16 June 2016

Standard Chartered Bank Bonus$saver reduce bonus from 1.88% to 0.88% pa for $500 spent on card for the first $100,000 dollars, spending up to $2000 on card will issue a bonus of 1.88% pa


Standard Chartered Bank Bonus$aver was one of the innovative products with chequing facility by the bank to lure customers to spend and get a higher per annum interest on it's first 25,000 dollars deposited.

With more options available from Bank Of China (up to 3.55% pa), Maybank (up to 3%), UOB , HSBC, OCBC 360, the Bonus$aver doesn't seem to be that attractive even with a mere 1.88% pa for the first 25,000 deposited.

The change in Jul 2016 will make it even worse. The only bright side is that it increased the ADB to 100,000. That is to say, if you spend S$500 on your debit card, you get paid 0.88% pa of the first 100,000 in your account (previously was 1.88% of first 25,000).

If you spend S$2000 on the card, you will get 1.88% of the first 100,000.

I' am not keen on the low interest rate. Will you be switching?

Important Changes to Bonus$aver Product Terms

With effect from 1 July 2016, we are revising our Bonus$aver Product Terms to introduce:
  1. a two-tiered card spend to replace the existing single-tier card spend;
  2. different bonus interest rates for eligible card spend;
  3. a higher cap on the Average Daily Balance (ADB) in your Bonus$aver Account for which bonus interest may be earned; and
  4. additional transactions that will be excluded from qualifying retail transactions, and will not be taken into consideration in determining whether you have fulfilled the requirement of minimum card spend.

Revisions to the existing Bonus$aver Product Terms


  1. Two-tiered card spend – (i) different bonus interest rates (for card spend) and (ii) higher ADB

    The current Bonus$aver offers you up to 1.88% p.a. interest on the first S$25,000 of Average Daily Balance (ADB)1 in your Bonus$aver Account when you charge a minimum eligible card spend of S$500 per month to your linked Bonus$aver Card.

    From 1 July 2016, you can earn up to 1.88% p.a. interest on the first S$100,000 of ADB in your Bonus$aver Account when you charge at least S$2,000 per month on eligible retail transactions to your linked Bonus$aver Card.

    Alternatively, you can still earn up to 0.88% p.a. interest on your ADB capped at S$100,000 (up from S$25,000) if you maintain a minimum eligible card spend of at least S$500 per month.


Minimum eligible card spend per monthPrevailing Interest + Bonus Interest (for card spend only)Maximum ADB on which Bonus Interest may be earnedMaximum interest earned (for card spend only)
Current Bonus$averS$5001.88% p.a.S$25,000S$470
New Bonus$aver
(from 1 July 2016)
S$500


S$2,000
0.88% p.a.


1.88% p.a.

S$100,000
S$880


S$1,880
1Average Daily Balance or ADB means the sum of end-of-day account balances of all days in a particular calendar month, divided by the number of days in that month.
  1. Transactions that do not qualify for bonus interest earned on card spend

From 1 July 2016, we will revise the list of excluded transactions to include additional categories. The following excluded transactions are not qualifying retail transactions and will not be taken into consideration when determining your eligibility for bonus interest for card spend:

  • transactions arising from the use of your linked Bonus$aver cards as an ATM card at an ATM or at an EFTPOS or NETS terminal;
  • balance transfers to your Bonus$aver card;
  • EasyPay monthly instalments;
  • online bill payments;
  • income tax payments;
  • payments to loans or credit facilities or deposit accounts;
  • payments to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Ministry of Manpower and Land Transport Authority;
  • EZ-link card transactions and other transit link transactions;
  • top-ups of any stored value facility;
  • AXS payments;
  • any fees and charges (including annual fees, interest charges, cheque processing fees, administrative fees, cash advance fees, finance charges and/or late payment charges and other miscellaneous fees and charges) charged to your linked Bonus$aver card;
  • any amount charged to your linked Bonus$aver card in that calendar month that is subsequently cancelled, voided or reversed;
  • balance owing on your linked Bonus$aver card from previous or other months; and
  • any other amount charged to your linked Bonus$aver card as we may determine from time to time
Unless otherwise specified, all other terms and conditions relating to your Bonus$aver Account remain unchanged and continue to be binding on you.

When will the changes be effective? How will the changes affect me?

If you continue holding the Bonus$aver Account with us from 1 July 2016, these changes will apply to your Bonus$aver Account with effect from 1 July 2016.

Where do I obtain copies of the revised terms?

