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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.

Apple Close To Deal With Steven Spielberg For ‘Amazing Stories’

October 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Apple Inc is putting the final touches on a deal to make 10 new episodes of Steven Spielberg’s 1980s science fiction anthology series “Amazing Stories,” landing a premiere Hollywood talent for its plunge into original TV programming, a source with knowledge of the discussions said.

The series would be produced for Apple by Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal television production unit. “Amazing Stories” originally ran on the NBC broadcast network.

“We love being at the forefront of Apple’s investment in scripted programming,” NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said in a statement about the show’s planned revival.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. Amblin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The deal is the first to be made public since Apple hired veteran Sony executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg in June to expand the iPhone maker’s push into original programming, a field crowded with streaming services and traditional networks.

It is unclear how people will be able to watch “Amazing Stories” or when it will debut. Apple has not divulged if it will put its own TV series in the iTunes Store, where it sells shows made by other companies, or on another platform.

The deal with Spielberg fits with a strategy Apple executives have outlined in meetings with Hollywood executives. Apple has emphasized in the discussions that it wants prestigious programming and to work with A-list actors, producers and writers, according to sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans.

The company already has placed bids on other projects, including for a comedy series about morning television starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, sources said.

“They are looking for really high-end premium stuff they feel is creatively in line with the Apple brand,” one source said of Apple’s strategy.

The technology company is competing with several established players that have hooked big name stars, such as Netflix Inc and Time Warner Inc’s HBO, plus newer entrants like Facebook Inc FB.N.

 Apple has committed $1 billion to start its programming push, the sources said. Netflix, by comparison, says it will spend up to $7 billion on content next year.

The budget for “Amazing Stories” will be more than $5 million per episode, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported that Apple had reached a deal for the series.

Will Microsoft Put The Surface To Rest

October 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Microsoft will drop its Surface laptop line-up by 2019, if remarks made by Canalys CEO Steve Brazier are to be believed.

As reported by The Register, which attended the Canalys Channels Forum, Brazier said that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is a “software guy, a cloud guy”, hinting that the firm’s bork-ridden Surface laptops and tablets are likely to go the same way as the firm’s all-but-defunct smartphone division.

“The Surface performance is choppy; there are good quarters and bad quarters, overall they are not making money. It doesn’t make sense for them to be in this business,” Brazier remarked.

“When the capital expenditure challenge that Satya Nadella has taken Microsoft down becomes visible to Wall Street, everyone will ask him ‘Why have you gone to a low margin business?'”

Brazier has a point. Last quarter, Microsoft’s Surface revenue was down 2 per cent, and dropped a massive 26 per cent year-on-year in the previous quarter. The devices have been plagued with issues, too, which Microsoft has blamed on Intel’s Skylake chips.

Passing the buck didn’t stop Consumer Reports yanking its “recommended” label from the Surface line-up, though. It slammed the hardware “significantly less reliable than most other brands” after finding that one in four Surface owners were being plagued with  “problems by the end of the second year of ownership.”

Brazier’s predictions were backed up by Gianfranco Lanci, corporate VP and COO of Lenovo, who joined the Canalys CEO on stage.

“Microsoft is making a lot of money on cloud, making a lot of money on Windows and Office, but losing a lot of money on devices,” he said.

“Frankly speaking, it is difficult to see why they should keep losing money. For them it is a very difficult exercise to run hardware products business, they need to be careful about every single detail as the margin on this is so thin.”

Courtesy-Fud

Is The Ryzen 5 Falling

October 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

The price of AMD’s top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 5 microprocessor has fallen to below $265.00 and is cheaper than the cut-price Ryzen 5 1600.

Apparently, it is all due to the fact that the cheaper 3.2GHz Ryzen 5 1600, which can be overclocked to similar speeds to the 1600X, and has a Wraith Spire CPU cooler is super popular. Those who get a 3.6GHz 1600X will need to splash out on a cooler.

The Ryzen 5 1600X was first cut to less than £200 over the weekend by Aria PC, as a  “super special price” of $197.94, plus £6.95 for postage and packing. A day later, eBuyer slashed the price  to $225.98, the lowest that the Ryzen 5 1600X has been since it was launched just six months ago.

