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Dropbox Debuts ‘Showcase’ New Product Aimed At Freelancers

October 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Dropbox has rolled out a new portfolio feature, Showcase, designed to help independent workers and small teams of professionals display and share documents more easily.

The idea is that freelance workers such as architects and designers can store content in Showcase before sharing information with clients. Documents are arranged in a branded portfolio in a “secure and polished way,” with customizable layouts, said Dropbox director of product, Vishal Kapoor. It is also possible to add text captions to files to introduce content topics to help create a narrative around what’s being shared.

Dropbox, which recently rebranded to appeal to “creatives,” has identified a large target audience: it is estimated that 35% of the U.S. workforce is now freelance, a group that as of 2016 totaled to 55 million people.

“Dropbox has quite a following in creative and media companies,” said ESG senior analyst Terri McClure. “Showcase complements that really well – it’s really nice for when a story needs to accompany files or other collateral. In the creative space, it is really important to control the narrative and set the stage for discussions.”

Showcase is aimed at overcoming some of the problems users face when sharing documents. For example, a marketing consultant might want to know if their client has actually opened more than just the first of a batch of five files. With Showcase they can track who has viewed, downloaded or commented on documents within the portfolio.

Files stored in Showcase are synced with Dropbox, meaning that any changes are instantly updated.

While Showcase is targeted at independent workers, it is just as suited to small teams of people within large companies, said Kapoor.

“Say a large enterprise has sales and marketing that are collaborating with each other. When the work is done they share it internally within the organization or externally outside of the organization,” he said. “We think that Showcase is not just limited to independent workers, but scales very well.”

Showcase is launching as part of a new pricing tier: Dropbox Professional. This also includes Dropbox Smart Sync, unveiled earlier this year, which lets users view all of their Dropbox documents from a single device, whether they are stored locally on a hard drive or in the cloud.

“There are millions of freelancers and self-employed small business users that need many of the features previously available only in the business plans,” said ESG’s McClure. “This fixes that.”

The Professional tier is available for $199 a year and includes 1TB of storage. It offers data protection and security features such as two-step authentication and remote-wipe, as well as priority chat support.

Will PC Sales Ever Make A Comeback

October 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Beancounters at Gartner have been adding up some numbers and reached the conclusion that sales of traditional PCs are still falling.

Things might pick up next year, but PC sales have continued to fall and analyst always say “things will get better next year.”

Gartner said that PC shipments will drop by nearly eight percent this year, and another 4.4 percent in 2018. By 2019, 16 million fewer traditional PCs and notebooks will be sold than were shipped this year.

However, much of this will be offset by the rise in spending on high-end notebooks so that the overall PC market will by 2019 be at pretty much the same level it was last year.

Tablets — defined by Gartner as basic and utility ultramobile devices — will also decline over the period to 2019.

But despite the declines in traditional PC sales, Gartner said it was a misconception that everyone has gone mobile, noting that its own research found that users depend just as much on PCs or tablets as they do on smartphones. One big difference between smartphones and PCs is that people are replacing their handsets much more regularly.

Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner Atwal said: “Users holding onto their PCs for longer remains a major issue for the PC market. In contrast, users continue to replace their smartphone quite frequently.”

Business PC shipments could return to growth by the end of this year, driven by faster Windows 10 replacement in many regions — especially in Western Europe.

“Despite the fact that prices have been rising due to higher component costs, Windows 10 replacements have kept the PC market relatively stable through 2017,” said Atwal. “We estimate that the PC market (desk-based, notebook and ultramobiles) is set to return to 0.8 percent growth in 2018,” he continued. According to Gartner, this trend would be driven by growth in Russia and China.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel and Samsung Pursuing HiSilicon

October 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

HiSilicon Technologies wants another supplier for the fabrication of its 7nm chips and apparently Samsung, Globalfoundries and Intel are trying to get the Chinese fabless firm’s attention.

TSMC has been HiSilicon’s sole foundry partner for its 16nm and 10nm solution and will remain so, but  HiSilicon wants to get a back up for 7nm chips to ensure sufficient production capacity.

TSMC has regained chip orders from Qualcomm, which used to be the foundry’s largest client, the sources noted. TSMC is believed to have snapped up Qualcomm’s next-generation processor orders with its 7nm FinFET process.

