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Will A.I. Help nVidia And AMD Dethrone Intel?

January 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

The move to AI could be the one catalyst which could help AMD and Nvidia carve up Intel’s mighty kingdom.

Last year saw Microsoft, Apple, Google develop more software for ARM based chips. During the year AMD and Nvidia saw their stock prices rise as shareholders started to think that they might succeed in taking Intel’s crown.

On of the reasons for this is AI which is fast becoming a bigger buzz world than Interent of Things – which is the basket Intel is putting its eggs into.

AMD and Nvidia are both making perfect AI processors in their graphics cards and now that AMD has released Polaris it is properly in a game dominated by Nvidia. AMD’s Radeon Instinct is specifically designed for the market.
Intel is doing ok in the market but it is not growing as fast as AMD or Nvidia.

According to the Verge, investors are buying up AMD stock because they know the processing challenges of the future are practically tailored for the massively parallel architecture of a GPU.

Nvidia and IBM have revealed their own agreement to provide “the world’s fastest” deep learning enterprise solution.

AMD and Nvidia should do well in the growing consumer interest in virtual reality although that might be a bubble waiting to burst. On paper at least, the most popular HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, both require tons of GPU power. However it is a moot point if these machines are the ones that will make AR work or if it will be something much cheaper and require less spec.

But if AR does take off then it will be yet another thing that Intel missed out on.

Courtesy-Fud

Will Apple’s Supposed Jump In AR Be A Game Changer?

January 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The super-cool and innovative tech power house Apple is rumored to have come up with some game-changing glasses which superimpose information and pictures onto reality.

Dubbed AR, no other technology company has come up with the idea before and it is believed to be the brain child of Tim Cook himself. Of course, it is all top secret because other companies will steal the idea before Apple gets it to market.

However, word on the street is that Apple is working with the German optics manufacturer Carl Zeiss on a pair of lightweight AR/mixed reality glasses.

The rumor comes from tech evangelist Robert Scoble who thinks the project could be announced as early as this year. Apparently it has been confirmed by a Zeiss employee, Scoble wrote in a Facebook post Monday.

Unlike virtual reality, which promises to immerse goggle-wearing users in new and exciting digital worlds, AR tends to overlay images and data atop the real world. This is the sort of idea which was shown with Pokemon Go.

To show how in advance Apple is over companies like Microsoft and Google Cook told ABC News that he saw bigger possibilities for AR than VR in September! That is long before anyone else came up with the idea and pours cold water on the idea that Apple has run out of ideas, can only update its ten-year-old smartphone technology and that it is always getting beaten to the punch issuing technology years after everyone else.

The company has filed several patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office that deal with augmented reality because, you know, no one else is doing AR.

Courtesy-Fud

The Email Privacy Act Re-introduced To Protect U.S. Citizens

January 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A bill has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before they dig into users’ emails and other communications in the cloud that are older than 180 days.

The Email Privacy Act, reintroduced on Monday, aims to fix a loophole in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act that allows the government to search without a warrant email and other electronic communications that are older than 180 days and stored on servers of third-party service providers such as Google and Yahoo.

“Thanks to the wording in a more than 30-year-old law, the papers in your desk are better protected than the emails in your inbox,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation, digital rights organization, said in a blog post Monday.

The bill was passed by the House last year but stalled in the Senate. U.S. Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan) and Jared Polis (D-Colo) said they are reintroducing the legislation because the Senate failed to act on it before the 114th Congress came to a close.

 If the legislation becomes law, government agencies will have to obtain a warrant based on a showing of probable cause to compel service providers to disclose emails and other electronic communications of Americans, regardless of the age of the mails or the means of storage. In the original version of the legislation, the government also had to notify the person whose account is disclosed, along with a copy of the search warrant and other information, within a stipulated period.

Privacy groups and tech companies backed the legislation when it was first introduced. But it failed to clear the Senate as it was bogged down with amendments such as the requirement of mandatory compliance by service providers without court oversight when law enforcement claimed an emergency as an exception for asking for user data. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) proposed an amendment that would expand the information that the FBI can obtain with a National Security letter without prior judicial oversight.

