Such a number would be required to provide reliable Internet access to users in remote areas that are currently unserved by terrestrial networks, said Mike Cassidy, the Google engineer in charge of the project, in a video post.
The ambitious project has been under way for a couple of years and involves beaming down LTE cellular signals to handsets on the ground from balloons thousands of feet in the air, well above the altitude that passenger jets fly.
“At first it would take us 3 or 4 days to tape together a balloon,” Cassidy says in the video. “Today, through our own manufacturing facility, the automated systems can get a balloon produced in just a few hours. We’re getting close to the point where we can roll out thousands of balloons.”
Trials are currently underway with Telstra in Australia, Telefonica in Latin America and with Vodafone in New Zealand, where the video appears to have been largely shot. Maps tracking the path of balloons over the country are seen at several points in the video.
At a European conference in March, a Google executive said the balloons were staying aloft for up to 6 months at a time.
At some point they do come down, and Cassidy says the company has developed a system to predict where they will land and to retrieve them.
It has also worked on a reliable launching system.
Google hasn’t provided any details about what a commercial roll-out of the technology might look like.
As the senior mobile marketing manager, the candidate will “lead marketing for Firefox on both Android and iOS,” the listing stated, adding that “a new Firefox for iOS application [will be] arriving soon.”
Mozilla, which had previously staunchly declined to create a version of its iconic browser for iOS, changed its tune last December, when a company manager said that the open-source developer would “get Firefox on iOS.”
Although Mozilla confirmed that it was working on Firefox for iOS, at the time it gave no hint of a timeline. “We are in the early stages of experimenting with something that allows iOS users to be able to choose a Firefox-like experience,” Mozilla said in a Dec. 2 blog.
Mozilla’s Github repository for iOS Firefox confirmed that.
The reasons for Mozilla’s renewed interest in iOS likely stemmed from Firefox’s decline in browser user share. Over the last 12 months, Firefox has shed 31% of its desktop user share by metrics vendors’ Net Applications count, and now has less than half the share of Google’s Chrome.
Mozilla has put its shoulder behind other mobile initiatives. But Firefox OS, an open-source mobile operating system based on the browser, has not yet gained significant traction and its Firefox browser for Android hasn’t moved the needle. According to Net Applications, Firefox’s usage share on mobile was just 0.7% last month, or about one sixty-sixth that of Safari.
Russian hackers have been taking advantage of vulnerabilities in popular Adobe and Microsoft software to gather government information, US security firm FireEye has claimed.
The company’s latest report said that it detected a limited advanced persistent threat campaign targeting zero-day vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash and Microsoft Windows which started on 13 April.
FireEye said that the group’s goal is to find information about government, military and security organizations which is “likely to benefit the Russian government”.
Researchers using the security firm’s Dynamic Threat Intelligence Cloud software detected the pattern of attacks through a “correlation of technical indicators and command and control infrastructure”, and believes that APT28 is “probably responsible” for this activity.
Adobe has since patched the CVE-2015-3043 vulnerability in APSB15-06.
Microsoft is aware of the outstanding local privilege escalation vulnerability in Windows, named CVE-2015-1701, but has not yet issued a patch.
FireEye said that updating Adobe Flash to the latest version will render the exploit harmless because it has seen CVE-2015-1701 in use only in conjunction with the Adobe Flash exploit for CVE-2015-3043.
The Flash exploit is served from unobfuscated HTML/JS. The launcher page picks one of two Flash files to deliver depending on the target’s platform, for example Windows 32-bit or 64-bit.
“The payload exploits a local privilege escalation vulnerability in the Windows kernel if it detects that it is running with limited privileges,” explained FireEye.
“It uses the vulnerability to run code from userspace in the context of the kernel, which modifies the attacker’s process token to have the same privileges as that of the system process.”
The APT28 attackers relied heavily on the CVE-2014-0515 metasploit module to conduct these new exploits, FireEye said.
CVE-2014-0515 exploits a vulnerability in Flash’s Shader processing, whereas CVE-2015-3043 exploits a vulnerability in Flash’s FLV processing.
Users are advised to patch their Flash software as soon as possible to protect against the vulnerability.
FireEye said last week that a Chinese hacking group called APT 30 spied on Asian governments for over a decade.
The group was discovered and detailed by FireEye in a report which claimed that it has been spying on Asia Pacific countries’ governments from as far back as 2004.
The security firm said that APT 30 takes a special interest in political developments in Southeast Asia and India, and is particularly active during Association of Southeast Asian Nations summits.
