US chipmaker Qualcomm has told the world that it will not be dumping its “essentially useless chip making” business.
Hedge fund Jana Partners said in April that Qualcomm would make a pile more dosh if it just stuck to being a patent troll and stopped trying to flog “essentially worthless” chips.
Apparently Qualcomm thought about it. Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs the idea has been talked about for a long time, but came to the conclusion that the status quo contained a lot more “synergies.” Apparently synergies are a good thing to have about the place, particularly if you have a breeding pair.
Jacobs was less optimistic about Jana Partners’ idea which was apparently full of dis-synergies which might eat the synergies – or just diss them in public.
Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs said all this intensifying industry competition was not enough to spin off his chip business from its patent-licensing business.
Jacobs said, however, that the company is always evaluating its options and that the situation could change in the future, so maybe there a future for a Qualcomm troll walloping other companies with dis-synergies.
Cortana always listens in order to hear its name and be a smart digital assistant. This is Microsoft answer to Siri and Google Now that is making its way to Windows 10.
Unfortunately, this will affect your notebook battery life. We have spoken with a few industry sources and we can definitely confirm that Windows 10 with enabled Cortana will have an impact on the battery life. We are testing this as we speak to check how big the impact is.
We don’t know how significant the battery life decrease will be, but the good thing is that you will be able to switch Cortana off in case you don’t need it. We heard that many new Toshiba notebooks will come with a dedicated Cortana button, as this is the easiest way to save battery life. Cortana on Toshiba won’t listen until you press the button.
It would be smart if Microsoft would come up with Cortana enable / disable keyboard shortcut. Win + Q will enable Cortana news while Win + S will bring you directly to the Cortana search engine.
Windows 10 seems to be a logical upgrade for anyone who has Windows 8.1 on their notebooks and misses the options from Windows 7, and some familiar UI elements. We use Windows 8.1 on some devices, while most of our computers still have Windows 7 and nothing more. Microsoft DirectX 12 will force us to Windows 10 but from what awe can tell from Preview release, the upgrade to Windows 10 from with 7 seems like quite seamless and logical step.
Just make sure to be aware that your notebook battery life might suffer because of Cortana. Have in mind that this “talk to your PC and expect a smart answer” option can be disabled.
The changes will apply to Yahoo search on the mobile web in the U.S., in browsers such as Safari and Chrome. Yahoo’s mobile app and desktop site already provide some additional content within results.
A search on the mobile web for Barack Obama, for instance, displays information about him from Wikipedia, such as his height and birth date, as well as links to news, images and YouTube videos. In one search Thursday, the videos included some curious choices, including “Barack Obama is Illuminati.”
Google already highlights a variety of content related to search queries, including news and related tweets, as well as links to other services like Maps. Microsoft’s Bing does something similar.
Because Yahoo is playing catch-up, the changes might not attract many new users, but they could help it retain people who use Yahoo for mobile searches today.
In the last quarter of 2014, mobile accounted for half of Yahoo’s search traffic in North America, up from 32 percent during the same period in 2013, according to research firm eMarketer.
Premium cable network HBO said it would make available the premiere episodes of two new comedy series on Facebook, underlining the growing popularity of the social networking site as a video platform.
The popularity of web videos have led to U.S. networks experiment with new platforms to attract new viewers. With about 1.44 billion monthly active users, Facebook has become a sough-after outlet for companies looking to market their products via online videos, the fastest growing category of Internet ads.
Last week, Amazon.com Inc released the pilot episode of its show “Catastrophe” for a limited time on the social media network, instead of its own Prime Instant Video streaming service.
HBO, owned by Time Warner Inc, said on Wednesday viewers would be able to access the premiere episodes of Dwayne Johnson-starrer “Ballers” and “The Brink” on Facebook for a limited period. The two new original series premiered this past Sunday.
Turner Broadcasting, another Time Warner network, said in April it granted exclusive video-on-demand rights to its Cartoon Network and Adult Swim programs to video streaming service Hulu.