There are some other cool bargains – the price of the Ryzen 7 1800X is down by more than £90 to$388.98 at eBuyer, $11 cheaper at Aria PC and at $400.00 on Amazon – almost $150 less than its original list price.

All this happens as Itel unveiled its Coffee Lake codenamed CPUs in Intel’s first real response to AMD’s Ryzen launches and AMD promises Pinnacle for those who can wait until next year.

AMD is soon to launch Ryzen APUs, with Ryzen CPUs integrated with Vega-based GPUs for use in laptops and other mobile devices.

Courtesy-Fud

BlackBerry Announces New Motion Smartphone

October 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

The all-touchscreen BlackBerry Motion was officially unveiled at an electronics trade show in Dubai, just days after images of the new phone leaked online.

The new handset features a 5.5-inch HD display, 4GB of RAM and a 4,000mAh battery with support for QuickCharge 3.0. The Motion, which was unveiled at the GITEX 2017 trade show, is also rated IP67 for dust and water resistance.

The BlackBerry Motion is a follow-up to the KeyOne, the first phone released under a licensing agreement TCL has with BlackBerry to build and sell the devices. BlackBerry has detached itself from the hardware side, focusing on business security and software.

TCL, best known for making budget televisions and phones (under the Alcatel OneTouch brand), hopes to win some business customers of its own with its take on the BlackBerry family. The Motion is intended to show that the KeyOne isn’t a one-off product, and that TCL intends to create a new portfolio of products with the BlackBerry name.

The BlackBerry Motion will initially launch in the Middle East.

 

Windows Phone Appears To Meet Its End

October 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Bill Gates ditched his Windows phone. HP is halting production of its flagship Windows handset. Now Microsoft has finally seen the writing on the wall — there aren’t enough people using Windows 10 Mobile or enough apps to make it viable.

Corporate vice president of Windows 10 and head of Microsoft’s “PC-Tablet-Phone” division, Joe Belfiore, said on Twitter Sunday that Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 Mobile with bug fixes and security updates, but new features and hardware are no longer front and center.

Microsoft is no upstart in the mobile space. It produced versions of its software for mobile devices for more than 20 years — starting with Windows CE for personal digital assistants in 1996, and later with Windows Mobile in 2000.

But the ecosystem has struggled since the launch of Apple’s iOs in 2007 and Google’s Android operating system (launched in 2008). According to the most recent sales figures from Kantar Worldpanel, Windows phones account for just 1.3 percent of the market in the US, bested only by BlackBerry at 0.3 percent. Compare that with Android’s 64 percent share of new phone sales and 34 percent for iOS (figures that are closely matched in the UK and Australia).

Microsoft has attempted to leverage its legacy in the PC space to push further into mobile — Windows 10 Mobile was billed as the “everywhere OS” that would let users shift seamlessly between desktop, tablet and mobile.

But users have long complained that the lack of apps on Windows Mobile devices is a deal breaker.

While Belfiore said Microsoft has tried “very hard” to provide incentives for app developers to get apps onto Windows Mobile, the “volume of users is too low for most companies to invest” in the ecosystem.

Does Virtual Reality Devices Have A Future

October 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Analyst at IDC have been shuffling their tarot decks and reached the conclusion that AR and VR are going to continue to grow like crazy – despite the fact that other analysts are not so sure.

IDC is forecasting the combined augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset market to reach 13.7 million units in 2017, growing to 81.2 million units by 2021 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56.1 percent. VR headsets will account for more than 90 percent of the market until 2019 while AR will account for the rest. In the final two years of forecast, IDC expects AR headsets to experience exponential growth as they capture a quarter of the market by the end of the forecast.

Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers said that AR headset shipments today are a fraction of where IDC expects them to be in the next five years, both in terms of volume and functionality. “AR headsets are also on track to account for over US$30 billion in revenues by 2021, almost double that of VR, as most of the AR headsets will carry much higher average selling prices with earlier adopters being the commercial segment. Meanwhile, most consumers will experience AR on mobile devices, although it’s only a matter of time before Apple’s ARKit- and Google’s ARCore-enabled apps make their way into the market.