You may obtain a copy of our revised Bonus$aver Product Terms on our website here from 1 July 2016. Alternatively, you may also call our 24-hour Client Contact Centre at 1800 747 7000 or visit any of our branches to request for hard copies of the revised Bonus$aver Product Terms from 1 July 2016.

Who can I call if I have questions on these changes?

If you have any questions on the changes, please call our 24-hour Client Contact Centre at 1800 747 7000 or visit any of our branches. For Priority Banking customers, you may wish to contact your Relationship Manager or call our 24-hour Priority Contact Centre at 1800 846 8000.
Deposit Insurance Scheme
Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$50,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.

06 June 2016

Seagate ST8000VN0002 NAS drive Review





Seagate ST8000VN0002 NAS drive Review

Seagate ST8000VN0002 is not your normal desktop Hard Disk. It is a hard disk that is meant for a network access storage (NAS). As a NAS is the central data store for a small home office or the 'cloud' storage of family members, it is important that such data are readily backup in the form of a RAID array. In addition, the the HDD in question should have 24 x 7 realiability.

Some end users will say, why bother with a NAS drive, we could just use 2 x normal high capacity to do the daily backups. Normal HDD do have a lower mean time between failure (MTBF) which might not be suitable for such a task. You wouldn't want to keep swapping HDD every few months in order to keep the files in proper integrity.



NAS drive used to be slower in it's speed in terms of it's revolution per minute (RPM). Most of them should be rated at 5400 RPM and comes with a 64 MB cache. Seagate's NAS drive ST8000VN0002 features a 7200 RPM spindle speed, 256 MB DRAM cache with SATA 6Gbps interface. According to the specfications, it is said to be able to ustain at a maximum speed of 216 MB/s media to cache transfer rate.

It also has a MTBF of 1M hours which is closer to an enterprise class which usually rates it at 1.2M hours. In addition, Seagate NASworks technology improves the realibility by tuning drive features to deliver higher performance, superior reliability and inter operability with popular NAS enclosures. The drive comes with an optional 3 years +Rescue Data Recovery Service plan for peace of mind as it protects again data loss in any RAID environment such as human error or handling accident.







Spec Sheet

According the Spec. Sheet, the drive is supported on 1 to 8 bays and comes with Dual Plane Balance. It has a sustained transfer rate of 216 MB/s - a very impressive speed for a HDD.









Benchmark


How does this drive compare to existing HDD and NAS drives? First, we will check out it's performance of 216 MB/s is achievable.

We will first use our fastest desktop series WD VelociRaptor 1TB HDD WD1000DHTZ which has a 10K RPM to do a comparison using two benchmarks.

PC used is a Gigabyte Z97 motherboard with an Intel 4770K processor with 8GB on board DDR3-2400. The HDD are connected to the SATA 6Gbps port for the test.

CrystalDiskMark


The results are a pleasant surprise for me. A score of 239MB/s for read an 234.7 MB/s for write. That is even higher than the 216 MB/s spelt out in the spec sheet.

Although it runs at 7200 RPM versus the WD at 10000 RPM, it still exceeded the performance. in sequential read / write and even 4K tests.







ATTO Disk Benchmark

As for ATTO Disk Benchmark, the results clearly shows that at whether it is a small or bigger block transfers, the NAS drive from Seagate actually outperform the fastest 10K RPM HDD by almost 30% (64MB block).












The HDD are installed into the Synology DS213, a 2 Bay NAS with Gigabit Ethernet connection to the same PC directly. The Synology drive recognises the HDD and asked it to be initialised into the various configurations.

The default which is Synology Hybrid RAID was used to initialise the drives. After which, we have to install the DSM 6.0 downloaded from Synology website before we can begin in our tests.

We will be comparing the Seagate ST8000VN0002 with 2 Western Digital RED drives WD30EFRX in terms of performance in read write file transfer.

Using the Synology Assistant, we mapped the drive to Z:\. After which used the software TeraCopy to transfer the files (from Windows 10 installation USB stick ~ 3GB) to the NAS storage. TeraCopy will record the average transfer rate and time it took to do the transfer.

Next, we do the reverse, copying the folders from Z:\ back to the PC and record the TeraCopy transfer speed and time.

Below is a screen shot of TeraCopy followed by a chart showing the MB/s transfer rate.

In both read from and write to the NAS, the Seagate is faster than the WD30EFRX, this could be due to two factors, the faster RPM and secondly the larger cache.