On Tuesday Hulu said it would soon allow users to add CBS Corp’s TV network Showtime to their subscriptions.
The three apps are free for consumers, who may use them only for non-commercial purposes; in other words, not for work- or business-related tasks.
Microsoft kicked off previews last month, wrapping up the release of the suite’s apps for the OSes maintained by rivals Google (Android) and Apple (iOS). The gradual rollout began in March 2014 with the surprise debut of Office on the iPad less than two months after Satya Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer as CEO.
Previously, Microsoft released betas of Office for Windows 10 Mobile — the operating system that will launch before the end of this year for smartphones and smaller tablets — and for Windows 10 on desktops, 2-in-1s and larger tablets. Neither of those collections have been completed.
Microsoft’s change in tenor and pivot in strategy have been clearest over the last 17 months as it crafted and then released touch-based Office apps for every major operating system except Windows, turning a decades-long practice of protecting its own OS on its head.
As with the Office apps on other devices, Excel, PowerPoint and Word on Android can be used by consumers free of charge for basic tasks, including viewing, creating and editing documents. A Microsoft Account — the credentials used to access Microsoft’s services, such as Outlook.com and Skype — is required for all but viewing documents, and on larger Android devices, for everything but viewing and printing.
Business customers and anyone who wants to utilize advanced features, however, require a current Office 365 subscription.
IDC had said two weeks ago that Apple will ship to retailers about 21 million Apple Watches in 2015. That’s in the mid-range of other analyst forecasts of 15 million to 30 million for the new device.
Then last week IDC said that all smartwatches and a small number of other smart wearables will total 33.1 million shipments in 2015, putting Apple Watch at 63% of that total. Smart wearables are defined by IDC as devices capable of running third party apps, such as Apple Watch and Android Wear watches like the Moto 360.
The IDC prediction comes amidst some other striking analyst forecasts for the Apple Watch, but also amid questions about the overall value of smartwatches.
Financial analyst Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald recently declared the Apple Watch will “prove to be the best selling product in Apple’s history (within the first 12 months.)” Various estimates say it took one day of pre-orders to sell 1 million Apple Watches, while it took Apple 74 days to sell 1 million iPhones and 28 days to sell 1 million iPads.
Research firm Slice Intelligence told Reuters that about 2.8 million Apple Watches were sold through mid-June, nearly two months after the device first went on sale. Apple hasn’t reported how many Apple Watches it has sold and is not expected to separately report that number in the future. Slice gets its insights by mining e-mail receipts. The entry-level Apple Watch costs $349 and is the most popular in sales, Slice said.
About 20% of Apple Watch customers are also buying a spare watch band, with the entry-level sports band selling for $49, Slice noted.
As of the next build to the Windows Insider program, Microsoft will require that participants associate their Microsoft Account — typically the same username and password combination for accessing company services such as Outlook.com, OneDrive and Skype — with the preview on their PC.
“You’ll need to connect the MSA [Microsoft Account] that you registered for the Windows Insider Program with (and accepted the ‘Microsoft Windows Insider Program Agreement’) in order to continue receiving new Windows 10 Insider Preview builds (both Fast and Slow rings) from Windows Update,” wrote Gabriel Aul, the engineering general manager for Microsoft’s operating system group who regularly blogs about the preview.
Most testers have already done so, but those that haven’t need to toe the line. “We’re introducing new infrastructure in Windows Update to help us deliver new builds more effectively to Windows Insiders, and ensure that we’re flighting builds to people who have registered and opted in to the program,” said Aul.
Part of that move is due to the impending release of Windows 10, another to the fact that Microsoft will — contrary to past practices with beta programs — continue Insider after the initial launch.
Insider will then become Windows 10′s fastest release “branch” — Microsoft’s label for the multiple update cadences it will offer users — and receive new features, functionality and UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) changes before those on other tracks. Within Insider, users can select from different “rings” — subsets that denote how rough-edged the builds are — as they will be able to do if updating on the other tempos, “Current Branch” and “Current Branch for Business.”
