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Game

There’s an apparent PS5 jailbreak, but only for old firmware

Almost two years after the went on sale, it seems that modders have found a way to jailbreak the console, albeit with some significant limitations. As notes, a modder known as SpecterDev the apparent jailbreak, which is described as an experimental IPV6 kernel exploit that takes advantage of a WebKit vulnerability.

It appears the jailbreak will only work on PS5 systems that run firmware version 4.03 or earlier. If you have updated your PS5 since last October, you’re probably not going to be able to try the exploit. Even then, it seems that trying to install the jailbreak only works around a third of the time.

As for what you can actually do with a jailbroken PS5 right now, you’ll gain access to the system’s debug menu. You might be able to install games from outside of the PlayStation Store as well, but it’s not possible to run sideloaded software. 

tried the jailbreak and was able to install the PS4 demo P.T., Hideo Kojima’s famed, delisted teaser for the canceled . (PS4 units with P.T. installed often pop up on eBay.) However, McDonald wasn’t able to start playing the game. While the exploit offers read/write access to the PS5, there’s currently no way to execute sideloaded files. in any case.

As it stands, it doesn’t seem likely that this jailbreak will be in widespread use anytime soon, due to its limitations and the fact that Sony could ban modders’ accounts. On top of that, there’s the risk of bricking the console at a time when it still isn’t super easy to buy one. Still, this could give other hackers and modders a foundation on which to build more robust jailbreaking tools.

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Computing

Razer Blade firmware update could improve GPU performance

Razer is introducing two new configurations to its Blade 17 series gaming laptops for 2022, as well as bumping performance on some existing units through a firmware update.

The new Razer Blade 17 models will now include options for up to Intel Core i9-12900H processors and Nvidia GeForce 3070 Ti GPUs.This hardware setup has never before been seen on the Blade 17 laptops, as Razer pointed out.

Paired with a display upgrade for the entry model, the 17.3-inch QHD display will now come with a 240Hz refresh rate instead of 165Hz. It also boasts 16GB DDR5 RAM and it will start at $3,400. The 17.3-inch UHD display features a 144Hz refresh rate and 32GB DDR5 RAM, along with a starting price of $3,800.

Several models of the 2022 laptop that were released earlier this year are also available, with the cheapest version starting at $2,700. Like other models, the latest Blade 17 sells with a two-year battery warranty.

Razer also claims the 2022 Blade 17 models running 3060 and 3080 Ti GPUs will receive a boost in total graphics power (TGP) via an upcoming firmware update. Benefits that can be expected from the update include an additional 10 watts of system performance power for each system. The Blade 17 with the RTX 3060 GPU can expect a maximum TGP of 130 watts (115 watts + 25 watts) and the Blade 17 with the 3080 Ti a maximum of 175 watts (150 watts + 25 watts).

Models newer than these are set to release with increased TGP from production.

In addition to the Blade 17, Razer has also been showcasing its Blade 15 and Blade 14 laptops throughout the year. The Blade 15 is somewhat similar to the Blade 17 with many display options and a power focus. The Blade 14 has a thin and light ultrabook design with AMD processor options, in addition to Intel.

Razer is also offering a limited-time deal, giving those who buy a Razer Blade 17 or Razer Blade 15 with a 12th-gen Intel processor a free 6-month subscription to the Vegas Post 365 video production bundle or 40% off a one-year subscription. The deal is available until July 31.

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Computing

How to Quickly Update Your Router Firmware

Like our other devices, routers have software that occasionally needs updates as well to offer improved security and compatibility, and even provide new features for users. To do this, the router needs a firmware update, and that requires a little work. If it’s been several years since you’ve checked for router updates or you heard about a recent update/fix for your router line, it’s time to take action. Here’s what you need to do.

Tip: Check for app updates and automated downloads

Newer routers often make things easier by connecting to the cloud for important updates and automatically downloading upgrades for firmware. If you have an app to manage your router, open it and look for an update option.

Netgear’s Nighthawk app is a good example of this: You can log in, click on your router icon, and choose Check for Updates. This will allow you to quickly check and update your firmware without needing to follow the steps below. If your router app allows you to enable automatic updates, this is also a good idea.

Step 1: Visit your router provider’s website and find your model

To manually update firmware, you will need to start by downloading the latest firmware file. To help with that, major router brands have support webpages. We’re going to start by showing Netgear routers and the Netgear support page because it’s laid out very clearly, but other router brands follow very similar processes. Here’s the Linksys support page and the TP-Link download page if you need them.

