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Can Qulacomm’s Snapdragon 845 Play Games At 1080p 60 FPS

December 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Gaming

A Snapdragon 845 prototype phone factor design was running Lineage 2 revolution 1080p 60 FPS, in so-called console like gaming.

Lineage 2 Revolution is a mobile MMORPG game licensed by NCSoft and developed by Netmarble and it traditionally runs in 720p resolution on nearly all of the phones available today. This includes Snapdragon 835 phones and the rest of the competition. The Lineage 2 Revolution is an Unreal Engine based game.

In early 2018, you can expect to see Snapdragon 845 phones running it. We had a few minutes to play this graphically impressive MMORPG and we saw with the device is that the reference phone didn’t get hot, nor throttled.

The game supports advanced effects including physically based rendering, bloom, dynamic reflection and shadows. Of course, this is all running on the latest lower level API, the well known Vulkan. If you want a few more details, we are talking about 160,000 triangles per frame at 60 frames per second and 10 surfaces per frame.

This is a big deal, as Qualcomm claims a 25 percent higher performance in games with 30 percent better efficiency. Back in early 2017, when we had a chance to see the first Snapdragon 820 reference phones, we were surprised that they would not throttle or get hot either.

This will play a big role in the slot in VR designs as no one really likes a hot phone close to your brain.

When we say console like graphics, bear in mind that most games on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 run at 720, but with some higher polygons and better looking games. Still, in the phone form factor, the game looks quite amazing, considering that the consoles have much bigger GPUs and a lot of space to place a bigger cooler, compared to an Adreno 630 GPU inside the few mm thick phone.

Courtesy-Fud

AT&T Testing High-Speed Broadband Over Power Lines

December 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

AT&T Inc began trials in Georgia state and a non-U.S. location to deliver high-speed internet over power lines, the No. 2 wireless carrier confirmed, marking its latest push to offer faster broadband service to more customers.

AT&T aims to eventually deliver speeds faster than the 1 gigabit per second consumers can currently get through fiber internet service using high-frequency airwaves that travel along power lines. While the Georgia trial is in a rural area, the service could potentially be deployed in suburbs and cities, the company said in a statement.

“We think this product is eventually one that could actually serve anywhere near a power line,” said Marachel Knight, AT&T’s senior vice president of wireless network architecture and design, in an interview. She added that AT&T chose an international trial location in part because the market opportunity extends beyond the United States.

AT&T said it had no timeline for commercial deployment and that it would look to expand trials as it develops the technology.

“Potentially, it can be a really big deal,” said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics. “You need the power company to play ball with you. That’s the downside.”

AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc, the largest U.S. wireless carrier, have also been testing 5G internet services in which the last leg of the connection is delivered via a radio signal to homes using high-frequency airwaves known as millimeter wave spectrum.

Verizon said in November it would launch the faster broadband service in three to five U.S. markets in 2018.

Toshiba AND Western Digital Settle

December 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Toshiba and Western Digital have agreed in principle to settle a dispute over the Japanese firm’s plans to sell its $18 billion chip unit and aim to have a final agreement in place next week.

Word on the street is that the Toshiba board has approved a framework for a settlement.

Western Digital had been able to block a deal to selling the unit to a Bain Capital-led consortium.

The settlement under discussion calls for Western Digital to drop arbitration claims seeking to stop the sale in exchange for Toshiba allowing it to invest in a new production line for advanced flash memory chips that will start next year.

A Toshiba spokesman said that while the company was open to a settlement, it would not disclose discussion specifics or details of board of directors meetings. “It is not a fact that we have reached an agreement with Western Digital,” he said.

Western Digital is not saying anything.

Toshiba was forced to put the unit – the world’s no. 2 producer of NAND chips – on the block to cover billions of dollars in liabilities arising from its now bankrupt US nuclear power unit Westinghouse.

The deal with the Bain-led consortium will, however, see it reinvest in the unit and together with Hoya a maker of parts for chip devices, Japanese firms will hold more than 50 percent of the business – a keen wish of the Japanese government.

As part of the planned settlement, Toshiba and Western Digital would extend existing agreements for their chip joint ventures in Yokkaichi, central Japan, one of the sources said. The current agreements are set to start expiring from 2021.

Western Digital would also invest in a completely new chip plant that Toshiba will start building next year in northern Japan, the source said.

