Alphabet Inc’s Google unit and automakers express their dissatisfaction with California’s proposals to set new, mandatory rules for testing self-driving cars in the state, which industry officials said could hobble their efforts in the home to much of self-driving vehicle testing and development.
Automakers and Google raised a litany of concerns about California’s proposal at a hearing in Sacramento on Wednesday. They expressed opposition to the state proposal to require compliance with guidelines that federal regulators issued last month, but made voluntary.
They questioned why California would require a new autonomous vehicle data recorder and what data they would be required to test, and they objected to a proposal they said would force a 12-month delay between testing a vehicle and deploying it on public roads.
Automakers also questioned whether police should be able to get any self-driving data within 24 hours without seeking a warrant or subpoena.
California regulatory policy is important to automakers and technology companies because of its impact on operations in the state, and because the policies enacted in the most populous U.S. state often influence what other states and other countries do.
The proposed requirement that manufacturers generate a year of driverless testing data before applying for an operating permit drew objections from General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG, Honda Motor Co, Ford Motor Co, and Google.
The state’s approach “could greatly delay the benefits that self-driving vehicles can bring to safety and mobility for individuals,” said David Strickland, who heads the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets that includes Google, Ford, Lyft, Uber Technologies Inc and Volvo Car Group.
Brian Soublet, deputy director of the California DMV, said Wednesday the department wants concrete suggestions to help improve its proposal. Soublet said the department will be considering potential changes over the next several months but he did not give a timetable for finalizing the rules.
“The goal is making sure that we can get this life-saving technology out on the streets,” Soublet said.
California’s proposal would allow for the absence of a human driver and a steering wheel in advanced self-driving cars. In December, California had proposed to require licensed drivers and controls in self-driving vehicles.
Ron Medford, director of safety for Google’s self-driving car project, said California’s proposal to require manufacturers to obtain local approval is “unworkable.” The rule could prevent manufacturers from testing a vehicle that can travel from one area to another.
Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog urged California to prohibit autonomous vehicles without a human driver until federal regulators enact enforceable standards.
The fourth-quarter impact on Samsung Electronics’ operating profit will be “in the mid-2 trillion won range,” the company said in a press release early Friday. Using the midpoint of 2.5 trillion South Korean won, that would be about $2.2 billion. The damage will continue in the first quarter of next year, with an impact of about 1 trillion won, Samsung said.
The company announced Tuesday it had permanently stopped production of the Note7. It had launched a recall of the phone just weeks after it went on sale because of fires and explosions that destroyed some of the devices. Then, some replacement units it sent out as part of the recall had the same problem.
Also on Friday, the company said it would make significant changes in its quality assurance processes to enhance product safety for consumers.
Samsung didn’t forecast how the Note7 incident would affect sales in the coming quarters, but said it will “normalize” its mobile business by expanding sales of other high-end phones, such as the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.
On Wednesday, the company estimated the Note7 problem would cut about 2.6 trillion won out of a third-quarter operating profit of 7.8 trillion won. It also expects to report revenue of about 47 trillion won, down from the 49 trillion won it had forecast earlier.
The Tame Apple Press has been claiming that almost all the Galaxy Note 7 customers would defect to Apple’s iPhone 7, but a new survey suggests that less than 12 percent of them are thinking like this, and that number is shrinking by the day.
Branding Brand conducted a second survey of 1,000 Samsung smartphone owners from October 11-12 to compare consumer confidence to its earlier study, conducted on September 23.
It seems that only 40 percent of Note7 users have had enough of Samsung and want to go somewhere else. Given what has happened, this is a rather small figure and of that 40 percent, less than a third are moving to something Applish. This figure is down from an earlier survey which was conducted after the first recall.
As expected most Samsung users will go with another Android phone (up to 62 percent from 57 percent) and eight percent thought they would buy a Google Pixel. Given that is not really out yet we are not even sure why this option was in the survey. The Pixel is another Android device that means that Apple is going to get only 12 percent of the total Samsung users. More than 88 per cent of Note 7 users will either stay wilt Samsung or Android.
Chris Mason, co-founder and CEO of Branding Brand said:
“As we’ve watched the Galaxy Note7 recall and discontinuation play out, even more people say they will switch their smartphone brand. Consumers want to be confident in their personal safety and will choose a new smartphone accordingly. Only a week after Google’s smartphone launch, many already have their sights set on the Pixel.”
