AMD Reveals Radeon FreeSync 2: Here’s What You Need to Know

One of the longest running bugbears of PC gaming is screen tearing — ever so often you’ll notice that when in motion, visuals on screen appear torn or distorted, even with the best possible PC. Screen tearing happens when the PC’s graphics card pushes out frames either faster or slower than the monitor can refresh its image, resulting in visible jitter and split frames. While only seen for a fraction of a second, tearing is extremely jarring can ruin the experience of playing a game.

AMD Reveals Radeon FreeSync 2: Here’s What You Need to KnowMore often than not, video cards can render frames faster than monitors can handle them, but the frequency is not uniform. Usually monitors can display games at 60 frames per second, but even if a video card is pumping out 80 or 90 frames per second and there are minute differences in the lag between them (also known as frame pacing), the result is visible screen tearing.

Some fixes exist, such as vertical sync, commonly known as v-sync — which forces the video card to slow itself down to the monitor’s maximum refresh rate, usually translating to a uniform 60 frames per second, expressed as 60Hz. This brings with it other concerns, most notably input lag and the inability to use the full potential of the graphics card.
In games with busy sections such as the grand firefights in Battlefield 1, PCs often struggle even with v-sync enabled. You’ll be subject to stuttering and lag due to the monitor having to wait for the graphics card before it has a new frame to display. This is even more detrimental to the experience as a game’s most crucial segments can become insufferable.
The obvious solution is to allow monitors to refresh at a variable pace rather than forcing unevenly delivered frames into a 60Hz structure. This requires monitors to have special panels that can handle a variable refresh rate, and controllers that can sync with the input stream.

Both Nvidia and AMD have come up with different ways to handle this. Nvidia calls its approach G-sync, and AMD has its own FreeSync standard. AMD’s choice of name is significant, because while Nvidia’s technology is proprietary and available only to its partners, FreeSync is not only freely useable but is also now an official part of the VESA (Video Electronics Standard Association) standards that display manufacturers follow.

FreeSync was officially launched on March 19, 2015. Fast forward to a little less than two years later, and AMD has revealed a second iteration — FreeSync 2 or Radeon FreeSync 2, if we’re to be completely pedantic.

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AMD shared a few details related to FreeSync 2 with Gadgets 360 and other select media outlets at an event in Sonoma, California last month, and while specific details were hard to come by, here’s everything we know so far.

LFC is now mandatory with FreeSync 2
Perhaps the biggest addition to FreeSync 2 is one that should have been part of its initial release: Low Frame-rate Compensation or LFC. This allows FreeSync 2monitors to continue running smoothly even when the incoming video stream’s refresh rate falls below the monitor’s minimum threshold. This needs the monitor’s maximum refresh rate to be 2.5x of its minimum refresh rate, so that there’s enough range to allow a laggy frame to be displayed completely before the next one pushes it out of the way.

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HDR support for FreeSync and FreeSync 2
HDR is another big addition to FreeSync 2. AMD hopes to reduce the lag between when an image is rendered and when it shows up on screen, particularly when HDR is involved. The game you’re playing is told the specific characteristics of the monitor connected, so it can map colour tones accordingly and reduce the lag caused by translation.

If you’re using FreeSync, HDR rendering is being brought over as is full-screen borderless window mode for you to Alt-Tab out of games and into services like Twitch as you see fit.

FreeSync 2 gets Automatic Switching between modes
Also, FreeSync 2 will automatically detect what you’re doing so it can activate HDR when you’re playing a game or watching a movie, and turn itself off when you’re on your desktop. When a game launches, everything will automatically switch to the correct settings, reverting to standard options like sRGB when you’re back to your desktop.

AMD claims that FreeSync 2 with HDR allows for over twice the perceivable brightness and colour volume over sRGB, though only with a FreeSync 2 API-enabled game and video players. You will of course need content that is created in a way that utilises these capabilities. You’ll also need a monitor specifically certified for Freesync 2.