Dark Green : Reading from NAS
Light Green : Writing to NAS




DiskSpd


Next, we used DiskSpd, a command line utility to test the speeds of connected periperhals. It will test the speed, latency, I/O per sec etc based on samples generated. In this test, we used a mixture of 30% / 70 % of read / write.

The Block size is set to 8K and it will run for 60 secs with hardware and software caching turned off. There will be 2 overlapped IO and 4 threads per target with random 30% writes and 70% read with a 50MB test file.

Here are the results :


We can see from the results, the Seagate experience less latency during the tests. The lower the latency the better the transfer rate.



When we talk about I/O, the I/O per sec based on the test set is necessary to determine the performance of the target. In this case, both HDDs were tested under the same environment. It is very apparent that the higher the I/O per sec, the quicker it is. 

The difference is almost 20%.



The concurrent Read and Write (70/30) of the 50MB test file gave a more realistic representation of the actual transfer speeds in real world. 

Again, we see that the transfer rate of the Seagate is faster at 35.83 MB/s compared to 29.87 MB/s on the WD NAS drives.





Conclusion

HDD has always been the defacto mass storage media for data centres, NAS or PCs. As storage becomes larger, the more we should look for a HDD that has a higher MTBF and higher speed of transfer.

Seagate ST8000VN0002 seems to meet the requirements of today's NAS, with higher capacity of 8TB and 7200 RPM plus 256MB cache with faster speed than before.

Within the NAS enclosure, the ST8000VN0002 is a bit louder and warmer than the WD RED drives.  As we can see from the NAS management console, the temperature runs from 32 deg C to 42 deg Celsius idling for half an hour. The temperature should come down if the NAS is placed in a colder room.


For a similar price, the Seagate would be better value for money.
The Seagate ST8000VN0002 now retails at USD 375 on Amazon USA store. There is a shipping fee of $15.19 . On the other hand the closest rival 8TB from WD Red 8TB NAS 5400RPM WD80EFZX retails for $335.85.

























31 May 2016

Standard Chartered to raise minimum brokerage charge to S$10 per trade

Standard Chartered Online Brokerage has been one of the favourite brokerage by most traders. This is because SCB offers a no. minimum commission charge for any buy or sell orders.

That is to say, you can now save costs by buying a 100 shares as it won't slap you with a minimum charge of S$25 to S$27.50 depending on brokerage house. Not only that the commision is also lower at 0.18% or 0.20% compared to 0.25% to 0.275/0.28% on other brokerages.

Unfortunately, this is coming to an end in Jul 2016. From 1st August 2016, Standard Chartered will be charging personal banking customers of SGD 10, HKD100 or USD 10 for various trades in the respective currencies.

The brokerage fee remains at 0.18% for Priority Customer and 0.20% for Personal Banking Clients.

Shares bought using the SCB platform is custodian by Standard Chartered and you cannot sell it through other brokers as the shares are not held by CDP.. Custodian fees is remain FREE.

Alternatively, you can transfer your shares out to another broker if you feel that you can get a better fee than Standard Chart. Let me know if you know of any.



09 May 2016

Review of Seagate SSHD 1TB (32GB NAND) Drive ST1000LX001

Review of Seagate SSHD 1TB (32GB NAND) Drive ST1000LX001
hdtvsg 2 May 2016

Seagate is one of the first to pioneer hybrid drives. In fact, the first hybrid drive comes with a 8GB NAND flash that functions as a cache. Seagate calls such drives Solid State Hybrid Drive.
With the price of NAND flash coming down, Seagate introduces a newer version of the Hybrid drive that surpasses the previous generation in terms of performance with a 4X increase in the amount of flash memory.
This new SSHD comes with 1TB of Hard drive and a 32GB NAND Flash in a 2.5" drive at 9.5mm thickness. This new drive is targeted in replacing single bay aging notebooks HDD as it boosts performance in terms of boot time, application loading etc. With the lower cost per Terabyte, users can store larger files or archives while enjoying better performance over traditional HDDs.
Seagate DiscWizard (which should be a Acronis OEM) for Windows allows one to clone your existing HDD to the new HDD with ease.
As Seagate SSHD utilises Adaptive Memory Technology that tracks data usage and prioritises data for faster access in the NAND flash. It is transparent to the end user. There is no need to install additional drivers for the Operating System. Thus the drive will function just like any conventional HDD in a PC, MAC or PS/4.
In the next few pages, we will take a look at the specifications and benchmarks, comparing it as an upgrade option to existing notebook HDD.