Aul also reiterated what he had said previously on Twitter, that Insider participants would receive the July 29 first stable release starting that day.
The competition for video viewers opens up a new front in the clash between the two web giants that already compete in other types of advertising given their appeal to young and international consumers, Ampere Analysis said in a study.
London-based Ampere predicts a new advertising “arms race” between the two rivals, neck and neck in terms of audience sizes with around 1.4 billion to 1.3 billion monthly active users, respectively for Facebook and YouTube. That means consumers are likely to be forced to see more ads, but also enjoy a richer range of video programming as a result, it said.
The Internet will overtake TV advertising in 12 key markets, representing 28 percent of global ad spending by 2017, separate research by media-buying firm Zenith Optimedia said on Monday. Ad spending is projected to reach $531 billion this year.
Online video is now growing faster than any other digital category or subcategory, rising 33 percent in 2014, and is forecast to grow 29 percent a year through 2017, Zenith said.
The two reports were released as the week-long Cannes Lions international advertising conference opens this week.
Ampere Analysis argues that Facebook is morphing from a platform most advertisers use for building general brand awareness to one that can deliver “pre-roll” advertisements that marketing companies prefer for ensuring their messages are actually viewed.
Currently, YouTube remains a more flexible marketing platform, offering advertisers the full range of video ads which run before, during or after a video program is shown.
“If the social network’s own video ambitions are to be realized, and if it is to convince content owners it is a viable alternative to YouTube, it must deliver comparable returns,” Ampere Research Director Richard Broughton said.
Intel’s 14nm Skylake processors and 100-series chipsets for desktops are expected to be unveiled in early August at Gamescom in Germany.
The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth rumour that Intel will lift the kimono in its Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K as well as Z170 chipsets.
The reason that Gamescom was selected was because it is initially targeting gamers.
Intel is expected to unveil its Skylake-based Core i7-6700/6700T, Core i5-6600, 6500, 6400, 6600T, 6500T and 6400T, and H170 and B150 chipsets between August 30-September 5.
The H110 chipsets are scheduled to be released between September 27 and October 3, the Q170 and Q150 chipsets are set for October or November.
Motherboard makes will start announcing their 100-series-based motherboards on August 5. The Skylake platform adopts an LGA1151 socket design and supports DDR4 memory.
Notebook versions of Skylake will be in the shops in the run up to Christmas. Chipzilla’s notebook reference design for the Skylake platform includes support for USB 3.1 Type-C ports.
The technology that makes it possible is called g.Fast. Step by step, chipmakers and equipment manufacturers are getting it ready for large-scale commercial services that are expected to arrive next year.
After getting the network equipment to work, vendors are increasingly focusing on the modems.
Alcatel-Lucent has launched the 7368 ISAM residential gateway, which uses g.Fast and 802.11ac to offer speeds surpassing 750Mbps, the company said. The product has four Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB 3.0 ports. It can also be used to deliver broadband over VDSL2. The thinking is that operators can offer VDSL2 today and then upgrade to G.fast.
Sckipio, meanwhile, has announced a new line of G.fast reference designs to support G.fast modems inside an SFP (small form-factor pluggable) module. This approach lets modem manufacturers develop products that aren’t tied to one access technology, and also makes upgrades easier. Sckipio has also developed a reference design for an affordable modem.
Neither company offered any details on pricing and shipping.
The speed increase offered by g.Fast is needed for applications such as streaming 4K video (and in the future, 8K video), IPTV, cloud-based storage, and HD video calls. At the International CES trade show in January, Sckipio demonstrated G.fast’s ability to carry 4K TV.
Operators backing g.Fast include British Telecom, Telekom Austria and Swisscom.
Advertisers’ videos and those uploaded to Twitter natively through its new video recording tool will play automatically on the company’s desktop site and in its iOS app, with Android functionality coming soon, the company announced.
The changes also apply to videos recorded with Twitter’s Vine app and GIFs.
