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Intel Debuts 72 Processor Xeon Phi

June 27, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel has announced that it’s 72-processor Xeon Phi now boots as a stand-alone, rather than as a coprocessor and can carry out multiprocessing tasks.

This means it can be used for artificial intelligence (AI) and deep brain learning. Intel claims the bootable Xeon Phi scales to any number of processors using Intel’s scalable-system framework (SSF) with integrated on-chip fabric, Omni-Path fiber and silicon photonics.

Speed was bumped to 1.5-GHz for high-performance computing (HPC) orchestration while maintaining its low-power energy budget compared with GPU-based and other competing high-speed multicore arrays tied to PCIe.

Intel is flogging the Xeon Phi is the world’s first CPU with integrated fabric in-package. Because it is now bootable by itself, has integrated in-package memory and can run on systems as small as developer workstations starting at $5k.

Intel’s bootable Xeon Phi fits into its scalable system framework (SSF) which connects with omni-path fiber driven by silicon photonics, to perform high-performance computing (HPC) tasks, especially Deep Learning algorithms.

Intel cliams Xeon Phi arrays of were 1.38 times faster than GPUs compared with a single Intel Xeon Phi processor with 87 percent efficiency compared to 32 Nvidia Tesla K20 GPUs with 62 percent efficiency.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Google Fiber Acquires Webpass, Increases Urban Coverage

June 24, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Google Fiber has agreed to purchase Internet service provider Webpass to quickly increase its urban coverage and offer customers a combination of fiber and wireless delivery of high-speed Internet.

For Google Fiber, which has typically worked with cities in planning and building a fiber network from scratch, the acquisition will give the Alphabet business a headstart in many markets, particularly in dense urban areas.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Google did not immediately comment on the acquisition.

Webpass in San Francisco owns and operates its Ethernet network, thus removing its dependence on phone and cable companies. It has operations in San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, San Diego, Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Chicago and Boston. The company offers business connections from 10 to 1,000 Mbps and to residential customers service from 100 Mbps to 1Gbps.

Google is already working in San Francisco, where Webpass also operates, and is negotiating with property owners and managers in buildings near existing fiber infrastructure to explore connecting their residents to gigabit Internet.

Webpass will help to further expand that coverage as it will remain focused on the rapid deployment of high-speed Internet connections for residential and commercial buildings, mainly using point-to-point wireless, Webpass President Charles Barr said in a blog post Wednesday that announced the proposed acquisition.

“Google Fiber’s resources will enable Webpass to grow faster and reach many more customers than we could as a standalone company,” Barr wrote.

 

 

 

Will Intel Skylake-X 10 Debut In Q2 2017?

June 24, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

There have been few details released on the new 10 core Skylake-X which will replace the Intel Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition which has just been released.

Intel has just released its Broadwell-E generation of ten, eight and six cores with Intel Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition being the fastest end the most expensive.  But we have managed to get a few details about its replacement – the Skylake-X.

You can expect two SKUs, 140W X versions with 10 cores and the one will less cores called the K version. The new Extreme edition CPUs will have the new R4 socket. This new socket is also called LGA2066 some 55 higher than with the existing socket number.

There will be a Kaby Lake-X 4 core processor with 95+ W TDP using the same LGA 2066 R4 socket . Both Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X support the new chipset that is known as Kaby Lake-X.

This is 200 series chipset will be the successor of the Skylake 100. The new chipset will come with up to 24 PCIe 3.0 PCI express lanes. In fact this is the only major difference in the chipset. It does support Octane storage techhonlogy, something that 100 series chipset cannot. The Kaby Lake 200 series chipset supports 6 SATA 3.0 ports, up to 10 USB 3.0 ports, DMI 3.0, up to three 4Xports for PCIe 3.0 drives.

If the Zen desktop core gives Intel some serious competition, we bet that Intel won’t charge $1700 for its highest end overclockable desktop CPU. Zen is still at least few months away, we expect it at late 2016 at best.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Twitter Moves Further Into Video With New ‘Watch Mode’ Feature

June 23, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Twitter is looking to compete even more with Facebook. The platform is moving into video in a major way with 140-second clips in both Twitter proper and Vine, a new video section called Watch Mode, and video recommendations for other videos to watch. The network’s most popular users, like President Barack Obama and Justin Bieber, are getting a stand-alone app called Engage, which sounds a lot like Facebook Mentions.

