Ghostbusters, Kate McKinnon’s character is gay says Paul Feig…

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Screenshot of The Independent article.

Another angry misogynist (and as you will see from the rant, also an apparent homophobe) here. The reason why I write this here is because ranting on Twitter with stupid 140 characters doesn’t give me the freedom to fully explain why I think the whole idea about Kate McKinnon’s character Jillian Holtzmann being gay is dumb and pointless. In fact this is my opinion about most “progressive” characters in all media, be it games, cartoons, movies or comics.

As you may already know, it’s [THE CURRENT YEAR] and as such everyone is obliged to stick gay, trans and of any skin color (for as long as it isn’t white) into entertainment mediums because that is the way to be progressive regressive now.

The main reason why I complain about this is the retarded, dumb and pointless usage of token personal traits in movies and games just to make them “progressive” and “inclusive”.

Can someone explain to me how the fact Jillian Holtzmann is gay is relevant to the story of Ghostbusters 2016 or how does it integrate this characteristic into the whole plot? It fucking doesn’t. This saying of “uh oh, this person is gay” and “uh oh that one is gay too” is fucking STUPID if there is no logical reason to define one as such. It has no relevance to the movie or the plot. Great, so she’s gay. Now what? Nothing. She’s just gay. Wow, that’s some deep character you’ve created there Paul Feig or whoever wrote characters for this movie.

Do you want to know where person being gay was (is) relevant? Try checking out the Philadelphia (1993) movie. I know it’s a lot more serious and “too old” for the today’s progressives, but Tom Hanks’s character (Andrew Beckett) was also gay. Yeah, that was back in 1993, we were already so progressive back then weren’t we? But they didn’t just throw in this “token” characteristic to be “progressive”. It was a core plot element. He was a gay lawyer who got fired from his law firm, because he was infected with HIV and whole movie revolves around that. It was character’s very personal trait and it was very important to the story because it connects with the whole stigma around gays, gay culture, HIV/AIDS, and how people wanted to distance themselves from all that.

See the difference? And this doesn’t even mean it has to be a “negative” trait. In case of Philadelphia, it was a more serious story, but there are countless other ways to integrate a character that is openly gay and still be at least a bit relevant to the story. If there is even a need for one. I mean for god sake, at least give the character some depth, don’t just make it a character where you can tick a checkbox in front of “Gay” and that’s that. It’s poor, it’s lazy and it’s lame. Stop doing that shit because it’s not helping movies/games/comics quality and it’s not helping gays either.

Bongiovi Acoustics DPS Audio Enhancer Free

I was searching for an audio enhancer like SRS Audio Sandbox or DFX Audio Enhancer. The sort of enhancer that sits between your soundcard and Windows OS and processes all audio sources, be it music, movies or games. And today, I found one by mistake.

To be honest, I’ve never heard of this company (Bongiovi Acoustics) before, but after some Googling, it was founded by Tony Bongiovi, an audio producer and engineer. And if that doesn’t convince you, he worked with Bon Jovi, Jimi Hendrix and Aerosmith among many others. They also work with Honda, Toyota and Hyundai for their audio systems using hardware implementations of Bongiovi DPS system to enhance listening experience in cars as well as several other fields like medical applications and other consumer electronics like TV’s.

Bongiovi Acoustics DPS

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I’m using this variation of interface skin, but there are few more to choose from.

It provides specially tailored profiles for headphones, internal speakers and external speakers with specially crafted audio profiles for each. They look like equalizer presets, but they aren’t named “Rock” or “Dance”, they are named by cities. Miami Speakers, New York Speakers, Paris Speakers etc.

Audio quality

I had very little expectations if I’m honest, which is why I was blown away even more. I’ve tried many enhancers in my life, from those limited to music players only, to some like DFX and SRS that worked on the same system level, but none of them came even close to Bongiovi DPS.

I personally prefer the Mendoza Speakers preset because it delivers the most detail and punch which is what I want for my music and games. But there are few other profiles that focus on different sound dynamics (like mid range for vocals). The Stereo Expander also helps widening the channel separation. It’s a very subtle change, but if you listen carefully, you can sense it.

Biggest issue with most enhancers is that they work great with one thing and sound horrible with others. SRS Audio Sandbox had this problem and to smaller extent DFX. But with Bongiovi DPS, everything just sounds great. Tried few different songs, from game soundtracks from Deus Ex Human Revolution to Mechwarrior 2 soundtrack. It made my skin crawl, I kid you not. I also tried my standard benchmark song, Lily Was Here by Candy Dulfer. The guitar and saxophone sounded so real it felt like someone is playing it live in the room. Mind blowingly amazing. What’s also interesting is that at least Mendoza profile increases the volume quite significantly and adds tons of details, but is still easy on ears. It’s not harsh and that’s also interesting. Usually these enhancers just make audio so harsh you can actually hear crackling in the background and that’s very bad and makes ears hurt after few seconds of listening.