According to Digitimes Samsung intends to attract 7nm chip orders from HiSilicon by bundling its foundry services with resources of components such as OLED panels, DRAM and NAND flash chips, the sources indicated. This could all go tits up as Samsung is HiSilcon’s rival in the smartphone SoC market.

Globalfoundries has a better chance if the foundry can stake a claim in the 7nm segment with technology enabled by some IP patents from IBM, which HiSilicon used to place its chip orders.

Intel with its 10nm process technology is vying aggressively for chip orders from HiSilicon. Intel has claimed its 10nm technology offers a density of about 100 million transistors per square millimeter, which industry sources believe is equivalent to TSMC’s and Samsung’s 7nm process nodes.

Courtesy-Fud

Did The Hyatt Hotel Chain Suffer Another Data Breach

October 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The Hyatt hotel chain is warning customers that it has been breached for the second time and that they should probably do something about it.

Krebs on Security, or Brian to his friends, is the first with the bad news, and reports on the letter that Hyatt is sending out to potential towel and dressing gown thieves. Hyatt is reporting that its internal people clocked onto some card payment shenanigans between 18 March and 2 July 2017.

The problem started at the front desk, reportedly, so is likely to be a point of sale problem.

“Upon discovery, we launched a comprehensive investigation to understand what happened and how this occurred, which included engaging leading third-party experts, payment card networks and authorities,” says the firm on its FAQ page.

“The incident affected payment card information – cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code – from cards manually entered or swiped at the front desk of certain Hyatt-managed locations. There is no indication that any other information was involved.”

That is enough though, yeah? Hyatt says that only a small proportion of punters are affected, but that they are still important regardless.

“While this incident affects a small percentage of guests, it’s important to Hyatt that we notify guests and provide helpful information about steps they can take. We have directly contacted all guests for whom we have appropriate and reliable contact information that used payment cards at affected hotels during the at-risk dates. We do not have appropriate contact information for all guests, so we have also posted this notice with a list of affected hotels and respective at-risk dates,” it explained.

The firm has recommended that people check their transaction history on their bank statements to see if they are in trouble. It added that it has cleared things up at its end if anyone wants to book another stay.

Courtesy-TheInq

Drone Strikes Commercial Airplane In Canada

October 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

It was, says the Canadian Minister of Transport, the first time in Canada’s history.

In a statement, Marc Garneau revealed last Thursday, a Skyjet flight was struck by a drone as it approached Jean Lesage International Airport in Québec City.

“I am extremely relieved that the aircraft only sustained minor damage and was able to land safely,” said Garneau.

The Ministry of Transport told me that the aircraft was a Beech 100 King Air. The drone has not been identified.

Garneau told CBC that “it could have been much more serious” had the drone struck an engine or the cockpit.

He said the drone had been flying 3 miles from the airport at 450 meters (around 1,500 feet). This is 150 meters above the legal limit. There were eight passengers on the plane.

Since drones became commonplace, there have been increasing reports of the unmanned aerial vehicle endangering aircraft.

Some have been reported as near-misses. Some pilots have been convinced that a drone has struck their plane, although the actual presence of a drone was never confirmed.

Indeed, earlier this year, the Federal Aviation Administration declared that it had seen no verifiable evidence that a drone had ever struck a plane.

“Every investigation has found the reported collisions were either birds, impact with other items such as wires and posts, or structural failure not related to colliding with an unmanned aircraft,” it said.

In September, however, two army helicopters were struck by a drone over Staten Island.

Cyanogen Changes Names And Now Focusing On Self-Driving Cars

October 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The outfit which claimed to be making an Android killer and failed, is now getting a license to make self-driving cars.

According to Biz Journals, Cyngn has changed its name from Cyanogen and recently got a permit to test its self-driving tech on California roads.

The cunning new plan is being led by Lior Tal, the former chief operating officer who took over as CEO last year when the outfit’s cunning plan to kill off Android went tits up.

No new funding has been disclosed for the reinvented company. It lists on its website investors who backed it before it pivoted, including Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Index Ventures, Qualcomm and Chinese social networking company Tencent.

The company was the center of acquisition talk in 2014, when companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung and Yahoo expressed interest in the company.

