Subscribe to:

Subscribe to :: TheGuruReview.net ::

Is Apple Being Dumped?

May 20, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Around The Net

The dumping of Apple shares by top hedge funds is continuing to gather speed and now even the Tame Apple Press  is noticing.

Reuters took time out from its busy schedule of promoting Apple producst to report the surprise news that Top US hedge fund management firms, including Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors and Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management, continued to reduce or slash stakes altogether in Apple during the first quarter.

We say surprise news, but we had noticed it when it actually happened.

Coatue cut its holding of Apple by selling 1.2 million shares during the first three months of this year, but it remains the fund’s single biggest U.S. stock investment, with 7.7 million shares. Omega Advisors sold all of its 383,790 shares in Apple during the first quarter, while Rothschild Asset Management cut its stake by 107,953 to 938,693 shares, filings showed on Friday.

David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital also cut its exposure in Apple during the first quarter, slashing its stake by 1.2 million shares to 7.4 million shares.

Reuters cannot understand why the hedge funds are dumping their shares. Apple shares rose 12.7 percent in the first quarter and have continued to increase, it moaned.

But the reality is that if hedge funds listened to what fanboys wanted they would not be making the huge amounts of dosh they do. Objectively Apple’s markets have peaked, sales of Tablets have slumped, its iPhone market is stable but has no real momentum and above all it has yet to come up with a new idea.

Courtesy-Fud

Qualcomm Has A Plethora Of Automobile Modems

May 19, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Qualcomm had an IoT event in San Francisco yesterday and the company wanted to talk a bit more about IoT, also known as Internet of Things. They started off with a catchy phrase – Internet of Hype to Internet of Everything.

Dave Aberle said that up to a billion dollars in revenue is coming from the non-mobile market. More than 10 pecent of Qualcomm revenue will come from the non-headset market. They call this market Internet of Everything, but we believe that not all of that market should be called IoT.

IoT is not just the wearable market; it is car modems, connected speakers, action cameras, some smart SanDisk storage solutions, home automation kit and more.  Aberle mentioned that Qualcomm has 40 car design wins in the market with 15 different OEMs. We saw some names including Audi on the slide, but the list of obviously much longer.

Qualcomm is the leader in connected car and 4G LTE market, while Nvidia is the leader in Infotainment car systems, having some huge customers behind it, including the Volkswagen Group.

Qualcomm wants to expand its presence in IoT, including automotive solutions, and we expect more IoT designs from them in the near future.

Courtesy-Fud

Is the PS4 Open To Pirating

May 18, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Gaming

Hackers from Brazil have managed to discover a new exploit for the PS4 which enables them to bypass the DRM on any software and games.

A couple of weeks ago, a number of electronic stores in Brazil had been advertising the means to copy and run a series of ripped retail games on the console.

At the time little was known about the hack back then, but information gradually began to trickle out from customers and make its way around the web. Please see below for commentary from Lancope.

Gavin Reid, VP of threat intelligence, Lancope said that Sony was playing an arms race against groups that benefit from the abilities to copy and share games.

The hack originates from a Russian website and has been pushed into the public by Brasilian retailers. The hack isn’t necessarily a jailbreak for the PS4, nor is it really a homebrew technique.

What they did was use a retail PS4, with several games installed on it, with it’s entire game database and operating system (including NAN/BIOS).  This was then dumped onto a hacked PS4 via Raspberry Pi.

The entire process costs about $100 to $150 to install 10 games and $15 per additional game.

“Open source groups like Homebrew with more altruistic motivations of extending the functionality of the console alongside groups selling modified consoles specifically to play copied games and of course the resell of the games themselves at fraction of the actuals costs. This has happened historically with all of the major consoles. It would be highly unlikely not to continue with the PS4,” he said.

Courtesy-Fud

ARM Sets New mBed Standard

May 15, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

ARM has bought in a new assurance standard to work with embedded devices.

The ARM mbed Enabled program aims to increase the deployment rate of Internet of Things (IoT) products and supporting technologies by giving partners the ability to label them as interoperable mbed-based devices.

Arm said that the accreditation program will cover solutions entering a broad range of developer markets; from silicon and modules to OEM products and innovative cloud services. Accreditation will be free of charge.