I’ve also briefly tested it in a game Killing Floor 2. It was the same amazing punchy audio in the game intro videos and it didn’t disappoint in the actual game either. When time slows down with Zed Time, whole room shakes up in bass, but it wasn’t distorted or anything. When Scrakes and Flesh Pounds were announced via in-game roaring voice of those two monsters, it was so majestic I can’t even describe it. And exactly the same applies to the weapons. The Vermint rifle which sounds like a fart gun without Bongiovi DPS now actually has a proper kick and punch to it when you fire it. Incredible. I just realized I have to test this in latest Need for Speed. I’m already sure the car engine will sound amazing:)

I was testing all this using Sound Blaster Z and Altec Lansing MX5021 2.1 speakers. Your experience may vary based on hardware you have. Mine is quite capable, don’t expect too much from generic plastic 2.0 speakers with on-board audio…

If my words alone haven’t convinced you yet, give it a try. Bongiovi DPS is a free program. Only limitations are locked Bass and Treble controls from what I can see. Those two settings are restricted to Pro version which can be bought for a fee I guess (can’t seem to find more info about it at the moment). For some reason, they still work though:)

Bongiovi webpage:
http://bongioviacoustics.com

Read more about Bongiovi DPS:
http://bongioviacoustics.com/dps/

Bongiovi DPS Free Download:
http://bongiovidps.com

Games are not “ableist” at all!

I’m absolutely sick of this clickbait nonsense by games “journalism”. What is games journalism even around for, if their sole purpose is shitting on their own industry and their own readers? Has anyone ever seen car industry journalism pissing all over all cars, its users and manufacturers? Ever seen sports media pissing over all sports to generate clicks? But here, to no one’s surprise, Kotaku and many other stupid outlets are doing just that. Again.

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Their latest jab at the games is of course, calling Pokemon Go “ableist”. Pokemon Go, the phenomenon that mobilized millions of Pokemon fans and gamers to actually go outside. You know, something everyone has been screaming and bitching about for decades how “gamers only dwell in their basements, playing games”.

Ableism

“Ableism” is another buzzword created by progressive regressive left to shame people who don’t happen to have any life changing disabilities. Instead of elevating and helping people with disabilities, lets take a piss at healthy people, like it’s their fault they are healthy and able to navigate through the world without limitations.

Games make disabilities irrelevant

I’ve been saying this for years and I’ll say it again. Games are one of rare few things in this world that don’t care what your gender is, what your sexual preferences are, what skin color you have or what disabilities you happen to have. Naturally, there are always limitations when it comes to interaction with the medium, but computer games are way more forgiving than most of other activities. I know of one disabled boy who could only move his head and ingenious people found a way to somehow make The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim game playable for him. Now tell me if that isn’t cool or what?

But idiots at Kotaku prefer to put down that one single game that doesn’t specifically cater to disabled people and dismiss and ignore 99% of all other games that bring joy and virtual mobility to millions of people with physical (and mental) disabilities.

You don’t have legs but you’d love to play football, run and climb? You can play FIFA or PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) or run and jump around with insane parkour moves in Mirror’s Edge or Tomb Raider. You have severely limited ability to move your arms in shoulder and elbow joints, but you want to be a basketball superstar? If you can at least move fingers and wrist, you can play many basketball games. Are you not allowed to drive a car because of severe eyesight problems? You can play any of the many Need for Speed games risk free or even go more serious with racing simulations like Gran Turismo and Forza motorsport on consoles or different “indie” racing simulators on PC. Do you have social anxieties like fear of crowds or open spaces or you just feel uncomfortable around people? Many of people with such conditions can play games online with other real people because the game is their comfort zone barrier, keeping them “safe”.

Hell, even if you don’t have any specific desires or preferences, games bring disabled people the unimaginable experiences and mobility otherwise not possible in real world. If some part of them is still functional, there is a chance someone will figure out how to make a game functional for them. And once we will manage to control games with our mind directly, we’ll remove even that last barrier. I know it’ll never actually be the same, but thanks to technology, this is the closest thing we can get. And if it’s so engaging to us able people, imagine how life changing it is for people with disabilities.

