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nVidia Updates Its Grid Platform

August 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Nvidia has updated its Grid software platform with deeper performance profiling and analytics tools for planning, deployment, and support of virtual GPU users.

According to the company the improved management tools address both host (server) managment and virtual client monitoring. Nvidia says that with the new Grid software, admins will be able to get information about the number of virtual graphics instances in use and the number they can potentially create.

They can also see usage information for the stream processors on board each card, the percentage of the card’s frame buffer that’s in use, and the load on each card’s dedicated video encode and decode hardware.

Each guest vGPU instance will tell admins information on encoder and decoder usage, frame buffer occupancy, and the vGPU use. Nvidia adds that it all takes the guess work out of vGPU provisioning and the data it’s exposing about vGPU usage will let system administrators tailor their virtual user profiles better.

All this means that it might stop the admins giving too much processing power to accounts when it is needed for the graphics team. Nvidia thinks those operational improvements will also help lower costs. The August 2016 Grid software update should be available immediately.

Courtesy-Fud

AMD’s 32-Core Send Coming In Q2 2017

August 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

AMD has revealed a heap of details about its 32-core Zen based product – codenamed Naples – and we have a few things to add. 

According to our well-informed sources the engineering samples were expected in Q4 2016 which starts in October. Remember, we were the first to mention Naples in detail in June 2016. Sometimes AMD calls these products  Alpha versions  but it looks like AMD was able to demonstrate the CPU a bit earlier as it did a public demonstration at the event in San Francisco last week. This could have  been a pre-Alpha version that was stable enough to run.   

The beta version will follow Q1 2017 and this CPU should be the pre-final version before the company goes to initial production. There is another step in between called the final/general sample that is expected in Q2 2017 and  followed by initial production.

When a tech company says a product will launch in the second quarter, expect it to happen towards the end. Our best guess is a launch time around Computex 2017. It will take place in the last days of May or the first days of June 2017.

The fact that AMD now supports DDR4 memory, USB 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps, NVME makes its server portfolio a bit more competitive with Intel’s offering.

AMD’s Michael Clark is expected to give an audience at the Hot chips conference a bit more details about “
A New, High Performance x86 Core Design from AMD” but we doubt that he will talk about the possible launch date in as many details as we did.

According to a well-informed sources the engineering samples were expected in Q4 2016 which starts in October. Sometimes AMD calls these products an Alpha version but it looks like AMD was able to demonstrate the CPU a bit earlier as it did a public demonstration at the event in San Francisco last week. This might be a pre-alpha version that was stable enough to show.   

The beta version is following already in Q1 2017 and this CPU should be the pre-final version before the company goes to initial production. There is another step in between called final / general sample that is expected in Q2 2017 and it is followed by initial production.

When a company says a second quarter for a launch, you should expect it to happen towards the end of it. Our best guess is a launch time around Computex 2017. It will take place in last days of May or first days of June 2017.

http://www.fudzilla.com/news/processors/41376-amd-s-ceo-showcases-8-and-32-core-zen

The fact that AMD now supports DDR4 memory, USB 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps, NVME makes its server portfolio a bit more competitive with Intel’s offering.

AMD’s Michael Clark is expected to give an audience at the Hot chips conference a bit more details about “A New, High Performance x86 Core Design from AMD” but we doubt that he will talk about the  launch date in as many details as we just have.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel To Focus On The Backend For 5G

August 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Fresh after scoring a reasonably sized contract for the iPhone, Intel is getting more excited about its mobile business and is talking about its 5G plans.

5G is a good thing to talk about as there is no standard yet and it could be years away before carriers think of moving to away from 4G. However, it does inspire confidence that companies, like Intel are busy researching it.

However the Intel Developer Forum (IDF),in San Francisco heard how Intel is not that interested in trying to create 5G modems for mobiles and will instead focus on the back-end infrastructure supporting the technology.

Intel said that while 5G will power the mobile internet, Intel believes there will be a lot of room for its processors and data centers to look after the millions of sensors, cars and internet of things devices which will all be part of it.

