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Verizon Wireless To Sign A Streaming Deal With NFL

November 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Verizon Communications Inc, no. 1 U.S. wireless carrier, is closing in on a deal  with the National Football League for digital streaming rights, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

With the new agreement, Verizon will be able to give subscribers access to games on all devices, including big-screen TVs, and not just phones, according to the people, Bloomberg said.

Verizon will lose exclusive rights to air games on mobile devices, Bloomberg quoted two people as saying. Verizon’s rights will include the NFL’s Thursday night games, among others, one of the people said, according to Bloomberg.

Financial details and the duration of Verizon’s contract with the NFL could not immediately be learned, Bloomberg said.

Neither NFL nor Verizon could immediately be reached for a comment by Reuters.

Do Consumers Have Trust In The Security Behind IoT

November 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Security outfit Gemalto has just released a survey which says that 90 percent of consumers lack confidence in the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The survey showed that two thirds of consumers and almost 80 percent of organizations support governments getting involved in setting IoT security because they did not trust manufacturers to protect them.

Gemalto Data Protection CTO Jason Hart said it was clear that both consumers and businesses have serious concerns around IoT security and little confidence that IoT service providers and device manufacturers will be able to protect IoT devices and more importantly the integrity of the data created, stored and transmitted by these devices.

“With legislation like GDPR showing that governments are beginning to recognize the threats and long-lasting damage cyber-attacks can have on everyday lives, they now need to step up when it comes to IoT security. Until there is confidence in IoT amongst businesses and consumers, it won’t see mainstream adoption.”

Consumers’ main fear – cited by two thirds of respondents – was hackers taking control of their device. In fact, this was more of a concern than their data being leaked (60 percent) and hackers accessing their personal information (54 percent). Despite more than half (54 percent) of consumers owning an IoT device (on average two), just 14 percent believe that they are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the security of these devices, showing education is needed among both consumers and businesses.

In terms of the level of investment in security, the survey found that IoT device manufacturers and service providers spend just 11 percent of their total IoT budget on securing their IoT devices. The study found that these companies do recognize the importance of protecting devices and the data they generate or transfer with half of companies adopting a security by design approach. Two thirds of organizations report encryption as their main method of securing IoT assets with 62 percent  encrypting the data as soon as it reaches their IoT device, while 59 percent as it leaves the device. Ninety two percent of companies also see an increase in sales or product usage after implementing IoT security measures.

According to the survey, businesses are in favor of regulations to make it clear who is responsible for securing IoT devices and data at each stage of its journey (61 percent) and the implications of non- compliance (55 percent). Almost every organization (96 percent) and consumer (90 percent) wanted government-enforced IoT security regulation.

Encouragingly, businesses are twigging that they need support in understanding IoT technology and are turning to partners to help, with cloud service providers (52 percent) and IoT service providers (50 percent) the favored options. When asked why, the top reason was a lack of expertise and skills (47 percent), followed by help in facilitating and speeding up their IoT deployment (46 percent).

Hart said: “The lack of knowledge among both the business and consumer worlds is quite worrying and it’s leading to gaps in the IoT ecosystem that hackers will exploit.”

“Within this ecosystem, there are four groups involved – consumers, manufacturers, cloud service providers and third parties – all of which have a responsibility to protect the data. ‘Security by design’ is the most effective approach to mitigate against a breach. Furthermore, IoT devices are a portal to the wider network and failing to protect them is like leaving your door wide open for hackers to walk in. Until both sides increase their knowledge of how to protect themselves and adopt industry standard approaches, IoT will continue to be a treasure trove of opportunity for hackers.”

Courtesy-Fud

IoT Botnet Worse Than Mirai Wreaking Havoc On Organizations

October 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Check Point has caught wind of a new IoT botnet that’s “more sophisticated than Mirai” and has already affected at least one million organizations worldwide.

Check Point first unearthed the botnet, codenamed ‘IoT_reaper’, at the beginning of September and claims that, since, it’s already enslaved millions of IoT devices including routers and IP cameras from firms including GoAhead, D-Link, TP-Link, Avtech, Netgear, MikroTik, Linksys and Synology.

