NZXT looks to lure beginning gamers with its $699 Starter PC desktop

NZXT Starter PC

With companies without gaming pedigrees like Acer and Lenovo offering entry-level PCs for budding gamers, manufacturing veterans have to compete for budding gamers who aren’t ready (or able) to spend more than $1,000 for a decked-out gaming desktop. NZXT, long known for its cases and other gaming components, isn’t beating around the bush with its gateway system’s name, calling it the Starter PC rather than the evocative extreme-sounding monikers typical of gaming PCs.

As with other budget friendly gaming systems, the Starter PC makes compromises with regard to components to keep prices down, but still provides a decent graphics card to allow suitable gaming performance. In this case, NZXT has an Intel Core i3-9100F, a quad-core previous generation budget processor, instead of a 10th-generation Core i5 or i7 in its base configuration. Likewise, a standard 8GB of RAM is on board, along with a 512GB M.2 SSD

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Alleged fraud related to Commonwealth IT contracts under investigation

In publishing the results of a review into particular procurement activities of Commonwealth entities, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has revealed allegations of fraud are currently being investigated.

“During the course of the audit, the ANAO was advised by the Department of Finance of allegations of fraud related to the supply of information technology contractors,” it said. “At the time of publishing this report investigations are ongoing.”

The objective of the audit was to “assess the extent to which entities’ establishment and use of three IT-related procurement panels and arrangements supported the achievement of value for money outcomes”.

The ANAO probe looked into the now-shuttered IT services panel established by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (Infrastructure); the digital marketplace panel established by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA); and the AU$1 billion IBM whole of Australian government arrangement, managed by the DTA.

The combined reported value

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Starbucks just made a startling change to your coffee experience

It makes a difference knowing where it’s from.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s six in the morning.

You open your laptop, bleary-eyed.

Your boss has already sent you two IMs and a meme in questionable taste.

You take your laptop into the kitchen and make yourself a coffee.

Because you’re trying to be safe and frugal, you don’t go to Starbucks every day. Instead, you buy bags of its coffee and try to replicate the experience.

The coffee has a job to do. It’s supposed to inject you with enough mental energy to gird your whole self for the workday.

Now, though, Starbucks wants to change the way you start your day. As Bloomberg reports, its coffee bags will be adorned with a code that can transport you from your current location to the place where your coffee began.

Yes, you can begin your day by considering where the very

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Human meets AI: Intel Labs team pushes at the boundaries of human-machine interaction with deep learning

The team of the Anticipatory Computing Lab, part of the Intel Labs division, from left, Alex Nguyen, Sangita Sharma, Max Pinaroc, Sai Prasad, Lama Nachman and Pete Denman. Not pictured are Bruna Girvent, Saurav Sahay and Shachi Kumar. 


Lama Nachman spent years helping the late Stephen Hawking through various upgrades of the computer technology that helped him to work and communicate. Hawking passed away in 2018. 

Her team at Intel Labs is now working with Peter Scott-Morgan, a roboticist who has undergone several operations to head off the incapacity that comes from ALS, the same affliction as Hawking suffered. Working with a variety of technologies, including GPT-2, OpenAI’s generative deep learning model for text, Nachman and team are pushing at the boundaries of how a person can exist in a give and take relationship with AI.  

Part ethnographer, Nachman shows great sensitivity to the nuances of how humans

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Enterprise sales of smartphones show low 5G uptake

Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users totalled 295 million units, a decline of 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, according to analyst Gartner.

Gartner reported that Samsung recorded the largest decline among the top five global smartphone manufacturers. It sold nearly 55 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2020, a decline of 27.1% year on year (YoY), according to Gartner’s Worldwide top 5 smartphone sales to end users by vendor in 2Q20 research.

Gartner reported that Apple’s smartphone sales were nearly flat YoY, selling 38 million iPhones in the second quarter of 2020, a decline of 0.4% YoY. Although Huawei also declined in smartphone sales YoY, the analyst firm said Huawei experienced 27.4% growth, quarter-over-quarter, moving it into a virtual tie with Samsung for the top position. 

“Apple’s iPhone sales fared better in the quarter than most smartphone vendors in the market and also grew sales quarter

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