AMD says its Ryzen 3000 isn’t just cheaper—it’s better

AMD says its Ryzen 3000 isn’t just cheaper—it’s better

Enlarge / AMD provided infrared photos showing its new Ryzen 3700x running cooler than an Intel i7-9700k. (credit: AMD Computex slide deck)

AMD’s new line of Ryzen 3000 desktop CPUs will benefit from the same 7nm manufacturing process as the company’s new Navi-powered GPUs. Much of the tech community’s hype is for the biggest and baddest of the bunch: the 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950x. But there’s an entire new line ranging from the $749 3950x down to a relatively-modest $199 3600X—and AMD is gunning for Intel every step of the way.

What’s really interesting is, this time around, AMD is not just pitching cheaper parts and “good-enough” performance—the company is claiming top-dog stats, along with thermal and power efficiency wins. The Ryzen 9 3700x is listed at $329, while Intel’s i7-9700k is currently available for about $410. But according to AMD’s slides, the Ryzen part also outperforms the

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Nova Launcher Adds 3 Different Color Choices for Night Mode

Nova Launcher Adds 3 Different Color Choices for Night Mode


Rolling out in stable form over the weekend, Nova Launcher now offers 3 different darkly-colored choices for its Night Mode. To me, the options appear to be Dark, Darker, and Darkest.

If you’re not aware of how Nova’s Night Mode works, users can enable it to theme different portions of the launcher when turned on, such as the Search bar, app drawer, and folders. It can turn on automatically or manually all from within the app’s settings menu.

If you’re someone who cares deeply about Night/Dark Mode All Teh Things, this update is for you.

Get it by following the link below.

Google Play Link

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Federal bill would allow clean energy companies to structure like oil companies

Federal bill would allow clean energy companies to structure like oil companies

Enlarge / Wind turbines near Palm Springs, Calif. (credit: nate2b / Flickr)

Last week, US senators and representatives introduced bills in the Senate and the House to open up a type of corporate structure originally reserved for oil, gas, and coal companies to clean energy companies.

Called a Master Limited Partnership (MLP), the structure currently allows fossil fuel companies to take advantage of lower taxes placed on limited partnerships while also allowing those companies to issue publicly traded stocks and bonds. If the recently re-introduced bills—which have bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate—pass their respective votes, clean energy companies would have the option to structure their companies as MLPs and take advantage of the tax and funding benefits.

According to sponsoring Senator Chris Coons’ (D-Del.) website, “Newly eligible energy resources would include solar, wind, marine and hydrokinetic energy, fuel cells, energy storage, combined heat and

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AT&T cuts another 1,800 jobs as it finishes fiber-Internet buildout

AT&T cuts another 1,800 jobs as it finishes fiber-Internet buildout

Enlarge / AT&T service truck driving on a street in a residential neighborhood on May 17, 2019 in Sunnyvale, Calif. (credit: Getty Images | Andrei Stanescu)

AT&T has informed employees of plans to cut another 1,800 jobs from its wireline division, an AT&T workers’ union told Ars today.

Last week, AT&T declared more than 1,800 jobs nationwide as “surplus,” meaning they are slated to be eliminated in August or September, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) told Ars.

“They’ve been cutting their employment massively in the past year and a half or so,” with cuts affecting both union and non-union jobs, CWA Communications Director Beth Allen told Ars. Under union contracts, AT&T can declare a surplus of jobs each quarter, she said. But even by AT&T standards, last week’s surplus declaration “was a very large number,” Allen said.

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Russia warns of “cyberwar” following report the US attacked its power grid

Russia warns of “cyberwar” following report the US attacked its power grid

Enlarge / Zapadnaya in the Moscow region. (credit: Vladimir Fedorenko / Владимир Федоренко)

The Kremlin on Monday warned that reported US digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid could trigger a “cyberwar” between the two countries.