Western Digital, one of world’s leading makers of hard disk drives, paid some $16 billion last year to acquire SanDisk, Toshiba’s chip joint venture partner since 2000.

With data storage key to most next-generation technologies from artificial intelligence and autonomous driving to the Internet of Things, NAND chips have only grown in importance and Western Digital has been desperate to keep the business out of the hands of rival chipmakers.

The sale still needs to clear the snarling mauls of the regulatory watchdogs but they are not expected to rip the trousers of the deal.

Courtesy-Fud

Samsung To Beef Up Iris Scanner In Next Galaxy Phones

December 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Samsung is said to be bringing several upgrades to the iris scanner on its next Galaxy S phone, presumably called the Galaxy S9. Some of these possible changes include a shorter response time, better recognition in dark or bright environments or when the user is wearing glasses, and a slightly higher resolution, 3-megapixel lens (up from 2MP in the Galaxy S8) according to The Korea Herald.

More secure biometric authentication — like fingerprint sensing, iris scanning and facial recognition — is always a good thing, but the update may seem especially necessary after hackers were able to fool the iris scanner on the Galaxy S8 using a photo and contact lenses. After the hack Samsung was quick to defend the security of its iris-scanning tech, but an improved scanner may help those concerned rest more easily.

Currently, fingerprint and iris scanning are the only biometric methods Samsung deems secure enough to use as authentication for Samsung Pay (sorry, facial recognition). According to the report, Samsung is working to get more mobile banking apps to be compatible with the iris scanner as an authentication method. Since we’re dealing with monetary transactions, security is a top priority.

A Samsung spokesperson told The Korea Herald that an “Iris scanner is the safest biometric authentication (among iris, fingerprint and face recognition) and we will continue to improve the system for upcoming smartphones for safer banking transactions,” but did not reveal any specific plans for the Galaxy S9.

But the Galaxy S9 may not be alone. The report’s source also claimed that Samsung is on target to expand the iris scanner to its budget phones by late 2018 or early 2019. Right now the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 are the only Samsung phones with iris scanning — excluding the recalled Note 7.

We’ve already heard rumors that the Galaxy S9 may get a fingerprint scanner similar to the Galaxy S8’s. When you consider that the fingerprint scanner’s proximity to the camera was one of our biggest gripes about the S8, an updated iris scanner may be a better alternative.

Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.

Will The Need For A.I. Researchers Slow Down The Progress

December 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A new report from Chinese tech giant Tencent said that there are only 300,000 “AI researchers and practitioners” worldwide, but the “market demand” is for millions of roles.

The report confirms what tech giants have been complaining about – apparently an AI engineer can demand a high salary for her or his skills. Those with a few years’ experience can expect base pay of between $300,000 and $500,000 while the very best can collect millions.

One independent AI lab said that there were only 10,000 individuals worldwide with the right skills to spearhead serious new AI projects.

Tencent’s new “2017 Global AI Talent White Paper” suggests the bottleneck here is education. It estimates that 200,000 of the 300,000 active researchers are already employed in various industries – not just tech – while the remaining 100,000 are still studying.

Attendance in machine learning and AI courses has rocketed in recent years, as has enrollment in online courses, but there is obviously a lag as individuals complete their education.

The report also speculates about the global competition to develop and deploy AI skilled. Experts in the US warning that America is falling behind rivals like China in the so-called global AI race.

The report itself identifies the US, China, Japan, and UK as key players, with Israel and Canada also warranting mentions. Canada, it says, has strong educational background (which has attracted many big companies to launch research labs there), while the UK is best on the “ethical and legal aspects” of AI, and Japan takes the lead in robotics.

The US is currently “far ahead” in terms of global talent, with more universities teaching machine learning and related subjects than any other nation, and more AI startups. The downside is that the US education system only teaches the rich (or the poor on sporting scholarships) who are not always the most intelligent nor the most numerous.

This means that eventually the US will eventually lose its lead to China.

Courtesy-Fud

Apple Exploring Acquisition of Shazam

December 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Apple Inc is holding negotiations to acquire Shazam Entertainment Ltd, whose software helps users identify songs by pointing their phone at an audio source, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Shazam’s smartphone app is already tightly integrated with Apple’s Siri digital assistant. Users of Apple’s iPhone with the Shazam app installed can say: “Hey Siri, what’s that song?” and the app will identify it. But Shazam has other features, such as the ability to identify television shows, that do not yet work with Siri.