Intel said that 2G networks were about phones and voice, and it was rolling out 4G there were requirements that hadn’t been planned for when it was originally designed.

While 5G is expected to start appearing by 2020, it should support IoT devices, as well as broadcast-like services and lifeline communications. This means that the backbone of datacenters will need to be in place to make it go.

While Intel has been talking about this backbone, it does seem odd that it is not mentioned much about the modem front end of the technology. Our guess is that it is something that Intel cannot ignore and does not appear to be doing so, with its various Internet of Things gadgets.

Courtesy-Fud

Samsung To Launch Refurbished Smartphone Program

August 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

Samsung-logo-2-150x150Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is gearing up to launch a program to sell refurbished used versions of its premium smartphones as early as next year, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The South Korean technology firm is looking for ways to sustain earnings momentum after reviving its mobile profits by restructuring its product line-up. As growth in the global smartphone market hits a plateau, Samsung wants to maximize its cost efficiency and keep operating margins above 10 percent.

The world’s top smartphone maker will refurbish high-end phones returned to the company by users who signed up for one-year upgrade programs in markets such as South Korea and the United States.

Samsung would then re-sell these phones at a lower price, the person said, declining to be identified as the plan was not yet public.

The person declined to say how big a discount the refurbished phones would be sold at, which markets the phones would be sold in or how many refurbished devices Samsung could sell.

A Samsung spokeswoman said the company does not comment on speculation.

It was not clear to what extent the phones would be altered, but refurbished phones typically are fitted with parts such as a new casing or battery.

Rival Apple Inc’s iPhone has a re-sale value of around 69 percent of its original price after about one year from launch, while Samsung’s flagship Galaxy sells for 51 percent of the original price in the U.S. market, according to BNP Paribas.

Refurbished phones could help vendors such as Samsung boost their presence in emerging markets such as India, where high-end devices costing $800 or so are beyond most buyers.

Apple sells refurbished iPhones in a number of markets including the United States, but does not disclose sales figures. It is trying to sell such iPhones in India, where the average smartphone sells for less than $90.

Selling used phones could help Samsung fend off lower-cost Chinese rivals that have been eating into its market share, and free up some capital to invest elsewhere or boost marketing expenditure.

Deloitte says the used smartphone market will be worth more than $17 billion this year, with 120 million devices sold or traded in to manufacturers or carriers – around 8 percent of total smartphone sales. Some market experts expect the used market to grow fast as there are fewer technology breakthroughs.

“Some consumers may prefer to buy refurbished, used premium models in lieu of new budget brands, possibly cannibalizing sales of new devices from those budget manufacturers,” Deloitte said in a report.

HP Building Mobile Device Strategy Around Windows 10

August 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

HP has experimented with many operating systems over the last few years, but the company always returns back to Microsoft’s Windows.

The company is building a mobile device strategy around Windows 10 Mobile and is slowly cutting its reliance on Android, once high on the company’s list for tablets and PCs.

HP has discontinued low-cost Android tablets, and two remaining enterprise tablets feature aging hardware and an old version of the OS. Company executives have said future mobile devices will be built around Windows 10 unless there’s significant new demand for Android.

HP is following the lead of Dell, which has cut Android devices to focus on Windows. Lenovo, meanwhile, still sells Android tablets and smartphones but is cutting its number of Android tablets and increasing its number of Windows 2-in-1s.

The goal for HP is simple: to unify products around one OS, much like Apple. That’s a challenge facing Samsung, with its PCs on Windows, tablets and smartphones on Android, and wearables and smart TVs on Tizen. Samsung is still working to put the pieces together to ensure all devices communicate flawlessly, but the company claimed progress during the recent launch of Galaxy Note 7.

HP is re-entering the smartphone market its Elite X3 handset, which runs Windows 10 Mobile. The company is building its smartphone strategy around Windows 10 Mobile, which had just a 0.7 percent market share in the first quarter, according to Gartner.

HP says Elite X3 can be a PC replacement with help from cloud services and accessories. Users will be able to run Universal Windows apps on PCs and smartphones. HP also plans to bring augmented reality apps on HoloLens to the Elite X3.