Pokemon Go is not as discriminating as Kotaku says it is

And to show games and gamers know no barriers or disabilities, here is a tweet I’ve seen today…

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I don’t play Pokemon Go and I don’t know exactly how it works, but seeing this kinda made me shed a tear. Players remembered not everyone can run around and “catch ’em all” and dropped this message and made it possible for kids in hospitals to enjoy the Pokemon Go frenzy. It’s just so beautiful!  :3 Where there is a will, there is a way!

Why is Kotaku bitching and complaining about this instead of rather posting such positive message to large audience they have and make the change themselves? Of course, outrage brings more clicks than a normal article asking players to join forces, helping children in hospitals. Games journalism, never change. Never change… You’ll just disappear into nothingness. But gamers will still be around. Go gamers! Catch ’em all!:)

 

 

AMD resolved PCIe power draw issue on RX480 with new driver

I’ve posted initial findings about the excessive PCIe power draw issue here. AMD promised a fix for it and today they’ve delivered it in a form of a new driver.

Like I’ve predicted, modern graphic cards have very flexible power delivery system and Polaris is no different. What AMD did here was rearrange the power delivery between PCIe slot and 6pin power connector. Now, Radeon RX480 draws power from PCIe slot within specified limits and draws a bit more from 6pin. Officially 6pin is rated at 75W, but can realistically deliver up to 150W. So, redirecting power like this solves the initial problem while doesn’t impair performance at all.

AMD did provide additional “Compatibility Mode” which restricts power usage even further. I frankly don’t think anyone should ever enable this, but if you feel like saving some extra watts, you can enable it in Radeon Settings.

To verify the fix, TechPowerUp ran a test and everything is in order just like AMD promised.

You can read the TechPowerUp re-test here.

The PCIe power draw fix is included in AMD Radeon Crimson Edition version 16.7.1, so make sure you upgrade the drivers asap. Btw, AMD dropped a small 3% performance boost for popular games in this driver so even if you use Compatibility Mode, you shouldn’t see any performance difference.

I really like the way things turned out here. Firstly, for reviewers to point out the issue and secondly for AMD to professionally fix it. An the ones who benefit from all this the most are us, the customers. Yay:)

AVAST Software is buying AVG Technologies

Wow, I just received info about AVAST Software (makers of avast! Antivirus) buying AVG Technologies (makers of AVG Antivirus). This news was a bit of a shock for me since I wasn’t expecting it at all. avast! bought few smaller developers in the past, but nothing this big. These are two largest Czech software companies and if the whole thing goes through well, we are going to be looking at European security powerhouse. Both companies have well over 200 million active users, assuming all AVG users will stick with avast!, their userbase will extend to massive 400-500 million users. That’s almost half a billion users. Mind blowing numbers. It’s hard to say how things will change for the future, but there are certainly technological benefits from this purchase, from protection features as well as knowledge. Not really expecting large changes within software till 2017, maybe even 2018, but they might surprise us.

Official statement from AVAST Software CEO, Vince Steckler:

As many of you know, there are two security companies that often get confused: Avast and AVG. Shortly after I started as CEO almost 8 years ago, I remember giving a presentation to a large audience about Avast. About an hour later, a gentleman walked up to me and complimented me on how good the presentation was and how he enjoyed hearing about AVG. That was my first lesson in how easy the companies are to confuse.

This confusion is because the companies are so very similar. Both company names start with the letters “AV”. Both started in the late 1980s and were amongst the first few companies formed to fight the viruses and malware nearly 30 years ago.  Both are historically Czech: Avast was founded in Prague and is still based there while AVG was historically in Brno, the two largest cities in the Czech Republic. Both pioneered the free distribution of top quality security products (although to be honest, I must admit that AVG was first and we followed). Both make great security products. Both are innovators with world class R&D teams. Both have most of their users outside of their home Czech market. Both have had similar user bases for many years: about 200M each. And most importantly, both treat their users with respect and consequently each has a large and loyal user base. One slight difference though is that while Avast is a private company, AVG is public and listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

In spite of this one difference, these companies are so similar that it is only natural that they be combined and that is what we are now planning on doing. Under an agreement signed with AVG, Avast will be making an offer ($25 per share or about $1.3 billion in total) to buy all shares of AVG’s stock which AVG’s board is recommending their shareholders accept. If the AVG shareholders do accept, following the various governmental regulators approvals, AVG will become part of Avast and we will jointly work on a great future together. We expect this to take a few months. Now this process is much more complex than this simple description and there are a lot of rules and regulations about the process and what we can say, etc. As a result, at the bottom of this blog entry you will find a page of important disclosures that you should read if you are a shareholder, contemplating being a shareholder, or are just curious.