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No concrete details on FreeSync 2 monitors just yet
AMD is boasting that it has over 20 display partners on board compared to Nvidia’s eight, and 121 FreeSync monitors available across the world right now versus 18 G-Sync ones. However, the company hasn’t announced any specifics about partners for FreeSync 2 just yet, or whether existing monitors will be able to support it.

When asked if it would charge vendors for FreeSync 2 certification, the company replied with: “No comment at this stage.” It seems unlikely, given its past commitment to free standards, including Mantle and the original FreeSync. We also expect both HDMI and DisplayPort input methods to be supported.

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Will your existing GPU work with FreeSync 2?
If you own an AMD Radeon graphic card from the HD 7000 series and above (i.e. any AMD card launched from 2012 onwards), FreeSync 2 will be supported via a driver update. What’s more, AMD claims that FreeSync 2 will work in parallel with FreeSync.

Closer to home, FreeSync monitors haven’t been available in India easily, with only handful of options from LG, Viewsonic, and Samsung in the market. Nonetheless, with AMD looking to sort out its GPU supply woes in India after the RX 480 debacle, it will be interesting to see if display partners get more bullish about FreeSync 2.

Google Play Movies Starts Rolling Out 4K UHD Resolution Option

Google Play Movies Starts Rolling Out 4K UHD Resolution OptionLast month, Google was spotted testing 4K resolution option for select titles on Google Play Movies in the US. Even though the search giant was expected to announce the rollout of the feature shortly, it didn’t do it right away. Now, Google has announced that the 4K resolution option for select movies is available for rent or purchase in select regions.

The company has already started rolling out the 4K UHD resolution option, starting with the US and Canada but did not mention the rollout plans for other countries in its blog post. As of now, Google Play Movies is offering 125 movie titles with the 4K UHD resolution option, and will be using its own open source video codec VP9.

“You can purchase 4K movies on your Android device or on the Web and stream them on your Chromecast Ultra, your Sony Bravia Android TV, or your Xiaomi Mi Box 3,” the company said in its blog post. The company has further announced that the new customers of Chromecast Ultra can get their first 4K UHD movie for free under a limited time offer that includes titles like Ghostbusters and Captain Philips.

As mentioned in our earlier report, for all titles the option for rental in UHD resolution is available at a price of $7.99 (roughly Rs. 550), compared with $3.99 (roughly Rs. 270) for HD resolution and $2.99 (roughly Rs. 200) for SD version. If we talk about the purchase price, the price difference becomes even more noticeable with 4K content available in a range from $24.99 (roughly Rs. 1,700) to $29.99 (roughly Rs. 2,050), compared with $12.99 (roughly Rs. 900) price tag for HD purchase.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes for Google to roll out the 4K UHD resolution option to other countries and whether it cuts down its prices going forward.

Google Now Lets You Search via Twitter, by Tweeting Emoji at @Google

Google’s introduced a nifty new feature for Twitter addicts. This feature brings the ability to search for local results without leaving the Twitter app. Users can search for things to do by just tweeting an emoji @Google, and you will get search results on the Twitter app.

Google Now Lets You Search via Twitter, by Tweeting Emoji at @GoogleAccording to Mashable, the tech giant has built-in interactions for over 200 different emoji. The emoji search will then deliver search results ranging from food to local activities. For example, you’re looking for a pizza place around the corner, just tweet the pizza emoji @Google, and Google will serve you results of pizza places nearby. This even includes a Map with restaurant listings on it.

There are several easter eggs also included in the mix, like Google seems to think that the peach emoji is ‘bootylicious’ , and interesting results show up for ‘cow’, ‘poop’ and even ‘eggplant’ emoji as well. Google is looking to promote local search results with this tweet to @Google feature. The tech giant used the #KnowNearby hashtag to imply that the search results are location based.
Google Search recently integrated the Google Maps’ ATM finder feature on its India homepage, and launched the ability to find ATMs in the vicinity easily. Below the search box on google.co.in, you will now find the ‘Find an ATM near you’ link. Clicking this link will open Google Maps, which will use your location data to show you all the ATMs in your vicinity. The feature is available on both desktops and mobile devices. Unfortunately, the Google Search tool does not show if the ATM has cash or not.