It also focuses on regional issues and territorial disputes between China, India and Southeast Asian countries.
AMD’s Embedded R-Series accelerated processing unit, previously codenamed “Bald Eagle,” is powering Samsung’s latest set-back-box digital media players.
AMD’s Embedded R-Series accelerated processing unit, previously codenamed “Bald Eagle,” is powering Samsung’s latest set-back-box digital media players.
Bald Eagle was designed for high performance at low power with broad connectivity but mostly for digital signage.
It seems that new Samsung SBB-B64DV4 is intended for demanding signage applications that transform Samsung SMART Signage Displays into digital tools for a wide range of business needs.
The chipmaker claimed that by using its Embedded R-Series APUs, Samsung SBB media players for digital signage can manage HD graphics performance and support multivideo stream capabilities up to two displays, in a power efficient and ultra-compact form factor.
Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Embedded Solutions said that digital signage is a key vertical for the AMD Embedded business.
“The AMD Embedded R-Series APU enables leading digital signage providers to harness high levels of compute and graphics performance within a low-power design envelope. AMD Embedded Solutions help designers at Samsung achieve aggressive form factor goals and drive down system costs while providing the rich multimedia their digital signage customers’ demand,” he said.
The AMD Embedded RX-425BB APU combines an x86 CPU with an integrated, discrete-class AMD Radeon R6 graphics processing unit in a low-power configuration to minimize heat dissipation constraints and meet energy efficiency requirements.
The processor uses AMD’s latest Graphics Core Next architecture, created for advanced graphics applications and parallel processing capabilities.
Microsoft Corp has finally rolled out a long-awaited suite of touch-friendly Office apps that allow Windows phone users to work on Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents on their phones with touch commands and to transfer them easily between devices.
Test versions of what Microsoft is calling its Office Universal apps are available to download immediately and full versions will be available by the end of the month, Microsoft said.
Many Office users have waited months for Microsoft to introduce the apps, which adapt their look and commands to the device being used, whether Windows Phone or tablet.
Microsoft, in a departure from tradition, has already released similar touch-friendly Office apps for Apple Inc’s iPad and iPhone, and for tablets running Google Inc’s Android.
The company’s reasoning was that those popular devices, which have dominated mobile computing, represented a bigger and more lucrative market for its Office products than its own Windows mobile devices.
Basic functions are free for everyone, but for advanced editing features, users must pay for a subscription to Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based version of Office.
Microsoft is set to release a new version of Office for desktop PCs, and a new version of Windows, later this year.
Twitter.com has been redesigned to make content posted to the site more accessible to people who do not have accounts with the service. Those people can visit the site, and as of Wednesday they will find 18 tabs leading to streams of content on various topics, whether it be country singers, general news, or travel guides.
There’s also dozens of other curated streams of content accessible from links on the home page, with the content organized around more granular topics like U.S. federal agencies, art museums and wedding guides.
Previously, visitors to Twitter.com who did not have accounts were greeted with a sign-up page.
The changes come as Twitter faces continuing pressure to grow the number of people who use its site, and find new ways to make money off people who see its tweets and interact with them. Twitter ended the last quarter of 2014 with 288 million users who log in monthly — a 20 percent increase from the previous year, but the smallest annual growth rate Twitter ever reported.
One of Twitter’s biggest problems is that many people still don’t understand what it’s for.
With the redesigned home page, the company is trying to address this, by highlighting the site’s value as a source of real-time information and news. The tweets Twitter has selected for its new streams, the company says, come from some of the most popular accounts posting on those topics.
People without accounts still can’t do much to interact with the content. To reply to, re-tweet or “favorite” one of the tweets, the visitor is prompted to create an account. But with the redesign, Twitter hopes it might give the uninitiated enough bait to sign up.
And even without a flood of new sign-ups, Twitter’s new home page is likely to get more tweets in front of more people. That could give rise to new advertising methods around those tweets.
The new home page is available first in the U.S. on the desktop, Twitter said on Wednesday, though it will be arriving “to more places over time.”
Samsung Electronics has started mass production of what it claims is the industry’s first Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) PCIe solid state drive (SSD), which has an M.2 form factor for use in PCs and workstations.
Samsung said in an announcement that it is “the first in the industry” to bring NVMe SSDs to OEMs for the PC market.
The SM951-NVMe operates at low power in standby mode and is the most compact of any NVMe SSD out there, according to the firm.