The Seagate SSHD ST1000LX001

The ST1000LX001 looks no different from a traditional 2.5" HDD. The only difference is the internals as it comes with a 32GB NAND and serves like a cache for commonly accessed files. That is through this adaptive technology, it is able to speed up access to applications, games and file access.


IMG_20160416_192124 copy IMG_20160416_192132 copy seagate internals

Specifications

Seagate-Laptop-SSHD-1TB-32GB-NAND-specs

Benchmarking

To test the Hybrid drive, we compared it with our old Seagate Momentus 7200.4 7200RPM 500GB HDD which came with the HP Envy 14 notebook.
  • HP ENVY 14
  • 6GB SODIMM DDR3-1333
  • ATi Radeon Mobility HD 5450
  • Seagate ST9500420AS 7200.4 Mementus HDD 500GB
  • Seagate ST1000LX001 SSHD 1000GB
In our first tests, we will use the commonly used HDD Benchmark test CrystalMarkInfo and ATTO

CrystalDiskMark on Seagate SSHD

The CrystalDiskMark gives a rough gauge of the performance of HDD or SSD with 5 runs of the tests in Sequential read/write and random 4K tests. The results are thus the average of the 5 runs.
As we can see from the results below, the SSHD is faster in terms of sequential read and write. This is probably due to the large cache of 32GB NAND. The numbers show that it is  56% faster in sequential read and 42% faster in Sequential Write for Q32T1 tests.
As adaptive caching will boost performance in commonly accessed files, this might not be so for random reads and writes. As it is reflected in the numbers below, the differences aren't just a few percentage points away.
CrystalDiskMark of Seagate SSHD
CrystalDiskMark of Seagate SSHD
CrystalDiskMark of Seagate 7200.4 HDD
CrystalDiskMark of Seagate 7200.4 HDD

ATTO Disk Benchmark on Seagate SSHD

Although both screen shots appeared slightly different, the numbers are comparable for 8K to 8MB tests for read and write speeds.
Again, the Seagate Hybrid drive performs better than the HDD. At 8MB block, the score is 120MB/s and 92MB/s for read and write versus that of 89MB/s and 92MB/s for read and write on the older HDD.
atto benchmark
ATTO Benchmark for Seagate SSHD
ATTO Benchmark for Seagate 7200.4
ATTO Benchmark for Seagate 7200.4

PC MARK 7 Benchmarks on Seagate SSHD

PC Mark 7 is a commonly benchmark suite for testing overall PC performance. It can also be used to do sub level tests targeting the IO, Graphics, Disk Performance etc.
In this test, we focused on the Secondary HDD test suite of PC Mark 7. This test will run the suite of test 3 times and log down the time taken and an average score will be generated.
As the SSHD uses adaptive caching, we should be able to see an improved speed.
Here is our result :
secondary storage speed test

As we can see, for both Raw secondary storage and secondary storage,  The traditional HDD only scored 341 vs 1397 on the SSHD, 309% improvement. In Secondary Storage, the scores are 3436 versus 1614, a 112% improvement over the conventional HDD.
Let's take a look at the detail scores for one of the tests for Gaming.
The left hand column are test results on the Seagate momentus 7200.4 HDD and the right column is the scores for the Hybrid drive.
The final score is 4.5MB/s vs 11.23MB/s
If we look carefully at the three iterations of the tests, The first column shows that the three tests gives an almost consistent score of 4.5MB/s. As for the tests done on the Hybrid drive, the scores were 8.81MB/s, 12.13MB/s and 12.75MB/s in the 3 iterations.
Secondary storage - gaming / Secondary storage - gamingSecondary storage - gaming / Secondary storage - gaming
4.5019 MB/s11.23373 MB/s
Secondary storage - gaming iteration 1Secondary storage - gaming iteration 1
4.49132 MB/s8.81735 MB/s
Secondary storage - gaming iteration 2Secondary storage - gaming iteration 2
4.52141 MB/s12.13458 MB/s
Secondary storage - gaming iteration 3Secondary storage - gaming iteration 3
4.49298 MB/s12.74925 MB/s


Real time workload tests on Seagate SSHD

In our real world tests, we did 4 simple tests on both drives. They are Windows 10 Boot up time, OpenOffice Write Launch time, OpenOffice Writer loading 7 documents total 116MB (selecting all, drag and drop) and Paint.net (opening of 2 TIFs by drag and drop) total 413MB.