“We’re not trying to hit the volumes and scales of Android,” Park said. “We’re going after IT shops. There are a lot of people in the commercial domain who are not using Pokemon Go.”

HP has said it doesn’t want to sell low-cost devices and has cut many Android devices in the process. But the same strategy doesn’t apply to Windows — this week it announced low-cost Stream notebooks running Windows 10 starting at US$199.

 

 

 

 

Will MediaTek’s Helio X30 SoC Debut In Early 2017?

August 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

TSMC is gearing up to build MediaTek’s new Helio X30 SoC using the 10nm process and it looks like everything will be set for volume production in the first quarter of 2017.

It looks like the chip will be out before TSMC uses the same process to make Apple’s new chips later in 2017. Of course when Apple releases its chip it will try to convince the world that it is the first and it invented the whole process.

TSMC will also offer its backend integrated fan-out (InFO) wafer-level packaging (WLP) technology for Apple’s 10nm A11 chips.. However this timetable it means that hte X30 will really be the ground breaking technology which tests TSMC’s 10nm and MediaTek is taking the biggest risk.

Digitimes said that Qualcomm worked with Samsung Electronics to produce its next-generation Snapdragon 830 chips using its 10nm technology and that TSMC lost the orders for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 series to Samsung.

TSMC told its July investors meeting that its 10nm process will start generating revenues in the first quarter of 2017. The node has received product tape-outs from three clients, and more tape-outs are expected to come later in 2016, the foundry said.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Is Blackberry Turning Into A Patent Troll?

August 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

Troubled mobile phone maker BlackBerry has decided to make a bit more money by suing those it thinks stole its ideas.

A patent lawsuit has been launched against internet telephony outfit Avaya. However in making its case that Avaya should pay royalties, BlackBerry appears to be looking at what it has done rather than what it is doing. The firm argues that it should be paid for its history of innovation going back nearly 20 years.

The court papers say:

“BlackBerry revolutionised the mobile industry. BlackBerry… has invented a broad array of new technologies that cover everything from enhanced security and cryptographic techniques, to mobile device user interfaces, to communication servers, and many other areas.”

BlackBerry claims Avaya infringes eight US Patents:

Nos. 9,143,801 and 8,964,849, relating to “significance maps” for coding video data;

No. 8,116,739, describing methods of displaying messages;

No. 8,886,212, describing tracking location of mobile devices;

No. 8,688,439, relating to speech decoding and compression;

No. 7,440,561, describing integrating wireless phones into a PBX network;

No. 8,554,218, describing call routing methods; and

No. 7,372,961, a method of generating a cryptographic public key.

The oldest is 1998 and the most recent is 2011..

Products targeted by Blackberry include Avaya’s video conferencing systems, Avaya Communicator for iPad, a product that connects mobile users to IP Office systems, and various IP desk phones. .

The BlackBerry complaint states that the company notified Avaya of its alleged infringement of those specific patents in a letter dated December 17, 2015, which must have come as a bit of a surprise. It has been filed in the Northern District of Texas, which is less because the region is more patent friendly (like East Texas) but because it is where Avaya does business and maintains a two-story office.

BlackBerry has hired top patent lawyer Quinn Emanuel. The firm defended Samsung in the high-profile Apple v. Samsung case and has taken on various cases for Google.

Last year Cisco paid a “license fee” to Blackberry. Details were few and far between but it seems to have been to make Blackberry lawyers go away. In May, BlackBerry CEO John Chen told investors on an earnings call that he was in “patent licensing mode,” eager to monetize his company’s 38,000 patents.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Will Other Hop On The Pokeman Go Bandwagon?

August 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Gaming

Pokemon Go is the only thing anyone wants to talk about. Even people who don’t want to talk about Pokemon Go end up talking about it all the time, if only to tell everyone how sick they are of people talking about Pokemon Go. Social networks are full of Pokemon Go, going out for a drink is now impossible without occasional interruptions as a buzzing phone signals the possible arrival of a rare beast, and comparisons of recent prized acquisitions have replaced complaints about the weather as smalltalk.