The assorted throngs at Valve’s Steam Dev Days developer conference had a chance to play with the new gear although the press were banned from taking photos. Apparently some members of the great unwashed who were not showing their press cards managed to tweet pictures of them playing with the new controllers before HTC bouncers could stop them.
The controller is smaller than the current Vive controller and it strap to the player’s palm, so users can open their hands without dropping them. HTC said there are 21 sensors on the current prototype but was managing to keep all other technical details under wraps.
Personally we are not impressed with this line of technology. Strapping on armour to play a game, or do anything important is not really the way VR should work. These remind us a little too much like handcuffs, and while that is great for watching sometime of VR porn, it will not be useful for the rest of the time.
It would be much better if they did everything with external cameras which track your every movement and limit the number of censors you have to wear. Making the user look like an idiot will always be a big handicap for VR and this sort of thing does not help.
Samsung Electronics has begun offering financial incentives for U.S. and South Korea customers who turn in their Note 7s for other products or refund them, as the tech giant scrambles to shore up its reputation in the wake of a damaging safety crisis.
The consumer electronics company is also expanding a U.S. recall of the fire-prone model to a total 1.9 million Note 7 phones, which includes the 1 million Galaxy Note 7s it recalled on Sept. 15.
The South Korean giant is in damage-control mode as rivals like Apple Inc and LG Electronics try to steal market share from the global smartphone leader after it was forced to scrap its latest high-end device.
Samsung is boosting its marketing and promotional efforts around other Galaxy-series smartphones to cushion the blow from the demise of the premium Note 7, which it finally abandoned this week after failing to resolve overheating problems which caused some of the phones to ignite.
Samsung said on Thursday it is offering up to $100 in bill credit to consumers who exchange their Note 7s for any Samsung smartphone in the U.S.
U.S. customers who exchange their Note 7s for a refund or other branded smartphone will receive $25 in bill credit.
“We appreciate the patience of our consumers, carriers and retail partners for carrying the burden during these challenging times,” said Tim Baxter, president and chief operating officer, Samsung Electronics America.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to make this right.”
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday the Note 7’s “battery can overheat and catch fire, posing serious fire and burn hazard to consumers.”
It added that Samsung has received 96 reports of batteries in Note 7 phones overheating in the U.S., including 23 new reports since the Sept. 15 recall announcement.
In the U.S., Samsung began sending fireproof boxes and protective gloves to customers returning potentially explosive Note 7s, drawing humorous barbs from social media commentators.
The company has commenced offering similar financial incentives in its home market of South Korea, which it says would compensate consumers for their “big inconvenience.”
After days of heavy losses, Samsung’s shares ended 1.4 percent higher on Thursday while the broader market fell 0.9 percent.
On Wednesday, the firm slashed its quarterly profit estimate by $2.3 billion to reflect the impact of the Note 7 withdrawal, giving some investors hope that the financial cost of the debacle had been largely accounted for.
“We are confident the 3Q 16 re-statement puts to bed the direct financial impact of the Note 7 recall and termination,” UBS said in a report.
“In the near-term, we believe investors will re-focus on shareholders returns ahead of full 3Q results Oct 27th.”
Just moments after Samsung officially confirmed that it is stopping production of Note 7 and halting all sales, the first realistic Galaxy S8 rumors have emerged.
According to a leak on the Weibo social network there will be two variants of the Galaxy S8 – the 5.1-inch and 5.5 inch. We are quite sure that the 5.5-inch version comes with an edge shaped screen and it is likely to be imaginatively called the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge.
According to the leak, both versions of the S8 will use Super Amoled screens. The 5.1 version comes with a QHD (2560×1440) while the 5.5 version might have a 4K display.
As we indicated before, there will be two processers powering the Galaxy S8 phones. One is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 while the other is the Exynos 8895. The Snapdragon 830 can be safely called the 10nm successor of Snapdragon 820. The Exynos 8895 will likely use the same processor.
It is likely that Samsung will offer Exynos powered phones in the European market and leave us with a less attractive modem. The US and some other markets will end up with the better Qualcomm variant.
The Galaxy S8 comes with two main cameras, that is the current trend for high end phones and it will incorporate the UFS 2.1 flash storage.
One not so surprising announcement is that the Samsung’s S Voice might be replaced by the Viv assistant. Samsung just bought Viv – the digital assistant that was created by one of the people who gave the world Siri.