The latest campaign shares similar technical aspects to Mirai but is said to be more dangerous as it is able to “evolve” in order to exploit vulnerabilities in devices connected to the internet, which it then uses to spread the malware to other devices.

The security firm warns that the botnet is “rapidly spreading worldwide” and could soon be weaponized the launch cyber-attacks in the same fashion of Mirai last year. 

Check Point said: “While some technical aspects lead us to suspect a possible connection to Mirai, this is an entirely new and far more sophisticated campaign that is rapidly spreading worldwide.”

“It is too early to guess the intentions of the threat actors behind it, but with previous botnet DDoS attacks essentially taking down the internet, it is vital that organizations make proper preparations,” the team noted.

Check Point says that, so far, it estimates that “over a million organizations have already been affected worldwide, including the US, Australia and everywhere in between.

It expects this number to keep growing, noting that “our research suggests that we are now experiencing the calm before an even more powerful storm. The next cyber hurricane is about to come.”

“It is vital to have the proper preparations and defense mechanisms in place before an attack strikes,” Check Point warns.

This isn’t the first Mirai-like threat that’s been uncovered. Earlier this year, a new threat called ‘BrickerBot’ was revealed, which – as its name suggests – threatened to permanently brick IoT devices, rather than harnessing them to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) network.

Courtesy-TheInq

Are The IoT Botnets Becoming A Problem

October 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

A huge botnet which is based around internet of things devices is getting so big it will be able to apply for UN membership and get its version of “Botnet’s got talent”.

Codenamed IoT_reaper, it has swallowed two million devices which are mostly IP-based security cameras, network video recorders (NVRs), and digital video recorders (DVRs).

Chinese security firm Qihoo 360 Netlab and Israeli security firm Check Point have spotted and analysed the botnet as it continued to grow during the past month.

The botnet uses some code from the Mirai IoT malware, but there are also many new things that make the botnet a stand-alone threat.

Mirai scanned for open Telnet ports and attempted to log in using a preset list of default or weak credentials.

Reaper does not use a Telnet scanner, but primarily uses exploits to forcibly take over unpatched devices and add them to its command and control (C&C) infrastructure.

Netlab says that IoT_reaper primarily uses a package for nine vulnerabilities: D-Link 1, D-Link 2, Netgear 1, Netgear 2, Linksys, GoAhead, JAWS, Vacron, and AVTECH. Check Point also spotted the botnet attacking MicroTik and TP-Link routers, Synology NAS devices, and Linux servers.

Netlab experts say the botnet is in its incipient stages of development, with its operator adding as many devices to the fold as possible.

Check Point and Netlab point out that IoT_reaper did not launch any DDoS attack, but Reaper comes with a Lua-based execution environment integrated into the malware that allows its operator to deliver modules for various tasks, such as DDoS attacks, traffic proxying, and other.

Reaper’s Lua core also comes embedded with 100 DNS open resolvers, a functionality that will allow it to carry out DNS amplification attacks.

The FBI and Europol warned about the dangers of leaving Internet of Things devices exposed online, but the world does not seem particularly concerned that their lightbulbs could take part in an attack on the power grid.

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

Can The IoT Market Grow By 30 Percent YoY

September 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The Internet of Things (IOT) platform market is expected to grow 35 percent annually to $1.16 billion by 2020, according to Verizon’s State of the Market: Internet of Things 2017 report.

The report finds that the biggest growth will be in business-to-business applications which can generate nearly 70 percent of potential value enabled by IoT.

More than 73 percent of executives either researching or currently deploying IoT. Manufacturing, transportation and utilities make up the largest percent of investments, while insurance and consumers represent the fastest areas of spending growth.

Currently there are 8.4 billion connected “things” in use in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and network technology, cost reductions and regulatory pressures driving adoption, business leaders are not only paying attention, they’re getting in the game the report said.

While the opportunity for revenue growth is the biggest factor driving IoT adoption, regulatory compliance remains a driving factor behind enterprise IoT implementation. Standards, security, interoperability and cost make up over 50 percent of executive concerns around IoT. These uncertainties are holding businesses back from full IoT deployment, with many still in proof-of-concept or pilot phase.

Early adopters seem focused on proving out simple use cases to track data and send status alerts, just starting to realize the full value IoT has to offer in driving growth and efficiencies across business, the report said.