It’s not just your social group that’s talking about Pokemon Go, though. Damned near every conversation I’ve had within the industry in recent days has turned to Pokemon Go at some point. The games industry has produced some remarkable social phenomena in recent decades – Grand Theft Auto 3, Halo and Angry Birds all spring to mind as games that leapt across the boundaries to ignite the mainstream imagination, at least for a time – but none has been as fast, as widespread or as visible as Pokemon Go. It’s inevitable, then, that business people across the industry find themselves wondering how to help themselves to a slice of this pie.

Behind the headlines about the game itself, there’s another story building steam. Some investors and venture capitalists are hunting for the “next Pokemon Go”, or a “Pokemon Go killer”; developers are frantically preparing pitches and demos to that effect; IP holders are looking at their own franchises and trying to figure out which ones they could “do a Pokemon Go” with. I know of several investor meetings in the past week alone in which developers of quite different games were needled to push their titles towards mobile AR in an effort to replicate the success of Pokemon Go.

This is an ill-advised direction, to say the very least. From a creative standpoint, it’s hard not to roll one’s eyes, of course; this bandwagon-hopping occurs after every major hit game earns its success. For a couple of years after any truly huge game captures the industry’s imagination, it seems that the only words investors want to hear are “it’s like that hit game you think you understand, but with something extra”. Sometimes that’s not a bad thing; “it’s like Grand Theft Auto but with superpowers” was probably the pitch line for the excellent Crackdown, while “it’s like Grand Theft Auto but we drink more heavily in our design meetings” was probably not the pitch line for Saints Row, but should have been. This approach does also yield more than its fair share of anaemic clones of great games, but it has its merits, not least in being a clear way of communicating an idea to people who may not be experts in game design.

In the instance of Pokemon Go, however, there’s a really fundamental problem with the bandwagon jumping. Even as third parties fall over themselves to figure out how to hop aboard the Pokemon Go bandwagon, the fact is that we don’t even know if this bandwagon is rolling yet. Pokemon Go is a free-to-play mobile game, which means that its phenomenal launch is only the first step. In F2P, a great launch is not a sign of success, it’s a sign of potential; the hard work, and the real measure of a game’s success, is what comes next.

To put this in blunt terms, Pokemon Go has just managed to attract the largest audience of any mobile game within weeks of its launch – and it could just as readily find itself losing that audience almost in its entirety within a few weeks. If that happens, those enormous download numbers and the social phenomenon that has built up around the game will be almost meaningless. Mobile games make their money over long periods of time and rely upon engaging players for months; a mobile game that’s downloaded by millions, but is only being played by thousands within a few weeks, is not a success, it’s a catastrophic case study in squandered potential.

I’m not necessarily saying that this will happen to Pokemon Go – though there are warning signs there already, which I’ll get to in a moment – I’m saying, rather, that it could happen to Pokemon Go, and that it’s therefore vastly premature for anyone to be labelling this as a model for success or chasing after it with their own mobile AR titles. There are shades of what happened with VR, where Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus drove ludicrous amounts of capital into some very questionable VR startups and projects, inflating a valuation bubble which many investors are now feeling deeply uncomfortable about. Here, the initial buzz for Pokemon Go has sent capital seeking out similar projects long before we actually get any proper feedback on whether the model is sustainable or worthwhile.

There’s actually only one way in which Pokemon Go has been an unqualified success thus far, and that’s in its incredibly powerful validation of the Pokemon brand. Nintendo walks away from this whole affair a winner, no matter what; the extraordinary launch of the game is, as I’ve argued previously, a testament to the huge appeal of Pokemon, the golden age of nostalgia it’s going through, and the clever recognition of its perfect fit to the outdoor, AR-based gameplay of Niantic’s games. The thing is that thus far, we simply can’t tell to what extent Pokemon Go is riding the wave of that brand, and to what extent it’s actually bedding in as a sustainable game with a huge playing (and paying) audience.

