The company’s Prime members can now purchase the button for $4.99 and get the amount discounted on their first purchase using the button, the e-commerce giant said on Wednesday.
The button will now be available to all Prime members – those paying $99 a year for two-day delivery and other benefits.
The company said it will add 11 more brands to the button, bringing the total to 29.
The ‘Dash’ button, launched earlier this year, allows Amazon’s Prime members to order a product with just a push, using a WiFi connection, and can be hung or hooked anywhere in the home.
Lenovo’s new line-up includes seven computers, comprising the IdeaCentre AIO 700 desktop PC, the IdeaPad Miix 700a 2-in-1 tablet hybrid, and five laptops: the IdeaPad 300 and 500 and their lighter cousins, the IdeaPad 100S, 300S and 500S.
Lenovo said that the new designs feature an option for Intel’s RealSense 3D cameras alongside Windows 10 for “never-before-seen PC performance” while “giving discerning shoppers multiple reasons to upgrade this holiday season”.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700 (above) sees the firm setting its sights squarely on Microsoft’s Surface, with the device sporting an integrated kickstand, optional keyboard cover and the same dual watchband hinges as seen on on the Yoga 3 Pro.
It also boasts a 12 inch Full HD+ 2160×1440 display, a 6th-generation Intel Core processor, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB SSD and either Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home.
The IdeaPad MIIX 700 starts at $699, and will be available sometime this year.
The Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 700 desktop (below) is said to deliver up to double the power, screen resolution and memory capacity of the previous-generation, making it ideal for videos and gaming, Lenovo said.
The desktop has the latest Intel Core i7 processor, coupled with up to a 27in UHD 10-point multitouch display alongside JBL stereo speakers and discrete graphics.
“This all-in-one desktop is upgraded to up to twice the CPU performance, screen resolution and memory capacity of its three-year-old previous generation, offering music and movie buffs double the incentive to refresh their hardware this season,” the firm said.
There’s also a removable slip-off back panel providing flexibility for those wanting to upgrade or maintain the system. The IdeaCentre AIO 700 24in desktop starts at $1,099 and will be available in October.
Meanwhile, the new Lenovo IdeaPad 300 and 500 laptops are claimed to be 33 percent thinner than the same range three years ago. This doesn’t sound like much of a feat, but Lenovo promised that the devices will “take portability to the next level”, weighing 2.1kg for the 14in laptop and 2.3kg for the 15in.
They come with up to Nvidia GeForce 920 graphics, 1TB of storage and Dolby Advanced Audio. The IdeaPad 500 will be powered by the latest Intel 6th generation Core i7 processor with optional JBL speakers.
For those who want an even thinner and lighter laptop, the IdeaPad 100S, 300S and 500S are thinner and lighter than their IdeaPad 300 and 500 cousins, and much lighter than their comparably priced counterparts from three years ago. The IdeaPad 100S 14in laptop is 35 percent lighter, while the IdeaPad 500S 15in laptop is 20 percent lighter.
The IdeaPad laptop range will start from $179, going up to $499 depending on model, size and specifications, and will be available in October.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have found a way for wearables to communicate through a person’s body instead of the air around it. Their work could lead to devices that last longer on smaller batteries and don’t give away secrets as easily as today’s systems do.
The proliferation of smartphones, smart watches, health monitoring devices and other gear carried close to the body has led to so-called personal area networks that link the gadgets together and provide a path to the Internet through one that has a Wi-Fi or cell radio. Today, those PANs use short-range over-the-air systems like Bluetooth.
But radio technologies like Bluetooth can’t transmit well through the body itself, so they have to go around it. Bluetooth signals can travel as far as 10 meters (30 feet) which increases the chance of eavesdropping and leads to high “path loss,” an effect that weakens signals on the way to their destinations, the researchers said.
A team led by Professor Patrick Mercier of the university’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has discovered a way to use the body itself as the medium for data transmission. It uses magnetic fields and shows path loss that’s 10 million times lower than what happens with Bluetooth.
This could make the magnetic networks much more efficient, so devices don’t have to work as hard to communicate and can have smaller batteries — or get longer useful lives with the same size batteries. The team hasn’t actually tested the system’s energy use yet. They envision the technology being used for networks of health sensors that monitor many parts of the body.
Wireless technologies like Bluetooth radiate electrical and magnetic waves, which a human body tends to absorb, Mercier said. By contrast, his team’s network transmits data over magnetic fields that are created between two coils. Those fields can easily travel through the body. The system works like NFC (near-field communications), but at a slightly longer range.