The report’s author Mark Bartolomeo, VP of IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon said: “Over the past year, industry innovators in energy, healthcare, construction, government, agtech and beyond have not only piloted, but in many cases, deployed IoT technology to improve business inefficiencies, track and manage assets to drive value to the bottom line. In 2017, advancements in technology and standards, coupled with changing consumer behaviours and cost reductions, have made IoT enterprise-grade, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg in driving economic value across the board.”

Courtesy-Fud

VMWare, Google Partner Up Over Chrome Devices For The Enterprise

August 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

VMware’s AirWatch subsidiary has teamed up with Google to enable unified end-point management (UEM) of all Chrome OS devices in an enterprise.

Through VMware Workspace ONE’s cloud portal, IT admins will be able to manage Chrome devices in their company alongside all other endpoints from a single console.

Among other things, IT managers will be able to perform a number of tasks including on-boarding employees; provisioning, auditing and tracking hardware; device wiping; and securing access to personalized enterprise app catalogs.

With new enterprise-ready capabilities from Chrome Enterprise License, companies will also be able to control device policies using a customizable assignment of groups based on geography, device platform, department, and employee role. The goal is to simplify policy enforcement across an enterprise, VMware said.

“The consumerization of the enterprise has left IT managing multiple operating systems on a variety of devices – some provided by the business and others brought in by employees,” said Sumit Dhawan, general manager of End-User Computing at VMware. “As Chrome OS continues to gain momentum, our customers are eager to manage these devices consistently along with all other endpoints, including mobile devices.”

Through Workspace ONE, VMware AirWatch users will also be able to securely manage the lifecycle of Chromebooks, Dhawan added.

In March, VMware’s AirWatch announced a partnership aimed at accelerating the adoption of Chromebooks by enhancing existing application accessibility of the devices through VMware Workspace ONE. That collaboration enabled one-click secure authentication and management of apps – cloud, web and virtual – for organizations deploying Chromebooks.

While it’s an industry first in terms of the Google partnership, VMware’s move to enable UEM highlights a larger trend as the enterprise mobility management (EMM) software market quickly consolidates. As a result, tools for provisioning, configuring and securing mobile devices are being subsumed into larger product suites.

Intel Details Atom C3000

August 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Intel has released a few details on its Atom C3000, and unlike previous flavours of Atom these are being tipped for the network rather than home use.

Earlier in the week Gigabyte launched a new server motherboard that came packing a previously unannounced Intel Atom C3958 16-core 2.0GHz processor. Hexus points out that this product launch was a little ahead of Intel’s own announcement of the chip range, which was done today.

The processors are designed for light scale-out workloads that require very low power, high density, and high I/O integration including network routers, switches, storage, security appliances, dynamic web serving, and more.

Chipzilla says that the Intel’s Atom C3000 series SoCs are designed to deliver “low power, efficient intelligence, to the farthest edge of the network,” They will start to appear in Network and Enterprise Storage products.

Intel claims they can deliver up to 4.0x storage performance improvement, up to 3.4x network performance improvement, and up to 2.3x compute performance improvement

The C3000 series are the third-generation system-on-a-chip based CPUs manufactured on Intel’s optimized 14nm process technology.

At the top end Intel offers the Atom C3958 with 16-cores and running at 2.0GHz at $449. This 31W processor can use up to 256GB of RAM and can support 8x USB 3.0 ports, 16 SATA ports, and offers 4×10/2.5/1GbE LAN.

Courtesy-Fud

Are Tougher Security Standards For IoT Forthcoming

August 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

US Senators are planning to introduce draft legislation next week that would require makers of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to ensure that their products are patchable and conform to industry standards for security.

The legislation is a bi-partisan effort led by Democratic Party senators Mark Warner and Ron Wyden, and Republicans Steve Daines and Cory Gardner.

Although relatively modest in scope, the legislation represents a first step to requiring device makers to start taking responsibility for the security of products connected to the internet. “We’re trying to take the lightest touch possible,” Warner told Reuters.

He added that the legislation was intended to remedy an “obvious market failure” that has left device manufacturers with little incentive to build with security in mind.

