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Privacy Shield Now Has 200 Companies On Board

August 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Privacy-Shield-150x150There are now 200 companies putting their support behind Privacy Shield, the framework agreement allowing businesses to process the personal information of European Union citizens on servers in the U.S.

Companies must register with the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce to be covered. It’s a self-certification process, so the ITA is only checking that the forms are filled in correctly, not that companies are necessarily complying with all 13,894 words of the rules. The Privacy Shield rules are needed to ensure that EU citizens’ personal information is afforded the same legal protection in the U.S. as required under EU law.

The ITA began processing applications on Aug. 1, and by Aug. 26 had accepted 90, relating to a total of 200 companies including “additional covered entities.”

Two you might have heard of are Microsoft and Salesforce.

Microsoft’s promise to play by the Privacy Shield rules covers data processed by its Caribbean, Indian, Licensing, Mobile, Online, Regional Sales and Technology Licensing divisions as well as the main company.

But that same registration also says EU citizens’ data could be handled by a dozen partially digested acquisitions:Acompli, bought in 2014 to enhance the mobile clients for Outlook; Blue Stripe Software, a cloud management company it picked up in 2015; Android lock-screen maker Double Labs; e-discovery specialist Equivio; FieldOne Systems, an addition to its Dynamics CRM; sales gamification startup Incent Games; cloud monitor MetricsHub; customer self-service portal maker Parature; big data analytics platform maker Revolution Analytics; calendar app Sunrise Atelier; online mapping toolmaker Vexcel, and organizational analytics company VoloMetrix.

Salesforce.com’s registration is simpler: It covers “Salesforce.com, inc. and its U.S. subsidiaries.”

Privacy Shield is the successor to the Safe Harbor framework, which covered transatlantic data transfers from July 2000 until October 2015, when the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that it provided inadequate protection for Europeans’ privacy rights.

Some 5,534 organizations signed up to Safe Harbor before the court ruling came, with the certification status still listed as “current” for 3,375 of them.

If the ITA continues to process self-certifications at the current rate, it could take two years or more before all those who sheltered in Safe Harbor are defended by Privacy Shield.

 

Is AMD Making Gains On nVidia?

August 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Number crunchers working for Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry’s research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia have noted that during the second quarter AMD gained market share in the add-in board (AIB) market.

But while AMD fans might be cheering, and while Nvidia fanboys work out ways they can beat them up after school, JPR says that over all the AIB market decreased.

For those who came in late, AIBs using discrete GPUs are found in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, and other devices such as scientific instruments. They are sold directly to customers as aftermarket products, or are factory installed by OEMs.

AIBs are the higher end of the graphics industry with their discrete chips and private, often large, high-speed memory, as compared to the integrated GPUs in CPUs that share slower system memory.

The PC add-in board (AIB) market now has just three chip (GPU) suppliers which also build and sell AIBs. The primary suppliers of GPUs are AMD and Nvidia. There are 48 AIB suppliers, the AIBOEM customers of the GPU suppliers, which they call “partners”.

JPR has been tracking AIB shipments quarterly since 1987-the volume of those boards peaked in 1999, reaching 114 million units, in 2015, 44 million shipped.

The news for the quarter was encouraging and seasonally understandable, quarter-to-quarter, the AIB market decreased -20.8 percent (compared to the desktop PC market, which increased 2.5%), the report said.

AIB shipments during the quarter decreased from the last quarter -20.8 percent, which is below the ten year average of -9.7 percent.On a year-to-year basis, it found that total AIB shipments during the quarter rose 0.8 percent, which is greater than desktop PCs, which fell -0.2 percent, JPR added.

In spite of the overall PC churn, which is mostly because of tablets and embedded graphics, the PC gaming momentum continues to build and is the bright spot in the AIB market.

The overall GPU shipments (integrated and discrete) is greater than desktop PC shipments due double-attach-the adding of a second (or third) AIB to a system with integrated processor graphics.