The warning came two days after The New York Times reported that the US Cyber Command, the arm of the Pentagon that runs the military’s offensive and defensive operations in the online world, was aggressively stepping up its targeting of Russia’s grid. Saturday’s report said the command had taken steps to place “potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before.” In some cases, the NYT reported, Pentagon and intelligence officials have been hesitant to brief President Trump in detail about the activities out of concern he might countermand the operations or discuss them with foreign officials. Last year, Trump gave the

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PSA: Upgrade 3 years of Xbox Live to Game Pass Ultimate for just $1

PSA: Upgrade 3 years of Xbox Live to Game Pass Ultimate for just $1

Enlarge (credit: Xbox)

If you’ve been paying attention to Xbox rumors and announcements of late, you may know that Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass have now been officially merged into a single $15 a month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription plan (which now also includes PC games, for good measure).

What you might not realize is you can upgrade up to three years of a current Xbox Live gold subscription to the new, more expensive plan for $1 as part of a launch promotion from Microsoft.

As Microsoft describes on the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate announcement page (emphasis added):

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Google Says It’s Ready to Bring RCS to Your Phone, Carriers be Damned

Google Says It’s Ready to Bring RCS to Your Phone, Carriers be Damned


Less than two weeks ago, just as Verizon gave the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ access to RCS messaging, I shared with you a few pointed thoughts on how bad the RCS situation has become. In fact, I said that “RCS is dumb” because of the way Google has tried to roll it out, by leaving too much power in the hands of carriers, who are the last companies on Earth anyone should put trust into.

I don’t want to take credit for slamming their initial plan, but things are apparently about to change on the RCS front for the better. According to a report from The Verge, Google is finally going to take ownership of the RCS rollout and start making it available to anyone with an Android phone.

Later this month, Android users in the UK and France will be able to opt-in to using RCS “Chat” … Read the rest

Nvidia pushes ARM supercomputing

Nvidia pushes ARM supercomputing

Enlarge (credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory [Public domain])

Graphics chip maker Nvidia is best known for consumer computing, vying with AMD’s Radeon line for framerates and eye candy. But the venerable giant hasn’t ignored the rise of GPU-powered applications that have little or nothing to do with gaming. In the early 2000s, UNC researcher Mark Harris began work popularizing the term “GPGPU,” referencing the use of Graphics Processing Units for non-graphics-related tasks. But most of us didn’t really become aware of the non-graphics-related possibilities until GPU-powered bitcoin-mining code was released in 2010, and shortly thereafter, strange boxes packed nearly solid with high-end gaming cards started popping up everywhere.

From digital currencies to supercomputing

The Association for Computing Machinery grants one or more $10,000 Gordon Bell Prize every year to a research team that has made a break-out achievement in performance, scale, or time-to-solution on challenging science and engineering problems.

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I Keep Grabbing the Pixel 3a Because It’s Plastic

I Keep Grabbing the Pixel 3a Because It’s Plastic


One of the perks of this job is the access I have to almost any phone on the planet. I get to test all of the good ones, many of which are sitting within an arm’s reach on my desk right now. The OnePlus 7 Pro in Almond is next to me with its big beautiful 90Hz display that I can’t get enough of. The Pixel 3 and a Galaxy S10e are here too. The drawer to my left has a Pixel 3 XL, various older Google, OnePlus, Samsung, and LG phones, as well as an Essential Phone or two. They are all here, yet I keep finding myself on weekends not reaching for any of them. Instead, I keep going with the cheapest phone I’ve used in recent years, the Google Pixel 3a.

There are a number of reasons to grab the Pixel 3a or Pixel 3a XL, … Read the rest

“We are very sorry”—Boeing division CEO apologizes for 737 Max deaths

“We are very sorry”—Boeing division CEO apologizes for 737 Max deaths

Enlarge / The 10,000th Boeing 737, a MAX 8, was delivered to Southwest Airlines in March 2018. Southwest is a major customer for the 737 MAX 8. (credit: Stephen Brashear|Getty Images)

On Monday, Boeing’s head of commercial aircraft, Kevin McAllister, apologized for the deaths of 346 people in a pair of recent airplane crashes. Speaking at the Paris Air Show, McAllister told a press conference that “we are very sorry for the loss of lives as a result of the tragic accidents,” referring to the October 2018 crash of a Lion Air 737 Max into the Java Sea and the March 2019 crash of an Ethiopian Air 737 Max. “Our priority is doing everything to get this plane safely returned to service. It is a pivotal moment for all of us,” he said.

Additionally, McAllister apologized to his airline customers. “I’m sorry for the disruption,” he said. Air travel authorities

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