On the support page, select Wi-fi Routers, then select from the router line you have. For example, let’s choose the Nighthawk AC Routers category.

The Nighthawk AC router models list.

Next, select your specific router model. It’s a good idea to have your router on hand to look for the model number if necessary. Note that some models may also have different versions, so you will need to choose the correct version too (TP-Link routers can be more guilty of this than others). Using the wrong firmware for your model or version could cause serious issues.

Step 2: Download the latest firmware update file

The firmware download option for Netgear routers.

With the correct model chosen, look for the download option or window to see where your firmware files are. Here, we navigate to the Firmware and Software Downloads section, and we can quickly find the Firmware Version 1.2.0.76. Select this, and select Download to install it on your local hard drive.

Again, the process will look different for every router provider, but most do have some type of dropdown list to look for the firmware file. Unless you’re rolling back to previous settings (not common for router software), you’ll want to choose the newest firmware file for your model.

Step 3: Connect your router to your computer via Ethernet

You can’t update your router firmware via the Wi-Fi that your router is producing. You’ll need a wired connection to the computer you are using, which means connecting an Ethernet cable from the router to your computer. This also means that the best device for updating your firmware is usually a laptop.

Step 4: Launch your router settings page if necessary

Here your experience may diverge a little. If you are using one of the newer Netgear firmware files, all you have to do is unzip and open it. When the file opens and begins running, it will take the lead and navigate you through the necessary steps for updating the firmware.

However, other router brands may prefer you log into your administrator settings for the router and initiate the update yourself. To start this process, open your web browser and navigate to your router settings. If you need help accessing them, you can find out how to access your router admin page in this guide.

The TP-Link login page.

Now you will have to log in with your router settings username and password. This is not the same thing as your Wi-Fi network login information. It’s typically set to admin and password for each field or a similar option that you can find on the back of your router, although it’s always a good idea to change it for security reasons, something you may have done the first time setting up.

Step 5: Start the firmware update

Browsing for the firmware file on a computer.

Now use your settings page to start the firmware update. Look for an option that says Firmware or Firmware Upgrade. Sometimes this is found in a System Tools section, sometimes in an Administrator section, and sometimes in an Update or Maintenance section. Look around, and you will be able to find it before long.

Once you find the Firmware option, select it. This should bring you to a menu where you will see an option to Choose File or Browse your local files. Select this, then navigate to your recent downloads or search for your firmware file by name.

The upgrade button for firmware updates on TP-Link's website.

Select your firmware file, and then choose the Upgrade option. Let the upgrade progress until it’s completed; this will take at least a few minutes.

After the firmware is fully updated, there’s a chance that your router will revert to factory settings. If this happens, you will want to spend some more time in your router settings webpage to tweak settings back to where you had them, or run through the setup process again to get everything in working order.

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Computing

These Acer Gaming Laptops Get Performance Boost by Firmware

It’s not often that laptops get a free performance boost after launch, but that’s what’s happening with Acer’s latest gaming notebooks. The company has released firmware updates for several machines that increase the total graphics power (TGP) on RTX 30-series graphics cards, which could lead to a significant performance increase.

TGP is a key spec when choosing a laptop with an RTX 30-series graphics card. Manufacturers have a lot of control over how much power the GPU receives from the board, leading to wildly different performance on what should be identical components. More graphics power means that RTX 30-series graphics cards in select Acer laptops will run faster than they did before, all while targeting the same temperature.

Various models from the Acer Nitro 5, Helios 300, Triton 300, and Triton 300 SE series have firmware updates available now on Acer’s website. You can look up your laptop to see if it’s supported. Depending on the model and graphics card, you could see anywhere from a 5W boost to a 30W boost. The largest update is for the Helios 300 PH317-55 with an RTX 3060, which is the only model with a 30W boost.

“Our claim to gaming hardware is to offer a balance between the best possible CPU and GPU performance, volume and durability. Accordingly, we are pleased to be able to offer both interested buyers and many of our existing customers improved graphics performance with the BIOS update,” Marcel Behm, senior business manager for Acer Germany, said in a statement.

New machines will ship with the firmware update already installed. That said, we recommend checking for an available BIOS update regardless of when you purchased your machine.

More board power will surely increase performance, but there’s no saying how much. The performance uplift will largely depend on your laptop’s configuration and thermal limits, not on the board power of the graphics card alone. The best way to tell is to download the update if you have a supported machine.

If you’re interested in updating, all you need to do is download the update from Acer’s website, extract the folder, and run the executable file inside. Before doing that, though, make sure you save any work you have, plug your charger in, and remove any devices connected to your machine. If your computer loses power or there’s a conflict with a connected device during the update, it could ruin your laptop.