Another reason is the increase in dual AIBs in performance desktop machines using either AMD’s Crossfire or Nvidia’s SLI technology Improved attach rate. The attach rate of AIBs to desktop PCs has declined from a high of 63 percent in Q1 2008 to 34 percent this quarter, a decrease of -22.7 percent from last quarter which was negative. Compared to this quarter last year it increased a single miserable percentage point.

This research said that the global GPU market demand in Q2’16 decreased from last quarter, and decreased from last year, to 83.32 million units.

“In recent years, as the gaming ecosystem is shaping up, software and hardware developers, information service providers, and even governments have been attempting to unearth market opportunities coming from this new arena. However, global PC shipment volume is forecast to fall further,” the report said.

 Courtesy-Fud

Can Remedy Shorten Its Development Cycle?

August 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Gaming

Last week, Remedy tapped Tero Virtala to be its new CEO and said he would guide the Quantum Break studio’s move to developing multiple projects simultaneously. Virtala recently spoke with GamesIndustry.biz to flesh that idea out a little more and provide other details about his vision for the company’s future.

To start with, Virtala acknowledged that Remedy had intended to make a move into multiproject development for a while.

“This idea has lived for such a long time, but naturally, Quantum Break being such an ambitious and big project, it took most of the resources, people, the energy, most of the money the studio has been using for a long time,” Virtala said. “Now Quantum Break has been made and there is a new phase clearly starting for the company. As this strategic path has been discussed, it’s a commonly shared view that going for multiple projects is the way the people at the company want to go. And it also makes a lot of sense.”

Even though Remedy managed to put out the digital release Alan Wake’s American Nightmare and free-to-play mobile game Agents of Storm while Quantum Break was in the works, it’s clear much of the studio’s focus was on its Xbox One title. As Virtala explained, Quantum Break was an immense task for the studio: a new IP on a new platform with new gameplay mechanics and new tech, all paired with a new transmedia approach that would see a four-episode live-action serial created alongside the game.

“You take so many new things at one time and it made sense to focus on just one big project at a time,” Virtala said. “Now when we fast-forward to this moment, there’s so much more experience and skills, competencies that we can use with what we’ve learned. Also, the technology and tools we’ve developed are much further along and much more reusable than they used to be. So that built a base we can utilize, and then you take what else is needed for two projects.”

The studio’s old method of focusing on one big game for as long as five years at a time just isn’t sustainable in the long run, particularly when Remedy prides itself on cutting edge technology and envelope-pushing creativity.

“The industry’s developing so fast,” Virtala said. “On the one hand, there are so many great games out there, so when you’re bringing your game out, it has to stand out. It has to be unique. It has to be [high] quality. And if our studio is focusing on one project only, we’re putting all our people there. It usually means the length of the project grows, and if you take four or five years to develop a game, it’s a very risky game. You start the project with certain assumptions of the market, and in four or five years’ time in this type of creative, technology-driven industry, it changes so fast.”

That approach was also limiting the partners Remedy could work with. Virtala had nothing but great things to say about long-time partner Microsoft, but a relationship like that with a single-project studio would necessarily keep the company from collaborating with other publishers. And of course, Remedy fans would probably like more than one new game every five years or so.

Virtala wants Remedy to make more games, and he wants a shorter development cycle for those games. At the same time, he stressed, “We stay loyal to the strengths we have in this industry,” which he interprets as excellent games with a distinctive quality, visually impressive and immersive worlds populated with compelling characters.

As for how Remedy can deliver content to the same quality on a much shorter time scale, Virtala didn’t give many specifics. The company has a headcount of 125 people with another 15 open positions, but Virtala declined to say if there were plans to dramatically expand the staff size. As for doing more with the same amount of people, he did note that the technology and tools that have been developed for Quantum Break over the past five years can be used in future games, so “we are definitely able to provide AAA quality in a shorter time than we have before.”

