Monday 30 January 2017

All-Corn Diet Turns Hamsters Into Cannibals

An anonymous reader quotes Engadget: A new paper outlines the efforts of scientists at the University of Strasbourg to determine why the European hamster has been dying off at an alarming rate... Previously, the rodent's diet consisted of grains, roots and insects. But the regions in which its numbers were dropping have been taken over by the industrial farming of corn... Researchers in France have discovered that a monotonous diet of corn causes hamsters to exhibit some unusual behavior -- cannibalism. âoeImproperly cooked maize-based diets have been associated with higher rates of homicide, suicide and cannibalism in humans," the researchers point out, and they believe it's the absence of vitamin B3 which is affecting the hamsters' nervous system and triggering dementia-like behavior. Hamsters are already an endangered species in Western Europe, so this is being heavily-researched. And they obviously won't improve their chances of survival with cannibalism.
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Sunday 29 January 2017

A Dizzying Tour of London (17 photos)

Server Runs Continuously For 24 Years

In 1993 a Stratus server was booted up by an IT application architect -- and it's still running. An anonymous reader writes: "It never shut down on its own because of a fault it couldn't handle," says Phil Hogan, who's maintained the server for 24 years. That's what happens when you include redundant components. "Over the years, disk drives, power supplies and some other components have been replaced but Hogan estimates that close to 80% of the system is original," according to Computerworld. There's no service contract -- he maintains the server with third-party vendors rather than going back to the manufacturer, who says they "probably" still have the parts in stock. And while he believes the server's proprietary operating system hasn't been updated in 15 years, Hogan says "It's been extremely stable." The server will finally be retired in April, and while the manufacturer says there's some more Stratus servers that have been running for at least 20 years -- this one seems to be the oldest.
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Saturday 28 January 2017

Building Zero protocol for fast, secure mobile connections

Nokia's voice assistant is for engineers, not ordering Ubers

Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Apple are all developing their voice assistants to be the perfect companions for our busy lives, helping us control our smart homes, buy things, summon Ubers, play funky music and find out what show that guy from that film is in. Nokia's newly announced voice assistant, on the other hand, is strictly business -- we're talking the Nokia that specializes in network technologies here, not the Nokia brand of devices licensee HMD Global puts out. The Multi-purpose Intuitive Knowledge Assistant, or MIKA for short, is a voice assistant built specifically for telecoms engineers, quickly surfacing the information they need to fix network faults and such.

As Nokia so succinctly puts it, MIKA "will provide voice-dictated automated assistance to reduce time spent searching information resources, enabling operators to focus on key business tasks without being distracted by the complexities of multi-technology network environments." In human-speak, MIKA will talk engineers through reconnecting the interlacing nodes with the transponder array to reconfigure spectrum when they're a bit rusty in that procedure (yes, I made all that up). MIKA will also be able to recommend a course of action by remembering how familiar issues have been resolved in the past, since Nokia has some experience with network infrastructure.

Problems will hopefully arise less often thanks to another new Nokia technology, too. Also powered by the company's AVA cloud platform -- the grunt that puts MIKA on computers, smartphones and other devices -- the Predictive Repair service can apparently foresee network faults up to two weeks in advance with 95 percent accuracy, further lightening the load on engineers.

There have been rumblings that Nokia was cooking up an AI helper, registering a trademark for one "Viki" bot earlier this year. There's every chance the company is still developing a consumer-facing, less-specialized digital assistant under that name, but MIKA will still be Nokia's first as it's now available for telecoms providers to try out. It's unlikely you or I will ever see it in action first-hand, of course, but when your 4G connection unexpectedly dies later this year, MIKA may well be on the case.

Source: Nokia

Read the full article here by Engadget

Friday 27 January 2017

Microsoft working on ' Cloud Shell'

Last week, details emerged of Microsoft's plans to develop a single, unified, 'adaptive shell' for Windows 10. Known as the 'Composable Shell', or CSHELL, the company's efforts were said to be focused on establishing a universal Windows 10 version with a standardized framework to scale and adapt the OS to any type of device, display size or user experience, including smartphones, PCs, tablets, consoles, large touchscreens, and more. Today,

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Overwatch’s gamer girl hero inspires a feminist movement

Disable your antivirus software (except Microsoft's)

I was just reading some Tweets and an associated Hackernews thread and it reminded me that, now that I've left Mozilla for a while, it's safe for me to say: antivirus software vendors are terrible; don't buy antivirus software, and uininstall it if you already have it (except, on Windows, for Microsoft's). I've been saying the same thing here on OSNews for a decade now: antivirus software makers are terrible companies. Don't buy their crappy software only to let it infect your machine like a virus that slowly hollows out and kills your computer. Stick to Windows' built-in Microsoft tool.