The new company says on its website that its goal is to develop “purpose-driven autonomy”.

“Very soon autonomous machines will be everywhere, in surprising places, exciting new form factors both unexpected and delightful,” it says. “Cyngn is bringing this world to life, animating the inanimate and delivering the future now.”

Courtesy-Fud

Samsung Chips Help Profit Margins

October 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Samsung Electronics  is expected to forecast a record third-quarter profit on Friday thanks to the strong market for memory chips, and as mobile earnings make a killing as rival Apple drops the ball.

The world’s biggest maker of memory chips and mobile phones has been the chief beneficiary of the semiconductor market, as mobile devices and servers demand ever greater processing power.

Brisk sales of the latest Galaxy Note 8 smartphone, launched in mid-September, also are likely to further boost its performance, analysts said.

Doh Hyun-woo, analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities said: “Samsung’s valuation is still comparatively lower than global competitors and fourth-quarter earnings will improve across the board and keep improving in 2018.”

Samsung’s July-September operating profit is expected to rise to $12.51 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters survey of 19 analysts. That is nearly three times ta year earlier and slightly better than the previous quarter.

Strong global demand for DRAM chips will continue to outpace supply in 2018, while demand for NAND flash chips exceeded supply for six straight quarters as of last month, DRAMeXchange, a division of data provider TrendForce, said.

Samsung’s mobile division is seen posting operating profit of about 3 trillion won, compared to just 100 billion won in the third quarter of 2016. Pre-orders for the Note 8 hit the highest-ever for the Note series.

Lower liquid-crystal display (LCD) panel prices as well as one-off costs are expected to weigh on Samsung’s display business during the third quarter, analysts said.

However, the display business could improve in the fourth quarter on the back of sales of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for new Apple smartphones. However there are signs that Apple might be forced to reduce orders for these as fewer people are interested in its current “popping” iPhone range.

Samsung will only provide estimates for July-September revenue and operating profit on Friday, and will disclose detailed results in late October.

Courtesy-Fud

Apple May Introduce Face ID To All iPhones By Next Year

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple’s Face ID will officialy debut on the iPhone X on November 3, and it looks like the new tech may be here to stay. According to KGI Securities analyst and known Apple commentator Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), all 2018 iPhones will likely have Face ID.

Thanks to Apple’s TrueDepth camera system, the X gets all sorts of new tricks like Face ID, AR, and (yes) Animojis. This makes facial recognition a standout feature on the phone and also one of the big differences between the X and the more traditional iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

Kuo suggests that iPhones released in 2018 are likely to abandon the fingerprint sensor, which might mean it’s the end of the line for Touch ID on the iPhone. Touch ID has been used for certain situations like unlocking your phone or Apple Pay, but if Face ID works as intended, we may see the end of Touch ID (at least in its current form).

Kuo also claims that the TrueDepth camera gives Apple a competitive edge and differentiates the iPhone X from other phones on the market. He says that Android competitors are still years behind with their facial recognition tech. Releasing more iPhones with this technology in the near future could help Apple bank on this advantage.

This doesn’t mean Touch ID is dead just yet. A handful of Apple products (like the MacBook Pro) still use Touch ID, but Kuo has predicted that soon other devices could start using Face ID — possibly the next iPad Pro.

It’s worth noting that the facial recognition tech is reportedly causing slowdowns in iPhone X production. If that’s the case, Apple will need to speed things up if it wants to include facial recognition in next year’s iPhones.

You’ll be able to test Apple’s facial recognition when the iPhone X hits stores Nov. 3.

Facebook’s Oculus Turns Focus Towards Enterprise VR

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Oculus is looking to entice corporate users into getting on board the VR train with the launch of a business-focused product bundle.

The Facebook-owned company sees a variety of uses for its headsets, from enterprise collaboration to employee training, in a range of industries. Putting VR technology in the hands of more businesses is a crucial step to growing the market, and Oculus wants to make the process easier with Oculus for Business.

The $900 package contains an Oculus Rift headset, Touch controllers, remote, three sensors and three Rift Fits headset foam pads. Business customers will also receive dedicated customer support and extended licenses and warranties.

“Businesses of all types can use Rift to boost productivity, accelerate training, and present the otherwise impossible to their employees and customers ­– across industries like tourism, education, medical, construction, manufacturing, automotive, and retail,” the company said in a blog post.