Huawei Enjoy 6s With 3GB of RAM Launched: Price, Specifications, and More

Huawei has unveiled its new Enjoy 6s smartphone in China. Priced at CNY 1,599 (approximately Rs. 16,000), the Huawei Enjoy 6s is now available to buy in China in Gold, Silver, and White colour variants.

Huawei Enjoy 6s With 3GB of RAM Launched: Price, Specifications, and MoreThe Huawei Enjoy 6s is an upgraded variant of the Huawei Enjoy 6. The Enjoy 6s looks almost identical to its predecessor with a few differences on the back panel. On the design front, the new Huawei Enjoy 6s also sports metal body and comes with chamfered edges. It measures 7.6mm thin and supports dual-SIM functionality.

It features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS LCD display, unlike the Enjoy 6 that came with AMOLED panel. Under the hood, the Enjoy 6s is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor clocked at 1.4GHz coupled with 3GB of RAM. The handset packs 32GB of inbuilt storage. It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.2 aperture and a 5-megapixel front camera. The handset is backed by a 3020mAh battery which is smaller than the 4100mAh battery on the Enjoy 6. It supports 4G with VoLTE and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei’s Emotion UI 4.1. The smartphone also has a fingerprint scanner at the back. The Enjoy 6 was water and dust resistant with IP52 certification though there is no word whether the Huawei Enjoy 6s is also water and dust resistant. The Enjoy 6s launch was first reported by GizmoChina.

Launched in October this year, the Huawei Enjoy 6 was launched in China at CNY 1,299 (approximately Rs. 13,000). Much like the Enjoy 6, Huawei may not launch the Enjoy 6s outside China.

ISRO Successfully Inserts Resourcesat-2A Satellite Into Orbit

India on Wednesday morning successfully put into orbit its own earth observation satellite Resourcesat-2A in textbook style.

“Today we had a successful launch of Resourcesat-2A to provide three tier imaging data. The satellites solar panels were deployed. The launch was perfect,” A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said soon after the launch.

Kumar said that for the first time a camera was put on the rocket, and as a result the launch of the satellite and the deployment of solar panels were seen.

ISRO Successfully Inserts Resourcesat-2A Satellite Into OrbitAround 10.25am the PSLV-XL variant rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 321 ton tore into the morning skies with fierce orange flames at its tail.

Gathering speed every second, the rocket raced towards the heavens amidst the cheers of the ISRO officials and the media team assembled at the port here.

At the rocket mission control room, Indian space scientists at ISRO were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the Earth’s gravitational pull.

Around 18 minutes into the flight, the rocket slung the 1,235 kg Resourcesat-2A into an 817-km polar sun synchronous orbit.
The PSLV rocket is a four stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuel alternatively.

According to ISRO, Resourcesat-2A is a follow-on mission to Resourcesat-1 and Resourcesat-2, launched in 2003 and 2011 respectively.
The new satellite Resourcesat-2A is intended to continue the remote sensing data services to global users provided by it two predecessors.

The Resourcesat-2A carries three payloads which are similar to those of the earlier two Resourcesat’s.

They are a high resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanner (LISS-4) camera operating in three spectral bands in the Visible and Near Infrared Region (VNIR) with 5.8 m spatial resolution and steerable up to 26 degree across track to achieve a five day revisit capability.

The second payload is the medium resolution LISS-3 camera operating in three-spectral bands in VNIR and one in Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) band with 23.5 m spatial resolution.

The third payload is a coarse resolution Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) camera operating in three spectral bands in VNIR and one band in SWIR with 56 m spatial resolution.

The satellite also carries two Solid State Recorders with a capacity of 200 Giga Bits each to store the images taken by its cameras which can be read out later to ground stations.

The mission life of Resourcesat-2A is five years.

Model GST law: Flipkart, Snapdeal to deduct tax at source

Image result for Model GST law: Flipkart, Snapdeal to deduct tax at sourceE-commerce operators like Flipkart and Snapdeal will have to deduct TCS (tax collected at source) while making payments to their suppliers, according to the new model GST law, which has done away with the definition of ‘aggregator’.