He was similarly careful when talking about whether the shorter development cycle would be achieved by changing the types of games Remedy makes. The company is exploring “new game mechanics” that

Courtesy-GI.biz

Dropbox Prompts Some Users To Change Passwords

August 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Dropbox-150x150Dropbox is prompting users who signed up before mid-2012 to change their passwords if they haven’t done so already.

The cloud storage service said it was asking users to change their passwords as a preventive measure, and not because there is any indication that their accounts were improperly accessed.

Dropbox said its security teams learned about an old set of Dropbox user credentials, consisting of email addresses and hashed and salted passwords, which it believes were obtained in 2012 and could be linked to an incident the company reported around the time.

In July 2012, Dropbox said its investigation found that usernames and passwords recently stolen from other websites were used to sign in to a small number of of Dropbox accounts. It said it had contacted the users affected to help them protect their accounts.

The move by Dropbox comes in the wake of several breaches including that of LinkedIn in 2012, which has led to concerns that email addresses and passwords used by people across accounts could be used to compromise other services.

Starting in 2007 with a consumer focus, Dropbox, which allows users to store, access and share  files easily from a variety of devices, launched in 2013 its Dropbox Business service, its entry into the business market. The company claims over 500 million registered users, with over 200,000 businesses and organizations using Dropbox Business.

Users who signed in before 2012 and haven’t changed their password since then will be prompted by Dropbox to change it the next time they sign in. Users will have to set a stronger password with the help of a meter provided by Dropbox that measures its strength.

“If you don’t receive a prompt, you don’t need to do anything. However, for any of you who’ve used your Dropbox password on other sites, we recommend you change it on Dropbox and other services,” wrote Patrick Heim, head of trust and security at Dropbox, in a blog post.

Will Google Launch Its Daydream VR Soon?

August 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-DaydreamBloomberg claims that Google will be launching its Daydream VR platform in a few weeks.

Google is believed to be spending a small fortune getting content ready for the platform, particularly video games and apps, licensing sports leagues and shooting 360-degree videos.

Daydream is being hardwired into Android 7.0 which launched this week. Google says that  Samsung, HTC, ZTE, Huawei, Xiaomi, Alcatel, Asus and LG had agreed to make “Daydream ready” smartphones.

Google wants the software to be the Android of VR. It will provide a VR platform and other outfits will create the hardware and its Android chums will configure their smartphones to run the beast. But while the product is nearly good to go, so far no one has put their hand up and said they will be making headsets specifically for the platform.

The VR market is getting crowded from Facebook, Sony, Samsung Electronics and HTC. However there are a limited number of apps and even fewer games.  Sony’s Morpheus headset is tethered to its PlayStation video-game console, but Google is focused on lower quality mobile-based VR, whereby consumers snap their phones into a visor or headset. With the headset on, Daydream presents users with an array of apps, from YouTube to HBO Now.

Courtesy-Fud

AMD Bundling Deus-Ex With Gaming Cards

August 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Gaming

0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-Deus-EXWe already knew that AMD was one of the launch partners for the new Deus Ex: Mankind Divided game and it appears it will be bundled with some of AMD’s hot FX-series CPUs.

While we were hoping to see it bundled with some recently launched Polaris-based graphics cards, it appears that AMD wants to give some love to those that decide to buy AMD’s FX-series CPUs.

To be available in most popular retail/e-tail stores, the bundle will include a copy of the new Deus Ex: Mankind Divided game with a purchase of a 6- or 8-core AMD FX CPU. According to details provided by AMD, the promotion will run from August 23rd to November 14th or until the supply lasts.

Currently, some of the hot AMD FX-series CPUs like the 6-core FX-6300 or 8-core FX-8320 are selling for as low as US $100 and US $130, so bundling a US $60 game sounds like a really good deal.

Hopefully, AMD will decide to bundle the game with some of its Polaris-based graphics cards after Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gets its DirectX 12 patch later in early September.