Most of the leaked information make sense, but again, we will have to wait and see if the information is really accurate. It would make a lot of sense to see Galaxy S8 phones with the specifications mentioned above. Some colleagues are confident that the phone may launch on February 26 2017. We are confident the launch might take place a day or two before the Mobile World Congress 2017, that takes place in Barcelona and starts on 27 February.
Samsung Electronics Co cut its quarterly profit estimate by a third on Wednesday, absorbing a $2.3 billion hit from ditching its flagship smartphone in what could be one of the costliest product safety failures in tech history.
Quantifying the financial pain of Tuesday’s move to scrap the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after a global recall and weeks of mounting problems, the world’s top smartphone maker said it expects its July-September operating profit was 5.2 trillion won ($4.7 billion), down from the 7.8 trillion won it estimated five days ago.
Samsung said in a statement the 2.6 trillion won ($2.3 billion) guidance cut reflects the sales and earning impact it currently expects from the decision to permanently halt sales of the $882 Note 7 device. Its third-quarter revenue estimate was also cut to 47 trillion won from 49 trillion won previously.
The new earnings guidance is 30 percent below third-quarter 2015’s operating profit, and left investors and analysts pondering the longer impact on Samsung’s brand and earnings. Rival suppliers of smartphones that use the Android operating system, like Samsung’s, stand to benefit if the Note 7 damage drive consumers elsewhere.
“It’s possible there could be additional profit impact in the fourth quarter but it likely won’t be as large as the third quarter,” said Park Jung-hoon, a fund manager at HDC Asset Management, which owns shares in Samsung. “I think it’s possible for fourth-quarter profits to come in as much as the high 7 trillion won range.”
Samsung shares ended down 0.7 percent on Wednesday, with the Seoul market closing before the earnings guidance cut was announced.
According to new estimates from Digitimes Research, the recently announced Google Pixel smartphone is expected to reach 3 to 4 million shipments in the second half of this year, giving a 10 percent increase in HTC’s total smartphone shipments from the first half.
Google’s latest Pixel and Pixel XL devices come in 5-inch and 5.2-inch display sizes and feature a quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor, a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front camera and look very similar to Apple’s iPhone from an aesthetic perspective. Pricing is also very similar, as the Pixel starts at $649 for 32GB and the Pixel XL starts at $769, while the iPhone 7 is also $649 for 32GB and the iPhone 7 Plus is $769 for 32GB.
Performance similar to Snapdragon 820 devices
Recently, the performance of the latest Snapdragon 821-powered flagship Android devices has become a recent site of investigation, When averaging the top eight Geekbench 4.0.1 scores sorted by multi-core performance, the results show the Pixel and Pixel XL receiving scores of around 1,603 single-core and 4,106 multi-core, still lower on average than the iPhone 6S (2,506 / 4,320). Meanwhile, the A10-powered iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus manage scores of around 3,473 single-core and 5,707 multi-core.
For the most part, the Pixel and Pixel XL seem more in line with the HTC 10 (1,745 / 3,961) and LG G5 (1,699 / 4,108), both of which feature the Snapdragon 820 with 2.15GHz high-performance cores and 1.6GHz power-efficient cores. The Snapdragon 821 features two 2.4GHz high-performance cores and two 2GHz power-efficient cores, meaning Google’s Pixel smartphones should be at least 10 percent faster than these devices, but this does not seem to be the case in this benchmarking utility for now.
Battery life is another story entirely, and this is where the Snapdragon 821 shows improvement over Snapdragon 820 devices including the previous Nexus 5X and 6P. Internet browsing over LTE improves by 60.2 percent over the Nexus 5X and 30 percent over the 6P, while talk time improves about 30 percent over the Nexus 5X and 13 percent over the 6P, according to a list compiled independently by Reddit user TyGamer125.
Pixel, Pixel XL will be 40 to 50 percent of HTC shipments
Meanwhile, Google’s launch of the HTC-manufactured Pixel smartphones is projected to increase HTC’s total handset shipments to around 6.5 and 7 million units by the end of the year, up from between 5.8 and 6.1 million units in the first half.
According to Luke Lin, a senior analyst at Digitimes Research, Pixel shipments should account for around 40 to 50 percent of HTC’s total smartphone shipments in the second half of this year.
Oculus VR has introduced new Oculus Earphones which it claims will give “next-level audio integration,”
The outfit added that they will be a “new sound solution to satisfy even the most serious audiophiles.” We have grave doubts about that from the outset.