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Thursday 26 January 2017

Amazon Lumberyard Beta 1.7 Available

Amazon has presented Amazon Lumberyard 1.7 update that has entered beta stage. The new version is stated to be the biggest update for the game engine by Amazon, having more than 403 new features, improvements and fixes.

The focus this time is on accessibility that makes sure Lumberyard is attractive both to professionals and enthusiasts.

One of the most important ways we measure accessibility is asking, “how quickly can customers get an asset into the engine and iterate?”  One of the most repetitive tasks for game developers is creating and managing project assets. For artists, designers, and gameplay engineers, this happens hundreds or even thousands of times a day, so we believe if we can make handling an asset even a few seconds faster, we can make a big difference to your team’s speed. Our strategy for achieving acceleration is with Lumberyard’s Asset Processor and, new to Lumberyard Beta 1.7, the Asset Browser. With the Asset Processor, you can get assets into the engine nearly instantly. You simply save a file (for example, from Maya or Photoshop) into a folder, and the Asset Processor automatically processes that file from source art into game-ready assets. If you go back and edit an asset, Lumberyard knows about the change and updates it automatically in the background, in a few seconds, with zero effort on your part.

New Features

  • The Lumberyard Asset Browser Preview – see all of your assets and use them to create scenes.
  • A reworking of the core UI/UX to make Lumberyard more accessible.
  • The Lumberyard editor has a new deployment tool for quick tests of Android builds.
  • Better functionality for multiplayer games.
  • VisualStudio 2015 support.

You can find the full list of updates here

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Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh

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This browser tweak saved 60% of requests to Facebook

Facebook Slideshows are slowly rolling out on Android

Last June Facebook launched the Google-Photos-like Slideshow feature on iOS and now the social network is ready to spread the love. Android Police reports that the feature is in a slow rollout, so you might not be able to upload photos into a mini-movie of sorts yourself just yet. To see if you have it, make a new status update within the app and hit the "Slideshow" button. It's denoted with an orange movie camera should reside between the "feeling/activity" and "tag friends" options. And that's about it. Jealous that you still might not have it? Well, you could always draft a colorful status update to express your discontent.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Android Police

Read the full article here by Engadget

Uniquement le 26/01 : Booster de démarrage / batterie externe Aukey 12000 mAh (avec 1 port USB + lampe torche + marteau de secours) à 19.99€ @ Amazon (Vendeur Tiers)

Livraison gratuite
AUKEY 12000mAh Booster de Démarrage de Voiture 3 en 1 Batterie Auto Urgence avec Marteau de Secours, Lampe de Poche LED Ultra Lumineux, et Batterie Externe parfaite pour smartphone et d'autres appareils mobiles (orange)

AUKEY Batterie externe 12000mAh Booster de Démarrage de Voiture Multifonction 3 en 1
• Avec notre démarreur pour auto, ne vous inquiétez plus pour se bloquer avec une voiture épuisée de batterie!
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• Facile à emporter! Avec la taille compacte, il est portatif dans votre poche ou à l'intérieur de votre voiture.

Véhicule stater d'urgence : Il peut relancer la plupart des véhicules environ 10-15 fois avec 400A courant de crête et des pinces robustes.
Chargeur externe USB : Batterie externe 12000mAh, recharger votre téléphone portable, tablette et d'autres appareils numériques. Idéal pour un cas d'urgence ou un usage quotidien.
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Lampe de poche réglable : 3 modes d'éclairage, la lumière stable, la lumière stroboscopique et SOS signal lumineux. Idéal pour les réparations en bordure de route, l'escalade, le camping et d'autres activités en plein air.