“Government access to communications without oversight of warrants is a dangerous path for any country that supports democratic values,” said Ed Black, CEO and president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, in a statement Monday.

“Rules on how the government can access electronic communications in criminal investigations have simply not kept up with advances in modern technology. Indeed, US law still treats data stored in the cloud differently than data stored on a local computer,” said Information Technology and Innovation Foundation vice president Daniel Castro in a statement.

Opposition to the bill came previously from a number of agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, which uses administrative subpoenas on service providers to work around people under investigation who don’t keep copies of incriminating mail after sending it or decline to share their content with the SEC.

IBM Is Still The Patent King

January 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

While the Tame Apple Press is still trying to spin Jobs’ Mob as the most innovative in the world, the crown belongs to the outfit that Steve Jobs mocked – IBM.

IBM received the most patents for the 24th year in a row and broke the US record in 2016.

It had 8,088 patents granted to its inventors over the 12 months covering areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive computing, cloud, health and cyber security.

No other company in US history has managed to get 8,000 patents in a single a single year. And to put that in perspective, that means that IBM invents 22 new things a day.

It also owns a third of the patents relating to AI, cognitive computing and cloud computing alone. The details were released by Ginni Rometty, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO who said:

“We are deeply proud of our inventors’ unique contributions to discovery, science and technology that are driving progress across business and society and opening the new era of cognitive business.”

There are nine other innovative companies in the top ten list and guess what? Apple does not even make the top ten.

The list goes IBM, Samsung, Canon, Qualcomm, Google, Intel, LG, Microsoft, TSMC and Sony.

Courtesy-Fud

EU Tougher Privacy Controls To Impact Messaging Services, Email Providers

January 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Online messaging and email services such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Gmail  will go up against tougher regulations on how they can track users under a new proposal presented by the European Union executive on Tuesday.

The web players will have to guarantee the confidentiality of their customers’ conversations and ask for their consent before tracking them online to serve them personalized ads.

The proposal by the European Commission extends some rules that now only apply to telecom operators to web companies offering calls and messages using the internet, known as “Over-The-Top” (OTT) services, seeking to close a perceived regulatory gap between the telecoms industry and mainly U.S. Internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

 Tuesday’s proposal would allow telecom companies to use customer metadata – such as the duration and location of calls – to provide additional services and make more money, something they are barred from doing under the current rules.

The review of the so-called e-privacy law will also force web browsers to have their default setting as not allowing personalized online advertising based on browsing habits. Instead, users will be asked to opt in to allow websites to place cookies on their browsers.

“It’s up to our people to say yes or no,” said Andrus Ansip, Commission vice-president for the digital single market.

Cookies are placed on web surfers’ computers and contain bits of information about the user, such as what other sites they have visited or where they are logging in from. They are widely used by companies to deliver targeted ads to users.

Online adverstisers have warned that overly strict rules would undermine many websites’ ability to fund themselves and keep offering free services. They say the data they use can not identify the user and is therefore low risk, making asking for consent every time too onerous.

The proposal scraps the obligation on websites to ask visitors for permission to place cookies on their browsers via a banner every time they land on it if the user has already consented through the privacy settings of the web browser.

The “cookie banner” has been lambasted as ineffective because people tend to accept them without necessarily reading what that entails.

Companies falling foul of the new law will face fines of up to 4 percent of their global turnover, in line with a separate data protection law set to enter into force in 2018.

The proposal will need to be approved by the European Parliament and member states before becoming law.

Atlassian To Acquire Project Management Software Firm Trello

January 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Atlassian, the company known for HipChat and the JIRA software development tool, will purchase Trello, a vendor of the eponymous collaborative project management software.

The deal will give Atlassian users new ways to organize, discuss and complete their work, Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian’s co-founder and co-CEO, wrote in a blog post Monday.

“By adding Trello to the Atlassian family, we’re giving teams more choice in the tools they use to support the way that they want to work,” he said. Trello will offer “a fun new way for teams to organize the often messy range of information that feeds into great teamwork.”

Trello, with more than 19 million users, is a “break-out success” in the team-building software market. Among Trello’s customers: Google, PayPal, Kickstarter, and Pixar, according to the company’s website.