Windows 10 Boot Up Time

We test the two drives using the smartphone's stop watch to time the boot up time of the Windows 10. The timings were taken starting after we press the button button on the notebook till the Windows 10 login screen appears.
The orange bar indicate the timings of our old HDD and the yellow is the Hybrid drive.
The system was shut down in between the 3 rounds of tests.
As we can see the original HDD took 32s, 21.95s, 20s to boot up. As for the Hybrid drive, we can see it almost halved to 17s in the first boot. The subsequent timings are 14s and 15.35s which are still 5s faster than the hard disk.
windows 10 boot up time
As for OpenOffice Writer, we time it once we click on the icon and stop after the menus appear. The timings are taken thrice. The HDD in this case took 4.41s, 4.7s, 3.39s in 3 tries. As for our Hybrid drive,  the timings are shaved down to 1.59s from the 1st try of 3.12s.
It is 41% faster on first try and 113% faster on the third try. The speed improvement is quite apparent.
openoffice write launch timing
Upon opening of the Writer, 7 documents DOCX files were loaded and timed from start to completion. The timings show that the Hybrid drive on the 3rd run is almost 3s ahead of the HDD. That is an 18% improvement.
openoffice writer loading time
We load 2 TIF image files into the PAINT.NET application and timed the duration it takes to open both TIF files.
Again, we see that in the 3 runs, the HDD takes almost the same timing at 9s, but on the third run for the test on Hyrbid HDD, the time taken has sped up to 7.1s. That is a 27% speed improvement using the Hybrid HDD.
paint net open two 2 files

Conclusion

The Seagate SSHD Hybrid HDD is definitely an innovative product that marries fast speed NAND with conventional HDD to give it speed boost. This is especially important as Hard Disk has been the proven and tested platform for data storage over decades.
With the advancement of technology, photos taken using smartphone or cameras aren't that small in size. Videos taken in HD, 4K will require a higher capacity drive and a HDD provides that capacity and safer storage compared to SSD in a single unit.
Yes SSD provides the speed of access, but that is at the expense of higher capacity. With the NAND flash built into the HDD, it somewhat bridges the needs for faster speed and higher capacity but at a lower price.
At the moment, a 1TB SSD, costs around USD 300 while this Seagate SSHD 1TB ST1000LX001 only costs USD 116. That is almost 33% of a same size SSD.
I would recommend this product for notebook users who needs that extra HDD space as it is less pricey and offers a safer storage solution with a 5 years warranty. (Can your SSD last you 5 years ? )

07 May 2016

G.SKILL Introduces 5 New Color Schemes to Trident Z Series DDR4 Memory

G.SKILL Introduces 5 New Color Schemes to Trident Z Series DDR4 Memory

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Taipei, Taiwan (6 May 2016) – G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is introducing 5 new color schemes to the highly popular extreme performance Trident Z series to select specifications. Aside from the classic Trident Z design of silver and black brushed aluminum heatspreader with a red top-bar highlight, the new color schemes include a black brushed aluminum body paired with orange, yellow, or white top-bar or a silver brushed aluminum body with white or black top-bar.

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With a rise in popularity of modding and cases with window designs, these 5 new Trident Z color schemes are developed for enthusiasts, gamers, and modders who not only wish to include high performance memory in their systems, but also to add attractive visual appeal and show off their unique selection of hardware. Available in yellow, orange, white, and black highlights, these new color schemes pair exceedingly well with modern motherboard designs based on the X99 and Z170 chipsets.

These new colors are expected to be available at the end of May 2016. At launch, the new color schemes will be available in select specifications only. Please see the chart below for details.