Courtesy-Fud

nVidia NVLINK 2.0 Going In IBM Servers

August 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-nLinkOn Monday, PCWorld reported that the first servers expected to use Nvidia’s second-generation NVLINK 2.0 technology will be arriving sometime next year using IBM’s upcoming Power9 chip family.

IBM launched its Power8 lineup of superscalar symmetric multiprocessors back in August 2013 at the Hot Chips conference, and the first systems became available in August 2014. The announcement was significant because it signaled the beginning of a continuing partnership between IBM and Nvidia to develop GPU-accelerated IBM server systems, beginning with the Tesla K40 GPU.

The result was an HPC “tag-team” where IBM’s Power8 architecture, a 12-core chip with 96MB of embedded memory, would eventually go on to power Nvidia’s next-generation Pascal architecture which debuted in April 2016 at the company’s GPU Technology Conference.

NVLINK, first announced in March 2014, uses a proprietary High-Speed Signaling interconnect (NVHS) developed by Nvidia. The company says NVHS transmits data over a differential pair running at up to 20Gbps, so eight of these differential 20Gbps connections will form a 160Gbps “Sub-Link” that sends data in one direction. Two sub-links—one for each direction—will form a 320Gbps, or 40GB/s bi-directional “Link” that connects processors together in a mesh framework (GPU-to-GPU or GPU-to-CPU).

NVLINK lanes upgrade from 20Gbps to 25Gbps

IBM is projecting its Power9 servers to be available beginning in the middle of 2017, with PCWorld reporting that the new processor lineup will include support for NVLINK 2.0 technology. Each NVLINK lane will communicate at 25Gbps, up from 20Gbps in the first iteration. With eight differential lanes, this translates to a 400Gbps (50GB/s) bi-directional link between CPUs and GPUs, or about 25 percent more performance if the information is correct.

NVLINK 2.0 capable servers arriving next year

Meanwhile, Nvidia has yet to release any NVLINK 2.0-capable GPUs, but a company presentation slide in Korean language suggests that the technology will first appear in Volta GPUs which are also scheduled for release sometime next year. We were originally under the impression that the new GPU architecture would release in 2018, as per Nvidia’s roadmap. But a source hinted last month that Volta would be getting 16nm FinFET treatment and may show up in roughly the same timeframe as AMD’s HBM 2.0-powered Vega sometime in 2017. After all, it is easier for Nvidia to launch sooner if the new architecture is built on the same node as the Pascal lineup.

Still ahead of PCI-Express 4.0

Nvidia claims that PCI-Express 3.0 (32GB/s with x16 bandwidth) significantly limits a GPU’s ability to access a CPU’s memory system and is about “four to five times slower” than its proprietary standard. Even PCI-Express 4.0, releasing later in 2017, is limited to 64GB/s on a slot with x16 bandwidth.

To put this in perspective, Nvidia’s Tesla P100 Accelerator uses four 40GB/s NVLINK ports to connect clusters of GPUs and CPUs, for a total of 160GB/s of bandwidth.

With a generational NVLINK upgrade from 40GB/s to 50GB/s bi-directional links, the company could release a future Volta-based GPU with four 50GB/s NVLINK ports totaling of 200GB/s of bandwidth, well above and beyond the specifications of the new PCI-Express standard.

Courtesy-Fud

Are Power Outlets A Security Risk?

August 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-OutletIt if we did not have enough to worry about, it seems that, thanks to the internet of things, we have to be concerned about the security of our powerpoints.

Security researchers from Bitdefender have found an IoT smart electrical socket which leaks your Wi-Fi password, your email credentials and is so poorly coded that attackers can use it to hijack the device and use it for DDoS attacks. In the good old days all the power point could do was turn electrical equipment on and off.

Bitdefender didn’t reveal the device’s manufacturer but said the company is working on a fix, which will release in late Q3 2016.

Smart electrical sockets are small electrical socket extenders, which you can plug into a regular wall socket. In this case the device comes with a module that allows users to manage power consumption using predetermined limits and schedule the socket to allow usage only between certain hours.