 “Trello’s pioneering use of an intuitive visual system has been embraced by all kinds of teams to do everything from managing marketing campaigns to tracking action items from team meetings,” Cannon-Brookes wrote.  “Atlassian’s mission is to unleash the potential in every team. In Trello, we found a group that is as dedicated to helping teams get stuff done as we are.”

The Trello card-based system is intuitive and easy to use, he added. It’s popular with marketing, legal, HR, and sales teams.

The acquisition, expected to close later this quarter, is priced at $425 million, with $360 million in cash and the remainder in stock, an Atlassian spokesman said.

Trello, launched in 2011, was spun out from parent company Fog Creek Software in 2014. The company raised $10.3 million in funding led by Spark Capital and Index Ventures.

Israel’s Team8 Cybersecurity Firm Gets Microsoft, Qualcomm Funding

January 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The venture capitalists divisions of Microsoft and Qualcomm have invested in Team8, an Israeli creator of cybersecurity start-ups, as big multinational companies back Israel’s burgeoning cyber industry in the face of growing threats.

Team8, which also announced on Monday a strategic partnership with Citi to help develop its products, said the most recent investment brings its total raised to more than $92 million.

Its other investors are Cisco, AT&T, Accenture, Nokia, Singapore’s Temasek, Japan’s Mitsui, Bessemer Venture Partners, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Marker LLC.

 While the number of attempted cyber attacks was 20,000 a week two or three years ago, that figure had now risen to 600,000-700,000, said Yoram Yaacovi, general manger of Microsoft Israel’s development center.

Israel has some 450 cyber start-ups, which receive 20 percent of global investment in the sector. Although the need for security is growing quickly, the proliferation of start-ups means that several companies compete in every subsector.

“A large part of companies created won’t get to the finish line,” Nadav Zafrir, Team8 chief executive and former commander of the Israeli army’s technology and intelligence unit 8200, told a news conference.

He said he believes Team8’s strong partners and its plan to build a portfolio of different technologies gives it an edge. Team8 confirmed that Microsoft had been an investor since last June.

“The expectation of our investors is to build independent companies that will lead their sectors,” he said.

Israel has a well established high tech industry, using skills of workers trained in the military and intelligence sectors. Tax breaks and government funding have encouraged start-ups, and also drawn in entrepreneurs from abroad.

Launched in 2014, Team8 employs 180 people in Israel, the United States, Britain and Singapore and plans to hire 100 more workers in 2017.

Two companies it created are Illusive Networks, which uses deception technology to detect attacks and has been installed at banks and retailers, and Claroty, which secures critical infrastructure sites such as oil and gas fields.

Details of two more companies it has set up will be announced this year, Zafrir said.

 

Amazon’s Alexa Takes On Rival Google’s Android OS

January 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Amazon.com Inc’s digital assistant popped up just about everywhere at the CES technology show this week in Las Vegas, even making an unexpected appearance on rival Google’s Android system.

Companies ranging from appliance maker Whirlpool Corp to Ford Motor Co unveiled products featuring Alexa, the digital assistant from Amazon that responds to voice commands.

Most strikingly, Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co, which manufactures smartphones running on the Android operating system produced by Alphabet Inc’s Google, announced that its flagship handset will come with an app that gives users access to Alexa in the United States.

 The adoption of Alexa by a prominent Android manufacturer indicates that Amazon may have opened up an early lead over Google as the companies race to present their digital assistants to as many people as possible, analysts said.

Many in the technology industry believe that such voice-powered digital assistants will supplant keyboards and touch screens as a primary way consumers interact with devices.

While the shift is only in the early stages, Google must establish a strong presence quickly, particularly on Android devices, to maintain its dominance in internet search, said analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research.

“To the extent that voice becomes more important and something other than Google’s voice assistant becomes the most popular voice interface on Android phones, that’s a huge loss for Google in terms of data gathering, training its AI (artificial intelligence), and ultimately the ability to drive advertising revenue,” he said.

Alexa debuted on the Amazon Echo smart speaker, and Amazon is establishing a broad array of hardware and software partnerships around it. The competing Google Assistant launched last year on the company’s Pixel smartphone, after appearing on Google’s messaging app, and has begun to roll out to third-party devices as well. Graphics processor maker Nvidia Corp announced at CES that its Shield television will feature the assistant.