Despite a shrinking PC market, unit shipments for SSD’s increased, according to a new report.
Beancounters at Trendfocus have added up the numbers and divided by their shoe size and penned a report with the catchy title Quarterly NAND/SSD report covering the NAND and SSD industries’ performance in the second quarter.
In the SSD market, unit shipments increased slightly by 2.9 per cent, despite the fact that a good portion of the volume is tied to a weak notebook PC market.
This was caused by an increase in drive form factor client SSDs in the channel market, as well as an uptick in datacenter demand for SATA SSDs, driving a total of 23.859 million units.
Total SSD capacity shipped increased by 13.3 per cent Q-Q to 6.4 exabytes, with the overall average capacity increasing to 268 GB. Overall unit shipments, client modules declined, reflecting the continued slow demand for notebook PCs.
Enterprise SAS SSDs declined 10 per cent while PCIe SSDs in the enterprise segment remained under 100,000 units for the quarter.
Enterprise SATA SSDs were the bright spot in the enterprise market, posting an increase of 48.6 per cent Q-Q as datacentres resumed purchases of SSDs.
Samsung continues to dominate due to its successes in the client space – both from a unit and exabyte perspective and while Kingston showed it can be a major player by focusing on the channel market.
HGST’s unit and exabyte share leads the SAS SSD market and Intel continues to dominate the enterprise PCIe market for a second quarter in a row.
The Mate S, launched on the sidelines of Europe’s biggest consumer electronics show, IFA, in Berlin, has a 5.5-inch display, a 13 mega pixel rear camera and fingerprint security. Huawei says it is one of the first smartphones to include a Force Touch display, which can distinguish between a light tap and deep press, enabling access to more functions just by pressing harder.
Huawei became the world’s third-biggest smartphone company by sales last month, according to research firm Gartner, overtaking Chinese rival Lenovo, and aims to become the first Chinese firm to sell more than 100 million smartphones this year.
But it is still far behind Samsung, which had 21.9 percent of the market in the second quarter, and Apple, on 14.6 percent. Huawei’s share rose to 7.8 percent from 5.4 percent in the first quarter.
Huawei’s Mate S phone will retail for 649 euros ($732) — comparable to some higher-end Apple iPhone 6 series models — with a premium version for 748 euros, the Chinese company said.
“Huawei aspires to be the next Samsung, successful with both premium design and by shipping large numbers of smartphone models,” said IHS analyst Ian Fogg, who expects Huawei to ship about 109 million smartphones this year.
“2015′s Huawei smartphone launches show the company is finally coming close to meeting these market goals which Huawei set some years ago.”
The top of the smartphone market is a tough environment, as Samsung has experienced. While it remains the world’s biggest smartphone maker, Apple is reaping most of the rewards. The U.S. company is estimated by some analysts to earn 90 percent or more of the industry’s profits.
Huawei has its roots in telecoms equipment gear where it competes with the likes of Ericsson and Nokia, but it has invested heavily in consumer devices in recent years.
Its Mate S will be available in more than 30 countries including China, Germany, Israel,Japan, France, Germany and Spain and can be pre-ordered in Western Europe from Sept. 15.
The Swedish telecom equipment vendor is planning on showing off some of the developments at the CTIA Super Mobility conference next week in Las Vegas.
5G will likely be one of the hottest topics at CTIA, but LTE still has lots mileage left — after all, the first two letters stand for Long Term. And it’s a lot easier to upgrade an existing network than roll out a new one.
One of the more contentious upgrades is using unlicensed spectrum for LTE. Detractors fear it will affect Wi-Fi performance, which uses the same frequencies.
To prevent that from happening, a number of methods are being developed to make LTE play well alongside Wi-Fi. At CTIA, Ericsson is demonstrating LTE-U (Unlicensed) Fair Sharing, which continually monitors the radio environment to determine the overall average channel availability.
The company is also showing LTE at speeds up to 600Mbps with the help of carrier aggregation and better signal encoding. Carrier aggregation, which is part of LTE-Advanced, allows networks to devote more resources to some users by treating two or more channels in the same or different frequency bands as if they were one.
Because of the amount of spectrum needed, not all operators will be able to offer 600Mbps.
The work that’s been done to increase bandwidths has so far focused on faster download speeds. Using some of the same technologies, attention is now being turned to speedier uploads, as well.
However, future LTE networks are also being developed to work better with the Internet of Things. A new version called LTE Category 0 is much slower than current networks, but that’s fine since most IoT apps don’t need lots of bandwidth. The upside is that the cost of devices drops and battery lives can be extended to 10 years and more.