Dimension : 178 x 114 x 32mm/7 x 4.49 x 1.26in
Poids : 500g/17.64oz
Capacité : 12000mAh Temps de charge: environ 4 heures
Entrée : DC 15V 1A
USB sortie : 5V 2.1A
Courant de démarrage: 200A Crête de courant de démarrage: 400A

Contenu de l'emballage
1 X Aukey PB-C4 Booster de Démarrage de Voiture 12000mAh avec le marteau de secours
1 X Smart Pinces de Batterie
1 X AC Adapteur
1 X Chargeur de Voiture
1 X USB Câble de Charge

Read the full article here by : Tous les deals HOT

Chrome To Introduce Timer To Throttle Background Pages

Google plans to roll out a change in Chrome Stable soon that will have the browser throttle timers in background tabs to improve battery life and browsing performance. From a report: The motivation behind the chance is that some pages consume a lot of CPU when they are in the background. Google mentions JavaScript advertisements and analytics scripts explicitly but it is not limited to that. The core idea is to limit the processing power that background tabs get in Chrome once the feature lands. (1) Each WebView has a budget (in seconds) for running timers in background. (2) A timer task is only allowed to run when the budget is non-negative. (3) After a timer has executed, its run time is subtracted from the budget. (4) The budget regenerates with time (at rate of 0.01 seconds per second). (5) The only pages that appear to be exempt from the throttling are those that play audio.
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Wednesday 25 January 2017


With the right 90-degree rotation, any effect is a side effect.

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Z1FFER – A True Random Number Generator for Arduino (and the post-Snowden era)

Low cost and open source, Rob Seward’s Z1FFER is Hardware Random Number Generator that harnesses thermal noise to provide a high quality random bitstream for research and experimentation. Available at the CAN shop now!

Read the full article here by CreativeApplications.Net

Digital Bros acquire Assetto Corsa developers Kunos Simulazioni

Digital Bros acquire Assetto Corsa developers Kunos Simulazioni

Italian publisher Digital Bros has acquired Kunos Simulazioni, the studio behind popular racing sim Assetto Corsa, in a deal worth €4,342,500 in cash and stock.

Digital Bros now own 100% of the company, paying €2.75m in cash and an additional €1.59m in shares. The two Italian companies have a strong relationship already due to Assetto Corsa, which was published on the console by a Digital Bros subsidiary, 505 Games. The console launch was somewhat less warmly received than the PC edition, which was self publish

In a statement, the company said: "With this acquisition, Digital Bros Group intends to grow further as a game publisher and developer, capable of achieving success worldwide and of always being ready to satisfy the needs of an increasingly demanding public." They also discussed the possibility of further games using the Assetto Corsa license.

Kunos Simulazioni's Marco Massarutto has said in a post on Facebook that both he and Stefano Casillo, the company's co-founder, will be staying at the company, and suggested to fans that the company would be on the same course, with many things at the company staying the same.

Read the full article here by Develop Feed

Announcing LoopBack 3.0

LoopBack V3.0 is now available for use in production!

LoopBack is a highly extensible, open-source Node.js framework based on Express that enables you to quickly create dynamic end-to-end REST APIs and connect to backend systems such as databases and SOAP or REST services.

The V3.0 release includes many new features, improvements, and bug fixes. Highlights include:

There are many other improvements, changes, and additions. See the release announcement blog post by LoopBack lead developer Miroslav Bajtos and the release notes for more information.

The post Announcing LoopBack 3.0 appeared first on developerWorks Open.

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RansomFree Proactively Protects Your Computer Against Ransomware Attacks

Windows: RansomFree is a new tool that promises to stop ransomware attacks before they can get busy encrypting all of your data. Instead of watching specific processes or trying to use signatures to identify ransomware, it observes the behavior of running processes instead, warning you when something’s up.


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Tuesday 24 January 2017

Microsoft Open-Sources DirectX Shader Compiler

Some more exciting graphics news today aside from a big Vulkan update is Microsoft announcing they have open-sourced a DirectX shader compiler...

Read the full article here by Phoronix

Google Publishes List of Chrome OS Systems Supporting Android Apps

For some time now we have been talking about the melding of Chrome OS and Android. Google has now published a list of which systems will be supporting Android applications, and while I'm no expert on Chromebooks, that looks like damned near all of them to me. I don't own any Chrome OS devices, but I imagine having the added flexibility of running Android apps could be rather useful. What Android applications would you use on your Chrome OS device? Android apps are now available on: - Asus Chromebook Flip. - Acer Chromebook R11 / C738T - Google Chromebook Pixel (2015) All Chromebooks launching in 2017 and after as well as the Chromebooks listed below will work with Android apps at a time to be announced in the future*: Discussion

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Widely used WebEx plugin for Chrome will execute attack code—patch now!