Bitdefender said that there were several major problems with this unnamed smart socket. When users set up the product, they also need to install one of the accompanying iOS or Android apps. These apps allow the user to connect to the smart electrical socket’s built-in hotspot and configure it by entering the local Wi-Fi network credentials.

The IoT socket uses these credentials to connect to the local network, and contact the vendor servers, where it sends a configuration file that includes several device details, such as model, make, device name, firmware version, MAC address, and others

All this networking is done without encryption, in cleartext, which an attacker can easily pick-up if sniffing the local network at the right time.

Additionally, the device’s default admin username and password is easy to guess, even without reading the device documentation.

The device also comes with a built-in feature to send users email notifications when a device scheduled task executes successfully. For this feature to function properly, users must fill in their email account username and password in the device’s configuration panel. The device improperly stores these details.

Bitdefender researchers say that an attacker that knows the device’s MAC address and default password can take control over the device, rescheduling it, or access data on the user’s email account and password.

Courtesy-Fudzilla

Are People Too Busy To Deal With Security

August 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Security Notices

Security Notices

Only ten percent of people respond to and deal with desktop security alerts immediately, suggesting that the rest of the population simply ignores them or just lets it happen automatically.

You know the sort of warning. It might be Chrome telling you that something is untrusted, something like that. They are very easy to become blind to, like cookie warnings for example, and the study, which comes from Brigham Young University (BYU) and Google engineers, said that most people just ignore them.

The study, entitled More Harm Than Good? How Messages That Interrupt Can Make Us Vulnerable, suggests that this seeming neglect is down to the fact that people can only do so many things at once.

“System-generated alerts are ubiquitous in personal computing and, with the proliferation of mobile devices, daily activity. While these interruptions provide timely information, research shows they come at a high cost in terms of increased stress and decreased productivity,” the study said.

“This is due to dual-task interference, a cognitive limitation in which even simple tasks cannot be simultaneously performed without significant performance loss.”

Multitasking, then. People struggle to comprehend alerts because they are busy closing windows, stopping videos, typing or uploading at their desk or while mobile. Some 87 per cent showed the most disregard when “transferring information”.

The researchers explained things better in an interview with Phys.org. “We found that the brain can’t handle multitasking very well,” said co-author and BYU information systems professor Anthony Vance.

“Software developers categorically present these messages without any regard to what the user is doing. They interrupt us constantly and our research shows there’s a high penalty that comes by presenting these messages at random times.”

A better time to alert, according to the researchers, is at more passive times, for example while punters are waiting for a page to load or have finished watching a video.

“Waiting to display a warning when people are not busy doing something else increases their security behaviour substantially,” said Jeff Jenkins, lead author of the study.

 

Courtesy-TheInq

Data Breach Hits HEI Hotels

August 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A data breach at 20 U.S. hotels operated by HEI Hotels & Resorts for Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt and Intercontinental may have exposed payment card data from tens of thousands of food, drink and other transactions, HEI  has said.

The breach follows similar attacks at Hyatt Hotels Corp and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc in recent months.

Norwalk, Connecticut-based HEI, which is privately held, said malware designed to collect card data was found on HEI’s systems.

The malware was discovered in early to mid-June on payment systems used at restaurants, bars, spas, lobby shops and other facilities at the properties, Chris Daly, a spokesman for HEI, said in emails and phone calls.

The number of customers affected is difficult to calculate because they might have used their cards multiple times, Daly said. About 8,000 transactions occurred during the affected period at the Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara hotel in California, and about 12,800 at the IHG Intercontinental in Tampa, Florida, Daly said.

The malware affected 12 Starwood hotels, six Marriott International Inc properties, one Hyatt hotel and one InterContinental Hotels Group PLC hotel. It was active from March 1, 2015 to June 21, 2016, with 14 of the hotels affected after Dec. 2, 2015, HEI said on its website on Friday.

Marriott and IHG declined to comment. Representatives from the other hotel groups did not respond to requests for comment.

