Weekend tech reading: A look at the inside of Sony's PlayStation 4, updated R9 290/290X drivers

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sony, playstation, driver, playstation 4, r9 290x, radeon r9, r9 290

See what's inside the PlayStation 4 with these exclusive photos Inside Sony headquarters, at the heart of Tokyo’s Shinagawa district, Yasuhiro Ootori is about to reveal something that almost no one outside the Japanese tech giant has ever seen: the inside of a PlayStation 4. It's the middle of October, four weeks before the new game console is due to reach stores in the U.S. and Canada, and Ootori -- director of the mechanical engineering team in charge of the PS4 -- is surrounded by a phalanx of other Sony engineers, several PR handlers, two journalists, and six guys set to capture the moment on video. Wired

The daunting challenge of secure e-mail When users of Lavabit, an encrypted e-mail service, logged on to the site this past August, they found a bewildering letter on the site’s main page. Ladar Levison, the founder and sole employee of Lavabit, had shut down his business rather than "become complicit in crimes against the American people." Lavabit subscribers would later discover that Levison had walked away because federal investigators had asked him to hand over his master decryption key, which would have granted them unfettered access to most of Lavabit's data. The New Yorker

An iPhone tester caught in Apple's supply chain Beneath the spotlight in a San Francisco performing arts theater, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller was about to stage-manage one of the most anticipated product unveilings of the year. It was the first post-Steve Jobs reveal of a new iPhone. Schiller was comforted by what he saw in the darkened audience. "It's really neat to stand here and see all the Apple logos glowing," he said of computers on the laps of journalists, analysts, and fans, all poised to send his words into the world. Businessweek

Wireless device converts "lost" energy into electric power Using inexpensive materials configured and tuned to capture microwave signals, researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering have designed a power-harvesting device with efficiency similar to that of modern solar panels. The device wirelessly converts the microwave signal to direct current voltage capable of recharging a cell phone battery or other small electronic device, according to a report appearing in the journal Applied Physics Letters in December 2013. Duke

Sono, a noise cancelation and isolation device that sticks on your window If you're the sort that needs peace and quiet to get anything done, escaping the noise pollution of every day life -- regardless of where you're located -- is no easy task. A white noise machine can help, but in the end it's still electronic noise, and unless you can afford a fancy sound system, the noise often sounds unnatural. A new device that sticks onto your window, Sono, will not only cancel real-world noise, but isolate the noises you'd prefer to hear, if any. ExtremeTech

Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 patch to fix mouse lag while gaming After hearing complaints from Windows 8.1 owners that they were experiencing a great amount of lag using some mouse products in a number of PC games, Microsoft has now released a patch for the OS that is supposed to fix these issues. The Microsoft Support website has launched a page with download links for the update that cover the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8.1, along with a download for Windows Server 2012 R2. Neowin

AMD driver update changes performance, fan speeds of R9 290X and R9 290 Great!  This is good news!  Except it also creates some questions. When we first tested the R9 290X and the R9 290, we discussed the latest iteration of AMD's PowerTune technology. That feature attempts to keep clocks as high as possible under the constraints of temperature and power. PC Perspective (Download Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2: Desktop | Mobile)

It's the little things, part 2: the importance of automation Every system administrator deals with repetition. There are certain tasks I do every day, over and over, mostly with little change. So like most of my compatriots, I've become adept at automating. Life is too short to sit there and do the same things over and over -- mindless repetition is a mind-killer. Over the years, I've learned that automation is valuable in almost any application. Ars Technica

How Sony's hometown studio rose from the ashes in time for the PS4 The Tokyo-based Japan Studio, responsible for PlayStation 2 classics such as Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and the Ape Escape franchise, seemed A.W.O.L. for much of the PS3 generation. Now, on the eve of the PlayStation 4's release, Japan Studio is trying to make a major comeback. I went to Tokyo to find out how. Kotaku

loved you, Blockbuster One day soon, all the Blockbusters will be gone, along with the Hollywood Videos and independent chains. Blockbuster grew and grew during the gold rush of the video age, when tens of thousands of videos stores dotted nearly every town. Then, they contracted and contracted, buffeted by changes in video distribution and a vicious competitor in Netflix. The Atlantic

TV eats itself Tony Soprano said these words in 1999, midway through the pilot of The Sopranos. He was right about his place in the history of the Mafia, but not in the history of TV. The Sopranos proved to be the beginning of what came to be known as a "Golden Age" of television, a twin flowering of creativity and technology that elevated a formerly disrespected medium1 into a national cultural obsession. Grantland

Windows 8.1 battery life investigation: 1080p video playback A couple weeks back, I posted a short article on battery life with Windows 8.1 looking at whether or not it had changed compared to Windows 8. The short summary is that no, it did not change appreciably, though at least one of the tests I ran showed worse battery life with Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 8. AnandTech

Google takes its tracking into the real world Tech companies large and small have long been trying to use smartphones to connect consumers' online activity to what they do in "real" life. Google is now telling advertisers it has a way to do just that -- and it involves tracking consumers' smartphone locations all the time, wherever they go, even when they’re not using a Google app. Digiday

Xbox One pre-orders arrive early for some, reveal game and dashboard details Microsoft's Xbox One console isn't supposed to go on sale until November 22nd, but some lucky gamers have started receiving their pre-orders two weeks in advance. After Microsoft's 12-minute video tour of Xbox One, at least three consoles have been delivered early, with two originating from Target. The Verge

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