Oculus’ launch follows a similar move from rival VR hardware vendor HTC Vive last year.  HTC’s Vive Business Edition contains a range of Vive products, along with dedicated support and 12 month warranty. That package costs $1,200.

Oculus’ own announcement shows how the firm has lagged behind HTC in the commercial market, as well as with consumers, said Moor Insights and Strategy analyst Anshel Sag.

“This move seems like the beginning of Oculus’ recognition that they need to formally address the business market, otherwise the enterprise doesn’t believe they’ll get the support they need,” he said.

The backing of Oculus and Facebook will help further the case for VR at work in terms of growing the market, said Sag. However, support for business users is still emerging.

“I do believe that if Oculus wants to serve this market appropriately, they are going to have to also offer services that address enterprise needs and not just sell them a ‘business kit,’” he said.

Oculus for Business is aimed at a variety of use cases. Audi is using Oculus to create virtual showrooms for its cars that let prospective customers try out thousands of custom configurations before making an order. There is also potential around employee training, with DHL showing staff safety procedures when lifting heavy objects.

Workplace collaboration is another emerging use.

Oculus has partnered with Cisco for trials of a VR version of Spark, its collaboration platform that  supports messaging, voice calls and video conversations. Spark in VR allows remote workers to meet and communicate in virtual environments using avatars, allowing them to brainstorm on virtual whiteboards and interact with files. There are also integrations with Cisco’s  digital whiteboard, Spark Board.

This is likely just the beginning for VR as a collaboration tool.

 

Will RISC-V Finally Hit Linux Next Year

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Linux fanboys tend to announce a lot of “year of” events. There is the year of the desktop which appears to be every year and still never happens and now there is the year of RISC V Linux processor.

SiFive has declared that 2018 will be the year of RISC V Linux processor, so mark your penguin diaries accordingly.  In the UK there will be all sorts of events planned, including guess the weight of Linus Torvalds competitions, there will be penguin tossing at Slough, The over 80s Linux nudist club will be holding a bring and buy sale and there will be the open sauce bob sleigh event down the escalators of Covent Garden tube station.

SiFive released its first open-source system on a chip, the Freeform Everywhere 310, last year. At the time it said it was aiming to push the RISC-V architecture to transform the hardware industry in the way that Linux transformed the software industry.

This year it released its U54-MC Coreplex, the first RISC-V-based chip that supports Linux, Unix, and FreeBSD. This latest opens up a whole new world of use cases for the architecture and paves the way for RISC-V processors to compete with ARM cores and similar offerings in the enterprise and consumer space.

The outfit claims that next year companies looking to build SoC’s around RISC-V will throng to the new developments.

Andrew Waterman co-founder and chief engineer at SiFive said the forthcoming silicon is going to enable much better software development for RISC-V.

Waterman said that, while SiFive had developed low-level software such as compilers for RISC-V the company really hopes that the open-source community will be taking a much broader role going forward and really pushing the technology forward.

“No matter how big of a role we would want to have we can’t make a dent. But what we can do is make sure the army of engineers out there are empowered.”

Courtesy-Fud

Is ARM Looking For More Engineers

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

ARM has hired more than 1000 new staff members worldwide since it was taken over by Softbank last year, with a large proportion of these in the UK.

According to figures provided by Softbank’s UK Takeover Panel suggest the number of employees in ARM’s UK operation rose from 1,749 to 2,173, while in the rest of the world, its workforce increased from 2,220 to 2,845, bringing the total number of new staff to 1049.

Softbank wants to build ARM’s presence in the UK, fulfilling a commitment made when it lodged its takeover bid last year. At the time, Softbank said it would double the number of staff in both the UK and worldwide and although there’s still a fairly large recruitment campaign to go to hit that number.

Some of the employees now listed as ARM’s were transferred from SoftBank so it is not as great as it appears, however the outfit seems serious about hiring.

The company revealed it continues to operate the business from its UK headquarters in Cambridge and it has opened two new offices in the city.

“This progress on undertakings illustrates not only SoftBank’s ambition to develop ARM into one of the leading global technology companies, but also its commitment to UK jobs and research and development,” a spokesman said.