The process does not allow us to talk a lot about how we would operate after combining, etc. so I can just say a little. I do think this combination is great for our users. We will have over 250 million PC/Mac users enabling us to gather even more threat data to improve the protection to our users. In mobile, our combined 160 million mobile users will be used to improve protection as well as to provide an important stepping stone into the Internet of things. Additionally, we will be gaining some exciting mobile technology designed to protect families on line. In SMB, we will be better able to support our business users with a larger geographic footprint, better technical support, and the best technologies from our two companies.

Our website (and AVG’s) contains a lot more information about this transaction—the press release, FAQs, etc. As we are allowed during the process, we will convey to you, our users and customers, all the information that we are allowed. Most importantly though, I assure you that we value every single Avast and AVG user and will do our best in the future to keep you protected and to keep your trust.

Forward-Looking Statements

This communication contains forward-looking information that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements.  These risks and uncertainties include those related to, among other things:  general economic conditions and conditions affecting the industries in which Parent, Buyer and the Company operate; and the parties’ ability to satisfy the conditions to the contemplated tender offer and consummate the transactions described in this communication; and the Company’s performance and maintenance of important business relationships. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release, and neither Parent, Buyer nor the Company assumes any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, except as required by law.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

The tender offer referenced in this communication has not yet commenced.  This communication is for informational purposes only and is neither an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell any ordinary shares of the Company or any other securities.  The solicitation and offer to purchase ordinary shares of the Company will only be made pursuant to an Offer to Purchase, a related letter of transmittal and certain other tender offer documents.  At the time the tender offer is commenced, Parent and Buyer will file a tender offer statement on Schedule TO, including an Offer to Purchase, a related letter of transmittal and certain other tender offer documents, and the Company will file a Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9, with the SEC, each with respect to the tender offer.  The Company’s shareholders are urged to read the tender offer statement and Solicitation/Recommendation Statement, as they may be amended from time to time, as well as any other relevant documents filed with the SEC, when they become available, carefully and in their entirety because they will contain important information that holders of the Company’s securities should consider before making any decision regarding tendering their securities.  The Offer to Purchase, the related Letter of Transmittal and certain other tender offer documents, as well as the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement, will be made available to all holders of ordinary shares of the Company at no expense to them from the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov.

 

Everyone losing their shit about RX480 power consumption

I’m gonna drop a quick post about this, because people apparently aren’t capable of thinking rational anymore. Also the double standards when it comes to NVIDIA and AMD…

As you might have heard, AMD released Radeon RX480 recently, a killer cheap graphic card based on new Polaris architecture. It’s priced up to $230 for 8GB version and performs a bit better than GTX 970/R9 390, but slightly worse than GTX 980 or R9 390X. Not bad to be honest.

Things got complicated when reviewers found out some cards draw more than 150W of power. Now, that by itself wouldn’t be a problem if the excess power draw wasn’t pulled from PCIe slot which is rated at 75W. The 6pin PCIe power connector on the graphic card is rated at 75W as well officially, but can draw a lot more power without any problem. Both combined deliver 150W of power. But the card in tests pulled 166W. So, you have to get more power from somewhere and RX480 apparently does it from PCIe slot. Pulling more than 75W from PCIe slot can potentially damage cheap crappy motherboards.

So, up till this point, I have no problems. There apparently is an issue and reviewers are there to point it out so company behind the product is aware of the issue and is going to remedy it. After all, I’m a consumer and such behavior is preferred because it benefits consumers.

However (not unexpected eh?), AMD already officially acknowledged the issue with this statement (provided by W1zzard from TechPowerUp):

“As you know, we continuously tune our GPUs in order to maximize their performance within their given power envelopes and the speed of the memory interface, which in this case is an unprecedented 8 Gbps for GDDR5. Recently, we identified select scenarios where the tuning of some RX 480 boards was not optimal. Fortunately, we can adjust the GPU’s tuning via software in order to resolve this issue. We are already testing a driver that implements a fix, and we will provide an update to the community on our progress on Tuesday (July 5, 2016).”

As you can see, AMD is already preparing a fix for it. Modern GPU’s are very advanced and power delivery can be fully controlled via BIOS or driver. I don’t know exact Polaris electrical design, but knowing Maxwell 2 already has this, been fiddling with it myself on GTX 980 that I have, and I see no reason why brand new GPU like Polaris wouldn’t have it as well. Meaning AMD isn’t just selling hot air and buying time, they have a realistic solution. Tuesday 5th July is the day they will give more info and potentially a driver with the fix. They can either strictly restrict power draw to 150W as whole or restrict PCIe to 75W as specified and let 6pin additional connector draw a bit of excess power. From what I heard, even though 6pin power connector is rated to 75W, it can pull up to 150W just like 8pin. Which won’t “gimp” the performance, it will just bring it to level AMD has specified while leaving PCIe within specs.