Tech news website TechCrunch reported the talks earlier, writing that Apple could pay about $400 million for Shazam and that a deal could be signed as early as next week.

Shazam did not respond to a request for comment.

Privately-held, UK-based Shazam has raised $143 million from DN Capital Limited, Institutional Venture Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, among others, over its 18-year history, according to PitchBook, a firm that tracks private venture investments.

The price TechCrunch reported would fall far below Shazam’s most recent $1 billion valuation reported by PitchBook.

An acquisition of Shazam could help bolster Apple’s music efforts by making it easier for users to find songs and add them to playlists in its Apple Music service. As of mid-2017, Apple Music had 27 million subscribers, behind rival music streaming service Spotify’s 60 million users.

Will Windows 10 On Snapdragon Succeed

December 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

We had a chance to ask Erin Chappelle,  General Manager of the Windows and Device group of Microsoft, and lead player of Windows 10 on Snapdragon about the lack of 64-bit emulation support at launch.

She was the right person to ask why Windows 10 on Snapdragon is missing  64-bit emulation application support. She also leads the team delivering the base components of the operating system including the Kernel, Hypervisor, Containers and Storage and was certainly the right person to address this “elephant in the room”.

64 Bit on ARM in the future

Erin confirmed to Fudzilla that Microsoft is considering 64-bit emulation support in the future, but it was a time to market and executive decision that prevented 64-bit being supported at launch. Microsoft will enable 64-bit SDK for developers and this might be the way to optimize the applications in the future. Our understanding is that if Adobe comes up with an idea that it wants to make a native Photoshop for ARM, Microsoft and its SDK will be there to help.

Erin also said that most X64 applications in the market are high end games. This is not what the Snapdragon platform is tailored for. At the Snapdragon technology summit in beautiful Maui, Hawaii, it was pointed out by Erin as well as Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, that the always connected PC is a completely new market for Microsoft.

Always Connected PC is the new market

Of course Microsoft sees potential here,  as the company has invested a lot of time and resources into the Windows on Snapdragon, always connected PC project. The motivation is very straightforward. Microsoft wants to get into new markets as it realizes that people need the connectivity on modern devices.

HP Envy X2 device comes with 4GB or RAM while Asus NovaGo always connected Snapdragon 835 device comes with up to 8GB memory. While the OS can support 8GB of memory, applications will be limited to 4GB. This might become a problem in some extreme scenarios – but both Qualcomm and Microsoft pointed out that these devices are targeting the casual, every day user market, rather than high end video editing professionals.

You start with a market where you have a good value proposition and in this case this was the consumer market. In the future, Microsoft hopes to bring always connected PC ideas to the enterprise, which will benefit from the security and cloud opportunities for mobility that 4G and 5G offer for enterprises.

Snapdragon 835 devices are, it seems the first of many to come. There is an opportunity for higher as well as lower cost devices. This is what Miguel Nunes, Director of Product management for Windows on Snapdragon and Erin Chapple left us with.

Courtesy-Fud

Amazon Prime Video Makes It Apple TV

December 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc teamed up to offer the Amazon Prime Video app to Apple TV in more than 100 countries, the companies announced.

The news came a day after Alphabet Inc’s Google said it would block its YouTube video streaming application from two of Amazon’s devices and criticized the online retailer for not selling Google hardware.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook had said in June that Amazon’s streaming service would be available on Apple devices later this year.

Apple TV, a device for watching movies and television over the internet, will also start featuring live sports from its own Apple TV app this week, Apple said in a blog post on Wednesday.

While live sports were previously available on Apple TV in apps from ESPN and the National Basketball Association, the new additions to Apple’s own app enable features like sending alerts to connected iPhones and iPads when a big game is about to start or when a user’s favorite teams are locked in a close game.

Wednesday’s announcement followed a negotiation stretching back at least to 2015 when Amazon stopped selling Apple TVs on its retail site.

DirecTV Now Streaming Service Passes 1M Subscribers Mark

December 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

It took little more than a year for AT&T’s DirecTV Now streaming video service to hit its first million subscribers.

The Dallas telecommunications provider confirmed that more than 1 million consumers have subscribed to its service, which offers a mix of live television channels and on-demand content over the internet to your phone, tablet or TV box like a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick.

The figure marks solid progress for the upstart service, though it still lags behind Sling TV, which Comscore said in June had more than 2 million customers. DirecTV Now launched last November, while Sling TV launched in February of 2015.