Any audiophile will dismiss earbuds in any shape simply on principle, particularly when they are priced at $49. Earbuds which lost lesst han $50 will be the audiophone equivalent of listening to sound between two bean tins attached with a piece of string. The fact that these are being touted as an improvement on the Company’s Rift VR headset there is now worries me – it means that the sound is currently as a Justin Beiber concert but you can get an upgrade so that it sounds like a Céline Dion concert held in a rubbish skip.
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, who announced them at the third-annual Oculus Connect developers conference in San Jose, CA.
Oculus Earphones will be available to buy from 6 December, though you can pre-order them starting 10 October on Oculus.com. There’s no word yet on pricing or availability outside of the US.
Shipments of devices ran by Apple’s and Microsoft’s operating systems will end 2016 down from the year before. But Apple’s will recover next year, while Microsoft’s will continue with growth challenges, research firm Gartner said this week.
In 2017, Apple’s combination of iOS and macOS — the former powering iPhones, the latter Macs — will have taken second place from Windows on the devices shipped during the year. The gap between the two will widen slightly in 2018.
According to Gartner, which provided Computerworld with its forecast broken out by operating system, Windows will power about 260 million devices shipped in 2016, a 12% decline year-over-year. The 260 million represents 11.2% of the total of 2.3 billion total devices, which overwhelmingly run Google’s Android.
Gartner has progressively downsized its estimates of total devices shipped and Windows’ portion of those shipments, throughout 2015 and 2016. In March 2016, for example, the research firm projected that more than 2.4 billion devices would ship this year, and that Windows would power 283 million, or 11.7% of the total.
Microsoft’s shrinking share of the operating system market has been both ongoing and well documented. This year, however, Windows took a new hit as Microsoft quit the battle with Apple and Google when it walked away from the smartphone business.
But Windows now has company: Gartner also downgraded its 2016 forecast for Apple’s operating systems.
In 2016, iOS and macOS will account for 259 million of the year’s shipped devices, or 11.1% of the total. The 259 million represents a 7% decline from 2015’s 276 million, and is down 14% from the March 2016 forecast. The cause: Soft sales of the iPhone, Apple’s dominant device, by far.
iOS and macOS, however, will recover in 2017, Gartner predicted, climbing 9% to 280 million — admittedly only a few million more than during 2015 — and adding 3% in 2018 to reach 290 million.
Under the latest Gartner forecast, Windows should drop another 3%, to 253 million, in 2017, then claw back a half a percentage point to 254 million in 2018.
Overall, Gartner’s latest forecast was gloomier for almost every device category than earlier estimates.
A U.S. senator and civil groups critical of surveillance practices is demanding the government to release a 2015 order by a secret court directing Yahoo to scan all its users’ incoming email, saying it appeared to involve new interpretations of at least two important legal issues.
Their concerns center on the nature of the technical assistance the court required Yahoo to provide and the scope of the search that legal experts said appeared to cover the Silicon Valley internet company’s entire network.
Yahoo installed a custom software program to search messages to hundreds of millions of accounts at the behest of U.S. intelligence officials with an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret tribunal, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
They were looking for messages containing a single piece of digital content, three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events told Reuters.
Intelligence officials told Reuters that all Yahoo had to do was modify existing systems for stopping child pornography from being sent through its email or filtering spam messages.
But the pornography filters are aimed only at video and still images and cannot search text, as the Yahoo program did. The spam filters, meanwhile, are viewable by many employees who curate them, and there is no confusion about where they sit in the software stack and how they operate.
The court-ordered search Yahoo conducted, on the other hand, was done by a module attached to the Linux kernel – in other words, it was deeply buried near the core of the email server operating system, far below where mail sorting was handled, according to three former Yahoo employees.
They said that made it hard to detect and also made it hard to figure out what the program was doing.
How much companies can be forced to do to comply with government orders for searching data is being debated in the courts. Companies have successfully argued that changes that would degrade users’ experience or force them to write new code, essentially a form of speech, would violate basic rights.
Most famously, Apple refused to write code that would unlock an iPhone belonging to a gunman in last year’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. The FBI later dropped its demand.
In the case of Yahoo, company security staff discovered a software program that was scanning email but ended an investigation when they found it had been approved by Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer, the sources said.
Lawmakers are concerned about the request and whether information about it is being properly disclosed to the public.
“Recent reports of a mass-email scanning program have alleged that federal law is being interpreted in ways that many Americans would find surprising and troubling,” said Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a member of the intelligence committee and frequent critic of government surveillance programs.