Explaining the changes in the provision, experts said the proposal will increase the compliance burden on e-commerce operators as they will have to deduct 2% TCS and deposit it with the government.

The measure, Nangia & Co director Rajat Mohan said, will not increase the incidence of taxation on consumers as the supplier will get tax credit for the TCS.

The model GST law provides for 1% TCS to be deducted by the e-commerce operators.

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According to experts, this would mean that a similar amount will have to be levied on inter-state movement of goods, taking the total TCS deduction to 2% although burden on consumers will not increase.

Mohan further said in case of return of goods by the consumer, the e-commerce companies will not have to deduct TCS as there is no actual sale.

The draft model GST law does not provide any definition of ‘aggregators’, saying that the government would later come out with a notification specifying which type of businesses would be covered under the term.

 

Demonetisation: E-tailers may take 50% hit on monthly gross sales

 

Aggregators mainly include Ola, Uber and UrbanClap which work as platforms for providing transport and other services. The TCS provision will not apply to aggregators.

 

E-commerce companies will also have to file returns on the TCS deductions.

 

The model law has defined ‘electronic commerce’ as supply of goods or services, including digital products, over electronic network.

‘Electronic commerce operator’ would mean those persons who own, operate or manage digital or electronic facility or platform for electronic commerce.

Google’s Pixel has 10% premium smartphone market share in India: Analysts

Image result for Google's Pixel has 10% premium smartphone market share in India: AnalystsGoogle has captured a 10% share of the premium smartphone segment in India after what analysts said was a strong initial showing with its Pixel, which took advantage of the absence of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 in the market.

Google shipped 33,000 units of Pixel to India as of October end, becoming the No 3 player for the month in the segment where the smartphone costs Rs 30,000 or more. Apple has trumped Samsung to capture the No 1 position in this segment. “A refreshing and feature-packed Pixel is making for a good proposition against Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s S series,” analysts at Counterpoint Research said.

Apple had a 66% share of the high-end smartphone market as of last month, as shipments of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus outdid those of Samsung Galaxy S7 and other variants. Samsung had a 23% share. “Google does not want to miss out on the opportunities and is leaving no stones unturned with heavy spend on marketing. Going by spends on advertisement and offers provided by the company, Pixel is sure to maintain its market share if not extend it in the quarter,” Counterpoint said.

Google Pixel smartphone available at a discount of Rs 7,000

The search giant, which started selling its first made-by-Google phone in India on October 25, was offering no-cost EMIs starting Rs 3,167 for all online and offline purchases. It was also offering cashback of Rs 7,000 for HDFC card holders who wanted to buy the phone, which has a starting price of Rs 57,000.

 

Google had also run an exchange programme on Flipkart, which took pre-orders from October 13 to November 25, where an extra discount of Rs 5,000 was offered. While Google didn’t share the advertising expenditure, it has run a 360 degree campaign in the top seven cities, print and digital, to build the brand.

 

 

 

Google Pixel, Pixel XL bug lets hackers remotely access contents inside

 

“We are very enthused by the feedback from Indian customers and the initial response for Pixel has been extremely positive and in line with our expectations,” a Google India spokesperson said. “Pixel is Google’s take on the total user experience as we envision it — bringing the best of Google’s software, such as the Google Assistant, with hardware that really brings the experience to life,” he said.

The Alphabet-owned company showcased Pixel and Pixel XL in key stores of large-format retail chains including Croma, Reliance Digital, Spice Mobility and Jumbo, a strategy adopted by the company for the first time to catch eyeballs in the retail market.

Lenovo, Oppo, Xiaomi sales grew at lightning speed last fiscal: IDC

Image result for Lenovo, Oppo, Xiaomi sales grew at lightning speed last fiscal: IDCIn a clear sign of Chinese aggression in Indian’s smartphone market, three of the largest Chinese brands — Lenovo, Oppo and Xiaomi — grew sales last fiscal at a lighting pace, rarely seen in the industry.