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Tech News

DJI Mini 2 battery discharging issue will get a firmware fix soon

DJI already launched no less than two new drones this year, that despite the legal debacle it has in the US over its involvement with the Chinese government’s activities. Fortunately, it hasn’t forgotten about its relatively young products, namely the DJI Mini 2. Owners of that drone have been reporting minor but still unfavorable issues about its LiPo battery. The good news is that it will need only a software fix. The bad news is that its arrival is still unknown at this point.

Some owners of the DJI Mini 2 have been reporting that the drone’s battery doesn’t get discharged slowly over time when left in the drone or on the charger while not charging. While this would normally sound like a good thing, the problem is that it also degrades such a battery’s life. LiPo batteries in particular need to very slowly discharge when full in order to prolong their life, ironic as it may sound.

DJI’s Intelligent Flight Batteries actually have this function but it turns out that the batteries in DJI Mini 2. Most owners will have probably missed that, though, as it might only surface in tests and closer examination. Fortunately, the fix isn’t that hard either.

In a statement to Digital Photography Review, DJI says that it will be pushing out a firmware update that will fix this situation. It will initiate auto-discharge when the battery is left in the drone or in the charging hub and hasn’t been used recently. It doesn’t say, however, when it plans to actually push out that update.

Although it could be costly in the long run, since users might have to replace their batteries sooner, the issue is actually very minor and, thankfully, doesn’t pose a safety risk. That said, DJI does recommend that Mini 2 owners take out the battery when it won’t be used for a long period of time, with or without the firmware update.

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Computing

Surface Book 2 firmware fixes Nvidia GPU bug blocking Windows 10 upgrades

Microsoft has apparently fixed an issue with its Surface Book 2’s discrete GPU that prevented it from receiving the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, supplying new firmware to solve the problem.

As part of a new Surface firmware update released Friday, Microsoft apparently has fixed both a bug affecting the Surface Book 2’s discrete GPU as well as a separate issue that caused its CPU clock speed to slow to a crawl. Thurrott first reported the story. 

Microsoft originally blocked the Surface Book 2 from receiving the May 2019 update in July, after the discrete Nvidia GPU either failed to show up in Device Manager, or that games that would use it failed to run—or both. Microsoft said at the time that it applied a “compatibility hold on Surface Book 2 devices with Nvidia dGPUs from being offered Windows 10, version 1903, until this issue is resolved.”

That hold came after I had already updated my test Surface Book 2 to the May 2019 Update, though I wasn’t able to run even basic games that required some sort of acceleration, such as Broforce.

Since then, however, I had noticed that the dGPU was showing up regularly, allowing me to play 3D games like Prey without issue, and for prolonged periods of time. It’s the end for a somewhat embarrassing period for Microsoft, since its flagship detachable notebook couldn’t receive its latest Windows 10 OS update. 

In any event, if you own a Surface Book 2 (or just a Surface) you should be able to download the latest firmware via Windows Update, or you my have it already. We can’t help but wonder if someone at Consumer Reports is taking notes. 

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Tech News

Nikon Z 7II and Z 6II to get a firmware update next week

Once upon a time, cameras were products that you buy with a fixed set of features that never changed, forcing you to buy a new one once you’ve outgrown what your trusty partner offered. These days, however, camera makers have taken a page from smart devices to offer some new or improved features via a simple and free firmware update. Some even make it feel like you’ve bought a newer model. That might not be what Nikon will bring to its Z 7II and Z 6II mirrorless cameras next week but it’s still a substantial firmware upgrade nonetheless.

Launched in October last year, the Nikon Z 7II and Z 6II full-frame mirrorless cameras brought a rather unique setup to the camera market. Both sported not one but two EXPEED 6 image processors to double the cameras’ processing power. That additional muscle definitely comes in handy when adding new features that do require more data crunching ability.

With Firmware version 1.10, the cameras will support RAW video output, though that has to be enabled by a Nikon service representative as well. For those that already bought that upgrade option, the firmware update still has something to offer in the form of support for BlackMagic Design external recorders.

Nikon also says that the firmware will improve the performance of Eye-Detection Autofocus. This will allow the cameras to detect eyes even the subject’s face is too small in the frame. For the Nikon Z 6II alone, the update will enable 4K UHD/60p video recording.

Nikon says that the Firmware 1.10 upgrade for the Nikon Z 7II and Z 6II will be arriving next week, specifically on February 25. The update is promised to also enable video-recording workflows that were based on customer feedback on what pro photographers need these days.

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