NVIDIA Introduces GeForce GTX 1080

NVIDIA today announced the NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 -- the first gaming GPU based on the company's new Pascal™ architecture -- providing up to 2x more performance in virtual reality compared to the GeForce GTX TITAN X.1
Pascal offers massive leaps in performance, memory bandwidth and power efficiency over its predecessor, the high-performance Maxwell™ architecture. And it introduces groundbreaking graphics features and technologies that redefine the PC as the ultimate platform for playing AAA games and enjoying virtual reality.
"The PC is the world's favorite gaming platform, and our new Pascal GPU architecture will take it to new heights," said Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of NVIDIA's PC business. "Our first Pascal gaming GPU, the GeForce GTX 1080, enables incredible realism in gaming and deeply immersive VR experiences, with dramatically improved performance and efficiency. It's the most powerful gaming GPU ever built, and some of our finest work."
Five Marvels of PascalNVIDIA engineered the Pascal architecture to handle the massive computing demands of technologies like VR. It incorporates five transformational technologies:
  • Next-Gen GPU Architecture. Pascal is optimized for performance per watt. The GTX 1080 is 3x more power efficient than the Maxwell Architecture.
  • 16nm FinFET Process. The GTX 1080 is the first gaming GPUs designed for the 16nm FinFET process, which uses smaller, faster transistors that can be packed together more densely. Its 7.2 billion transistors deliver a dramatic increase in performance and efficiency.
  • Advanced Memory. Pascal-based GPUs are the first to harness the power of 8GB of Micron's GDDR5X memory. The 256-bit memory interface runs at 10Gb/sec., helping to drive 1.7x higher effective memory bandwidth than that delivered by regular GDDR5.
  • Superb Craftsmanship. Increases in bandwidth and power efficiency allow the GTX 1080 to run at clock speeds never before possible -- over 1700 MHz -- while consuming only 180 watts of power. New asynchronous compute advances improve efficiency and gaming performance. And new GPU Boost™ 3 technology supports advanced overclocking functionality.
  • Groundbreaking Gaming Technology. NVIDIA is changing the face of gaming from development to play to sharing. New NVIDIA VRWorks™ software features let game developers bring unprecedented immersiveness to gaming environments. NVIDIA's Ansel™ technology lets gamers share their gaming experiences and explore gaming worlds in new ways.
"We were blown away by the performance and features of the GTX 1080," said Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games. "We took scenes from our Paragon game cinematics that were designed to be rendered offline, and rendered them in real time on GTX 1080. It's mind-blowing and we can't wait to see what developers create with UE4 and GTX 1080 in the world of games, automotive design, or architectural visualization -- for both 2D screens and for VR."
VRWorks: A New Level of Presence for VRTo fully immerse users in virtual worlds, the enhanced NVIDIA VRWorks software development kit offers a never before experienced level of "VR presence." It combines what users see, hear and touch with the physical behavior of the environment to convince them that their virtual experience is real.
  • 2x VR Graphics Performance: VRWorks Graphics now includes a simultaneous multi-projection capability that renders natively to the unique dimensions of VR displays instead of traditional, 2D monitors. It also renders geometry for the left and right eyes simultaneously in a single pass.
  • Enveloping Audio: VRWorks Audio uses the NVIDIA OptiX™ ray-tracing engine to trace the path of sounds across an environment in real time, fully reflecting the size, shape and material of the virtual world.
  • Interactive Touch and Physics: NVIDIA PhysX® for VR detects when a hand controller interacts with a virtual object, and enables the game engine to provide a physically accurate visual and haptic response. It also models the physical behavior of the virtual world around the user so that all interactions -- whether an explosion or a hand splashing through water -- behave as if in the real world.
NVIDIA has integrated these technologies into a new VR experience called VR Funhouse.
"GeForce GTX 1080 promises to be the ultimate graphics card for experiencing EVE: Valkyrie," said Hilmar Veigar P├ętursson, CEO of CCP Games. "We are looking forward to bringing NVIDIA's new VRWorks features to Valkyrie to take the game's visuals and performance to another level."
Ansel: Capturing the Artistry of GamingNVIDIA also announced Ansel, a powerful game capture tool that allows gamers to explore, capture and share the artistry of gaming in ways never before possible.
With Ansel, gamers can compose the gameplay shots they want, pointing the camera in any direction and from any vantage point within a gaming world. They can capture screenshots at up to 32x screen resolution, and then zoom in where they choose without losing fidelity. With photo-filters, they can add effects in real time before taking the perfect shot. And they can capture 360-degree stereo photospheres for viewing in a VR headset or Google Cardboard.
Availability and PricingThe NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 "Founders Edition" will be available on May 27 for $699. It will be available from ASUS, Colorful, EVGA, Gainward, Galaxy, Gigabyte, Innovision 3D, MSI, NVIDIA. Palit, PNY and Zotac. Custom boards from partners will vary by region and pricing is expected to start at $599.
The GeForce GTX 1080 will also be sold in fully configured systems from leading U.S.-based system builders, including AVADirect, Cyberpower, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Geekbox, IBUYPOWER, Maingear, Origin PC, Puget Systems, V3 Gaming and Velocity Micro, as well as system integrators outside North America.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 "Founders Edition" will be available on June 10 for $449. Custom boards from partners are expected to start at $379.
More information on the GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 is available at www.geforce.com.
Ansel will be available in upcoming releases and patches of games such as Tom Clancy's The DivisionThe WitnessLawbreakersThe Witcher 3ParagonNo Man's SkyObduction, Fortnite and Unreal Tournament.

02 May 2016

Japan might intervene with JPY

Japan's finance minister has warned the recent sharp rise in the yen is "extremely worrying", adding Tokyo will take action when necessary.