Lenovo India that owns two brands — Lenovo and Motorola, almost doubled revenue on a large base during 2015-16, while Oppo more than quadrupled sales, edging closer to the Rs 1,000 crore milestone in just the second year of its operations in the country.

Xiaomi, on the other hand, clocked record sales of over 2 million units in the July-September quarter, its highest in India since it started operations, paving the way for a record year with the company selling more than a million phones in October.

Smartphone sales up 40% on festival offers

Lenovo India’s turnover touched Rs 10,484 crore in 2015-16 compared with Rs 5,602.84 crore the fiscal before, aided by expansion of the Lenovo brand smartphones in the offline channel and success of its Motorola brand in online sales.

China’s largest smartphone maker Oppo’s sale in India grew to Rs 934 crore last fiscal as compared to Rs 211.5 crore in 2014-15, as per the filings. For Xiaomi too, an expansion in the offline market and adding new online partners through the year, coupled with large product portfolio and manufacturing capacity to meet demand, have lead to a 150% volumes growth.

Here’s why you keep on buying new smartphones

 

According to the Hong Kong–based market tracker Counterpoint Research, the share of Chinese brands has increased from 18% to 32% in the past one year in the Indian smartphone market driven by growth of players like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Lenovo.

 

But the biggest loser in this battle is Micromax. ET recently reported Micromax’s decline in annual revenues for the first time in 2015-16 when sales fell by 6% at Rs 9,825.46 crore as against Rs 10,450.47 crore in the previous year. Even in 2014-15, Micromax sales grew 47%.

 

As per IDC, Lenovo-Motorola also overtook Micromax as the second largest smartphone maker in India in the quarter ended September.

Xiaomi sold over 2 million smartphones between July-September in India: IDC

Image result for Xiaomi sold over 2 million smartphones between July-September in India: IDCChinese smartphone maker Xiaomi clocked record sales of over 2 million units in the July-September quarter, its highest ever in India since it started operations, paving way for a record year with the company selling more than a million phones in October.

Expansion in the offline market and adding new online partners through the year, coupled with large product portfolio and manufacturing capacity to meet consumer demand, have lead to a 150% growth in volumes sales in the quarter, compared to 2015.

“We crossed 2 million plus sales in one quarter in third quarter for the first time, compared with our performance last year, we have attained more than 150% growth year-on-year,” Manu Jain, head of India operations said, citing International Data Corporation (IDC). Third quarter this year was the best for the smartphone industry with the highest ever number of smartphones shipped into India – 32.3 million.

“Mi India has been warmly welcomed by users, which is why we are one of the fastest growing brands in the smartphone industry today – one out of every four smartphones sold online was Xiaomi,” he added.

Reddit CEO Admits to Tampering Hate Comments From Donald Trump Supporters

Reddit CEO Admits to Tampering Hate Comments From Donald Trump SupportersIn a shocking revelation, CEO of hugely popular Internet message board Reddit – Steve Huffman – has admitted that he used his admin rights to edit some of hate comments from Donald Trump supporters, directed at him on the website. However, Huffman has clarified that instead of editing the content, he replaced his own username to change the target of the insults.

Huffman said that he replaced his own username in the insult comments from members of the pro-Donald Trump subreddit, r/the_donald, with those of the moderators of same subreddit. Huffman was receiving insult comments from this particular community and decided to fiddle with the comments for “about an hour.”

Huffman, who operates with username spez on the website said in his post, “Yep. I messed with the “f*** u/spez” comments, replacing “spez” with r/the_donald mods for about an hour… As the CEO, I shouldn’t play such games, and it’s all fixed now.

Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won’t do this again.”

Addressing another issue referred to as “Pizzagate” regarding a popular conspiracy theory that tries to link Hillary Clinton with a secret paedophile ring, Huffman said, “It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff. As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a paedophile constantly.”

Reddit banned the “Pizzagate” conspiracy board from its website on Thursday citing its policy against posting personal information of other people.

Even though Huffman has said that he will not be making changes to the user comments in future, the site might end up losing some trust from its users after the entire episode.