Software king of the world Microsoft will not support the upcoming Intel Cannonlake and Coffeelake CPU architectures in its current Long-Term Servicing Branch version of Windows 10.
Vole has said that users who want support for the next generation Intel CPUs will require a regular ‘current branch’ Windows 10 version.
The next update of Windows 10 LTSB will appear in 2019, but before that happens Intel will release two new CPU architectures.
The LTSB version of Windows 10 is designed for long term support of hardware and software. It receives security updates but doesn’t get any new features, including no support for newer hardware.
Michael Niehaus, Director of Product Marketing at Microsoft, told Heise.de the company is aware of the problem but, “officially every new CPU and chipset requires a new version of Windows, which is the same for LTSB versions.”
“In the past you only needed new drivers to support new CPUs and chipsets, however nowadays chipsets need specific setting in the operating system to work with reasonable performance and battery life.”
This means that users of the current LTSB build 1607 can’t use any of the new CPUs and Intel Cannonlake and Coffeelake architectures will only be supported by ‘current branch’ Windows 10 versions, such as installed on most computers.
Normally new LTSB versions are released every two or three years, however Microsoft also released an update for together with the Anniversary Update. The first LTSB version saw the light in 2015 together with the RTM version of Windows 10.
The rumor mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn which claims that the maker of the Thinkpad, Lenovo, is about to swallow up Fujitsu.
Nikkei Asian Review claims Lenovo is in talks with Fujitsu to acquire its PC division, which would make the largest computer maker worldwide even bigger.
The two companies aim to reach a deal this month. One proposal would have the Fujitsu group transfer its PC design, development and manufacturing operations to a Lenovo-led joint venture. Another option involves Lenovo taking a majority stake in Fujitsu’s PC subsidiary. About 2,000 Fujitsu employees likely would shelter under Lenovo’s umbrella.
Japan-based Fujitsu shipped four million PCs worldwide in its last fiscal year, but that division of the company also lost $96.5 million during that time period as well. A proposal to merge Fujitsu’s PC business with Vaio and Toshiba’s computer division fell apart earlier this year.
The court said that there was substantial evidence for the jury verdict related to Samsung’s infringement of Apple patents on its slide-to-unlock and auto-correct features, as well as quick links, which automatically turn information like addresses and phone numbers into links.
Friday’s decision was made by the full slate of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. In an 8-3 ruling, the judges said that a previous panel of the same court should not have overturned the verdict last February.
The three-judge panel did not follow U.S. Supreme Court limits on the scope of its review, because it examined evidence outside the record of the case, the decision said.
Representatives for Samsung and Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.
The appeal stems from a May 2014 verdict from a federal court in San Jose, California, which ordered Samsung to pay $119.6 million for using the Apple features without permission.
Infringement of the quick links feature accounted for nearly $99 million of the damages.
The jury had also found that Apple infringed a Samsung patent on digital photo technology and awarded $158,400 in damages. Friday’s decision upholds that award.
The two companies have been battling over mobile device technology patents for years, with Apple mostly prevailing.
In December, Samsung paid Apple $548.2 million stemming from a separate patent case. Part of that dispute has been appealed to the Supreme Court, which will hear it on Tuesday.
The case is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 15-1171.
Samsung expected to report a higher than expected third quarter profit, despite having to write off a fortune because of the global recall of its Galaxy Note 7.
Analysts think that healthy sales of memory chips and displays eased the pain of the recall, although that could cost the firm nearly $5 billion this year.
But a pickup in the memory chip market will buttress earnings, company watchers say. Wall Street analysts think that July-September operating profit to have edged up 0.7 percent from a year earlier to $6.65 billion.
Samsung will report its estimates for third-quarter revenue and operating profit, without further details, on Friday. If Wall Street is correct in its predictions, then the world will move on from the recall and it will never be mentioned again.
Analysts have lowered their expectations for Samsung’s mobile division since the Sept. 2 recall made global headlines. Samsung’s chips division is expected to make a quarterly operating profit of $2,694,480,000 or more – its highest in four quarters.
The semiconductors uptrend was more pronounced for NAND memory chips – used for long-term data storage – as demand started to outpace supply during the quarter due to orders from Apple and Chinese smartphone makers. Demand for solid-state drive storage chips for mobile devices also grew.
Samsung’s display business earnings also likely picked up some of the slack from the mobile division thanks to increasing adoption of its organic light-emitting diode displays (OLED) by rising Chinese smartphone makers such as OPPO and VIVO.