Twitter is making video a huge priority by extending video length from 30 seconds to 140 seconds (staying on-brand, of course). Those longer videos are also coming to Vine, but don’t worry, the popular app for creating hilarious video loops isn’t changing its 6-second limit. Instead, you can post 140-second clips alongside your Vines.

You won’t have to watch these longer videos in-tweet. Now tapping on a video in your timeline will launch a new full-screen viewing mode with recommended clips surfaced just below. The same experience applies to longer videos on Vine.

The new features are rolling out soon on Twitter for iOS and Android.

Twitter Engage launched Tuesday on iOS to help video creators and other important people see metrics on their clips, including likes, retweets, mentions, and views. They can also see demographics for their videos and a feed of what their fans are talking about.

Unlike Facebook Mentions, Engage isn’t solely aimed at celebrities. But the two apps are similar in that they show mentions from so-called “influencers” and filter comments from fans.

Twitter has to try new things, especially since its user growth has stalled at 310 million monthly active users and Wall Street isn’t happy about it. To compare, Instagram just announced it has more than 500 million monthly active users, 300 million of whom check the app on a daily basis.

 

 

 

 

Facebook Gearing Up For Live Streaming

June 23, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Facebook Inc has inked deals worth more than $50 million with media giants and celebrities to create videos for its live-streaming service, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Facebook has signed nearly 140 deals, including with CNN, the New York Times, Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and the Huffington Post, the Journal reported on Tuesday, citing a document.

Comedian Kevin Hart, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, wellness guru Deepak Chopra and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson are among the celebrities that Facebook has partnered with.

“We have an early beta program for a relatively small number partners that includes a broad range of content types from regions around the world,” Justin Osofsky, the vice president of global operations and media partnerships at Facebook, said in an email.

“We wanted to invite a broad set of partners so we could get feedback from a variety of different organization about what works and what doesn’t.”

The document shows that Facebook’s deal with online publisher BuzzFeed has the highest value at $3.05 million, the Journal said, followed by the New York Times at $3.03 million and CNN at $2.5 million.

 

Intel Debuts New Xeon Family Member

June 23, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel released yet another Xeon processor family designed specifically for 4 socket servers used in next-gen data centers and cloud deployments.

Intel said that servers with the Intel Xeon E5-4600 v4 family can now have up to 22 cores and 44 threads for enough processing power for most scale-out and large workloads.

Intel’s new range is claimed to be 2.6x better than previous generations Along with the performance boost and the higher core and thread count, the new E5-4600 v4 family can provide up to 55MB of last-level cache, support up to 6TB of DDR4 2400 memory, and 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0.

The new processors have AES encryption and fast public key (RSA) encryption along with a strong random number generation that enables hardened, pervasive data protection without impact to application response times. The family is supplied with Intel’s Intelligent Power technology to improve power across both the CPU and memory. The latest version of processors family supports per-core P states (PCPS) to optimize the power usage of each processor core.

The new family has what Chipzilla calls advanced multi-core, multi-threaded processing –  up to 22 cores (previously up to 18) and 44 threads (previously up to 36) per socket for running more and heavier workloads and higher density of VMs per server.

There is a larger cache: Up to 55MB (Previously up to 45MB) of last level cache for fast access to frequently used data. There is a faster memory with up to 48 DIMMS per four-socket server for memory-intensive applications and faster maximum memory speeds with DDR4 memory. Chipzilla claims that this gives higher performance for demanding workloads.

It has Optimized Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 2.0 (Intel AVX 2.0) enables applications to run at maximum “turbo” frequencies wherever possibl and IIntel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 acceleration takes advantage of power and thermal headroom.

Flexible, high-performance hardware-enhanced virtualization: Improve overall reliability and responsiveness through new Intel Virtualization Technology features, including New Posted Interrupts, Page Modi cation Logging, and VM Enter/Exit latency reduction

It also has multiple rank sparing DDR4 recovery for command and address parity errors and the latest Intel Data Protection Technology.

Intel tells us that the new Intel Xeon E5-4600 v4 processor family is available now.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Twitter Acquires Machine Learning Company Magic Pony

June 22, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Twitter has been quite vocal regarding its interest in machine learning in recent years, and earlier this week the company put its money where its mouth is once again by purchasing London startup Magic Pony Technology, which has focused on visual processing.