It echoes thinking from security specialists such as Bruce Schneier, who have suggested that sensible, rather than heavy-handed legislation is required to push device makers to improve the security of their products.

In November last year, following the Mirai malware attacks that compromised chronically insecure internet-connected CCTV systems, Schneier wrote: “The technical reason these devices are insecure is complicated, but there is a market failure at work…

“The teams building these devices don’t have the security expertise we’ve come to expect from the major computer and smartphone manufacturers, simply because the market won’t stand for the additional costs that would require.

“These devices don’t get security updates like our more expensive computers, and many don’t even have a way to be patched. And, unlike our computers and phones, they stay around for years and decades… Like pollution, the only solution is to regulate,” wrote Schneier.

The draft legislation was put together with help from IT specialists from the Atlantic Council and Harvard University. It would also expand protection for security researchers to hack equipment with the purpose of finding vulnerabilities.

Courtesy-TheInq

Is Google Really A Racist Company

August 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A senior software engineer at Google has opened a can of worms by calling for the company to abandon it diversity initiatives in favor of “ideological diversity,”

In a document titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” the 10 page rant argues that the gender gaps at Google are the result of biological differences between men and women, and that the company shouldn’t offer programs that help under-represented groups.

The author also alleged that politically conservative employees are discriminated against, and that achieving “ideological equality” should be a priority. He feels that conservative political feelings should be a protected class because they are not looked after by anti-discrimination laws like race, religion, age, sex, citizenship, familial status, or one’s disability, or veteran status are.

Numerous Google employees voiced their outrage over the existence of the document, and indicated that the author’s management chain and HR have been made aware of it.

“I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes.” The author goes on to speak to perceived biases within Google, and how that is detrimental to the company.

Basically after starting out by saying “I am not a misogynist or racist” the writer then goes into a rant about how inferior women are and then says white men are vulnerable. The writer thought that women were unsuited for tech because they like people, whilst men like things.

However what is more alarming, is that while the document is angering women and minorities working at Google there is a small vocal section of the company, lets call them white backward males who think that women should be at home and in the kitchen rather than programming who agree.

This has put Google’s new VP of Diversity, Danielle Brown, on the spot. She has sent a memo to Google employees, saying that she “found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender,” and that it’s not a “viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”

She went on to write that a diverse workplace is a central part of the company’s culture.

Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul, she wrote.

Courtesy-Fud

Is Zynga Making A Comeback

August 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Gaming

Quick, somebody pop the cork on that champagne bottle! After a grueling year with a $108 million loss, Zynga is now profitable in its second quarter of the 2017 fiscal year, with $5.1m in net income. The company started its fiscal year off on the right foot with a significantly narrowed loss in Q1, and at the time CEO Frank Gibeau promised us that profitability is around the corner.

In a phone call with GamesIndustry.biz earlier today, Gibeau explained, “Q2 we beat on the top and the bottom. We posted our best revenue and bookings performance in four years. We saw some of the things that we’ve been investing in really take hold, like CSR and our mobile momentum. In mobile, we’ve really been focusing in on live ops, and in trying to drive higher quality experiences there and we saw a big lift in our audience and in our revenue there. Our audience was up 28% y-o-y, which is pretty awesome. Our in-app purchase revenues were up 33% y-o-y. 90% of our audience now is on mobile, which if you think of just a few years ago how much Zynga was ‘The Facebook Company,’ now that…is quite a sea change for the company.”

Total revenues for Zynga were up 15% to $209.2m and bookings came to the same total, representing a 20% jump. Furthermore, the company’s operating cash flow came to $37.8m, which was its best quarterly performance in five years. Importantly, Zynga’s mobile transition is nearly complete. Not only is 90% of the audience there, but the company saw 86% of revenues and 87% of bookings come from mobile. Its mobile base now stands at 19m average daily active users, which is up 28% year-over-year and represents the strongest year-over-year growth since Q4 2014. Apart from its Social Slots offering, the big driver for Zynga in Q2 was racing sequel CSR2.