I have my own suspicions that Pokemon Go is actually quite troubled on the latter count. Looked at from the standpoint of mobile and F2P game design, the game is severely lacking in the crucial area of player retention. At first, it does a great job; it trickle-feeds new Pokemon to you and filling out the first 100 or so entries in the Pokedex is a fun challenge that keeps players coming back each day. It’s then that things become more problematic. As players reach higher levels, the game applies significantly more friction (not necessarily in fun ways, with Niantic making some very dubious guesses as to the tolerance for frustration of their players) even as the actual reasons for playing start to fade away.

At high levels, finding or evolving new creatures is incredibly rare, and the only other thing for players to do is battling at Pokemon Gyms – which some players find entertaining, but which is a completely disconnected experience from the thing people have been enjoying up to that point, namely exploring and collecting new Pokemon. The idea that players who love exploring and collecting will be motivated by combat at Gyms seems naive, and misunderstands the different motivations different people have for playing games. My suspicion is that on the contrary, lots of players, perhaps a significant majority, will complete as much of their Pokedex as they reasonably can before churning out of the game – a high churn rate that will be exacerbated by the dying down of the “halo” of social media around the game, which inexplicably lacks any social features of its own.

I could be wrong – I’d be very happy to be wrong, in fact – but my sense of where Pokemon Go is headed is that, absent some dramatic updates and changes from Niantic in the coming weeks, the game is destined to be a fad. It will achieve its objective for Nintendo in some regards, establishing the value of the firm’s IP on mobile and probably igniting interest in this year’s upcoming 3DS Pokemon titles, but in the broad scheme of things it’s likely to end up being a fun summer fad that never converts into being a sustainable, long-term business.

In that case, those companies and investors chasing the Pokemon Go dollar with ideas for Pokemon Go killers or Pokemon Go-alikes are running down a blind alley. Crucially, they’re misunderstanding the game’s appeal and value; at the moment, Pokemon Go’s appeal is firmly rooted in its IP, and no other IP is ever going to replicate that in the same way. Digimon might have some appeal within a certain age group; Yokai Watch is largely unknown in the west and its players in Japan skew too young for an outdoor AR game to make much sense; I can think of no other franchise that would fit the “Pokemon Go model” well enough to make for an appealing game. If Pokemon Go turns out to be sustainable, then there’s potential for other companies to start thinking about what to do with this new audience of people who have fallen for mobile AR experiences; but until that happens, every VC dollar or man-hour of design time spent on a “Pokemon Go killer” is most likely being wasted entirely.

Courtesy-GI.biz

 

Can Intel Dominate The 5G Space?

August 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Intel, Samsung, MediaTek, Huawei and Qualcomm all claim the leadership for 5G and most of them will have a tough time to deliver on this promise. Nokia, Huawei and Ericsson – from the networking component standpoint – claim they can do great things with 5G.

Everyone is bound to dominate something that will commercially launch in 2020. Fudzilla invested a lot of time analyzing the wireless communication market as it’s becoming rather interesting.

What piqued our interest is that everyone wants to claim its dominance in 4G/5G. The hot topic today is carrier aggregation in 4G where most providers can deliver 300 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload with faster speeds in sight. Uploads are reaching 150 Mbps with carrier aggregation and enhanced modulation techniques like 64-QAM, which is faster than most cable and fiber connections available. Things are going to get even faster as Australian Telstra already offers 600 Mbps carrier aggregation and there will be more to follow that path.

Intel is telling investors and customers that they were late to the mobile and overall modem market, but that they won’t be late with 5G. Intel was late with 3G, again very late with 4G and now it claims that it will be the first with 5G. As you can imagine, this does not seem very realistic.

The 5G players are focusing on enhanced mobile broadband, mission critical services such as medicine, robotics, abd automotive,  and the potentially massive connected internet of thing devices.

One way of looking at 5G is that it is a 4G on steroids with some major improvements that will solve some of the limitations of 4G. So in order to have a state of the art, winning 5G solution, you have to be dominant in 4G. Intel simply isn’t, as it doesn’t have enough experience.