Courtesy-Fud

BlackBerry Settles Patent Dispute With BLU Products

October 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

BlackBerry Ltd announced that it inked a new license agreement with BLU Products Inc, a Florida-based maker of low-end Android phones, that would end patent disputes between the two companies.

Canada’s BlackBerry filed lawsuits against BLU in 2016, as part of the handset-maker-turned-software-company’s move to make cash off a bunch of technology patents it had collected in its heyday.

Thursday’s agreement will include on-going payments from BLU to BlackBerry, the companies said, but did not give further details.

The settlement will allow Blackberry “to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market,” said Jerald Gnuschke, senior director of Intellectual Property Licensing at BlackBerry.

BlackBerry, which holds about 40,000 worldwide patents and applications, has been long been focusing on software sales and licensing after its once-popular phones lost out to Apple and others in the smartphone industry.

Do Brother Printers Pose A Security Risk Online

October 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A security researcher has found nearly 700 Brother printers left exposed online, allowing access to the password reset function to anyone who knows what to look for.

Ankit Anubhav, Principal Researcher at NewSky Security said the printers offer full access to their administration panel over the Internet.

According to Bleeping Computer https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/hundreds-of-printers-expose-backend-panels-and-password-reset-functions-online/ a wide range of Brother printer models, such as DCP-9020CDW, MFC-9340CDW, MFC-L2700DW, or MFC-J2510 have the issue.

The cause of all these exposures is Brother’s choice of shipping the printers with no admin password. Most organizations most likely connected the printers to their networks without realizing the admin panel was present and wide open to connections.

These printers are now easy discoverable via IoT search engines like Shodan or Censys.

Organisations running Brother printers should verify if the printer exposes the administration panel by default online, and/or set a custom password to prevent unauthorised access to the device.

Courtesy-Fud

Nintendo Stock Hits A High Road

October 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Gaming

Nintendo shares have hit a ten-year high following the announcement that Switch production is being increased to two million units per month.

As reported by Digitimes, the Switch is upping production from a previous undisclosed number, estimated to be between 800,000 and one million.

Nintendo shares are now trading at their highest value since March 2008 after rising 2.66% in Tokyo on Friday, gaining a total 77% since the beginning of 2017.

The Switch, which was already Nintendo’s fastest selling console, is expected to sell 20 million units by the end of the year, a source told Digitimes, far exceeding the 13 million predicted earlier this year.

The news comes amid speculation that the Switch could soon be released in China following the announcement that the smash-hit mobile game Honour of Kings was coming to western markets via the Switch.

Honour of Kings reportedly accounts for around 50% of publisher Tencent’s mobile revenue and has over 200 million users in the region. By managing to strike a deal with Tencent, Nintendo could be well positioned to release in China, and the portable format of the Switch plays into the handheld dominated market where the Xbox One and Playstation 4 enjoy little success initially.

Courtesy-GI.biz

T-Mobile’s Website Flaw Exposes Customer’s Data

October 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

A vulnerability on T-Mobile’s website granted access to millions of customers’ personal data, including email addresses and account numbers, Motherboard reported Tuesday.

The flaw, which Motherboard said was discovered by security researcher Karan Saini, could have allowed hackers who knew — or guessed — a customer’s phone number to obtain data valuable in social engineering attacks, or perhaps even hijacking victim’s numbers. The bug was repaired Friday after Motherboard asked the wireless carrier about the issue.

Saini told Motherboard that an attacker could leverage the vulnerability by writing a script to siphon data from T-Mobile’s 76 million customer accounts to create a searchable database of up-to-date information on its users. He classified it as “a very critical data breach.”

T-Mobile disputed those findings in a statement late Tuesday.

“We resolved the vulnerability that was reported to us by the researcher in less than 24 hours, and we have confirmed that we have shut down all known ways to exploit it,” the company said in a statement. “As of this time we’ve found no evidence of customer accounts affected as a result of this vulnerability.”

This isn’t the first time T-Mobile customers’ personal data has been exposed. Hackers stole the personal data of 15 million T-Mobile customers by going after Experian, the company that processes the wireless carrier’s credit checks. The credit-reporting bureau said in 2015, over a two-year period, hackers made off with data that included customers’ names, birth dates, addresses and Social Security and drivers’ license numbers.

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