“This milestone is an incredible testament to the thousands of hours many people spent working to bring this product online and continually improving it during the past year,” said David Christopher, president of AT&T Entertainment Group, in a statement.

DirecTV Now is a critical component of AT&T’s strategy to transform from a company simply offering internet and wireless service to one creating as well as distributing your favorite entertainment. After gobbling up satellite TV provider DirecTV, AT&T is fighting the Justice Department for the right to complete its acquisition of Time Warner, home to “Harry Potter” and “Batman.”

AT&T teased further improvements to the service, including a digital video recorder in the cloud, more concurrent streams, the ability to download shows, and 4K and HD video.

Will Apple Sell A Cheaper iPad

December 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A report said that Apple will introduce a 9.7-inch iPad next year, with a comparatively low-price tag.

According to Digitimes, which quotes unnamed Apple suppliers, the unit will sell for around $250 or so.

The tablet market is somewhat flat because people don’t have to replace them for quite some time, and those that want tablets generally have one, unless they’re tempted like a magpie for more bright shiny things.

The iPad is slated for the second quarter of next year and the wire said that Compal is likely to make the unit with other firms like Compeq and Unitech contributing to the components. Apple also wants to shift iPad into the industrial sector too.

If the reports are true, it is likely to spur Apple competitors to cut their prices too.

Courtesy-Fud

Will Apple’s Strong Arming Tactics Work In The Long Run

December 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Yet another loyal Apple partner is suffering for failing to do what Apple told it.

Dialog saw its shares plummet by 19 percent after Apple announced that it is designing its own power management chips for next years batch of iPhones.

Apple has been telling its suppliers that they either have to slash costs or it will develop things inhouse. The policy has already had casualties with graphics chip maker Imagination and lead to a monumental spat with Qualcomm.

Jobs’ Mob has realised that it is not going to keep its high profits as its iPhone cash cow dies. So what it wants is to push its margins by cutting costs. It has been strong arming its suppliers, many of whom became addicted to Apple’s custom at the expensive developing other customers.

Apple accounted for 74 percent of Dialog’s revenue in 2016.

The main power management chip controls an iPhone’s charging function, battery management, and energy consumption. “Based on Apple’s current plan, they are set to replace partially, or around half of its power management chips to go into iPhones by itself starting next year.

Apple’s main power management chips for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch are now exclusively designed and made by Dialog.

Power management chips are one of the most crucial and expensive components after core processors, modems and memory chips.

The Tame Apple Press claims that by designing its own gear Apple will also be in a better position to integrate software and hardware and to manufacture products that can be differentiated from those of its rivals such as Samsung and Huawei.

It insists that Apple’s new in-house power management chip will be the most advanced in the industry and could have processing capabilities that allow it to better monitor and control power consumption among various components.

Quite why this would be the case is anyone’s guess. Apple has no experience in making power management chips let alone have enough experience to be cutting edge. It is more likely that Apple’s initial chips will have to be something that uses

The only thing that we can be sure of is that its initial efforts will have to use Dialog patents with the new chips churned out cheaply by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing.

Courtesy-Fud

IS Apple Using Qualcomm Patents Without Paying

December 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Apple’s legal spat with Qualcomm just got even messier as the chipmaker found even more patents which it thinks that Apple is using without permission.

Qualcomm filed three new patent infringement complaints against the fruity cargo cult saying there were 16 more of its patents that Apple was using in its iPhones.

The new complaints represent the latest development in a long-standing dispute and follows Apple’s countersuit against Qualcomm, which alleged that it invented part of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile phone chips.

Qualcomm in July accused Apple of infringing several patents related to helping mobile phones get better battery life.

That case accompanied a complaint with the US International Trade Commission seeking to ban the import of Apple iPhones that use competing Intel Corp (INTC.O) chips because of the alleged patent violations.

The three cases filed Thursday were all filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego. One of the cases is a companion civil lawsuit to a new complaint also filed Thursday with the ITC that seeks the same remedy of banning iPhones with Intel chips. The other two cases are civil patent infringement lawsuits.

It all started when Apple tried to increase the margins for its dying iPhone cash cow.  It decided that Qualcomm was asking too much and demanded a reduction.

In January, Apple sued Qualcomm for nearly $1 billion in patent royalty rebates that Qualcomm allegedly withheld from Apple.