Intel is most likely to get inside some iPhone 7 or other making its first high end modem design win ever. Intel did ship its modem in some Samsung Galaxy phones but only for small and limited markets.

The Santa Clara giant had a few design wins with Asus, simply as it could corner Asus as its partner in PC space, but even that marriage ended up in divorce. The latest generation of Zen phones uses Snapdragon processors and Asus had a very limited success with phones outside its native Taiwan. Asus’ end of relations with Intel on the SoC side didn’t come as a surprise as Intel decided to terminate its SoC phone business.

Intel invested billions of dollars in mobile SoCs and after years of failures it announced that it will simply stop  bleeding money on something it cannot make competitive.

The Apple design win doesn’t actually prove that Intel’s modem is any good.

The Apple iPhone design win just proves that companies like Samsung and Apple like to use dual sourcing and buy components from more than one supplier. The reason is quite simply, they can play these suppliers off against each other and get better pricing. We understand that dual sourcing happens often in the image sensors market. In case of an earthquake in Japan or a similar catastrophe, a phone might end up with a Samsung image sensor instead of Sony’s.

Apple started dual sourcing with its SoCs and the iPhone 6S ended up having the SoCs manufactured by TSMC in 16nm or Samsung with 14nm. It turns out that the 16nm ones ended up being better, upsetting a lot of customers.

We won’t want to wander off topic, but it will take Intel a few generations to improve. Samsung has a modem but only inside its SoC and so does MediaTek and Huawei. None of these three players have a dedicated modem, it is up to Intel and Qualcomm to make a 4G modem for companies like Apple.

Intel has only been working on modems for a few years while companies like Qualcomm have done that for a few decades. Qualcomm is inside every iPhone past iPhone 3G manufactured, a few short of a billion. Infineon, a company now owned by Intel has developed iPhone 2G and iPhone 3G, but again, Infineon had no 4G modems available and the acquisition took place after Intel realized the WiMAX 4G standard is doomed to die.

This gives Qulcomm quite a lot of experience and a clear focus to make a modem for Snapdragon SoC and Apple the best they possibly can.

Intel will have a hell of a ride polishing and fast learning 4G before it deploys 5G.

There are no solid guarantees that Intel will make modems in 2020. Intel said that it would dominate computer graphics but its Larrabee discrete card project crashed and burn. Intel promised world dominance with SoCs for phones with Atom processors and again it crashed and burned. It turned so bad, that the company totally killed of the SoC manufacturing. Intel at least has had graphics for gaming inside of millions of notebook processors.

The equivalent of Intel dominating 5G would be as realistic as Tesla beating Toyota or German automakers in 2020 by volume. Tesla 3 preorder customers will be happy if all half million of them get their cars by 2018, considering that the company delayed every single product from its first days of existence.

Research in 2015 by V3‘s sister site Computing in conjunction with Intel provided some indications of a rise in ransomware, and showed that 55 per cent of organisations had put the necessary security measures in place.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Is The IoT A Security Disaster Waiting To Happen?

August 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

The craze for connecting anything and everything and controlling it over the internet will result in a major disaster without better built-in security, according to security expert Bruce Schneier.

Furthermore, if secret services really are trying to influence elections by hacking the systems of political parties and releasing embarrassing emails, they will almost certainly attempt to hack into the increasing number of internet-connected voting machines for the same ends.

Schneier is the author of multiple encryption algorithms, founder of security company Counterpane, and former chief technology officer of BT Managed Security Solutions.

“It’s one thing if your smart door lock can be eavesdropped on to know who is home. It’s another thing entirely if it can be hacked to allow a burglar to open the door or prevent you opening your door,” Schneier wrote in an article published by Motherboard.

“A hacker who can deny you control of your car, or take over control, is much more dangerous than one who can eavesdrop on your conversations or track your car’s location.

“With the advent of the Internet of Things [IoT] and cyber-physical systems in general, we’ve given the internet hands and feet: the ability to directly affect the physical world. What used to be attacks against data and information have become attacks against flesh, steel and concrete.”