Microsoft's DirectX Shader Compiler Now Open Source

Looks like Microsoft today made their compiler for DX12 shaders open source. It makes me wonder why it would be in their interest to do such a thing. They claim it is to foster greater adoption resulting in the "faster creation of more complex shaders in apps and games," but I would think that more than anything else, the winners from this move are projects such as Wine, SteamOS and developers porting games for Linux. Gift horses, and mouths, and all those things. It's probably not going to usher in a new era of Linux gaming, but it surely can't hurt, right? What do you guys think? Yes, the source is public. Because the source is available, developers can check to see how the compiler works at the smallest level of detail. You can download it, modify it, and make it a part of any system you are building. You can port it to other platforms. You can also contribute your ideas and code to the project directly, or collaborate with other partners (including hardware vendors) on new contributions. Discussion

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Coffee Is Your Friend

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Monday 23 January 2017

Knuth Previews New Math Section For 'The Art of Computer Programming'

In 1962, 24-year-old Donald Knuth began writing The Art of Computer Programming -- and 55 years later, he's still working on it. An anonymous reader quotes Knuth's web site at Stanford: Volume 4B will begin with a special section called 'Mathematical Preliminaries Redux', which extends the 'Mathematical Preliminaries' of Section 1.2 in Volume 1 to things that I didn't know about in the 1960s. Most of this new material deals with probabilities and expectations of random events; there's also an introduction to the theory of martingales. You can have a sneak preview by looking at the current draft of pre-fascicle 5a (52 pages), last updated 18 January 2017. As usual, rewards will be given to whoever is first to find and report errors or to make valuable suggestions. I'm particularly interested in receiving feedback about the exercises (of which there are 125) and their answers (of which there are 125). Over the years Knuth gave out over $20,000 in rewards, though most people didn't cash his highly-coveted "hexadecimal checks", and in 2008 Knuth switched to honorary "hexadecimal certificates". In 2014 Knuth complained about the "dumbing down" of computer science history, and his standards remain high. In his most-recent update, 79-year-old Knuth reminds readers that "There's stuff in here that isn't in Wikipedia yet!"
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C++ Creator Wants To Solve 35-Year-Old Generic Programming Issues With Concepts

C++ creator Bjarne Stroustrup is arguing that we can improve code by grounding generic programming in concepts -- what's required by a template's arguments. An anonymous reader quotes Paul Krill's report on a new paper by Stroustrup: In concepts, Stroustrup sees the solution to the interface specification problem that has long dogged C++, the language he founded more than 35 years ago. "The way we write generic code today is simply too different from the way we write other code," Stroustrup says... Currently an ISO technical specification, concepts provide well-specified interfaces to templates without runtime overhead. Concepts, Stroustrup writes, are intended to complete C++'s support for generic programming as initially envisioned. "The purpose of concepts is to fundamentally simplify and improve design. This leads to fewer bugs and clearer -- often shorter -- code"... Concepts, Stroustrup believes, will greatly ease engineers' ability to write efficient, reliable C++ code... The most obvious effect will be a massive improvement in the quality of error messages, but the most important long-term effect will be found in the flexibility and clarity of code, Stroustrup says. "In particular, having well-specified interfaces allows for simple, general and zero-overhead overloading of templates. That simplifies much generic code" Concepts are already available in GNU C Compiler 6.2, and Stroustrup wants them to be included in C++ 20. "In my opinion, concepts should have been part of C++ 17, but the committee couldn't reach consensus on that."
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Do Android Users Still Use Custom Roms?

"With all of the drama at CyanogenMod, Android Authority takes a look at the current state of custom ROM development," writes Slashdot reader Thelasko. From the article: The future of CyanogenMod appears uncertain, after the open source ROM was forced to fork under the name Lineage OS. Fortunately there are already other remixed versions of Android available, with some of the most popular being Paranoid Android, Resurrection Remix, and Dirty Unicorns... [But] with each new version of Android, the gap between Android and popular custom ROMs has shrunk, which begs an interesting question: Are custom ROMs even necessary anymore? To answer this, let's take a quick look at the state of custom ROM development as it exists today. The article points out that mobile virtual reality is "on the verge of becoming mainstream and the wearable market has grown tremendously," asking whether custom firmware will also integrate these newer technologies. But the original submission also asks a question that's closer to home. What custom ROMs do Slashdot users have installed?
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Hugo Barra leaves Xiaomi and will return to Silicon Valley