“Our new NVMe SSD will allow for faster, ultra-slim notebook PCs with extended battery use, while accelerating the adoption of NVMe SSDs in the consumer marketplace,” said SVP of memory marketing Jeeho Baek.
“Samsung will continue to stay a critical step ahead of others in the industry in introducing a diversity of next-generation SSDs that contribute to an enhanced user experience through rapid popularisation of ultra-fast, highly energy-efficient, compact SSDs.”
Samsung has added an NVMe version of the SM951 SSD after making a AHCI-based PCIe 3.0 version available since early January. This, Samsung said, will form an even stronger SSD portfolio.
The new NVMe-based SM951 SSD boasts a sequential data read and write speed of up to 2,260MBps and 1,600MBps respectively, while taking advantage of the firm’s own controller technology.
“These performance figures are the industry’s most advanced, with speeds four and three times faster than those of a typical SATA-based M.2 SSD which usually moves data at up to 540MBps and 500MBps respectively,” Samsung added.
The drive achieves these high speeds by using four 8Gbps lanes of simultaneous data flow. This allows for a data transfer rate of 32Gbps and a maximum throughput of 4GBps, giving the new drive a huge advantage over SATA-based M.2 SSDs, which can only transfer data at up to 600MBps.
When it comes to random read operations, the SM951-NVMe can process 300,000 IOPS operations, which is more than twice as fast as the 130,000 rate of its AHCI-based predecessor, Samsung said, while being more than three times faster than the 97,000 IOPS of a SATA-based SSD.
“Meeting all M.2 form factor requirements, the drive’s thickness does not exceed 4mm. [It] also weighs less than 7g, which is lighter than two nickels and only a tenth the weight of a 2.5in SSD. Capacities are 512GB, 256GB and 128GB,” Samsung explained.
Samsung said that the company plans to incorporate 3D V-NAND technology into its NVMe SSD line-up, which could see even higher densities and performance.
Earlier this week HP unveiled the HP Z Turbo Drive G2, a storage solution featuring Samsung’s NVMe SSDs to process large datasets.
The HP Z Turbo Drive G2 PCIe SSD is said to deliver four times traditional SATA SSD performance at a similar cost to previous devices. This will allow workstation users to “super-charge” the productivity and creativity of workflows, according to HP.
MediaTek is working on two new tablet SoCs and one of them is rumored to be a $5 design.
The MT8735 looks like a tablet version of Mediatek’s smartphone SoCs based on ARM’s Cortex-A53 core. The chip can also handle LTE (FDD and TDD), along with 3G and dual-band WiFi. This means it should end up in affordable data-enabled tablets. There’s no word on the clocks or GPU.
The MT8163 is supposed to be the company’s entry-level tablet part. Priced at around $5, the chip does not appear to feature a modem – it only has WiFi and Bluetooth on board. GPS is still there, but that’s about it.
Once again, details are sketchy so we don’t know much about performance. However, this is an entry-level part, so we don’t expect miracles. It will have to slug it out with Alwinner’s $5 tablet SoC, which was announced a couple of months ago
According to a slide published by Mobile Dad, the MT8753 will be available later this month, but we have no timeframe for the MT8163.
But there’s nothing to see here as far as Torvalds is concerned. It’s just another day in the office. And all this in “Back To The Future II” year, as well.
Meanwhile under the bonnet, the community are already slaving away on Linux 4.1 which is expected to be a far more extensive release, with 100 code changes already committed within hours of Torvalds announcement of 4.0.
But there is already some discord in the ranks, with concerns that some of the changes to 4.1 will be damaging to the x86 compatibility of the kernel. But let’s let them sort that out amongst themselves.
After all, an anti-troll dispute resolution code was recently added to the Linux kernel in an effort to stop some of the more outspoken trolling that takes place, not least from Torvalds himself, according to some members of the community.
Talks with Intel broke down over the price, which Alteria management felt was too low. Cadian
Capital Management and TIG Advisors, have told Alteria to stop mucking about and talk turkey with Chipzilla.
In letters to Altera’s management, shareholders have raised concerns about the company’s ability to create value on its own that matches Intel’s offer, Bloomberg reported.
The company has agreed to resume takeover talks with Intel.
Some other large investors also have also sent letters, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Intel’s offered $50 per share range while Altera’s shares are currently worth $43.86 and valued at $13.2 billion. The stock has surged nearly 27 percent since merger talks was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in March.
Cadian was Altera’s 10th-largest shareholder, with a 2.77 percent stake. TIG owns about 1.5 percent of Altera’s outstanding shares, one of the people told Bloomberg. It looks like what will be Intel’s biggest buy out is back on again.