ARM Zach Shelby, vice president of IoT business marketing, said that ARM mbed Enabled accreditation will assure the diverse IoT ecosystem that they are using technologies backed up by an expert community of innovators,.

“This will also instill confidence in end markets where interoperability, trust and security standardisation is required to unlock commercial potential.”

Since the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform was announced in October 2014, the mbed Partner ecosystem has continued to grow from the initial 24 launch partners. Today, 8 new partners are being announced including Advantech, Athos, Captiva, Espotel, Maxim Integrated, MegaChips, SmeshLink, and Tieto.

Courtesy-Fud

Is Intel Headed Back Into The Supercomputing Space?

May 15, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

The dark satanic rumor mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that suggests that Intel bigwigs want to get back into supercomputing.

Intel had some history in the 1980s running a high performance computing division and it produced top-tier national lab systems in its day. Now with Aurora supercomputer deal promising a Golden Dawn, the pundits are suggesting that it is a region that Intel could do well in, particularly if it is tied to a good integrator like Cray.

Intel has been quietly building the bits to set up such an operation. It bought file system assets from Whamcloud for Luster development, QLogic and Cray interconnect investments and several compiler and software companies that cater to HPC.

It could be a revival of a Cluster Ready program but it could also be a slow build to a supercomputing business refresh.

What has enabled all this was Linux, which was not really around when Intel tried and failed last time. This means that OEMs can build reasonably good, affordable machines and unhinge the proprietary architecture of supercomputing. With Intel’s Knights Landing technology, it makes such packages seem more possible,

Another key reason why Intel might make a push into this area is because it has the money where as smaller outfits like Cray don’t It takes a lot of dosh to set up a supercomputer and you need the cash up front. A partnership with Cray, as we have seen with the Aurora project, backed with Intel cash makes a powerful combo.

Courtesy-Fud

MediaTek Shows Off Helio X20

May 14, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

MediaTek has announced a 10-core processor which it claims is the world’s first mobile processor with three processor clusters.

The Helio X20 is expected to make its way into devices in early 2016, and will “revolutionise” mobile processors, according to MediaTek.

This is down to its ability to reduce power consumption significantly by altering the number of cores working at any one time depending on the power needed to complete tasks.

MediaTek said that this has been made possible by the firm’s new Tri-Cluster CPU architecture that has three processor clusters each designed to handle different types of workloads more efficiently.

“If a user needs heavy performance, [the Helio X20] will invoke 2, 4, 8 cores, intelligently looking at the workload to decide how many it needs,” said MediaTek’s senior director of corporate sales for EMEA, Chet Babla, in a briefing with The INQUIRER.

“There will be a dramatic drop in power consumption compared to big.LITTLE architecture because of this.”

The Tri-Cluster CPU consists of one cluster of two ARM Cortex-A72 cores running at 2.5GHz for high performance, and two clusters of four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, one running at 2GHz for medium loads and one running at 1.4GHz for light activities.

MediaTek has also integrated a CorePilot 3.0 heterogeneous computing scheduling algorithm which controls which threads are allocated to the cores.

CorePilot 3.0 schedules the tasks for all CPUs and GPUs while managing power and thermal effects so that extreme performance can be attained while creating less heat.

This is said to reduce power consumption by 30 percent compared with conventional dual-cluster architectures on top of the increase in energy efficiency thanks to Helio X20′s supported ARM Mali-T880 GPU.

“With the integration of MediaTek’s WorldMode Category 6 LTE modem with carrier aggregation and upgraded CorePilot 3.0 advanced scheduling algorithm, the Helio X20 is set to revolutionise the mobile processor industry and address the global demand for flagship mobile devices,” MediaTek said.

The Helio X20 also has several features designed to increase device display performance and multimedia experiences.

These include support for dual main cameras with a built-in 3D depth engine for a faster shot-to-shot experience, multi-scale de-noise engines for higher quality images, a 120Hz mobile display refresh rate for crisper and more responsive browsing, and an integrated ARM Cortex-M4 low power sensor processor to support always-on applications such as MP3 playback and voice activation.

Courtesy-TheInq

Is TSMC The King?