Schneier explained that many of the devices now being connected to the internet, including industrial systems controlling major facilities, have security only as an afterthought, and that the IoT “will allow for attacks we can’t even imagine”.

The key weaknesses come from software control systems, the connections between systems and autonomous systems. Schneier highlighted a lack of security patching in control systems, the ability to compromise networks via insecure devices connected to them, especially IoT devices, and the security dangers of increased automation.

“Security engineers are working on technologies that can mitigate much of this risk, but many solutions won’t be deployed without government involvement. This is not something that the market can solve,” he said.

Schneier also suggested that if Russian security services were indeed behind the attack on the systems of the US Democratic National Committee there is no reason why they wouldn’t target internet-connected voting machines.

“Over the years, more and more states have moved to electronic voting machines and have flirted with internet voting. These systems are insecure and vulnerable to attack,” Schneier warned.

Courtesy-TheInq

 

The OvRcharge Levitates And Charges Your Smartphone

August 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

A Canadian design company is selling a mobile device stand that not only wirelessly charges your phone or tablet but levitates the device at the same time.

The OvRcharge, by 15-year-old AR Designs Canada, combines magnetic induction charging with electromagnetic suspension to levitate your Android or iOS mobile device a few centimeters above a square, wooden platform.

The charger comes in two sizes: the smaller OvRcharge platform is about 5.5 inches square for smartphones, and the larger OvRcharge Ultra,for tablets, is about 6.75 inches square. Both wood platforms are around 1 3/8 inches thick.

The charging stand comes in three colors, Dark, Walnut and Cherry.

Besides the size, the only difference between the two charging models is the output current rate: the OvRcharge uses a ~500mAh charge and the OvRcharge Ultra provide ~700 mAh.

The wireless charger both suspends a mobile device at a fixed height and slowly rotates it for an aesthetic appeal.

The charger works in conjunction with an AR Designs smartphone or tablet case that’s included and can be ordered with either a Lightning or micro-USB connector for an iPhone or Android device. The unit is powerful enough to levitate a device that’s up to 21.1 ounces (600 grams) in weight.

The early bird price for the OvRcharge stand and mobile device case is $239 (the $199 and $209 offers have already sold out); the price for the OvRCharge Ultra is  $259. After two weeks on Kickstarter, the campaign has raised more than $25,000 of a $30,000 goal.

The devices are expected to ship to early bird buyers by December.

The iPhone cases can be ordered to fit iPhone 5 or later models. The Android cases fit Samsung, LG, Sony and Huawei devices.

 

 

 

Dropbox Paper Opens Beta To All

August 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Ten months after Dropbox first debuted Paper, the collaborative writing tool opened its beta testing to all and is getting mobile versions for iOS and Android.

Paper allows teams to work on documents together in the cloud. It makes it easy to add text, images and embedded videos from YouTube, Google, or Dropbox itself. Users can also add programming code, which gets formatted automatically. And they can create to-do lists and assign tasks on those lists using the @ symbol.

Since its unveiling in private beta, Paper has been used to create more than a million documents for tasks like brainstorming ideas and capturing meeting notes, Dropbox said. Based on lessons learned along the way, Dropbox has improved the software with better tables and image galleries, more powerful search, and notifications via desktop and mobile.

The new apps for Android and iOS, meanwhile, let users get project updates, make edits, and respond to feedback from their mobile devices.

“As Dropbox tries to expand the concept of what it is, it’s only natural that they dig deeper into the productivity tool bag,” said T.J. Keitt, a senior analyst with Forrester Research. “Paper gives them a collaborative content engine that lets teams work collectively on lists and notes — a useful tool given information workers have scooped up note-taking tools like Evernote and OneNote for similar purposes.”

Competitors like Box, Google and Microsoft offer similar tools, so Dropbox needed Paper to keep up, Keitt said. “I don’t think this will be a great point of differentiation for them.”

Paper is “definitely a cool product,” said Melissa Webster, a program vice president with IDC.

It’s essentially Dropbox’s answer to Google Docs but designed to be more visually appealing, Webster said.