“Magic Pony’s technology — based on research by the team to create algorithms that can understand the features of imagery — will be used to enhance our strength in live [streaming] and video and opens up a whole lot of exciting creative possibilities for Twitter,” Twitter cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey wrote in a blog post announcing the news.

The startup’s team includes 11 Ph.Ds with expertise across computer vision, machine learning, high-performance computing and computational neuroscience, Dorsey said. They’ll join Twitter’s Cortex group, made up of engineers, data scientists and machine-learning researchers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition follows several related purchases by the social media giant, including Madbits in 2014 and Whetlab last year.

 

 

 

Napster Brand Making A Comeback

June 17, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

The Napster name, once widely known for illegal music sharing, is now respectable enough to carry the flag for one of the oldest names in paid music streaming.

Rhapsody will soon change its name worldwide to Napster, the listening service has announced. It already uses the Napster brand in Europe.

“Napster is coming,” the post said. “No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists. Same music. Same service. Same price. 100% the music you love. Stay tuned!”

The name change in the U.S. could be another attempt to catch up to Spotify, which recently passed 30 million subscribers. Rhapsody said late last year it had about 3.5 million.

Napster began in the late 1990s as a service for sharing and downloading mp3 music files and quickly attracted a large following, especially among college students. The Recording Industry Association of America sued the company for copyright infringement in late 1999 and won an injunction that shut down Napster in 2001.

A series of acquisitions by companies including music publisher Bertelsmann and retailer Best Buy put Napster on a path to respectability, but it also faded amid the growth of legal music stores like iTunes and then streaming services like Spotify.

Rhapsody, which has been around since 2001, bought Napster in 2011 and set out to replace Napster’s brand with its own in the U.S. Later it bought Napster International to expand into Germany and the U.K., where it decided to keep the Napster brand.

With the latest change, that moniker has won out. A formerly infamous brand now seems to carry more clout than one that once was almost famous.

 

 

Twitter Takes Stake in SoundCloud

June 16, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Twitter Inc has decided to invest nearly $70 million in Berlin-based music service SoundCloud, technology website Re/code reported citing people familiar with the deal.

Twitter confirmed the investment, but did not provide any financial details.

“Earlier this year we made an investment in SoundCloud through Twitter Ventures to help support some of our efforts with creators,” Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said.

Soundcloud, a platform that enables people to upload and share music and other audio files, also confirmed that Twitter had made the investment.

Twitter’s investment was part of a funding round expected to be in the range of $100 million, which would value SoundCloud at about $700 million, the Re/code report said.

The microblogging site has previously attempted to make a foray into music with the launch of Twitter Music in 2013, which was closed a year later. At the time, the company said that it would look for new ways to bring music based content to the service.

 

Is Intel Dropping Its Plan For An Atom Server Chip?

June 15, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

The rumor mill is suggesting that Intel is about to kill off its Atom’s for server program.

In 2013, Intel started work on a server processor code-named Avoton and a networking-oriented counterpart called Rangeley which were based on Silvermont. Silvermont was a low-power, low-cost Atom processor which was aimed at micro-servers.

Intel’s roadmap was to follow Avoton with Denverton, using next-generation Goldmont CPU cores and built on the company’s 14-nanometer chip manufacturing technology. But Intel keeps making excuses for its delay or pointing into the horizon and saying “oh look there is a badger with a handgun.”

First, it was supposed to be here in 2016 and later Intel roadmaps said 2016. The latest one says “beyond 2016.” Duke Nukem was more specific, and so was Zen.

Intel’s higher-performance Xeon processors will be a better proposition by the time this one comes out and face it who is going to want a chip that should have come out in 2015 in 2017.

Logically Intel must be thinking of giving up on it. The reason could be that few people are interested in Avoton and Rangeley and this could mean an end of Atom-based server chips as a concept.

Intel must be thinking that the time wasted on Atom-based server chips would better spent plugging its Xeon D product line.

Intel seems to be slimming down a lot lately. This week it let its first batch of workers go from its Irish plant. The last thing it wants is pushing chips that no one wants. Of course this leaves the area open to Arm, but so far no one has demonstrated that is an option either.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Facebook Video Comment Feature Looks To Draw Younger Users

June 14, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Facebook is joining the current wave of interest in videos by allowing users to upload videos into their comments and replies.