The remarks, which suggest Tokyo's possible market intervention, came after the Japanese unit surged to an 18-month high against the dollar in New York on Friday.

It extended the previous day's rally, which was boosted by a surprising monetary decision made by the Bank of Japan (BoJ).

On Thursday, the central bank shocked markets by failing to provide more stimulus, confounding expectations it would act after a double earthquake and a string of weak readings on the world's number three economy.

The dollar tumbled to 106.31 yen in New York at the end of last week, its lowest level since October 2014, from 108.11 yen.

The greenback had bought 111.78 yen in Tokyo before the BoJ announcement on Thursday.
Haruhiko Kuroda, Bank of Japan Governor "The yen strengthened by five yen in two days. Obviously one-sided and biased, so-called speculative moves are seen behind it," said Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso.

"It is extremely worrying," he said. The finance minister left on a trip, which will also take him to an annual Asian Development Bank meeting in Germany. "Tokyo will continue watching the market trends carefully and take actions when necessary," he added. A strong currency is damaging for Japan's exporting giants, such as Toyota and Sony, as it makes their goods more expensive overseas and shrinks the value of repatriated profits. Aso has reiterated that Japan could intervene in forex markets to stem the unit's steep rise, saying moves to halt the currency's "one-sided, speculative" rally would not breach a G20 agreement to avoid competitive currency devaluations. Japan last intervened in currency markets around November 2011, when it tried to stem the yen's rise against the greenback to keep an economic recovery on track after the quake-tsunami disaster earlier that year.






22 April 2016

UOB mighty app gets blocked on rooted android devices

If you are a UOB customer, you might have downloaded an installed their latest Google App from the App Store.

As spywares and backdoors are rampant among the Android smartphones, UOB took a step and blocks out users who are suspected of using rooted devices to access internet banking.

This is a good move as it protects both parties from the hackers.

A pop up will be displayed when your device is supposedly compromised.

Source


21 April 2016

INTEL will slash up to 12,000 jobs worldwide as it seeks to shake up its business to reduce dependence on the slumping personal computer market,

INTEL will slash up to 12,000 jobs worldwide as it seeks to shake up its business to reduce dependence on the slumping personal computer market, the United States tech giant said on Tuesday.

Known for its role as the leading PC chipmaker, it has in recent years been seeking to shift to mobile and emerging technologies.

The restructuring will cut about 11 per cent of the workforce by mid-2017 and aims to "accelerate evolution from a PC company to one that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices", it said.

"Our results over the last year demonstrate a strategy that is working and a solid foundation for growth," said chief executive Brian Krzanich.

"The opportunity now is to accelerate this momentum and build on our strengths."

Intel will be increasing investments in key growth areas, which include the range of smart home and other connected devices known as the "Internet of Things", as well as its data centres and computer memory operation.

Mr Krzanich has spoken frequently about the shift in computing and laid out his vision more than a year ago, telling the Consumer Electronics Show that the industry would be "unleashed" by wearables.

"So, computing becomes unwired and everything becomes smart and connected," he noted at the time.

Intel said the job cuts will come from "a combination of voluntary and involuntary departures" and a re-evaluation of its global operations.

It will set aside US$1.2 billion (S$1.6 billion) to cover the costs of the job reductions and expects the programme to save US$750 million this year and US$1.4 billion by mid-2017.

How to prevent Ransomware from installing in your system

Lately I heard of friends seeking help as their computers were affected by RansomWare. Ransomeware is some sort of backdoor application or script that is installed into your PC. They usually comes as attachements in ZIP files.

If you unknowingly installed it, it will execute the Windows Host Script and starts encrypting your important Documents, Excel spreadsheets etc.

When you try to open it, it will pop up a message asking you to pay to 'unlock' the important file.
Ransomware seems to be rampant these days. It not only encrypts your data files and ask you for money by holding you ransom for the important files. So, how can one avoid installing ransomware unknowingly?



So how do you prevent it ?

To resolve this, you can try to disable the Windows Host Script by following the instructions here by disabling the WSH in REGISTRY using REGEDIT.

Read more.