HEI said outside experts investigated the breach and determined that hackers might have stolen customer names, account numbers, payment card expiration dates and verification codes. The hackers did not appear to have gained PIN codes, since those are not collected by its system, it added.

The company has informed federal authorities and has installed a new payment processing system that is separate from other parts of its computer network.

Among the properties affected were Starwood’s Westin hotels in Minneapolis; Pasadena, California; Philadelphia; Snowmass, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Also affected were Starwood properties in Arlington, Virginia; Manchester Village, Vermont; San Francisco; Miami; and Nashville, Tennessee.

The Marriott properties affected were in Boca Raton, Florida; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Chicago; San Diego, California; and Minneapolis.

 

 

 

Intel Goes Deeper Into A.I. With Nervana

August 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Intel has acquired artificial intelligence (AI) startup Nervana Systems in a bid to future-proof its data centre business and shift focus away from the flailing PC market.

Intel hasn’t revealed the financial details of the deal, but Recode reported that the company paid “more than $400m”, citing an anonymous source.

Nervana, a 48-person firm based in San Diego, California led by co-founder Naveen Rao, a former Qualcomm researcher, was founded in 2014 and offers a fully optimized software and hardware stack for deep learning.

The firm’s cloud-based service allows businesses to build and deploy applications that make use of deep learning, and Nervana has developed a custom processor, known as an ASIC, especially for deep learning.

Intel is looking to the firm to bolster its own deep learning credentials, betting big on the fact that AI represents the next big shift in corporate data centres. The purchase also sees the firm moving away from the PC market, which hasn’t been going too well for Intel lately.

Diane Bryant, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Centre Group, said: “I’m excited to announce that Intel signed a definitive agreement to acquire Nervana Systems, a recognized leader in deep learning.

“Their IP and expertise in accelerating deep learning algorithms will expand Intel’s capabilities in the field of AI. We will apply Nervana’s software expertise to further optimise the Intel Math Kernel Library and its integration into industry-standard frameworks.

“Nervana’s engine and silicon expertise will advance Intel’s AI portfolio and enhance the deep learning performance and TCO of Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors.”

Rao added: “The semiconductor integrated circuit is one of humanity’s crowning achievements and Intel has the best semiconductor technology in the world.

“Nervana’s AI expertise combined with Intel’s capabilities and huge market reach will allow us to realize our vision and create something truly special.”

Intel’s acquisition of Nervana comes just days after Apple scooped up an AI startup called Turi. The firm handed over £150m for the Seattle-based firm, according to reports.

Courtesy-TheInq

 

Chrome Sets December As Deadline For Purging Flash Content

August 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Google has set an early December deadline for removing most Flash content from its Chrome browser, adding that it will take an interim step next month when it stops rendering Flash-based page analytics.

In a post to a company blog, Anthony LaForge, a technical program manager on the Chrome team, said the browser would refuse to display virtually all Flash content starting with version 55, which is scheduled for release the week of Dec. 5.

Previously, Google had used a broader deadline of this year’s fourth quarter for quashing all Flash content except for that produced by a select list of 10 sites, including Amazon, Facebook and YouTube.

Another anti-Flash change will reach Chrome with version 53, now slated to ship the week of Sept. 5. At that time, Chrome will stop rendering very small Flash elements, which are invisible to users but generate data for Web analytics platforms.

LeForge’s latest deadlines were what will probably be among the closing moves in Chrome’s years-long campaign to eradicate Flash. Like other browser makers — including Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla — Google has championed the elimination of Adobe’s once-dominant media player by arguing that it results in longer laptop battery life, faster page rendering and improved security.

Apple’s Safari has frozen some Flash content since 2013, and will beat Chrome to the no-Flash milestone when it ships Safari 10 with macOS Sierra between now and October: Then, Safari will default to HTML5 and only alert users that a site supports just Flash with a message that they need to download the plug-in. Microsoft’s Edge — Windows 10’s default browser — froze some Flash content in the version bundled with last week’s 1607 upgrade.