VP of International Hugo Barra announced on Facebook that he'll be leaving Xiaomi and returning to Silicon Valley. Barra, who became a popular figure in the company both at home in Beijing and abroad, was a star at Google's Android division prior to his tenure at Xiaomi. He called his time in Beijing "the greatest and most challenging adventure of my life," and said he feels he's leaving Xiaomi in a "good place on its global expansion path." At the same time, he said that "living in such a singular environment has taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health."

When Barra took the reins of Xiaomi in August 2013, it was a rapidly growing "rockstar" smartphone company, as he put it. To give you an idea of its trajectory during that period, Xiaomi sold 7.5 million smartphones in 2012 and just two years later in 2014, 61 million -- growth of nearly 800 percent. However, CEO Lei Jun recently admitted that such expansion was too rapid and unsustainable. "In the first few years, we pushed ahead too fast. We created a miracle, but also drew on some long-term growth," Lei said last week.

Despite its success in Asia, Europe and elsewhere, Xiaomi still doesn't have a large presence in the US, other than selling its Mi Box smart TV device online. However Barra recently told Engadget that the company has started testing phones, including a special version of the Mi5 and Mi Note 2 in the US, a sign that its smartphones could be coming soon. So far, the only way to get a Mi Phone in the US has been to import one, but there's a large chance that it won't work on LTE networks here.

Barra played a big part in Xiaomi's success -- he was omnipresent at company events and was a popular face of the product in China. He said that CEO Lei Jun has "been very supportive of my transition and has asked me to remain an advisor to Xiaomi indefinitely." Barra didn't elaborate on what he'd be doing next, but said he'd be "transitioning out of my role at Xiaomi in February after Chinese New Year," then taking time off before "embarking on a new adventure back in Silicon Valley."

Source: Hugo Barra (Facebook)

Read the full article here by Engadget

Saturday 21 January 2017

Vpp / Vulkan++: Yet Another Vulkan C++ Abstraction Library

For C++ developers, the Vulkan space is quite vibrant as aside from the official Vulkan-Hpp C++ library there are a growing number of abstraction layers for Vulkan C++ development...

Read the full article here by Phoronix

Friday 20 January 2017

Game Mode in Windows 10 Creators Update will boost gaming performance and quality

Now that Windows 10 build 15007 is available for Windows Insiders on the Fast Ring, we're really starting to get a proper look at where Microsoft is going with the impending Creators Update release. We've already seen how the company is pushing 3D and augmented reality, but it has not forgotten about gamers. Proclaiming that "2017 is going to be a monumental year for gaming at Microsoft", the Windows maker has taken the wraps off Game Mode. The promise that this special mode will increase the performance of PC games is something that will be welcomed by gamers the world… [Continue Reading]

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Android Co-Founder Andy Rubin Working On High-End, Bezel-Less Modular Smartphone

Rubin is taking on the iPhone and Pixel with a metal-edged, ceramic-backed phone with a proprietary connector that essentially makes it modular, allowing users to add features through first- and third-party accessories. Who knows how successful it will be—this guy spearheaded Android, but its success is probably owed to many, many other people at Google. Rubin is preparing to announce a new company called Essential and serve as its Chief Executive Officer, according to people familiar with the matter. A platform company designed to tie multiple devices together, Essential is working on a suite of consumer hardware products, including ones for the mobile and smart home markets, one of the people said. The centerpiece of the system is a high-end smartphone with a large edge-to-edge screen that lacks a surrounding bezel. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January, Rubin discussed the smartphone with mobile carrier executives, including some from Sprint Corp., people familiar with the talks said. Discussion

Read the full article here by [H]ardOCP News/Article Feed

Windows 10 is about to get a high-performance Game Mode

Microsoft made a big fuss out of the Windows 10 Creators Update's gaming features, and it's nearly ready to start delivering on them... including some that have remained mysterious. The company has revealed that it'll start trotting out a largely unknown Windows 10 Game Mode as part of Insider previews "this week." The improvement won't be fully functional until later releases, but Microsoft has at last shed some light on what it is: it'll fine-tune your PC to speed up gaming performance. This mode should help both legacy Windows games (Win32) and modern titles (UWP), so you won't have to be picky about what you're playing to notice a difference. You should "soon" hear a lot more about how it works, Microsoft says.