While Google has expressed an interest in bringing its assistant to other Android smartphones, the decision to debut the feature on its own hardware may have strained relations with manufacturers, Dawson said.

“It highlights just what a strategic mistake it can be for services companies to make their own hardware and give it preferential access to new services,” he said.

HMD Global Debuts The New Nokia Smartphone

January 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

HMD Global, the Finnish company that owns the rights to market Nokia’s brand on mobile phones, debuted on Sunday its first smartphone, targeted for Chinese users with a price of 1,699 yuan ($246).

The launch marks the first new smartphone carrying the iconic handset name since 2014 when Nokia Oyj chose to sell its entire handset unit to Microsoft.

The new device, Nokia 6, runs on Google’s Android platform and is manufactured by Foxconn. It will be sold exclusively in China through online retailer JD.com, HMD said.

 “The decision by HMD to launch its first Android smartphone into China is a reflection of the desire to meet the real world needs of consumers in different markets around the world… it is a strategically important market,” HMD said in a statement.

Nokia was once the world’s dominant cellphone maker but missed the shift to smartphones, and then chose Microsoft’s Windows operating system for its “Lumia” range.

After the 2014 deal, Microsoft continued selling cheaper basic phones under Nokia’s name and Lumia smartphones under its own name, but last year, it largely abandoned both businesses.

HMD in December took over the Nokia feature phones business and struck a licensing deal that gave it sole use of the Nokia brand on all phones and tablets for the next decade.

It will pay Nokia royalties for the brand and patents, but Nokia has no direct investment in HMD. Nokia Oyj is currently focused on telecom network equipment business and technology patents.

HMD CEO Arto Nummela, who was once responsible for Nokia’s sales and product development, told Reuters last month that HMD aims to be one of the key competitive players in the smartphone business where it faces tough competition from Apple, Samsung and dozens of other players.

Samsung Puts Confidence In Galaxy S8, Sets 10M Production Target

January 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has set an early production target of 10 million Galaxy S8 smartphones, South Korea’s Electronic Times reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

Samsung is counting on the S8 to rejuvenate sales after it scrapped the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones last year in one of the biggest product safety failures in tech history.

The firm has yet to disclose what caused some Note 7 phones to catch fire on their own.

 The newspaper said the world’s top smartphone maker would start production in March and planned to start selling them in April. Galaxy S7 phones went on sale in March last year.

Ford Gives Amazon’s Alexa Expanded Role In Vehicles

January 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Ford Motor Co  is expanding the use of Amazon.com Inc’s Alexa personal assistant in its automobiles to allow drivers to talk to their cars – demanding anything from a nearby cheeseburger to a weather forecast – marking a leap by the Detroit automaker to incorporate a technology initially targeted for home use.

The expanding alliance between Ford and Amazon, announced on Wednesday at the CES tech show in Las Vegas, underscores the importance to both automakers and internet commerce companies of connecting consumers on the move to a richer array of digital services.

Don Butler, Ford’s executive director of connected vehicle and services, told Reuters the technology represented the “deepest integration of any OEM (carmaker) inside a vehicle with Alexa.”

 The two companies are talking about how to take the Alexa partnership further, according to Butler. “Digital assistant is one tool that is increasingly prevalent in the industry,” he said.

Rival General Motors Co  plans to roll out IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence software in its OnStar system early next year in order to market services to drivers in their cars.

Similarly, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz will use Alphabet Inc’s Google Assistant, a rival product, to let car owners interact with their vehicles from home via Google Home.

Ford’s move follows its October announcement that it would use Alexa in three of its vehicle models by the end of 2016 to allow drivers to communicate with their smart home devices, such as heaters, lights or security systems.

Automotive personal assistants are being studied by every major automaker, according to Gartner research director Michael Ramsey, who said: “There’s a lot of vetting going on.”

One company that stands to benefit is Nuance Communications Inc. The supplier to Ford, GM and other carmakers provides natural language speech command technology to allow drivers to speak more or less conversationally to digital assistants.