May 13, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

TSMC looks certain to keep its foot firmly on the throat of 28nm chip production, according to a new study.

Digitimes said that it looks like competition from Samsung Electronics, Globalfoundries, UMC and SMIC will not be enough to upset TSMC’s rule.

TSMC started its commercial 28nm process five years ago and now accounts for over 75 per cent of the global 28nm foundry market. In addition, the 28nm products also contributed 30 per cent to TSMC’s total revenues in 2014.

Initially 28nm capacity was triggered by rising demand for application processors for smartphones and tablets. TSMC had clients including Qualcomm, MediaTek, Apple and Nvidia.

Vlients from the mobile device sector will continue to fill TSMC with 28nm orders in 2015, but the SSD market is expected this year is likely to give another wave of demand for 28nm.

Controller chips for SSDs are to officially migrate into the 28nm process in 2015, and TSMC has an advantage to solicit more orders from SSD vendors.

TSMC has reportedly snapped up SSD controller chips orders from Marvell Technology, Phison Electronics and more recently from Apple. Thus, TSMC will see its share in the 28nm process market remain high and contribution of the 28nm products to its sales further increase in 2015.

Courtesy-Fud

Google Self-driving Auto Has Been In 11 Accidents

May 13, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Technology giant  Google Inc’s self-driving cars have been involved in 11 accidents, but have not been the cause of any, over the last six years since the project began, the program’s director said on Monday.

A team of drivers that is testing the fleet of more than 20 vehicles have driven 1.7 million miles so far.

“…Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident,” Chris Urmson said in a post on technology news website Backchannel’s blog Medium.  No one was injured in the accidents, Urmson added.

“If you spend enough time on the road, accidents will happen whether you’re in a car or a self-driving car.”

The cars had been hit from behind seven times, mainly at traffic lights, with a majority of the accidents being on city streets rather than on freeways.

“We’ll continue to drive thousands of miles so we can all better understand the all-too common incidents that cause many of us to dislike day-to-day driving  –  and we’ll continue to work hard on developing a self-driving car that can shoulder this burden for us,” Urmson said.

 

 

Does nVidia See Trouble Ahead?

May 11, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

GPU maker Nvidia is seeing trouble ahead, thanks to a slump in PC sales and a strong US dollar.

The company’s astrologers and tarot card readers have Nvidia predicted lower-than-expected revenue for the second quarter either that or someone is going to meet a tall dark stranger.

Nvidia also reported first-quarter revenue and profit below what the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street estimated.

Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress said that there had been a fall in demand from OEMs and PC market which is softer than an Apple fanboy’s bottom.

Worldwide PC shipments fell about 6.7 percent to 68.5 million units in the first quarter, and are expected drop 4.9 percent during the year.

Rival chipmaker AMD reported a steep fall in first-quarter sales last month and said it expected weak demand for PCs to continue for some time.

Nvidia was also hurt by the strong dollar, which has risen about 9 percent. The outfit does a lot of its business in US dollars which has made its GPU gaming more expensive.

The outfit forecast second-quarter revenue of $1.01 billion, plus or minus two percent, below the average analyst estimate of $1.18 billion.

The company’s net income fell to $134 million in the first quarter ended April 26.

Revenue rose 4.4 percent to $1.15 billion, but missed the average estimate of $1.16 billion.

Courtesy-Fud

 

MediaTek Becomes The Second Largest LTE Chip Manufacturer

May 8, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

MediaTek has established itself as the world’s second-largest maker of Long-Term Evolution (LTE)-enabled cellular baseband processors in 2014.

Beancounters at market research firm Strategy Analytics have added up the numbers and divided by their shoe size and worked out that the industry has a new number two.

While everyone knows that Qualcomm, has near total dominance of the high-growth LTE baseband segment in the past and had a 95 per cent share in 2013 a battle has been going on behind the scenes.

Other LTE baseband suppliers had too little of a share to be ranked behind Qualcomm, MediaTek had enough of an impact in the market in 2014 to get a second-place ranking from Strategy Analytics.

The research firm predicted that MediaTek will continue to gain shares in the LTE baseband segment thanks to increased traction in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market.

“Growing revenue contributions from LTE basebands will lift MediaTek’s baseband revenue share over the next few quarters,” said Christopher Taylor, director of the Strategy Analytics RF and wireless component service.