The news comes as Microsoft has detailed some of the already known upgrades hitting both the Xbox One and Windows 10 in the months ahead. Baked-in Beam livestreaming will be the centerpiece on both platforms, giving you a simple way to share whatever you're playing. On the Xbox One, you'll also see an enhanced, always-available Guide with faster access to game recording and music controls, an Achievement tracking overlay, a new look for Cortana and a Gamerscore leaderboard.

Both platforms will receive Xbox Live upgrades that help you connect to friends on social networks, a more social-friendly Activity Feed, better tools for Clubs and looking-for-group posts, and the option to start your own Arena tournaments in games like Killer Instinct and World of Tanks. So long as you're willing to be patient (you won't get much of this until at least the Creators Update), you'll have a lot to look forward to.

Via: Mike Ybarra (Twitter)

Source: Xbox Wire

Read the full article here by Engadget

Model shows that multiple impacts could have produced our Moon

Zotac Updates ZBOX mini-PCs with Kaby Lake: vPro, Thunderbolt, and More

As part of their pre-CES teaser, Zotac had talked about their mini-ITX GTX 1080 and their external Thunderbolt 3 graphics dock. They had also hinted about some updates to the ZBOX lineup, with some details about the ZBOX CI549 nano, a vPro-enabled passively cooled UCFF (ultra-compact form factor) PC with Thunderbolt 3 support. However, at their suite, we found that many of their existing ZBOX models will be getting a Kaby Lake update. Since Kaby Lake is a minor update in terms of features to Skylake, the Zotac really doesn't have much to work with compared to the Skylake models. Despite that, Zotac has introduced some new features into the ZBOX series - including vPro and Thunderbolt 3 support - that are not present in the Skylake versions.

Zotac markets their mini-PCs in multiple market segments - the E-series for gaming, the C-series for users interested in passively cooled systems, the M-series for certain PCs with active cooling in multiple form factors, the VR-series for virtual reality use-cases, the P-series for pocket-sized computers, and so on. The Kaby Lake updates are coming to the C-series, M-series, and E-series. While the C-series units come with the nano tag (with a 5in x 5in x 1.78in form-factor), the M-series come in either the regular ZBOX size (7.4in x 7.4in x 1.78in) or the nano size.

The three tables below summarize the specifications of the Kaby Lake mini-PCs announced by Zotac at CES 2017.

Zotac ZBOX nano C- & M-Series with Kaby Lake - Specifications
Aspect CI527 nano
MI527 nano
CI547 nano
MI547 nano
CI549 nano
MI549 nano
Processor Intel Core i3-7100U Intel Core i5-7200U Intel Core i5-7300U
Memory 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM (Up to 32 GB / 2133 MHz)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 620
Disk Drives 1x 2.5" SATA III
Networking (Wireless) Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
(2x2 802.11ac - 867 Mbps)
Networking (Wired) 2x Realtek RTL8111G PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapters 1x Intel I-219V PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
1x Reaktek RTL8111G PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Audio 3.5mm Headphone and Microphone Jacks (Realtek ALC892-GR)
Capable of 5.1/7.1 digital output with HD audio bitstreaming (HDMI)
Display 1x HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2 (3840x2160 @ 60Hz)
1x DP 1.2 (3840x2160 @ 60 Hz)
1x HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2 (3840x2160 @ 60Hz)
1x DP 1.2 (3840x2160 @ 60 Hz) (muxed with Thunderbolt 3 Type-C)
Miscellaneous I/O 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
5x USB 3.0 Type-A
1x SDXC Slot
2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
4x USB 3.0 Type-A
1x Thunderbolt 3 Type-C
1x SDXC Slot
Cooling CI Series - Fanless / Passively Cooled
MI Series - Air Cooling / Single Fan
Dimensions CI Series - 5.76in x 4.98in x 2.38in
MI Series - 5.03in x 4.98in x 2.00in

The most interesting one in the above table is obviously the Zotac ZBOX CI549 nano / MI549 nano. From the perspective of a home consumer, the most important update when compared with the Skylake-U C Series models is the availability of a Thunderbolt 3 port. Thunderbolt 3 brings a host of exciting expansion possibilities. In addition, Zotac seems to have retained the two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C from the ASMedia ASM1142 controller.