Samsung Electronics Co has put together a standalone team of about 200 employees to work exclusively on making screens for rival smartphone maker Apple Inc’s products, Bloomberg reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The team at Samsung Display Co, which provides screens for iPads and MacBooks, helps develop products and is only allowed to share information about Apple’s business within the group, Bloomberg said.
The team, formed on April 1, also helps with sales and Apple is now the biggest external customer for Samsung components, Bloomberg said.
Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock and a Samsung Display spokesman declined to comment on the report.
Samsung and Apple last year agreed to drop all patent litigation outside the United States, scaling down a protracted legal battle between the smartphone rivals.
The legal battle between the smartphone rivals began in the United States in 2011 when Apple accused Samsung of copying its iPhone designs. Samsung countered that Apple was using pieces of its wireless-transmission technology without permission.
Moore’s Law will be more relevant in the 20 years to come than it was in the past 50 as the Internet of Things (IoT) creeps into our lives, Intel has predicted.
The chip maker is marking the upcoming 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law on 19 April by asserting that the best is yet to come, and that the law will become more relevant in the next two decades as everyday objects become smaller, smarter and connected.
Moore’s Law has long been touted as responsible for most of the advances in the digital age, from personal computers to supercomputers, despite Intel admitting in the past that it wasn’t enough.
Named after Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor, Moore’s Law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit will double approximately every two years.
Moore wrote a paper in 1965 describing a doubling every year in the number of components per integrated circuit. He revised the forecast in 1975, doubling the time to two years, and his prediction has proved accurate.
The law now is used in the semiconductor industry to guide long-term planning and to set targets for research and development.
Many digital electronic devices and manufacturing developments are strongly linked to Moore’s Law, whether it’s microprocessor prices, memory capacity or sensors, all improving at roughly the same rate.
More recently, Intel announced the development of 3D NAND memory, which the company said was guided by Moore’s Law.
Intel senior fellow Mark Bohr said on a recent press call that, while Moore’s Law has been going strong for 50 years, he doesn’t see it slowing down, adding that Moore himself didn’t realise it would hold true for 50 years. Rivals such as AMD have also had their doubts.
“[Moore] thought it would push electronics into new spaces but didn’t realise how profound this would be, for example, the coming of the internet,” said Bohr.
“If you’re 20-something [the law] might seem somewhat remote and irrelevant to you, but it will be more relevant in the next 20 years than it was in the past 50, and may even dwarf this importance.
“We can see about 10 years ahead, so our research group has identified some promising options [for 7nm and 5nm] not yet fully developed, but we think we can continue Moore’s Law for at least another 10 years.”
Intel believes that upcoming tech will be so commonplace that it won’t even be a ‘thing’ anymore. It will “disappear” into all the places we inhabit and into clothing, into ingestible devices that improve our health, for example, and “it will just become part of our surroundings” without us even noticing it.
“We are moving to the last squares in the chess board, shrinking tech and making it more power efficient meaning it can go into everything around us,” said Bohr.
The Intel fellow describes the law as a positive move forward, but he also believes that we need to have a hard think about where we want to place it once products become smart as they can become targets for digital attacks.
“Once you put intelligence in every object round you, the digital becomes physical. [For example] if your toaster becomes connected and gets a virus it’s an issue, but not so important as if your car does,” he said.
“We have to think how we secure these endpoints and make sure security and privacy are considered upfront and built into everything we deploy.”
Bohr explained that continuing Moore’s Law isn’t just a matter of making chips smaller, as the technology industry has continually to innovate device structures to ensure that it continues.
“Moore’s Law is exponential and you haven’t seen anything yet. The best is yet to come. I’m glad to hand off to the next generation entering the workforce; to create new exciting experiences, products and services to affect the lives of billions of people on the planet,” added Bohr.
“Moore’s Law is the North Star guiding Intel. It is the driving force for the people working at Intel to continue the path of Gordon’s vision, and will help enable emerging generations of inventors, entrepreneurs and leaders to re-imagine the future.”
Intel has been publishing more information about its Knight’s Landing Xeon Phi (co)processors.
Intel has given WCCF Tech an Intel produced PDF which was released to provide supplementary info for the 2015 Intel Developer Forum (IDF).
The document outlines some spectacularly beefy processors Intel is going to produce as part of its professional Xeon Phi range.
The document, which is short on car chases and scantily clad women tells the story of a 72 Silvermont core Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor.