In 2014 revenue from LTE baseband sales overtook revenue from 3G baseband sales for the first time, thanks to a strong push from the industry, the research firm said.

The global market for cellular baseband processors, which are used in mobile devices to process wireless communication, grew an impressive 14.1 per cent year-over-year to reach $22 billion in 2014.

Qualcomm, MediaTek, Spreadtrum, Marvell and Intel grabbed the top-five cellular baseband revenue share spots in 2014, the research company said.

Qualcomm had a 66 per cent revenue share of the cellular baseband processor market, followed by MediaTek with a 17 per cent share and Spreadtrum with a 5 per cent share, according to Strategy Analytics.

Courtesy-Fud

Brain Technology Patents Soaring

May 8, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

From ways to eavesdrop on brains and glean what ads excite consumers, to gadgets that alleviate depression, the number of U.S. patents awarded for “neurotechnology” has soared since 2010, according to an analysis released on Wednesday.

Most surprising, concluded market-research firm SharpBrains, is that patents have been awarded to inventors well beyond those at medical companies. The leader in neurotechnology patents, according to the report, is consumer-research behemoth Nielsen.

That expansion into non-medical uses, said SharpBrains Chief Executive Alvaro Fernandez, who presented the results at the NeuroGaming conference in San Francisco, shows we are at the dawn of “the pervasive neurotechnology age,” in which everyday technologies will be connected to brains.

“Neurotech has gone well beyond medicine, with non-medical corporations, often under the radar, developing neurotechnologies to enhance work and life,” he said.

Patents for neurotechnology bumped along at 300 to 400 a year in the 2000s, then soared to 800 in 2010 and 1,600 last year, SharpBrains reported.

Those awarded to medical device company Medtronic PLC, for instance, include ways to use electroencephalography (EEG) to measure the severity of a brain lesion. Several held by medical technology company St. Jude Medical Inc. describe ways to change brain activity to, say, improve vision.

But it is the explosion in non-medical uses, such as controlling video games with brain waves, that is driving neurotechnology.

SharpBrains measured “intellectual property (IP) strength” by number of neurotechnology patents as well as patent quality, reflected in how many other patents reference them, for instance.

 

 

GE Partners With Qualcomm, Apple In LED Lights Venture

May 6, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

General Electric Co announced partnerning up with Qualcomm Inc and Apple Inc as it uses digital technology and the growing appetite for data to reinvigorate its 130-year-old lighting business.

With chipmaker Qualcomm, GE is offering retailers a way to connect with shoppers’ smartphones through technology embedded in LED light bulbs, the company said. One use of the “indoor positioning” technology could be to transmit customized coupons to shoppers depending on their store location.

GE also said it will produce an LED bulb compatible with Apple’s yet-to-launch connected-device platform HomeKit. The bulb can change colors to align with the natural rhythms of the body.

The tie-ups underscore GE’s plans to dive into the emerging and increasingly competitive market for connected lighting that integrates with smart devices.

While GE sees an opportunity in selling energy-efficient LED bulbs, it will seek to use sensors and other technology embedded in LEDs to the advantage of consumers, businesses and cities, said Beth Comstock, who leads GE Business Innovations.

Services offered by GE stand to provide revenue that could offset pressure should the LED bulb business become more commoditized.

“There’s now a data stream from light that is going to create opportunity to be more productive,” said Comstock, in her first interview about the lighting strategy since September, when the unit became part of GE’s innovations division.

Some analysts have speculated the U.S. conglomerate will divest lighting after deciding last year to sell its appliances segment and moves by Siemens and Philips to hive off lighting units. GE Lighting totaled about $2.5 billion in revenue last year, 2.3 percent of the company’s overall industrial sales.

Comstock said lighting fits smoothly with GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt’s desire to marry software and analytics with GE’s various industrial equipment, which GE calls the “Industrial Internet.”

“LEDs plus software, it helps GE continue its Industrial Internet expansion and I think the lighting business has a big role in GE’s future because of that,” Comstock said.

 

 

 

Apple Confirms Tattoo Interference Problems With iWatch

May 4, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Dark tattoos may interfere with the Apple Watch’s ability to montor and report a person’s heart rate, Apple confirmed on the device’s product support page.

“Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings,” Apple said.

Some watch functions require direct contact with the skin to work. If the device can’t detect a pulse, it assumes it isn’t being worn, shutting downs apps and requiring people to enter their passcode. Turning off the wrist-detection function solves the issue, but prevents people from using Apple Pay.

Reports emerged this week that people with dark wrist tattoos were experiencing problems with their Apple Watches. One watch owner with a tattoo on his left wrist said the device would lock, preventing him from receiving notifications. He initially thought the device’s sensors were defective.

But when he placed the watch on his hand, which isn’t tattooed, he was able to get text notifications.

Green LED lights and photodiode sensors on the back of the watch measure the amount of blood flowing through a person’s wrist, using a technology called photoplethysmography, according to the support page. Blood absorbs green light, and by flashing the LED lights, the watch can measure blood flow and then calculate a person’s heart rate. When the watch is unable to get a read, it increases LED brightness and sampling rates, Apple said.

Apple reminded users that Bluetooth-equipped external heart rate monitors, like chest straps, can be connected to the watch to obtain vital readings.

Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for further comment.

 

 

A Resurgent Sony Sees Big Rise In Profits

May 1, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Japanese consumer electronics maker Sony Corp expects operating profit to more than quadruple this year, as strong sales of camera sensors and cost reductions anchor a much needed turnaround after years of losses on TVs and mobile phones.

Sony said on Thursday it estimates operating profit will jump in the year ending March 2016 to 320 billion yen ($2.7 billion). For the previous fiscal year, operating profit was 68.5 billion, in line with an April 22 forecast.

This year’s earnings would be Sony’s biggest annual operating profit in seven years, though well below an average analyst forecast of 408 billion yen, according to Thomson Reuters. Achieving it would mark another milestone in Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai’s long haul to pull one of Japan’s most iconic technology firms out of heavy losses, squeezed by cheaper and more nimble rivals in mass consumer electronics.

Under Hirai’s direction, Sony has reshaped itself to target expansion in lucrative new areas such as sensors used in cameras for popular devices like Apple Inc’s iPhones. That strategy has vexed some former executives who have urged Hirai to focus on innovation, not cost cuts.

“We are emerging from losses but still recuperating,” Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida told reporters on Thursday, saying Sony was being cautious in forecasting to break with past habits.

“In the past seven years, we revised (earnings guidance) downwards around 15 times,” he said, citing fluctuations in foreign exchange rates as a major concern.

As part of its restructuring, Sony has exited PCs and spun off its TV business. It also plans to split off its audio and video business in an effort to hold subsidiaries more accountable for making a profit.

Investors have welcomed the new-look Sony. Shares have risen more than 30 percent in 2015, and year-on-year, the stock has nearly doubled, hitting 3,827.50 yen earlier this month, its highest since 2008.

 

White House Unveils Free E-books Program

May 1, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

President Barack Obama has announced a plan to give low-income children access to 10,000 e-books.

Working with publishers and libraries, the White House sees the modest plan as part of a strategy to address inner city problems by increasing educational opportunities for kids – woes brought into focus with recent riots in nearby Baltimore.

“If we’re serious about living up to what our country is about, then we have to consider what we can do to provide opportunities in every community, not just when they’re on the front page, but every day,” said Jeff Zients, Obama’s top economic adviser, in a briefing with reporters.

Zients cited research showing 80 percent of low-income children lag below their grade level in reading skills and lack books at home. The president will be visiting Anacostia Library in Southeast Washington, DC.

The plan includes $250 million in e-book commitments from publishers, including from the five major publishing houses: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH’s Macmillan, CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc, Penguin Random House, Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group Inc, and News Corp’s HarperCollins Publishers LLC.

The New York Public Library is developing an app to connect low-income kids with the books, and Obama will urge more communities to find ways to get kids into libraries.

Kids will need computers and devices to read the e-books. Zients noted the White House had previously announced programs to upgrade Internet services for schools and libraries, with private sector help from companies including Apple, which pledged $100 million in devices to low-income schools.

“It’s very different than for our generation,” said Cecilia Munoz, Obama’s domestic policy adviser.