Bob Baldwin, an engineer at Facebook, announced in a blog post that the company is allowing users post video in their comments on other peoples’ posts.

The new feature is available worldwide immediately.

To try it, click the camera icon next to the comment field.

“This adds to the suite of multimedia features within comments including: links, photos, stickers, emoji, and starting today video,” Baldwin wrote in his post. “This was no small feat to add support across interfaces and within two heavy traffic services, like comments and videos.”

Considering how popular video is in the social media world right now, this was a smart move — one that even could draw in younger users, who have been so important but elusive for Facebook.

“I think this will have huge appeal with the younger audience,” said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. “I think it could help attract younger users. People love video, so being able to do more with it will have appeal.”

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, also said this could be a move that helps draw younger users to the site or — at least keep current younger users from straying. Younger people are drawn to video services like Periscope and Meerkat, analysts said.

“Young users are more comfortable with video interaction and given the enhanced interaction with this feature, this is attractive to them,” he added. “I think it’s not a feature that many consumers are asking for, but I believe when some try it, it could be a preferred mechanism… Video is that appealing.”

Facebook’s Baldwin noted that the feature was first prototyped at the company’s 50th Hackathon held earlier this year.

 

 

 

Amazon To Get Join The Already Crowded Music Streaming Business

June 13, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Amazon.com Inc is gearing up to launch a standalone music streaming subscription service, placing it squarely in competition with rival offerings from Apple Inc and Spotify, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The service will be offered at $9.99 per month, in line with major rivals, and it will offer a competitive catalog of songs, the sources said. Amazon is finalizing licenses with labels for the service, which likely will be launched in late summer or early fall, the sources said.

Amazon, which offers a free streaming music service with a limited catalog to subscribers of its Prime shipping and video service, did not respond to a request for comment about the new, full-fledged music plan.

Although it will be a late entrant to the crowded streaming space, Amazon believes a comprehensive music service is important to its bid to be a one-stop shop for content and goods, the sources said.

The new music offering also is intended to increase the appeal of the Amazon Echo, its home speaker, which searches the Internet and orders products from the retailer with voice commands.

“A music service will further increase the daily interactions between Amazon and its customer base,” said former music executive Jay Samit when told about the company’s plan.

The new Amazon effort will compete directly with Apple Music and Spotify, which boast more than 30 million songs. Apple launched its service last year in one of the highest profile signs that listeners wanted subscription services, rather than paying for individual songs or albums.

The service also will diversify Amazon’s subscription offerings and be another step away from a single, annual subscription. Amazon recently began allowing subscribers to Prime to pay monthly, for instance.

Silicon Valley titans such as Apple and Alphabet Inc’s Google have muscled into music streaming in recent years, aiming to weave themselves more tightly into their customers’ daily routines and drive device sales.

Amazon similarly hopes its new service’s tight integration with the Echo will help it stand out and reinforce the speaker’s appeal, the sources said.

Released broadly last year, the Echo has become a surprise hit that rival Google is now seeking to emulate with a speaker of its own.

The move suggests that Amazon will increasingly offer basic media options through Prime while selling additional subscriptions for consumers who want to go deeper. The company recently launched a standalone video service.

The new music service is unlikely to steal many customers from Spotify, but it could pose a threat to other players, said David Pakman, a partner at Venrock who headed early Apple music efforts, when informed of the move.

 

 

Has The Bubble Busted For Smartphones?

June 13, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Uncategorized

After sliding its slide-rules, flicking its abacus, and counting its toes, the bean counters at Gartner have decided that the smartphone business bubble has burst splattering in the face of those who depend on it.

Big G says the market will shrink from 14.4 per cent growth in 2015 to just 7 per cent in 2016 — with only 1.5 billion smartphone units being shipped globally this year. Compair this with 2010, when Gartner notes the market grew 73 per cent.

However the signs have been obvious for about a year. Mature Western markets saturated, China’s growth engine slowing as demand has topped out and other markets unable to afford the higher margin gear. The smartphone has come to the end of its ability to provide new technology too with companies only able to offer incremental upgrades. Carriers are moving away from subsidizing upgrades which means that them wasting their own profits to prop up the likes of Apple are over.