The coprocessor supports 6 channels of DDR4 2400 up to 384GB and can have up to 16GB of HBM on board. It supports 36 PCIe Gen 3 lanes. Intel’s testing put the Knights Landing processors and coprocessors are up to three times faster in single threaded performance and up to three times more power efficient.
Knights Landing chips are supposed to be the future of Intel’s enterprise architecture for high performance parallel computing. Much of its success will depend properly written software.
Intel thinks that its Xeon Phi coprocessors can compete against the GPU-based parallel processing solutions from the likes of Nvidia and AMD.
In February, four supercomputing institutions in China were placed on a U.S. government list that effectively prohibits them from receiving certain U.S. exports.
The four institutions, which include China’s National University of Defense Technology, have been involved in building Tianhe-2, the world’s fastest supercomputer, and Tianhe-1A.
The two supercomputers have been allegedly used for ”nuclear explosive activities,” according to a notice posted by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Back in August, the U.S. Department of Commerce notified Intel that it would need an export license to ship its Xeon and Xeon Phi parts, the company said on Friday. These chips were to be used in supercomputing projects with Intel customer Inspur, a Chinese server and supercomputing provider.
“Intel complied with the notification and applied for the license which was denied. We are in compliance with the U.S. law,” the company added.
The four Chinese institutions had been placed on the list by a government committee made up of representatives from the U.S. departments of Commerce, Defense, State and others. Inspur was not among the entities named.
The U.S. government had found the four Chinese institutions to be “acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States,” the Department of Commerce’s notice said.
On Friday, the National Supercomputing Center of Guangzhou, which was named on the list and operates the Tianhe-2, declined to comment.
“We are not very clear on this situation,” said an employee at the center.
Intel has been selling its Xeon chips to Chinese supercomputers for years, so the ban represents a blow to its business. China increasingly wants to build more supercomputers that are faster, and Intel has been a major partner.
But the country has also been developing its own homegrown processors, and the U.S. ban could accelerate those efforts.
A rumor fresh out of Korea suggests Nvidia might be tapping Samsung as a GPU foundry, but there is a catch.
The news comes from Korea Times, which quoted a source familiar with the matter. The source told the paper that the deal involved Nvidia GPUs, but it was a small contract.
GPUs on 14nm? Something doesn’t add up
If you are sceptical, don’t worry – so are we. While Nvidia is expected to use Samsung for its upcoming Tegra SoCs, this is the first time we heard it could also try using Samsung’s and Globalfoundries’ FinFET nodes for GPUs.
This would obviously place Nvidia in an awkward situation, as it would basically be using an AMD spinoff to build its chips.
There is another problem with the report. The source claims the deal is valued at “a few million dollars”, which would be barely enough to cover the cost of a single tape-out. In fact, it might not be enough at all. The cost of taping out FinFET chips is relatively high, as these are cutting edge nodes.
Tegras or GPUs?
We doubt Nvidia will ditch TSMC for Samsung, at least as far as GPUs are concerned.
The most logical explanation would be that Nvidia has inked a deal with Samsung to tape-out Tegra chips rather than GPUs. The source may have simply mixed them up, that would explain everything.
Still, there is always a chance Nvidia is looking at alternative nodes for its GPUs, but we just don’t see it happening, at least not yet.
The prototype laptop frees users from carrying a bulky power adapter, since the laptop recharges after being placed on a wireless charging table or surface.
It also connects wirelessly to external displays through Wi-Di (Wireless Display) technology, which could eliminate HDMI and DisplayPort ports. The wireless display needs to support Wi-Di technology.
“This is going to be the world’s first PC where you’d never need to connect a wire to it,” said Intel’s Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager for Intel’s Client Computing group. He showed the laptop during a speech this week at the Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen, China.
Intel first talked about the concept of a wire-free laptop in June last year. The laptop is only shipping to software developers looking to write applications that take advantage of the wire-free features.
A number of laptop makers are supporting Intel’s vision of wire-free computers. For example, Lenovo wants to bring such features to its business laptops, Skaugen said.
The laptop shown was a hybrid in which the screen could be pulled out of the keyboard dock. Intel is looking to link laptops wirelessly to peripherals like monitors and external storage through the emerging WiGig technology. At data transfer speeds of 7G bps (bits per second), WiGig is much faster than Wi-Fi.
The wire-free prototype is also the first laptop based on Intel’s upcoming sixth-generation processor code-named Skylake, Skaugen said. PCs based on Skylake will start shipping in the second quarter this year, though it isn’t clear when laptops will start getting wireless charging and other features.