Strip club sues Oracle for $33,000

The New Century Theater in San Francisco claims an Oracle employee identified as Jose Manuel Gomez Sanchez used an Oracle-issued American Express card on a $16,490 bill at the club on Oct. 2, 2012, according to the Associated Press. He then allegedly returned a couple of nights later and charged a further $17,050.

Oracle refused to pay the bill, hence the suit, which was filed in state court in San Francisco.

I just don’t know what to think. I’m laughing so damn much!

Apparently the club specifically advertises this time of year specifically to convention goers. Their advert is below

New Century Theatre

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Microsoft Surface Pro 2

8 months after the release of the original version we now have the new MS Surface Pro 2, and believe me, it has been improved.

MS Surface Pro 2

MS Surface Pro 2

One of the main issues with the original was the battery life. You were looking at around 2-3 hours of general use and maybe only 1.5 hours of intensive use. Through optimization, the new tablet will gain you an extra 75% along with another 2.5 times better performance thanks to a new power cover. So with the new tablet you’re looking at around 14 hours of battery life, which is 4 times longer than the original.

Also, one of the more notable changes is the Haswell CPU creating a 20-30% better overall performance. This proves the general theory surrounding the new Intel architecture, that is it not designed for desktop gaming rigs, but for energy efficiency and scaling down.

Here are some of the other upgrades to the tablet:

  • 1080p screen
  • backlit keyboard
  • thinner
  • 2 kickstand angles

This new tablet feels like a much more useful product where the original felt more like a beta unit. It seems like so many companies are releasing their products before they really should be. Nevertheless, this is a great tablet and should not be ignored.

Mantle – Why AMD could massively overtake Nvidia

Last week was a big week for the tech giants AMD, as they made several announcements on new things to come. The one you most likely heard about was their new range of GPU’s (graphical processing units), the R7 and R9 series, with the R9 290X being their new high-end beast of a card; but this is only the tip of the ice berg.

amd_radeon_r7_r9_relative_performance

Mantle – this, announced last Wednesday (25-09-13) at AMD’s conference in Hawaii, is what has gotten gamers and game developers alike really going crazy, as they see the bright, dazzling light of an already shiny tunnel. Mantle is an API that is specifically written for AMD GPU’s at a very low-level, meaning that developers will be able to make the most of absolutely everything available to them.

Currently developers use either OpenGL or Direct X11, usually the latter, which allow them to write code that can be easily ported to different platforms. DX11 is known for a it’s amazing compatibility  but is far too bloated with stuff you just don’t need for certain architectures and because of this, that there is a bottleneck on the amount of calls that can made from the GPU, which doesn’t occur on consoles.

When you write code for a console, say the Xbox 360 for example, you can write the code to specifically utilize all of the hardware inside because you know exactly what the hardware is going to be as every console is the same. This reduces the effect of the bottleneck drastically. So although consoles may not have amazing GPU’s inside them, they can still produce graphics similar to that of a high-end one, simply because they can make more calls to it. What Mantle will do, is bring this efficiency to PC’s.

mantle

When I first heard this announcement my immediate thought was that it was an amazing idea, but it’s the developers that will be the problem. They have 3 choices:

  • Don’t develop for Mantle
  • Only develop for Mantle
  • Spend more time and money developing in DX11/OpenGL and Mantle

Obviously we would prefer either of the last two, but this means either alienating anybody not using compatible AMD GPU’s or spending more money, two things that developers might not be so happy about.

PLOT TWIST – Mantle has been developed at the “request of the developers!” so we know that at least, some developers are going to make the most of this. Though I do still think that there will need to be some sort of incentive to get people using Mantle API over DX11.

What really needs to happen to kick this off is one big, well-known title to demonstrate its power and the rest will follow by developing for it too.

Microsoft and Sony are going to be pretty hostile towards this as this new idea coupled with Valve’s Steam Machine team working with AMD could put the new first time console miles ahead of the Xbox One and PS4 at a fraction of the price.

steambox

Stay tuned for more information on AMD and Valve’s other amazing announcements!

Are you a gaming start-up or entrepreneur?

