Plus: Even more Project Loon insanity, and the LED light bulb that shines pure Internet.
By Jason Imms on October 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm
Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of the AMD R9 290X, see-through cars, and how copyright claims can hurt YouTube games reviewers.
AMD R9 290x released
Announced via press release yesterday, AMD’s R9 290X GPU has been released, which features a chip based on their Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, AMD TrueAudio technology to provide a dedicated chip for audio processing, and AMD’s Mantle API, allowing for “meta-level” optimisations for PCs running GCN-based GPUs and APUs. While the press release is littered with the usual list of excitable public relations adjectives, “breathtaking,” “exceptional,” “powerful,” and “unprecedented,” reviews seem to be indicating that the R9 290X could well stand up to these inflated expectations.
- 2,816 stream processing units
- Up to 1 GHz engine clock
- 4GB GDDR5 memory
- Up to 5.0Gbps memory clock speed
- 320GB/s memory bandwidth (maximum)
- 5.6 TFLOPS Single Precision compute power
- API support for DirectX® 11.2, OpenGL 4.3 and Mantle
See-through cars make overtaking safer through video trickery
According to a report in Smithsonian Mag, researchers at the University of Porto in Portugal are working on a technology designed to allow cars to become “transparent,” making overtaking large, slow vehicles a much safer prospect. Many large vehicles like busses or freight trucks have a forward-facing webcam mounted on the dash, which is used to record footage for security and insurance purposes. Researchers believe that data from these cameras could be transmitted to a semi-transparent display mounted on a following driver’s windscreen, allowing the driver to clearly see whether or not it is safe to overtake. Of course, much more research and ratification would need to be undertaken to ascertain whether the technology would prove to be too much of a distraction. (via Tested)
Copyright claim buries criticism of Day One: Garry’s Incident
Prolific YouTuber and game critic TotalBiscuit has been at the forefront of some recent controversy, after his “WTF Is…” series entry for Day One: Garry’s Incident was forcibly removed from YouTube by a copyright claim lodged by developer Wild Games Studio. A post on the Steam forums from a WGS representative under the name of “Stephane” said, “We protected our copyright because TotalBiscuit has no right to make advertising revenues with our license.” After a delay, TotalBiscuit spoke out on the subject in a series of tweets, and by releasing a detailed explanatory video, in which he took great pains not to include any footage from the game. Take a look below. (The video has since been reinstated. It is currently unknown how the downtime affected views, or revenue generated from ads.)
LiFi, the LED LOS alternative to Wi-Fi
Scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a prototype 1 watt LED bulb that is not only good for lighting a room, but is also capable of transmitting data at 150Mbps. Using the visible light communication technology concept demonstrated by Harald Haas’ during his 2011 TED presentation, the SITP research team have confirmed that the technology is cheaper and far more efficient than traditional wireless transmission standards. Having said this, the primary flaw of LiFi is in the fact that receiving devices require uninterrupted line-of-sight to the transmitting bulbs in order to maintain a connection, a significant limitation.
Google explainer shows the contents of Project Loon’s antenna
The entire concept of using balloons to provide wireless Internet access to people below seems completely bonkers, but Google has done a great job of assuring people that their loony project could actually work in the real world. In the latest video update, Cyrus from the project details the internal components of the antenna. Watch below.