“AR headsets are also on track to account for over US$30 billion in revenues by 2021, almost double that of VR, as most of the AR headsets will carry much higher average selling prices with earlier adopters being the commercial segment. Meanwhile, most consumers will experience AR on mobile devices, although it’s only a matter of time before Apple’s ARKit- and Google’s ARCore-enabled apps make their way into consumer grade headsets.”

While AR headsets are poised for long-term growth along with a profound impact on the way businesses and consumers compute, VR headsets will drive a near-term shift in computing. Recent price reductions across all the major platforms, plus new entrants appearing in the next month, should drive growth in the second half of 2017 and will help to offset a slow start to the year. Screenless viewers such as the Gear VR will continue to maintain a majority share throughout the forecast, although the category’s share will continue to decline as lower-priced tethered head-mounted displays (HMDs) gain share over the course of the next two years. Meanwhile, IDC is predicting that standalone HMDs will gain share in the outer years of the forecast.

Tom Mainelli, vice president, Devices and AR/VR at IDC said: “Virtual reality has suffered from some unrealistic growth expectations in 2017, but overall the market is still growing at a reasonable rate and new products from Microsoft and its partners should help drive additional interest in the final quarter of this year. As we head into 2018 we’ll see additional new products appearing, including standalone headsets from major players, and we expect to see a growing number of companies embracing the technology to enable new business processes and training opportunities.”

Courtesy-Fud

Did AMD Optimize The RX Vega For Forza

October 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Gaming

AMD has apparently done a hell of a job optimizing its drivers for Forza Motorsport 7 game as its Radeon RX Vega 64 and Vega 56 graphics cards managed to beat Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Ti and GTX 1080.

According to benchmarks done by Computerbase.de, using Intel’s Core i7-6850K CPU, 16GB of DDR4-3000 memory and latest Radeon and Geforce drivers, AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64 managed to beat Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Ti by quite a margin.

The RX Vega lineup managed to beat the Nvidia counterparts at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions while the Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti managed to regain its lead on the higher 2160p resolution, but only in average FPS, whereas both RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 were high up in the table in 99th Percentile.

To make things even more interesting, AMD’s Radeon RX 580 and the R9 Fury X both exceeded the GTX 1080 Ti in those 99th Percentile results at lower 1080p resolution.

Computerbase.de also gave a heads up to Nvidia, which said that this is the correct performance of its graphics cards on DirectX 12 and Forza Motorsport 7, which means that AMD is certainly doing something right when it comes to driver optimizations, as those RX Vega graphics cards were nowhere near Nvidia’s GTX 1080/1080 Ti in earlier benchmarks.

Hopefully, AMD will be able to push more developers and optimize its RX Vega lineup for future and the rest of the current games.

Courtesy-Fud

Is Apple Face-ID on The iPhone X Secure

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple’s face scanning software can be broken by anyone under the age of 13 and the fruity cargo cult has been forced to admit that it does not really work for kids.

Apparently, the Face ID facial recognition system thinks kids look the same – it’s fair enough really – I think they all look the same, and all babies look like Winston Churchill no matter what their mums think.

However, in a security guide, Apple recommends that children under the age of 13 do not use Face ID due to the probability of a false match being significantly higher for young children.

It is the kids’ fault of course. Apple says this was because “their distinct facial features may not have fully developed”. We assume they are talking about the children and not Apple’s face scanning software.

The Tame Apple Press claims that it does not matter as few young children are likely to be given a $999 iPhone, false matches are also more likely for twins and siblings. In all those situations, the company recommends concerned users disable Face ID and use a passcode instead.

Another area where Apple is having problems is facial coverings. Apple says that “Face ID is designed to work with hats, scarves, glasses, contact lenses and many sunglasses”. 

But if the coverings must be transparent to infrared light and the system can see the eyes, nose and mouth. While some fabrics are more transparent to infrared than they may seem, that means iPhone users who cover their faces may be forced to rely on a passcode when out and about.

Courtesy-Fud

Amazon Echo Users Lean Towards Apple, Study Says

October 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

What does your choice of smart speaker reveal about your other preferences?