“Word processors have historically been poor at supporting creative teams and concept work that is visual,” she said. “Dropbox Paper should appeal to marketers, creative folks, product teams and others who find traditional text-oriented word processors and note-taking apps somewhat confining.”

The beta program for Dropbox Paper is now open online. The associated mobile apps are available in the U.S. from the iOS App Store and Android Play Store, and are coming soon for users in the EU.

 

 

Samsung Debuts 15TB SSD

August 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Samsung is shipping its PM1633a SSD which has 15.36TB of storage space however you are not going to get much change out of $10,000.

Samsung now has the drive available at select retailers but at $10,000 it is one of the most expensive SSD storage drives around. Pricing seems to vary too with CDW asking $10,311.99 while SHI wants $9,690 on pre-order. There is a 7.68TB flavour but that is $5,700.

The SSDs are based around 16 of Samsung’s 256Gb TLC 3D V-NAND memory chips. These chips make a 512GB package which are then scaled up. The biggest drive uses 32 of those packages to build the largest of the PM1633a SSDs. The is a new controller specifically for this drive to increase the performance offered. The 15.36TB SSD offers sequential read performance of up to 1200 MB/s and sequential write performance of up to 900 MB/s using a SAS-12Gbps interface.

Random read operations are 195,000 and write speds are 31,000 IPOPs. Those wanting to spend less money and needing less storage can get 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB, 3.84TB, and 7.68TB models.

Although it looks pricey, actually it works out being cheaper for business running massive data centers. Power consumption is around 11W active and 4.5W idle for the SSDs.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Will nVidia Debut Pascal For Laptops This Month?

August 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Nvidia will be showing off its Pascal-based discrete notebook GPUs at Gamescom in Europe, on August 17-21.

Digitimes claims that Asustek Computer, MSI, Gigabyte Technology and Clevo are expected to be showing off their latest Pascal based offerings. What is interesting is that they see Europe as the major market for gaming PC products. The number of gamers in the region has been rising rapidly, many gaming PC vendors have been expanding their reach into Europe’s channel and have been sponsoring e-sport teams in Europe.

Apparently Nvidia is unifying its product names and will no longer use the letter M to differentiate its desktop and notebook products. At Gamescom, Nvidia will unveil its GeForce GTX 1080/1070/1060-series GPUs for notebooks.

This means, it seems,  that Nvidia’s desktop and notebook GPUs with the same name will have equal performance, something which is a move away from the past when Nvidia’s notebook GPUs were weaker than its desktop parts. Meanwhile gaming notebooks with existing 980M/970M/960M GPUs are expected to see price cuts.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Is AMD Getting Extremely Close To Samsung?

August 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

AMD’s relationship with GloFlo has always been described as “complicated” and appears to be getting more open.

AMD recently mentioned that it has built hardware directly with Samsung and there is a further option to tap the company in the future for product ramps.

Analyst Patrick Moorhead, of Moor Insights and Security made the announcement after AMD investors questions about where AMD was building most of its hardware became a little more pointed.

AMD has said that it has bought $75 million in wafers from GlobalFoundries in Q2, that number struck Moorhead and co as a bit on the small side.

Moorhead questioned AMD on the deal and was told:

“AMD has strong foundry partnerships and our primary manufacturing partners are GLOBALFOUNDRIES and TSMC. We have run some product at Samsung and we have the option of enabling production with Samsung if needed as part of the strategic collaboration agreement they have with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to deliver 14nm FinFET process technology capacity.”

If AMD has options to build at Samsung that could be a bad sign for GlobalFoundries. After all it only spun off the outfit because it wanted a more agile manufacturing partner. GlobalFoundries struggled with its customer base and AMD had to cancel its Krishna and Wichita parts and move to TSMC.

When GloFo canned its 20nm and 14nm XM nodes and licensed 14nm technology from Samsung only to experience delays with that too.

Getting more out of Samsung might not result in significant volumes but the option to do so will keep GloFo or TSMC clean if they run into ramping or yield problems. GloFo’s licensed version of Samsung’s 14nm could easily be done by Samsung.

Courtesy-Fud

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