Catch the Latest, Hottest Content on StarHub Go Game of Thrones’ Season 6 to premiere concurrently with US Ramped up catalogue includes express titles from Asia, US and UK New intuitive features for an even more superior user experience

Catch the Latest, Hottest Content on StarHub Go
- Game of Thrones’ Season 6 to premiere concurrently with US
- Ramped up catalogue includes express titles from Asia, US and UK
- New intuitive features for an even more superior user experience

Singapore, 21 April 2016 – Fans of Game of Thrones are in for a real treat! The brand new season of HBO’s Emmy® Award-winning drama series returns on 25 April—with a whole new season of duplicity and treacheryconquest and triumph—and Singaporean audiences can catch all that exciting action on StarHub Go, at the same time it debuts in the US. This is thanks to an enhancement on the online video streaming service which features an even bigger and more current catalogue. Viewers can expect exclusive content ranging from top Asian broadcasters such as TVB, CJ Media, and Sanlih Entertainment Television to Hollywood’s finest networks like DreamWorks, HBO and Sony. Sports fans will be thrilled with ‘live’ sporting action from top drawer properties including UEFA Champions League and National Basketball League.

To ensure a superior user experience, the latest version of StarHub Go also offers new, intuitive features such as a search function, making finding content a fuss-free affair. Based on users’ past viewing preferences, the recommendation feature will highlight related entertainment options to customers. Watching TV will also become more social—users can share and comment on their favourite programmes with friends on the social media platform.

“StarHub Go is a personal online video service where customers can catch first-run series such as Sherlock and Orphan Black, watch the brand new season of Game of Thrones concurrently with their US counterparts, or simply indulge in hours of the latest hit Korean drama on their preferred smart devices,” expressed Ms Lin Shu Fen, Head, Family Segment & HubLife, StarHub. “To make the viewing experience even more enjoyable, we go one step further to ensure that StarHub Mobile Postpaid customers will not be charged for data usage while streaming their favourite content on StarHub Go. We will continue to expand the catalogue on StarHub Go, so that customers can be assured of always catching the latest and most compelling content here.”

Supersized Catalogue
There are myriad channels that can now be accessed via two packs on StarHub Go: Go Select and Go Sports. At $9.901 per month (including GST), the Go Select Pack will offer unlimited, on demand, commercial-free viewing of the best in US and British productions, the latest and hottest Asian dramas and variety shows, as well as intriguing documentaries and engaging kids programming. In addition to the latest season of Game of Thrones, anyone with a Hub ID can watch all of the five earlier seasons at no cost from now till April 30. Drama aficionados will appreciate the latest original productions from BBC First, including the critically acclaimed adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, all three seasons of Sherlock, the one-episode special, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride as well as the latest season of dramatic conspiracy series, Orphan Black—available within 24 hours after its original telecast.

Fans of Asian programming can catch TVB’s latest trial drama, My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan, concurrently with their Hong Kong counterparts on 25 April. The comedy drama sees popular silver screen actors Kent Cheng and Tommy Wong, making a comeback as a gang of old, retired triad bosses.  Meanwhile, popular Taiwanese artistes Aaron Yan and Joanne Tseng will delight fans in their latest idol drama Refresh Man, which will premiere on 23 April. Top-rated Chinese period dramas to catch include the currently showing Imperial Doctress and Nirvana in Fire, which will premiere on 16 May.  Alternatively, viewers can choose to kick back and relax with the latest Korean titles like Descendants of the Sun, Cheese in the Trap and MisaengVariety show junkies can look forward to top-grossing variety programmes from China and Taiwan such as If You Are The One, Mr Player, and Hot Door Night. For a touch of local delight, viewers can catch all StarHub’s original productions on StarHub Go, including Hear Me Sing, Singapore’s first online reality singing competition, which is currently underway.

The Go Sports Pack is perfect for sports fans to access top sporting ‘live’ action on the move. These include top drawer sports properties such as UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, La Liga, ATP World Tour, National Basketball Association and World Wrestling Entertainment on selected sports channels: beIN SPORTS HD, EuroSport, Setanta Sports as well as StarHub’s stable of self-packaged sports channels: SuperSports 1, SuperSports 2, SuperSports 3 and SuperSports 4. The Go Sports Pack is priced at an attractive $9.901 per month (including GST).
All StarHub  TV, Broadband and post-paid Mobile customers can enjoy the convenience of charging their StarHub Go Pack subscriptions to their existing monthly bills, while non-StarHub customers can pay for unlimited access with a 30-day StarHub Go pass via their credit cards. iOS users can now even subscribe to the Packs via the Apple App Store.  For a worry-free streaming experience, StarHub Mobile postpaid customers will not be charged for the use of their mobile data while consuming content on StarHub Go.
 For more information, please visit www.starhubgo.com.
 1Promotional price for Go Sports Pack is valid until 31 December 2016

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