“CSR was strong,” Gibeau said. “We had really good partnerships with Fast and The Furious, and with Universal. We did some cool stuff with Lamborghini. As you know, I’ve been working on racing games a lot in my career. It’s a lot of fun to have such a high quality experience to play around with. Its mobile revenue was up 14% quarter-over-quarter, and up 18% on bookings level. The audience was up almost 10% and it’s the number one racing game in the App Store. And we’ve had over 1.1 million five-star reviews.

“So CSR, and our mobile momentum, it’s resulting in this portfolio which is the strongest mobile portfolio the company has ever had. You’ve got Poker, Words with Friends, CSR, our Casino products, and in addition to that our Match 3 business is coming on and we’ve still got a lot of growth in front of us, particularly in places like Invest Express and Action Strategy. But in general I feel really good about the portfolio and where it’s at in our life cycle.”

CSR is doing so well that Zynga now considers it one of their “forever franchises.” NaturalMotion’s newer IP, Dawn of Titans, isn’t having that same level of success and was merely a footnote again in the company’s earnings statement. Last quarter Gibeau acknowledged that some games can take a long time to reach their full potential, and he elaborated on Dawn of Titans again this quarter, especially in light of Zynga’s improved operating efficiencies and how it treats projects. The mobile Mafia Wars project, for example, was shut down last month because Zynga did not believe it could become a forever franchise. And if Zynga can’t be near the top in a category, its new philosophy is to not devote the resources to that category.

“We’re a continuous learning organization,” Gibeau remarked. “I’ve had a long career in gaming and you learn everything you can from every launch, whether it’s a success or it doesn’t hit its potential. I think some of the learnings from Dawn of Titans actually informed the decision on Mafia. Dawn of Titans was a game that had been in soft launch for an extraordinarily long time, it had been under development for a very long time, and the key learning from me coming into that project was a sharper decision making tree for how we go through different stages of development.

“On Mafia Wars we really looked at how we went into soft launch, what were our goals, and what did the category look like overall and what did it take to compete? Because we don’t want to be in a category if we can’t be a one or a two. We want to be in that position – otherwise we should use our talent and our dollars in a different way, because mobile games is a tough category. You can’t be everywhere. So when we looked at Mafia Wars, we gave it a healthy soft launch and we just didn’t see the KPIs. When we looked at what it was going to take to get it into position to be a number one or number two game against some of the big competition that’s out there, it didn’t feel like the right decision. It felt like we could redeploy those individuals, those talented people and those dollars on other ideas that would help Zynga grow faster and in a more predictable way.”

Gibeau added that knowing when to scrap a game is actually a very important part of the process for the best mobile companies.

“It’s always hard to stop development,” he continued. “You have to be really sober sometimes and say we have to take hope out. What can we actually achieve? And if we’re not going to get to that level of performance then you make the call. And you want to do it in a way that is timely and that you don’t drag it out, which was the key learning for me on Dawn of Titans; we could have been more decisive earlier in the development process. So that’s what we did. We believe in the Mafia Wars brand as a universe and it’s something that we’ll probably come back to in another time, maybe in a different category with a different design. But we thank the team for their hard work. Honestly, killing a game in soft launch is a strength in a lot of ways of an organization. If you look at some of the developers out there they talk about the number of games that they bring into soft [launch] that they don’t finish.”

All that being said, Gibeau insists that Dawn of Titans isn’t about to get its plug pulled. There’s a lot of potential there, and Zynga is confident that the game will get there.

“If you look at Dawn of Titans, it did have a tremendous amount of expectations over the years,” Gibeau said. “We put it out, and it hit a certain level of performance and it’s kind of leveled out in terms of audience and retention. We’ve been looking at the game very carefully and what we keep coming back to is that we think it’s a high quality experience, we think it’s got great intellectual property and we think the team has the capability of really bringing that potential out. It hasn’t really done it yet, and if it gets to a point where we don’t believe it can reach its full potential then we’ll do something else. But we are not there.

“There is a long track record of mobile games that come out and find there way and eventually have a breakthrough and they leap into the charts. I’ve been on some of those games. We believe in Dawn of Titans, we’re committed to the franchise, we’re making prioritized decisions right now to make sure the features that we’re putting in the game are what the players want most… Candidly, we wish we were further along but it doesn’t change the focus and it doesn’t change the commitment. We just had a review on the product last week and I like the plan that they have going forward so we’re going to stick with it.”

