Where have all the Radeon R9 290X graphics cards gone?
Back in December of last year, we noticed that AMD's Radeon R9 290X graphics card was hard to find, which we (and the rest of the web) ultimately surmised was due to the virtual coin mining craze. With the rapid rise in value of Bitcoins, miners who were late to the party started looking at Litecoin mining in hopes of making some easy money. Since AMD's cards do a better job at mining these virtual gold nuggets, the 290X became a hot commodity. Fast forward to today and the card is still in short supply, but is mining still to blame?
Hackers stole customer data from Kickstarter's database
Kickstarter's rising popularity has apparently made it a target for hackers, some of which recently weaseled their way into the crowdfunding site's database and made off with some sensitive information. Some usernames, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and encrypted passwords were compromised in the data breach, though Kickstarter says no credit card data was accessed.
Get free stuff when you order an EON17-S or EON15-S notebook
Consider it a belated Valentine's Day gift, if you will, but starting today, boutique builder Origin PC is offering some free swag when you order an EON17-S or EON15-S gaming laptop. When you configure either laptop, be sure to check the "Jump into the Fast Lane" bullet point at the top of the page (under "Current Special Offers") and you'll receive at no extra charge a 240GB solid state drive, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Microsoft has set a firm date of October 31st for final sale of consumer Windows 7 machines, but business machines are another story. The official website has been updated as such to reflect this, with Microsoft noting that October 31, 2014 is the new end-of-sale date for Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, or Ultimate PCs. Home Premium takes the cake when it comes to sales, but now Microsoft is pushing for Windows 8 to take over as reigning champ, per PC World.
Sharkoon, a popular name for budget-priced peripherals and hardware, has announced a new series of power supplies for those of us looking to save a few bucks. The WPM V2 series units feature a cable management system and are equippped with one 6-pin and one 6+2-pin PCIe connector. The power supplies will come built with power delivery envelopes that range between 400 W to 700 W and house a 140 mm fan.
As if worrying about your PC and smartphones weren't enough, now you've got to go on the defensive when it comes to your wireless routers. According to reports from the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center (ISC), customers out of a Wyoming ISP have reported compromised Linksys routers. The culprit? Malware known only as "TheMoon," malicious software that first compromises Linksys routers and then scans for other devices that may very well be vulnerable.
Lucky residents in Kansas City and Provo, Utah can already sign up for 1Gbps Google Fiber service, and Austin, Texas isn't far behind. That's 100 times faster than the average American speed of 9.8Mbps (based on Akamai's State of the Internet 3Q2013), and yet it's also only the tip of the iceberg. Apparently bitten by the speed bug, Google is currently working on speeds of 10Gbps.
The folks at Futuremark offer a ton of popular benchmarking applications for desktop PCs and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, though noticeably missing is any kind of server benchmark. Futuremark is attempting to tie up that loose end by announcing Servermark, a new and comprehensive benchmarking tool for x86-based servers running Linux. According to Futuremark, it will be especially suitable for testing virtual machines.
Cable companies and tech firms like Microsoft share a common goal
A coalition of cable companies and well known technology firms has been formed to address the "Wi-Fi spectrum crunch" and to lobby Washington to free up unlicensed spectrum. The coaltion is called WifiForward and it includes cable companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable (which Comcast is trying to acquire), and Charter Communications, along with technology firms like Microsoft, Google, and Broadcom.