To show what’s possible, Ericsson has teamed up with chipmaker Sequans to demonstrate a prototype network and device.
All the LTE upgrades are part of Ericsson’s Networks Software 16A and 16B. They will be used on indoor and outdoor base stations and become available next year.
The rumored Helio X30 is real and if you thought that X20 was not enough to see off Snapdragon 820, it looks like the Helio X30 has a much better chance.
All new Helio X20 deca-core has two A72 at 2.5GHz, four A53 at 2.0 and four A53 cores at 1.4 GHz. It has Core pilot 3.0 is a smart scheduler that decides which core gets what task.
This processor has every chance to be faster than Snapdragon 620 from Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 620 comes with four A72 cores at 1.8GHz and four A53 at 1.4 GHz but we are unsure how Helio X20 goes will match up against the Snapdragon 820 with its custom quad Krait cores.
But the the Helio X30 has four A72 cores at 2.5GHz, two A72 clocked at 2GHz, two Cortex A53 clocked at 1.5GHz and two low power A53 at 1GHz. A senior executive from MediaTek told us that not all cores were created equal.
Despite the fact that the word “A53″ on the box looks like “A53″ on the other box, one is optimized for performance and the other for low power. If it is unclear if the A53 based cluster from MediaTek is the same as A53 cluster from Qualcomm.
As you can read at Fudzilla we spent quite some time learning about the potential gains of having three clusters. The X20 can have 30 to 40 percent less power consumption, simply by being smart how it uses all ten cores / three clusters.
With Helio X30 you will gain more performance with six out of ten cores being based on the A72 core. Having ten cores in four clusters raises another question, how efficient will the four cluster approach be versus the three cluster approach?
MediaTek has not officially confirmed or launched the Helio X30, but we expect that this will happen soon. The X30 should be shipping in devices in early 2016. at least this is what we would expect to place it well against the Snapdragon 820.
Facebook Inc’s Instagram unveiled new features that will allow users to exchange messages in private and group conversations as the photo and video-sharing service attempts to keep up with growing messaging service Snapchat.
The upgrade by Instagram, which has more than 300 million users, is the latest move in the escalating battle for a young audience addicted to messaging with younger and hipper rival Snapchat, which has 100 million users and growing.
The new features mean Instagram users can share pictures directly with one friend or a group of people and send back text responses or pictures, which Instagram hopes will make users want to stay on its mobile app or web site longer.
Young mobile users are increasingly interested in messaging friends and having conversations online, rather than merely viewing content. As much as 40 percent of all comments on Instagram posts mention other accounts, Instagram said, suggesting that many users like to flag content to users they know and start conversations about it.
The move comes a week after Instagram upgraded its service to allow new layout options in addition to its signature square for pictures and videos, which was viewed as a move to compete better with Snapchat.
Snapchat, which is popular partly because messages on its platform disappear after a few seconds, already offered a variety of picture and video formats. Earlier this year, Snapchat upgraded its service so users could exchange text messages in response to photos and videos.
Many social sites and apps have added specialized messaging features recently in a bid to keep users.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, launched its Messenger service as a standalone app earlier this year, and added a virtual assistant called ‘M’ last week that can complete tasks for users such as shopping.
Security company G Data has identified more than 20 mobile phones that have malware installed despite being marketed as new, according to a research report. And it doesn’t appear the infection is occurring during manufacturing.
“Somebody is unlocking the phone and putting the malware on there and relocking the phone,” said Andy Hayter, security evangelist for G Data.
Many of the suspect phones are sold in Asia and Europe through third parties or middlemen and aren’t coming directly from the manufacturers, Hayter said.
Brands of affected phones include Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, Alps, ConCorde, DJC, Sesonn and Xido.
G Data has contacted some manufacturers, including Lenovo, whose S860 Android smartphone in one instance was found to have the malware.
Ray Gorman, Lenovo’s executive director of external communications, wrote in an email that the device G Data analyzed came from a third-party marketplace. The malware was installed by middlemen, he wrote.
“This is the only such occurrence we have been made aware of,” Gorman wrote. “We always recommend customers transact with authorized distribution channels and only accept merchandise that comes in an official box with original factory seals.”
The malware is embedded in a legitimate app, such as Facebook, which is sometimes preinstalled on phones, Hayter said. It can read and send text messages, install other apps, collect and change call data, grab location information, record phone calls or send premium SMSes, according to G Data’s report.
It’s impossible for consumers to remove since it resides inside the phone’s firmware.