NaturalMotion is a very talented studio, so what is it about Dawn of Titans versus CSR that’s enabling one to thrive while the other just barely keeps its head above water?

“I think CSR benefited from the fact that it was a sequel and the racing category has a lot more knowns in terms of design decisions,” Gibeau explained. “It had an approach and a reputation and an audience expectation that they were able to execute upon. That’s why I’m so bullish on NaturalMotion and Dawn of Titans; I see all the goodness of CSR2 and I know we can get there. So from my perspective, it’s a real-time strategy game on mobile that has a very different play mechanic compulsion loop than CSR2. It’s an obviously very different experience, not just a genre difference, but just the core experience. And it was a new team [whereas] the CSR team had been together for a while… If we can get CSR and Dawn of Titans to be operating at the same level of performance that’s going to be great.”

Apart from updates on its portfolio, Gibeau also talked about how his company is striving to get costs down all around. The firm has reduced R&D expenditures, and importantly in the expensive city that is San Francisco, Zynga has managed to find a long-term tenant for its building: AirBnB.

“Our R&D cost is down about 10 points y-o-y as a percentage of revenue, and we’ve been investing in India and some new locations like Finland that’s really starting to come to scale,” Gibeau noted. “And we also are a building owner as you might know, and sometimes part of my job is being a landlord, so we were real fortunate to in sign a 9-year lease with AirBnB. Our footprint in San Francisco is a lot smaller than it was when we IPO’d so bringing in a group like AirBnB to be a partner in the building as a tenant was really a big milestone for us because it helps us get a lot more efficient in terms of how we are as a company.”

Looking forward, Gibeau expressed some interest in the mobile VR/AR trend but Zynga doesn’t have anything to announce yet. High-end VR still isn’t mainstream, but mobile VR is gaining more traction thanks to Samsung Gear and Google Daydream. And now that Apple is getting into the AR mix with its ARkit for iOS, Gibeau is optimistic that the category will yield some opportunities.

“One of the reasons I’m so excited about our potential as a company is that mobile is the most dynamic gaming platform out there,” he said. “It’s the biggest, it’s continuing to grow and I think it has a tremendous amount of innovation in front it as highlighted by the VR/AR stuff but also in chat, and in platform innovations from Google and Apple, and they’re constant. So from my perspective we want to have a very nimble company at this level where we’re not missing out on the next big thing, the next big innovation.

“There’s an old saying that we have, which is ‘Transition is our friend.’ So we want to look forward to those things. And AR is definitely something we’re looking at. I’m less bullish on VR on mobile right now – I’m more bullish on AR, just because of the context and how you use the device… [Pokemon GO developer] Niantic has done a tremendous job in making AR not a gimmick but actually a core part of the experience. I think we’re scratching the surface of what’s going to be possible there.”

For the third quarter, Zynga has provided guidance of $210 million in revenues, net income of $7 million, bookings of $205 million and adjusted EBITDA (including the impact of changes in deferred revenue) of $30 million. Zynga did caution, however, that some of its growth could be “offset by declines in our web and older games, as well as continued softness in advertising.” Zynga also has found that seasonality plays a part, as Q3 has historically had dips in player activity on live services, the company said.

Courtesy-GI.biz

Does Windows 10 Support Intel’s Atom Chip

July 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

While most people expected that Windows 10 would last a while, it appears that some Intel users will not get feature updates.

ZDNet’s Ed Bott has written that systems built around Intel’s Clover Trail Atom processors are blocked from installing Windows 10 Version 1703, known as the Creators Update.

For those with the memory of goldfish, Intel’s Clover Trail Atom processors are generally low-cost, low-power machines released between 2012 and 2015. The devices that the chips are installed would end up broken or at the bottom of the wardrobe. However if you do try to install Windows 10 on the machine you will get the message that “the chip is no longer supported on this PC”.

Clover Trail machines were shipped with Windows 8 or 8.1. If their owners had kept Windows 8.1, they’d be eligible for the regular 5+5 support policy, with security updates ceasing on October 1, 2023. But the machines were deemed compatible with Windows 10 and hence eligible for the free upgrade that Microsoft offered to Windows 8.1 users for the first year of Windows 10’s release.