If you choose a Google Home speaker, does that mean you drift Android-ward? And what if you bought an Amazon Echo?

Well, let me tell you. I have just been made smarter by a piece of research from securities intelligence consultancy Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

It chatted with 300 Amazon Echo and Google Homeowners between July 11 and 27.

It concluded that those who own an Echo — which reminds me of the result of an ill-starred relationship between an air-purifier and a lipstick — have a penchant for Cupertino.

Of those surveyed, 55 percent of Echo users have an iPhone. The remainder have Android. Conversely, 75 percent of those who bought the oversized salt cellar known as Google Home are committed to Android phones.

Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of CIRP, insisted in a press release that the proportion of iPhone owners among Echo users was higher than the phone’s share of the US market. That stands at roughly 34 percent.

As for the proportion of Android users among Homeowners, that was merely consistent with Android’s share of the US phone market, he said. (Numbers vary as to how big Android’s share is. Some place it at around the 55 percent mark.)

Lowitz didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

When it comes to tablets, Echo owners also skew toward Apple, says the research. 49 percent have an iPad, while 25 percent own an Amazon Fire tablet.

AMD To Launch 12nm Lower Power Ryzen Processor In Early 2018

October 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

AMD has told its partners that it plans to launch in February 2018 an upgraded version of its Ryzen series processors built using a 12nm low-power (12LP) process at Globalfoundries.

According to Digitimes,which has been talking to its deep throats among the motherboard makers, AMD will initially release the CPUs codenamed Pinnacle 7, followed by mid-range Pinnacle 5 and entry-level Pinnacle 3 processors in March 2018.

AMD will launch the low power version of Pinnacle processors in April 2018 and the enterprise version Pinnacle Pro in May 2018.

Their corresponding chipsets, the 400 series, will also become available in March 2018 with X470- or B450-based motherboards to be the first to hit the store shelves. The chipsets are still designed by ASMedia and its orders for the chipsets are expected to grow dramatically starting January 2018.

Thanks to stable chip orders for Microsoft’s and Sony’s game consoles, increased demand for graphics cards, growing sales for its Ryzen 7/5 processors, new Ryzen Pro product line for the enterprise sector and the top-end Ryzen Treadripper processors, AMD managed to achieve 19 percent sequential growth in second-quarter 2017 revenues and expects the amount to grow further by 23 percent in the third quarter.

AMD is also expected to see its share of the desktop CPU market return to 30 percent in the first half of 2018.

Courtesy-Fud

Is iOS 11 Draining Your Batter Too Fast

October 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A study conducted by security research firm Wandera has confirmed that iOS 11 is causing iPhone and iPad batteries to drain twice as fast.

Wandera’s report shows how, on average, an iPhone or iPad running iOS 10 takes 240 minutes of usage to drain the battery from 100 percent to zero. With iOS 11 installed, this number plummets to just 96 minutes — over twice as fast.

Wandera conducted its research by looking at “a subset of 50,000 moderate to heavy iPhone and iPad users.” Over three days, battery decay rate was monitored on iOS 10 and iOS 11 devices. We’ve already mentioned that iOS 10 devices last for 240 minutes and iOS 11 device just 96, minutes, but Wandera provides another way of looking at the figures:

The decay rate for iOS 10 is 0.006958 percent per second and for iOS 11 it’s 0.01739 percent per second.

Wandera says that Apple fanboys will have to suck the battery loss because if they downgrade their phones to a versions where battery issues are not a problem they will be stuck with poor security.  Of course they could always throw the phone out the window and buy something cheaper and better.

You can slightly improve the problem by limiting the number of apps that can refresh in the background (Settings > General > Background App Refresh) and limiting the number of apps that can access your location in the background (Settings > Privacy > Location Services).

The problem has been known about on Apple news groups for a while now, but so far there has been no actual study into it, or any confirmation of the problem from Jobs’ Mob. Apple fanboys have rushed to the Internet to reassure users that they are nto experiencing any problems. But given most Apple fanboys only use their phone when they want to wave it smugly under the nose of someone with a proper phone, their use might be more limited.