“You can’t take it off there unless you unlock the phone,” Hayter said.
G Data was alerted to the problem after receiving support calls from users who said a file had been quarantined but that it couldn’t be removed.
The problem has been around for a while. In June 2014, G Data said it found malware in the firmware of a relatively inexpensive Android device made by the Chinese manufacturer Star.
The new service will include features such as GIFs and stickers to add a “little extra personality” to user’s chats, the company said in a blog post.
The messaging service now has improved push and email notifications and messages are organized in a chat-style format with conversation threads akin to most messaging apps today such as Facebook Inc’s Messenger and WhatsApp.
LinkedIn, which operates the biggest social networking site for professionals, has started to roll out the new messaging service to English-language users accessing its platform via a desktop or through an app.
Users can also attach photos and documents to messages.
The company also said it was looking at offering voice and video calling with the messaging platform in the future.
LinkedIn plans to make the revamped messaging feature available in other languages in the coming weeks.
Xiaomi is the latest big phone manufacturer trying to make its own SoCs to differentiate itself from the fearsome competition.
China’s biggest smartphone manufacturer is working on its own SoC that is scheduled to appear in 2016. Details are thin on the ground but it would appear that the company is working on its own ARM based chip. This will help company to compete with Apple, Samsung and Huawei. These three already have an inhouse SoC.
Apple started making its own SoC a while ago with the original iPhone and Samsung has joined in a few years later. This is going to become more common in the phone industry.
Samsung caught everyone by surprise when it announced that its flagship Galaxy S6 and the latest Galaxy 6 Note and edge ended up with a 14nm based 7240 . Before this, they used Qualcomm chips for their high end devices.
HTC ended up using Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 while LG G4 flagship phone chose the Snapdragon 808 which was a slightly slower version of the chip.
Huawei has acquired HiSIlicon SoC manufacturer a few years ago and the company makes its own SoC branded Kirin. The company is doing a decent job with its latest Kirin 930. This “four plus four” A53 chip with one cluster with 2.0 GHz and another with 1.5Ghz seems like a decent chip. It even has Cat 6 modem to compete better.
The future Kirin 950 will have A72 cores and even Cat 10 modems but this is something we will see in course of 2016.
If Xiaomi becomes successful in its SoC plans, it will put Qualcomm and MediaTek in a tough position. The company is using Snapdragon 810 in its MI Note Pro, and Snapdragon 615 in Mi 4i phone.
Redmi Note 2 is using the quite popular MediaTek SoC Helio X10 SoC that ended up in quite a few phones coming from the Far East.
Xiaomi has already developed LC1860 processor for its low end Redmi 2A, which was a sub $100 phone. This was developed by the Xiaomi-owned Pine Cone Electronics working with Chinese chip maker Leadcore Technology. The LC 1860 was significantly less expensive that similar spec Qualcomm chip.
LG has been working on its own SoC codenamed Odin and we still haven’t seen a single device with it. Making SoC chips with an integrated LTE is hard and it costs Qualcomm and MediaTek billions of dollars to refresh the latest offering at least once a year. This was why Nvidia and Texas Instruments have dropped out of this game as it was too hard to compete.
An open saucy general-purpose graphics processor (GPGPU) has been unveiled at the Hot Chips event.
The GPGPU is relatively crude and is part of another piece of an emerging open-source hardware platform called MIAOW.
Karu Sankaralingam, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said that an open source hardware platform is emerging that has inherent value
He said that big companies will someday be built using open source hardware, just as multi-billion-dollar Web giants owe their existence to open source software.
He said more people needed to contribute to open source hardware to improve the platform layer so there’s enough for entrepreneurs to build from it.
A 12-person team developed the MIAOW core in 36 months. Their goal was simply to create a functional GPGPU without setting any specific area, frequency, power or performance goals.
The resulting GPGPU uses just 95 instructions and 32 compute units in its current design. It only supports single-precision operations. Students are now adding a graphics pipeline to the design, a job expected to take about six months.
MIAOW compares favourably on several benchmarks to AMD’s latest high-end chip, Tahiti. However, it also falls far short on other benchmarks. Apparently AMD had a quick look at it and said that the designers were not doing anything “too crazy”.
However quite how MIAOW will navigate through the shark infested patent sea is anyone’s guess.
IBM has declared the integration of Blue Box Cloud into its OpenStack private cloud options, where it will sit in a perfect marriage with subsidiary SoftLayer.