What is starting to look like happening is that rather than Windows 10 lasting on your machine forever, Vole is tying its software upgrades to hardware improvements. So your current computer might be able to run future versions of Windows 10, but Vole will not let you upgrade it until you get a better chip.

Each Windows 10 update will receive security fixes for just 18 months. Version 1607, the latest that these Clover Trail machines can install, will drop out of support in early 2018. After that date, they’ll cease to receive any patches at all.

The following Intel Clover Trail processors are currently not supported on Windows 10 Creators Update: Atom Z2760, Atom Z2520, Atom Z2560 and Atom Z2580.

However the issue is not because of an evil pact between Vole and the hardware industry. Clover Trail’s GPU was a non-Intel GPU designed by Imagination Technologies which has made driver development and support a nightmare.

Later Atom processors used Intel’s own GPU designs, a move that should simplify their ongoing support.

Courtesy-Fud

NBC To Host Daily News Show On Snapchat

July 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Comcast Corp’s NBC News plans to offer a twice-per-day news show on Snapchat, the company said on Wednesday, part of its push to attract younger viewers who tend to watch TV on mobile devices.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal invested $500 million in Snapchat owner Snap Inc  during its initial public offering as it seeks to boost its digital offering.

Broadcast news outlets like NBC News face an aging audience. The median age of NBC Nightly News, for example, is 64 years old, according to the Nielsen ratings agency. That is much older than the 18-to-34-year-old demographic that advertisers covet.

Last month, NBC News launched a digital video service, called “NBC Left Field” featuring short documentaries to appeal to social media users.

“This is a concerted effort that is crucial to our future,” said Nick Ascheim, head of digital at NBC News.

“Stay Tuned” will focus on issues of the day and will air at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. EDT on weekdays and 1 p.m. EDT on weekends. The show will also air for specific breaking news events.

The launch of the daily news show comes amid increasing investor skepticism about Snap’s ability to grow and compete with Facebook Inc’s Instagram.

Is Intel Abandoning The IoT Arena

July 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

For ages Intel has been banging on about the Internet of Things and how it will be the saviour of the chip business.

It seemed that Intel, having been too late to take advantage of the mobile boom, wanted to be in place when the Internet of the Things arrived.

However, Intel of late, appears to be withdrawing some of its enthusiasm. It is discontinuing its Galileo, Joule, and Edison lineups of development boards. The chip maker quietly made the announcement and now appears to be letting 130 people go from its IoT teams.

Intel plans to lay off 97 people at its corporate headquarters in Santa Clara and up to 40 more in Ireland as the chipmaker makes cuts to its Internet of Things group.

Intel’s IoT group provided $721 million in revenue in the first quarter of the year, up nearly 11 percent from the prior year. But IoT accounted for less than five percent of Intel’s sales.

Curiously, Intel hasn’t yet scrapped Curie, its platform for wearable devices. But given that the wearable market is at a standstill, it might not be long before Intel exits this market segment too.

But it is looking like Intel is falling back to its default PC/Server chips and has no plan to do anything else.

Courtesy-Fud

Toshiba Launches 4-bit NAND Flash Memory

July 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Toshiba has announced the latest generation of 3D flash memory, the 4-bit-per-cell, quadruple-level cell (QLC) technology NAND flash memory.

Thanks to the QLC technology, which features a 64-layer stacked cell structure, Toshiba managed to hit the world’s largest die capacity of 768Gb/96GB. This also enables a 1.5TB (terabyte) device with a 16-die stacked architecture in a single package, which is also a 50 percent increase in capacity per package compared to the earlier generation.

Since QLC NAND flash suffers from the same, if not worse issues as the MLC NAND, which is how to push data into a single cell without affecting the reliability and performance, it remains to be seen if SSDs based on QLC NAND flash memory will actually hit the cost/performance sweet spot.

We suspect that these drives will mostly be focused on data centers, where lower power consumption and footprint are a premium, but eventually we will see it in other markets.

According to Toshiba, samples of the QLC device started shipping earlier in June to SSD and SSD controller vendors for evaluation and development purposes while further samples will be showcased at the upcoming Flash Memory Summit 2017 in August.

Courtesy-Fud

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