Has that calmed people? Nope. Everyone still losing their shit and creating more drama even before anyone can even evaluate the fix. I’m pretty sure using graphic card in such conditions for few days won’t affect anything. So why all this fucking drama?

What’s even more hilarious, NVIDIA had the same shit. On TWO occasions and I’ve only heard about it now. Never before. NVIDIA also fucked up the GTX 1080 fan profiles on Founders Edition cards (reference models)? There were mentions of it, but nowhere on the same level of crazy nonsense people are doing now for AMD.

For fucks sake, stop being such god damn fanboys. I own a GTX 980 and I’m defending AMD here…

Everyone calm the fuck down and wait for the fix. Evaluate it and if performance or anything else will be greatly affected by that, then start losing your shit again. But until then, calm the fuck down. Fucking hell.

UPDATE (2016/07/06)!

AMD issued an update on the given matter like an hour ago on Facebook.

We promised an update today (July 5, 2016) following concerns around the Radeon RX 480 drawing excess current from the PCIe bus. Although we are confident that the levels of reported power draws by the Radeon RX 480 do not pose a risk of damage to motherboards or other PC components based on expected usage, we are serious about addressing this topic and allaying outstanding concerns. Towards that end, we assembled a worldwide team this past weekend to investigate and develop… a driver update to improve the power draw. We’re pleased to report that this driver—Radeon Software 16.7.1—is now undergoing final testing and will be released to the public in the next 48 hours.

In this driver we’ve implemented a change to address power distribution on the Radeon RX 480 – this change will lower current drawn from the PCIe bus.
Separately, we’ve also included an option to reduce total power with minimal performance impact. Users will find this as the “compatibility” UI toggle in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings. This toggle is “off” by default.

Finally, we’ve implemented a collection of performance improvements for the Polaris architecture that yield performance uplifts in popular game titles of up to 3%. These optimizations are designed to improve the performance of the Radeon RX 480, and should substantially offset the performance impact for users who choose to activate the “compatibility” toggle.

AMD is committed to delivering high quality and high performance products, and we’ll continue to provide users with more control over their product’s performance and efficiency. We appreciate all the feedback so far, and we’ll continue to bring further performance and performance/W optimizations to the Radeon RX 480.

Interestingly enough, they will provide the fix, but they are confident enough the problem with PCIe power draw isn’t serious enough to enable the fix by default. Which is a bit strange, but I guess they know what they are doing. They also optimized drivers for a 3% boost which offsets the roughly 1% performance penalty when enabling the fix. Meaning even if users decide to enable the fix, they won’t lose any performance. I’m still interested in seeing performance and power draw results in a re-test of the RX480 with new drivers compared to old ones (and with or without the fix). Just to be really sure what’s happening. I’ll keep you posted…

UPDATE (2016/07/08)!

Read the news about resolved PCIe power issues on RX480 here. I’ve decided to post it as a new article while linking it back here for reference.

AMD fixed the issue entirely. That’s what I call a professional response for seemingly unfixable problem…

 

Bioshock Trilogy remaster coming fall 2016!

As you may or may have not heard about it, Bioshock trilogy is getting remastered including all add-ons, expansions and DLC’s and it will arrive in early September 2016.

Only game out of three that won’t be remastered is Bioshock Infinite because developers believe it already meets today’s standards of quality expected from modern games on modern gaming systems. This means proper wide screen support, 1080p and 60fps. I hope They’ll also include FOV fixes because that crap was stupid even for Bioshock Infinite. I had to hack it to get higher FOV. So, there’s that…

IMPORTANT!

One important fact though for PC gamers, if you have Bioshock 1, Bioshock 2 with Minerva’s Den DLC and Bioshock Infinite listed in your Steam library, you’ll be eligible for free remastered update that will otherwise cost around 60€ as a standalone package on release day.

What this means is, if you have retail copy of Bioshock 2 you can add it to Steam library (just enter the CD KEY into Steam). Bioshock 1 can’t be added and you probably already have Infinite on Steam since I think it was only released there anyway or at least most bought it there. You can grab Bioshock 1 cheap on Steam till 4th July 2016 during summer sales. So, you can greatly reduce the total cost if you act fast! If you don’t own any of them, you can buy all 3 for around 15€ which is still very cheap. Again, just till 4th July 2016 during Summer Steam sale!

I’ve already prepared all 3 games on my Steam account and I’ll just give away the retail one to my younger cousin. I guess it’s time to introduce him to a world of a bit more complex games:)