Angel Diaz, Big Blue’s vice president of cloud infrastructure and technology, who explained that it really was the best of both worlds, and felt the best analogy was about British dessert foods. Go on Angel, we’re listening.
“No application is an island. What this announcement does is allow customers the best of both worlds [cloud and on-premise],” he said.
Here it comes. “If I’m in England, I love a sticky toffee pudding, right? But I wouldn’t want sticky toffee pudding without ice cream … or custard … and that’s what we’ve done here. We’ve taken Blue Box and, within 90 days, allowed clients to deploy their private cloud in over 40 data centers across the world – a private cloud-as-a-service.”
IBM Blue Box uses dedicated hardware on and off premises and is available as a managed or unmanaged private cloud base.
The system can offer a single management tool for all OpenStack private clouds, no matter their location. It also offers speedy delivery of applications and data through simplified and consistent access to public, private and even hybrid cloud models.
Diaz enthuses: “They still get all the goodness they would expect from a private cloud, but you also get the goodness of a managed environment, with all the elasticity and data sovereignty. That for me is the ‘Aha’ of this particular offering and what we’re trying to do with this particular product.”
Big Blue purchased Blue Box less than three months ago, and the firm has joined the ranks of IBM’s private cloud-as-a-service offerings, and is now officially available in an IBM Cloud layer data centre running SoftLayer infrastructure.
Data can be isolated in SoftLayer’s global data centres, driving down latency and improving application performance for end users, even when connecting to clouds scattered across the world. An open source infrastructure offers greater choice, flexibility and a quick path to innovation, the firm said.
“SoftLayer bare metal servers are perfectly suited for Blue Box Cloud architecture,” said Marc Jones, CTO of SoftLayer.
“Our global cloud footprint means that customers around the world can find a location near them where they can consume OpenStack-powered private cloud-as-a-service without having to worry about the operational headache of that cloud.
“We’re looking forward to the IBM and Blue Box engineering teams scaling this technical success into greater market awareness and adoption of private cloud-as-a-service.”
The announcement was made at the OpenStack Silicon Valley event, and is expected to be one of many big stories from the OpenStack ecosystem in the coming days.
The company, which has grown throughoutn Europe and gained a 10 percent share of the Northern European e-commerce market, said it had partnered with around 10 U.S. merchants so far.
Sweden-based Klarna, founded in 2005 and backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital and Atomico, is now planning for rapid expansion in the United States, where it will take on rivals such as PayPal and Stripe.
“I would be disappointed if we didn’t have hundreds of merchants on the platform doing millions of transactions as early as in 2016,” Klarna North America CEO Brian Billingsley, told Reuters.
Klarna’s services allow online consumers to buy goods by entering easy-to-remember details such as an e-mail address and zip code. It also lets consumers pay after delivery with Klarna assuming the risk in the interim and paying the retailer immediately.
Klarna, which had net sales of $319 million last year, said it was currently seeing “significant growth” in its core markets in the Nordics and Germany.
Asked how much the group could grow in 2016, Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said it was to early to tell as the U.S business was still in its infancy.
“There is definitely a potential to quickly reach half a billion dollars in revenue in a very short period of time,” he said.
Klarna said the company would double in size if it was to capture half a percentage of the U.S market.
“And while of course our ambitions are much higher than half a percentage, it is definitely an interesting reflection of how extremely big the market is,” Siemiatkowski said.
Uber Technologies Inc has added two top vehicle security researchers, the company announced, high-profile additions that come as the ride-hailing service ramps up its work on technology for self-driving cars.
Charlie Miller, who had been working at Twitter Inc, and Chris Valasek, who worked at security firm IOActive, have resigned from their jobs and will join Uber this week.
Miller and Valasek won wide attention this month after demonstrating that they could hack into a moving Jeep.
Uber said that Miller and Valasek will join the company’s Advanced Technologies Center, a research laboratory Uber opened in Pittsburgh in February and staffed with dozens of autonomous vehicle experts hired away from Carnegie Mellon University.
An Uber spokeswoman said Miller and Valasek will work with the company’s top security officers “to continue building out a world-class safety and security program at Uber.”
Raffi Krikorian, who heads Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center, tweeted a welcome to the duo last week.
Miller tweeted that he was looking forward to starting his new job on Tuesday. Valasek tweeted that his last day at IOActive will be Monday.
As Uber plunges more deeply into developing or adapting self-driving cars, Miller and Valasek could help the company make that technology more secure.
Uber envisions autonomous cars that could someday replace its hundreds of thousands of contract drivers. The San Francisco company has gone to top-tier universities and research centers to build up this capability.