In emerging markets it says the average lifetime of premium phone is between 2.2 and 2.5 years, while basic mobiles have an average lifetime of three years and up.

Gartner sees the biggest remaining opportunity for smartphone growth in India, noting that sales of feature phones — aka dumbphones — accounted for a majority (61 per cent) of total mobile device sales last year, leaving plenty of scope for upgrades as smartphones continue to become more affordable.

It is estimating 139 million smartphones will be sold in India this year, growing 29.5 per cent year-over-year. It notes the average selling price of mobiles in the country remains below $70, and it expects smartphones priced under $120 to continue to contribute around half of overall smartphones sales there this year.  Apple’s hope that it can save its flailing business numbers by selling into India show the complete lack of understanding of how that market is working. It is tending to favor small local smartphone makers like Intex.

China is going to offer Apple no help either Gartner is expecting “little growth” in the region in the next five years. IT says it is “saturated yet highly competitive” market. Smartphones represented 95 per cent of total mobile phones sales last year.

Gartner analyst Annette Zimmerman said that “non-traditional” vendors in China could do well and thinks that by 2018 at least one such phone maker will be among the top five smartphone brands in the country.

“Chinese internet companies are increasingly investing in mobile device hardware development, platforms and distribution as they aim to grow their user bases and increase user loyalty and engagement,” she said.

The Sub-Saharan African region is also couched as an attractive region for smartphone vendors, with smartphone sales only overtaking mobile phones sales there for the first time last year. Nokia brand licensee and newly formed smartphone OEM HMD will want to take note, given it has paid for the right to build feature phones (and smartphones) bearing the previously iconic Nokia brand name.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Intel Halts Project Wireless

June 10, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel appears to have given up on its wireless world project, which was based around its Core M chip.

I once sat through an interesting presentation once where Intel explained that offices were going to be much more fluid things and people would show up with wireless based hardware, sit down and start work. You would connect on wireless while your notebook would be charged and powered over the the air.

However now it seems that vision is not padding out for Intel and it is getting out of the technology, which would have bought it about.

Last week four Intel representatives resigned their posts at the AirFuel Alliance, an industry group that was formed to push wireless charging standards. In emails announcing their resignations from the AirFuel Alliance committees, the Intel employees cited the company’s plans to realign strategic priorities.

In an email, Intel confirmed that it was likewise shutting down wireless charging development. “Our strategy behind our internal development work to date was primarily focused on accelerating the ecosystem, which has largely happened,” the company stated.

Intel told Forbes that it was continuing to work closely with WiTricity, an Intel Capital portfolio company, and “that many of our OEM partners are using” WiTricity’s solutions. Intel also said it was working with OEMs “to validate technical solutions.”

But WiTricity or anyone else for that matter has offered a date when laptops with wireless charging will be available. They are expected for this year but the user experience, the power level, the efficiency and the cost—will fall short of the vision Intel was promising.
With key vision things taken away, Intel appears to be left with more ephemeral talk about the cloud and the Internet of Things very little of the “vision thing” which it used to do rather well.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Is Intel’s Kaby Lake Faster Than Sky Lake?

June 10, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel is gearing up to launch its third generation 14nm processor codenamed Kaby Lake which is a minor update to the Skylake generation.

This quad-core with eight threads is a high-end processor that will bring a few small changes. It will be faster within the same TDP, but Intel is not talking about the actual clocks. The fastest Skylake is the Intel Core i7-6700K and it has a 4.0GHz base clock that reaches 4.2GHz on Turbo.

Kaby Lake Core i7 7x00K series will be slightly faster. Intel is telling its partners that the Kaby Lake-S will have 15 percent more high speed input / output lanes. This is only four additional PCI express lanes and nothing that is going to change the world.

Intel Rapid Storage 15 is unique to Kaby Lake-S and the Intel Optane storage technology support. Intel has made us update motherboards to support PCI-e drives and it will do the same with Intel Optane, storage technology that will rely on PCI Express Gen 3.

Intel supplies DDR4-2400 memory support and it plans to teach its graphics a few new tricks. The desktop CPUs are expected in Q4 2016 which is quite late to the game, but better late than never.

The upgrade market will buy it as long as it arrives before Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Courtesy-Fud