 

Courtesy-Fud

Will Apple Delay The iPhone X

September 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

The iPhone X, which is already late, probably will not see the light of day until next year, according to a leading financial services company.

Apple needs the iPhone to go out on October 27 so that it can go into the Christmas stockings of extremely rich spoiled kids.

Financial services company Raymond James thinks the iPhone X might come much, much later, around December. But to make matters worse that is the time that the orders are possible and it might be a few months after that the iPhone X will ship.  This means that the lucrative Christmas market will have come and gone.

Raymond James’ chip analyst Christopher Caso claims that production on the phone has not begun yet. If the iPhone X is supposed to ship in late October or even early November, production should have already begun.

Caso’s survey of key “supply chain players” seems to suggest that things haven’t ramped up at all. No reason has been given yet as to why that is the case, whether it’s from difficulties in acquiring components or the low yield of the components themselves.

The Tame Apple Press is doing its best to discredit Caso’s comments, saying wacky things like “suppliers are not supposed to talk to analysts so he can’t know”.

However, the comments tally with what we have been told about problems Apple is having with the yield for the screens.

Apple’s dull iPhone 8 – which is more or less an iPhone 7 which was more or less an iPhone 6 – will go out as expected and Apple fanboys will have to make do with that.

The iPhone X is already about 18 months behind Samsung and other premium Android phones so when it does finally come out it will be more dated than a 1970’s sitcom.

Courtesy-Fud

Vimeo Acquires Livestream

September 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Video-sharing website Vimeo announced intentions to acquire live video-streaming service Livestream and launch a new streaming service called Vimeo Live.

IAC-owned Vimeo didn’t disclose financial details for the acquisition of the Brooklyn-based company, which says it serves up live videos to 50 million viewers from customers such as Spotify and Dow Jones. Once the deal closes, Livestream’s technology will be integrated with Vimeo, allowing users to capture and stream live events.

“With the launch of Vimeo Live and the addition of Livestream’s impressive team and innovative product suite, we can empower a diverse range of creators to produce beautiful live experiences with professionalism and ease,” Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud said in a statement.

The acquisition makes possible a dramatic expansion for Vimeo, often known as a highbrow YouTube.

Like Google’s video site, Vimeo lets people upload clips. But its early dedication to high picture quality and its ban on video ads meant it was more likely to host film-festival fodder than cat clips.

The new direction comes on the heels of Vimeo shelving plans to launch its own video subscription site with original content. The site said in November it would help its creator community develop original content, and supplement it with licensed programming. Vimeo said in June it had abandoned those plans.

Vulnerabilities In Mobile Devices On The Rise

September 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Zimperium has found that mobile vulnerabilities have had a rocket up them this year have already surpassed the total of flaws uncovered throughout the whole of 2016. 

This is based on its own networks and systems and customer experience, but it could be viewed as a snapshot of the whole landscape. Zimperium thinks so.

“The report contains high-level statistics aggregated from Zimperium customers around the world. Each enterprise customer operates its own mobile threat defence environment and independently manages compliance and remediation policies based on corporate procedures and preferences,” explains the firm.

“Every environment contains detailed forensics on each threat and attack, enabling security teams to perform detailed analysis on which device was attacked, where it was attacked (if configured) and what processes were running on the device at the time of the attack.”

The big news is the big uptick in mobile malware of course, but there are some other things here too, like for example the fact that one in five iOS users is running out of date software, and that enterprise customers are using VPNs to circumvent whatever protection their employers may have laid out for them.

“Cyber criminals are more likely to take the path of least resistance and enterprise data is most vulnerable via mobile devices since most of time spent is away from secure networks, on public Wi-Fi and on apps that IT and security do not control or administer,” explains the firm in its report.

“Since 2016 there have been over 600 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) registered for Android and 300 for iOS [2]. So far in 2017, there are more CVEs registered for Android and iOS than in all of 2016. The increase indicates the Android and iOS mobile operating systems are still maturing.”

We have had some doozies of CVEs this year, including Hummingwhale, which made itself very well known on Android devices earlier this year. 

Courtesy-TheInq

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