Mozilla has only begun to restrict Flash content inside its Mozilla browser. While the open-source developer has said it will require users next year to manually activate the Flash Player plug-in, it has not revealed a timetable for more drastic constraints, like those Google announced.

 

 

Is Blackberry Turning Into A Patent Troll?

August 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

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

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

The court papers say:

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

BlackBerry claims Avaya infringes eight US Patents:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy-Fud

 

Google Acquires Cloud-computing Startup Orbitera

August 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Google has purchased Orbitera, a startup that aims to make it easier for software vendors to sell cloud-based products to enterprise customers. The startup gives software vendors a suite of tools for deploying and managing cloud applications and for billing businesses that use them.

Orbitera supports deploying applications on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, not Google Cloud Platform. Google said it will continue to support software deployments on platforms other than its own. That’s similar to its approach to Stackdriver, a cloud monitoring tool that works with GCP and AWS.

One of Orbitera’s key features is a service that lets companies try out enterprise software using the cloud. Vendors can set up profiles for proof-of-concept environments that are then automatically deployed on the cloud platform of their choice when a user requests a trial.

Google’s announcement explicitly states that it’s aiming to support businesses with multi-cloud deployments. That’s a somewhat different approach to Amazon and Microsoft. While they both support multi-cloud deployments, their marketing is focused on getting customers to standardize on their own services.

DC analyst Al Hilwa said the move is a way for Google to build credibility with enterprises.

“Google is aggressively building its enterprise credibility in the cloud, so perhaps they believe that this will allow them to build on the ecosystem side, which is always a great area to increase community engagement and adoption,” he said.

Because Orbitera doesn’t require customers to use GCP, Hilwa said it’s possible the deal might not drive any new growth for Google’s cloud.

The deal also seems to mesh nicely with Google’s acquisition of Bebop, the startup helmed by Diane Greene before she became head of the company’s cloud division. Bebop was building tools to help businesses more easily build cloud apps. If Google is able to fuse the two, it could help companies build cloud apps and then turn them into commercial products.

 

 

 

Is nVidia Auto Venture Paying Off?

August 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The driverless car market is expected to grow to $42 billion by 2025 and Nvidia has a cunning plan to grab as much of that market as possible with its current automotive partnerships.

The company started to take in more cash from its car business recently. The company earned $113 million from its automotive segment in fiscal Q1 2017. While that is not much it represents a 47 percent increase over the year before. Automotive revenue up to about 8.6 percent of total revenue and it is set to get higher.

BMW, Tesla, Honda and Volkswagen are all using Nvidia gear in one way or another.

BMW’s been using Nvidia infotainment systems for years and seems to have been Nvidia’s way into the industry. Tesla has a 17 inch touchscreen display of which is powered by Nvidia. You can see Tesla’s all-digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster display uses Nvidia GPUs. Honda has Tegra processors for its Honda Connect infotainment system.

But rumors are that Nvidia is hoping to make a killing from the move to driverless cars. The company is already on the second version of its Drive PX self-driving platform. Nvidia claims that Drive PX recently learned how to navigate 3,000 miles of road in just 72 hours.

BMW, Ford, and Daimler are testing Drive PX and Audi used Nvidia’s GPUs to help pilot some of its self-driving vehicles in the past. In fact Audi has claimed that it can be used to help normal car driving.

It said that the deep learning capabilities of Drive PX allowed its vehicles to learn certain self-driving capabilities in four hours instead of the two years that it took on competing systems.

According to Automotive News Europe Nvidia is working closely with Audi as its primary brand for Drive PX but then it will move to Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini, and Bentley.
Tesla also appears to think that Nvida is a key element for driverless car technology. At the 2015 GPU Technology Conference last year, the company said that Tegra GPU’s will prove “really important for self-driving in the future.” Tesla does not use the Drive PX system yet, but it could go that way.

Courtesy-Fud

 

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