In a related suit, Qualcomm sued the contract manufacturers that make Apple’s phones, but Apple joined in to defend them.

Qualcomm in November sued Apple over an alleged breach of a software agreement between the two companies. Apple emailed Qualcomm to request “highly confidential” information about how its chips work on an unidentified wireless carrier’s network, Qualcomm alleged, but Apple had copied an Intel engineer in the email for information.

Courtesy-Fud

Texting Turns 25 Years Old

December 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Texting celebrated a milestone birthday this past Sunday, ICYMI.

The first text message was sent on Dec. 3, 1992, by British engineer Neil Papworth to Richard Jarvis, an executive at British telecom Vodafone, who was attending his company’s holiday party in Newbury, England.

Typed out on a PC, it was sent to Jarvis’s Orbitel 901, a mobile phone that would take up most of your laptop backpack, and read: Merry Christmas. But Jarvis didn’t send a reply because there was no way to send a text from a phone in those days.

Although Papworth is credited with sending the first text message, he’s not the so-called father of SMS. That honor (or blame) falls on Matti Makkonen, who initially suggested the idea back in 1984 at a telecommunications conference.

But texting didn’t take off over night. First it had to be incorporated into the then-budding GSM standard. Makkonen feels the technology actually was launched in 1994 when Nokia unveiled its 2010 mobile phone, the first device that let people easily write messages.

Today, about 97 percent of smartphone owners use text messaging, according to Pew Research, and along the way, a new set of sub-languages based on abbreviations and keyboard-based imagery has evolved. More than 561 billion text messages were sent worldwide in June 2014, about 18.7 billion texts sent every day, according researcher TextRequest.

Texting has become so popular that most Americans would rather type it than say it. US smartphone users are sending and receiving five times as many texts compared with the number of phone calls each day, according to the International Smartphone Mobility Report by mobile data tracking firm Infomate.

Apple’s iOS 11.2 Adds Apple Pay Cash

December 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple’s new iOS 11.2 software update became available on Saturday, adding Apple Pay Cash and faster wireless charging to supported iPhones.

For anyone with an iPhone 6 or later, the update’s Apple Pay Cash feature opens up the ability to send cash to friends and family over iMessage. While I didn’t see the feature immediately turned on after updating my own iPhone to iOS 11.2, when it does appear it should work similarly to Paypal’s Venmo service.

Anyone with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X can look forward to faster wireless charging, with the update release specifically noting improvements when using third-party chargers. That’s pretty much every Qi wireless charger currently out, as Apple’s own AirPower charging mat is planned for a 2018 release.

Other improvements and fixes listed by Apple include:

  • Improves video camera stabilization
  • Adds support in Podcasts to automatically advance to the next episode from the same show
  • Adds support in HealthKit for downhill snow sports distance as a data type
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Mail to appear to be checking for new messages even when a download is complete
  • Fixes an issue that could cause cleared Mail notifications from Exchange accounts to reappear
  • Improves stability in Calendar
  • Resolves an issue where Settings could open to a blank screen
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent swiping to Today View or Camera from the Lock Screen
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent Music controls from displaying on the Lock Screen
  • Fixes an issue that could cause app icons to be arranged incorrectly on the Home Screen
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent users from deleting recent photos when iCloud storage is exceeded
  • Addresses an issue where Find My iPhone sometimes wouldn’t display a map
  • Fixes an issue in Messages where the keyboard could overlap the most recent message
  • Fixes an issue in Calculator where typing numbers rapidly could lead to incorrect results
  • Addressed an issue where the keyboard could respond slowly
  • Adds support for real-time text (RTT) phone calls for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Improves VoiceOver stability in Messages, Settings, App Store and Music
  • Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from announcing incoming Notifications

Windows 10 Hits 600 Million Mark

December 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Software king of the world Microsoft says that its Windows 10 is on 600 million devices.

CEO Satya Nadella referenced the new number for the first-time moments ago at the company’s annual shareholders meeting, where he is giving analysts and investors an update on Microsoft’s progress and strategy.

This is an increase from the 500 million devices touted by Microsoft earlier this year, but it’s still well short of the company’s original goal of one billion Windows 10 devices within two to three years of its 2015 release.

Microsoft has admitted that the original goal is a little too optimistic, but it has seen Windows XP use dropping away lately which is at least some comfort.

Courtesy-Fud

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