Winners of the Digital Innovation Contest will have the chance to partner with companies like Intel, Google Chrome and Sony to “trial their ideas with some of the key players in the global games arena. They get funding to do this and retain their intellectual property at the end of the process.”

There are 5 challenges each with a prize fund of £25, 000 (yes, I have a £ symbol on this keyboard) and each challenge is backed by a company.  The area’s are:

  • Best use of a second screen in a game – Sony
  • New markets and perceptual gaming – Intel
  • Wider games distribution on the mobile web – Google Chrome
  • Open Street Map data – Crytek UK
  • Games and cinema – Odeon Cinemas and Pinewood Studios
ViciousXUSMC

ViciousXUSMC

The dealing for applications is October 16th, so if you haven’t already, sign up using the link below!

[Competition]

PC Upgrade Update – Cable Management

After watching two videos from PCPartPicker and LinusTechTips on building PC systems, I realized how messy my cables are inside my case. So I just spent two hours re-organizing them and I feel amazing for it.

For those of you who aren’t very tech savvy, I’ll explain why cable management is important. In the picture below you can see the inside of my PC. There are a total of 3 case fans currently in this setup: one at the front next to the hard drives, one at the back (with white blades that you can see) and one on top at the back. The fan at the front will pull in cool air from outside the case, this air then passes through ‘absorbing’ the heat energy created by the components. This now warm air is exhausted from the case via the two fans at the back of the case. With the way may case is at the moment, you can see there is very few obstructions that would interfere with airflow as the cables are all behind the motherboard. If the cables were just loose in the main compartment, this would reduce air flow and inhibit the cooling system.

IMAG0616

I’ve left two PCI-e power cables hanging loose as I’m waiting on my ASUS Radeon HD 7970 which should be arriving any day now.

I kind of wish I had bought a modular PSU though; but hey, the cables are neatly tucked away at the bottom. I might revisit storing them when I install the new GPU

For something that sounds like such a boring task, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If anybody wants a PC building then just ask, because I’m more than willing do it for free =D

What I’m looking at ordering:

  • Sound card
  • More fans (because)
  • New heat sink (the thing on top of your CPU to extract heat)
  • POSSIBLY a new CPU (possibly a new motherboard too)

I think I’ll write a post on how to build a PC actually =D

 

PC upgrade update – Case

So here’s the $100 NZXT Phantom 410, the case I now have with all my equipment in, up and running.

I love it. Made of mainly steel with some plastic components. The only downside I could find was the LED lights in the fans. I think these kind of things look quite childish in all honesty, but after booting it up and seeing it in a dark room, the white fan LED’s coupled with the white LED’s in the PSU is actually a really beautiful combo; especially when combined with the ‘gunmetal’ colour of the case.

It has a very solid feel and I love the quick swap drive bays. Also, cable management is very easy with this case; I have a non-modular PSU so this is very important to me. The only actual negative point I have to say about this case is the door that hides the 5.25″ bays is a pain to open and close, other than that, the case is amazing!

phantom410inside

  • 215mm(W) x 516mm(H) X 532mm(D)
  • Drives
    • 3 external 5.25″ drive bays
    • 6 internal 3.5″ slots (with mounting points for 2.5″ drives)
    • Screwless Rail Design
  • ATX, MICRO-ATX, MINI-ITX support (with markings on the stand-off screw holes to help set up)
  • 7 expansion slots
  • External Electronics
    • 1 x Audio/Mic
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 2 x USB 3.0
    • Single Chanel 30W Fan Controller (3 settings)
  • Cooling
    • Front 2 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm (1 x 120mm included)
    • Rear 1 x 120mm (included)
    • Side 1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm
    • Top 2 x 120/140mm (1 x 140mm included)
    • Built for use with water cooling systems also
  • Filters
    • Front
    • Bottom rear

The case is available in 7 colours red, black, white, white & blue, black & white, black & orange and gunmetal (photo’s at the bottom).

Let it be noted that although you think cases are light in weight, this one is not. The box it came in quoted it being 9 kg and I carried this 2.5 km in the boiling heat!

Phantom_410-WPhantom_410-WBPhantom_410-BPhantom_410-BWPhantom_410-RPhantom_410-BG