The other important aspect of the ZBOX CI549 nano and the MI549 nano is that the Core i5-7300U is a vPro SKU, making it more suitable for use in business environments. Intel's UNITE technology is also supported for secure workplace conferencing. AMT is also available for IT administrators to remotely repair and maintain the systems. The vPro designation makes it necessary for one of the two LAN ports to be an Intel-branded one. The other mini-PCs being updated with Kaby Lake in the above table all use two Realtek adapters.

Zotac ZBOX M-Series with Kaby Lake - Specifications
Aspect MI526 MI548 MI572
Processor Intel Core i3-7100U Intel Core i5-7200U Intel Core i7-7700T
Memory 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM (Up to 32 GB / 2133 MHz)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 620 Intel HD Graphics 630
Disk Drives 1x 2.5" SATA III 1x 2.5" SATA III
1x M.2 2242/2260/2280 PCIe 3.0 x4 / SATA III
Networking (Wireless) Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
(2x2 802.11ac - 867 Mbps)
Networking (Wired) 2x Realtek RTL8111G PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapters 1x Reaktek RTL8111G PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Audio 3.5mm Headphone and Microphone Jacks (Realtek ALC892-GR)
Capable of 5.1/7.1 digital output with HD audio bitstreaming (HDMI)
Display 1x HDMI 1.4b (3840x2160 @ 30Hz)
1x DP 1.2 (3840x2160 @ 60 Hz)
1x HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2 (3840x2160 @ 60Hz)
1x DP 1.2 (3840x2160 @ 60 Hz)
Miscellaneous I/O 1x USB 2.0 Type-A
4x USB 3.0 Type-A
2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
1x SDXC / USB 3.0 Combo Slot
1x USB 2.0 Type-A
4x USB 3.0 Type-A
1x Thunderbolt 3 Type-C
1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
1x SDXC / USB 3.0 Combo Slot
Air Cooling / Single Fan
7.4in x 7.4in x 2.02in

The interesting ZBOX here is the MI572, with the 35W TDP LGA processor - the Core i7-7700T. Using a desktop PCH allows Zotac to include Thunderbolt 3 as well as a rich set of I/Os compared to the others launched at CES.

In the E-series, Zotac has only one updated SKU - the EN1070K, a Kaby Lake version of the EN1070. We would have liked them to move the MAGNUS EN1080 to Kaby Lake, given the pin compatibility between Skylake and Kaby Lake, and the fact that the PCH used for the Skylake board could work with Kaby Lake too.

Zotac ZBOX MAGNUS EN1070K - Specifications
Aspect EN1070K
Processor Intel Core i5-7500T
Memory 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM (Up to 32 GB / 2133 MHz)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)
Disk Drives 1x 2.5" SATA III
1x M.2 2242/2260/2280 PCIe 3.0 x4 / SATA III
Networking (Wireless) Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
(2x2 802.11ac - 867 Mbps)
Networking (Wired) 2x Realtek RTL8111G PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapters
Audio 3.5mm Headphone and Microphone Jacks (Realtek ALC892-GR)
Capable of 5.1/7.1 digital output with HD audio bitstreaming (HDMI)
Display 2x HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2 (4096x2160 @ 60Hz)
2x DP 1.3 (3840x2160 @ 60 Hz)
Miscellaneous I/O 2x USB 2.0 Type-A
2x USB 3.0 Type-A
1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
1x SDXC Slot
Air Cooling
8.27in x 7.99in x 2.45in

Given the nature of the mini-PC market, and the updates offered by Kaby Lake, we believe Zotac is doing the right thing by not going in for a complete overhaul of their Skylake-based offerings in this space. It is great to see dual LAN ports spread to more models, though we would prefer Intel adapters to the Realtek ones that are currently in the units. Zotac must also be appreciated for adding the LSPCon to the BOM to enable HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 capabilities. The Thunderbolt 3 feature, as well as the vPro capabilities, will definitely expand the target market for these systems. That said, some of the shortcomings such as the thermal design of the C-series (which is the same as that of the Skylake C-series) and the placement of the USB ports in the chassis (that we pointed out in our review of the Zotac ZBOX CI523 nano) don't seem to have been addressed. Hopefully, Zotac can tweak a few things before the final market release.

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