Nineteen percent of the 160 million cars that use Nuance’s technology over the past 15 years have come out just in the past year, said Fatima Vital, Nuance’s senior director of marketing automotive.

One major decision auto companies must make is whether to give consumers a version of the smartphone systems they already use – Apple Inc’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto – or a third option. By using their own systems, carmakers can retain full control of valuable data that otherwise could be captured by Apple and Google from vehicles.

Will Cars Go Intel Inside?

January 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Intel has decided to spend a heap of money it’s got by buying into a company called HERE, or Here as we call it.

The chip giant has only taken a 15 percent share into Here, at a price that no doubt it can afford.

Here specializes in digital maps and location services for the internet of things as well as autonomous – that is to say, self-driving vehicles. Here is a private company, so Intel doesn’t have to say what a 15 percent share means in terms of cash.

But the interesting thing is that the company is “indirectly” wholly owned by Audi, BMW, and Daimler.

It’s not indirectly “wholly owned” now, though.

It means that Intel is in cahoots with motorcar companies and that’s not really a surprise. It has to go somewhere, perhaps autonomously, where no motorcar or semiconductor company has gone before.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel Acquires Stake In Digital Mapping Firm HERE

January 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

U.S. chip maker Intel plans to purchase a 15 percent stake in German digital mapping firm HERE, it said on Tuesday, as it looks to build its presence in automated driving technology.

A filing to the German cartel office on Tuesday showed Intel has sought approval to buy a stake in the company, which is controlled by German carmakers Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen.

Intel and HERE said in a statement that they had also signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of real-time updates of high definition (HD) maps for highly- and fully-automated driving.

Intel did not disclose how much it would pay for the stake but said the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter.

The deal highlights a shift in the dynamics of research and development in the car industry, which until recently saw automakers largely dictating terms for suppliers to manufacture their proprietary technologies at specified volumes and prices.

Now carmakers are increasingly striking partnerships with technology firms using open technology standards, seeking to harness their expertise in areas including machine learning and mapping as they race against Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Tesla and Apple to develop driverless vehicles.

Last month two Chinese companies and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in HERE and in July, BMW teamed up with Intel and Mobileye to develop self-driving cars by 2021.

BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen bought HERE for 2.8 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in 2015 from mobile equipment maker Nokia  of Finland.

Last September, HERE said it would introduce a new set of traffic services allowing drivers to see for themselves what live road conditions are like miles ahead using data from competing automakers, an industry first.

Was Android The Most Insecure OS Last Year?

January 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

While people might mock Microsoft’s security, it would appear that the least most secure operating systems this year were Android, Debian and Ubuntu.

To be fair, its method of assessing the security of operating systems is somewhat bunk. It sets a figure based on the number of vulnerabilities found rather than the importance of those vulnerabilities or whether someone fixed them quickly. You know that there is something wrong when the fruity cargo cult Apple ranks rather low in the list when its “three wise monkey” approach to security vulnerabilities is legendary.

However, the figures should wipe the smug smile off the faces of those open saucers who claim that Linux and all who sail in her are much better than iOS or Windows.

Courtesy-Fud

Do OLED TV’s Suffer From Burn In

January 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Bad news for everyone who wanted to get an OLED TV soon; some industry experts have told Fudzilla that current generation OLED TVs suffer from a built in defect and that the companies are seeing a lot of TVs being returned after a year of use.

It looks like Quantum dot or Sony Backlight Master Drive LED technology might be your best bet at least for a little while because OLED TVs are still expensive, and the fact that they might get burn in after a while makes them less attractive. There is always good old LED TV, a technology that is predominantly available and manages panels larger than 55 inch at reasonable prices.  

This burn in problem could cause some major recalls at some point in the near future but our industry source, who wants to remain unnamed, did mention that there might be a solution in 2018 for the problem. Unfortunately, the solution will happen with the next generation of OLED panels.

So, getting great color levels and black that doesn’t not looked washed up have their downsides too. The same problem didn’t affect the small panels such as the ones in phones and tablets –  it occurs when on large panels only. Samsung and Sony are sticking with alternative technologies for the time being while LG has been pushing for OLEDs for a while.

Courtesy-Fud

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