices. For one, Android behavior and performance on Chrome OS still leave much to be desired. For another, sideloading APKs, that is, installing from unverified sources, isn’t as straightforward. That might soon be a thing of the past when the new code in Chrome OS makes its way to a future version, allowing the installation of APKs without having to wipe your Chromebook.

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Raspberry Pi Zero WH adds pre-soldered 40-pin GPIO header

Raspberry Pi Zero WH adds pre-soldered 40-pin GPIO header

How much can you cram into a 2.6 in x 1.2 in circuit board? You’d presume not much, but the Raspberry Foundation is trying to prove you wrong. First, it added built-in Wi-Fi to its teeny Raspberry Pi Zero and called it the Raspberry Pi Zero W. Now it’s adding a 40-pin GPIO header on top of that and calling it, what else, the Raspberry Pi Zero WH. Now tinkerers and makers don’t need to get their fingers burned immediately when just getting started.

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Google: We fixed Spectre and Meltdown with no performance loss

Google: We fixed Spectre and Meltdown with no performance loss

In the fallout of the discovery of Spectre and Meltdown, companies have been racing to patch vulnerabilities. Along with these patches comes the expectation of performance hits, and yesterday, Intel shared some benchmarks to show relative performance for a handful of recent Core i7 CPUs after its patches for Spectre and Meltdown were applied. While the performance decreases were mild in a lot of cases, some things like CPU responsiveness took a larger hit.

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Intel reveals Meltdown and Spectre fix slow-down cost

Intel reveals Meltdown and Spectre fix slow-down cost

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that were discovered last week are very bad news, and though Intel has been quick to roll out patches for them, the measures it had to take aren't exactly ideal. Specifically, these patches come with a performance hit for Intel systems, and in the lead up to their delivery, some benchmarks showed that the potential slowdown could be as high as 30%. While Meltdown and Spectre are issues that absolutely need to be defended against, the looming slowdown that accompanied these patches was still a bitter pill for Intel users to swallow.

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Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock runs Windows Mixed Reality

Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock runs Windows Mixed Reality

Laptops are getting thinner and thinner, not to mention sometimes converting into tablets. But the price of portability is performance, at the very least graphics performance. There are, of course, a new breed of computing accessories that deliver added graphics processing power via Thunderbolt 3 but those are heavy in both price and form. Enter the Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock somewhat quietly revealed at CES 2013. No larger than a laptop, this graphics card enclosure claims it’s powerful enough to even run Windows Mixed Reality at 90 Hz rates. But, of course, there’s always a catch.

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Dell XPS 15 goes 2-in-1 with CES 2018 refresh

Dell XPS 15 goes 2-in-1 with CES 2018 refresh

Shortly before CES kicked off, Dell unveiled its new XPS 13 refresh. Now that the show is underway, Dell is showing off that new notebook the floor, but it also had another, arguably bigger, reveal in store. Today, the company announced the new XPS 15, which will be a 2-in-1 convertible machine, a first for the line.

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Microsoft’s Spectre and Meltdown update is breaking AMD PCs

Microsoft’s Spectre and Meltdown update is breaking AMD PCs

Though the discovery of the CPU vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown have the worst implications for Intel users, AMD users aren't exactly out of the woods. Meltdown may not affect AMD processors, but Spectre does, prompting Microsoft to push out an update that patches those vulnerabilities. In a perfect world, that would be the end of it - at least until new exploits related to Spectre and Meltdown are discovered - but of course, we don't live in a perfect world.

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