Autoplaying videos, though possibly annoying, will help Twitter compete against Facebook, which started placing autoplaying videos, including those from advertisers, in users’ feeds in 2013. Twitter makes the bulk of its money through advertising, and more Internet companies are looking to siphon video advertising dollars away from traditional TV.
On Twitter, the videos will start playing without sound unless they’re tapped on.
Twitter users who don’t want autoplaying videos can change their settings to revert to the click-to-play format. Users can also change their settings so videos only play automatically when they’re connected to Wi-Fi.
Users will not see auto-playing videos if they have a low bandwidth connection on their device, Twitter said.
Twitter is using the same amount of viewing time as Facebook to define a video “view”: three seconds.
Twitter began testing auto-playing videos earlier this year.
The service, to be available in the form of an app as well as a website, will focus exclusively on gamers and gaming.
More than 25,000 games will each have their own page on the site, bringing videos and live streams about various titles together in a single space, Google said.
Users will be able to add games to their collection for quick access, subscribe to channels, and receive recommendations on new games based on the games and channels they follow.
“When you want something specific, you can search with confidence, knowing that typing “call” will show you “Call of Duty” and not “Call Me Maybe,” Google said in a blog post.
Amazon bought Twitch Interactive last year for $970 million, beating a rival bid from Google.
“We welcome new entrants into the growing list of competitors since gaming video is obviously a huge market that others have their eye on,” said Matthew DiPietro, Twitch’s vice president of marketing.
Twitch also tweeted a welcome message to its rival, saying, “@YouTubeGaming Welcome Player 2. Add me on Google +. #kappa”
“Kappa” is an emoticon used mostly by Twitch users to convey sarcasm.
YouTube Gaming will available on the web, mobiles and tablets on both Android and iOS operating systems, according to a tweet from its official account.
The service will launch this summer, starting in the United States and UK.
Don’t let anyone fool you, the chipmarket is still not doing that well and there are a few problems to be sorted out before real money will be made.
FC Tseng, vice chairman for foundry VIS said that handset makers have too much inventory in their warehouses and the much hyped IoT market boom has not yet arrived.
In fact it is looking like 2015 will not be as good as 2014, which was pretty good at least as far as VIS was concerned.
Semiconductor demand for IoT applications will emerge, but no one has really worked out what the key drivers of IoT market growth will be, Tseng said.
Smartphones, devices such as watches, bracelets and glasses are all being identified as the popular applications when it comes to wearables and the Internet of Things.
VIS forecast that the global 2015 semiconductor market will increase 5 per cent in production value to $358 bn, while the foundry sector will grow by a larger 10 per cent on year to about S$50 bn.
VIS chairman and president Leuh Fang warned that the company has seen a low visibility of customer orders for the third quarter of 2015.
VIS reported record revenues and profits for 2014 and has been spending on capital expenditure like a mad thing in 2015.
Asus has come up with a new fully automated graphics card production method.
According to Toms Hardware it is an industry first and it should deliver more reliable, higher quality graphics cards.
Dubbed Auto-Extreme the process is supposed to remove the chance of human error in the manufacture of graphics cards.
The new production process fully automates all the steps of PCB manufacturing, which includes rolling the spools and manufacturing the MOSFETs. These PCB components used to be soldered to the PCB by hand, but now that everything is fully automated, it can be done with much more precision than before.
Process designs, which lead to smooth PCBs and neat component layouts, are optimized further due to the higher precision possible in manufacturing. Installation of the components can be accomplished without oxidation and in environments with less dust.
It reduces Asus’ production costs due to a lower failure rate in the quality control phase, and the graphics cards will likely have a longer lifetime, reducing warranty claims.
Asus’ first products to have been built using this new production line are the 20th anniversary graphics cards.
Intel has suddenly made some interesting hardware less interesting to open sourcers by insisting that its i915 DRM kernel graphics driver for upcoming Skylake and Broxton hardware demands some binary-only firmware blobs.
According to Phoronix these first i915 DRM firmware blobs are for Skylake and Broxton for the GuC and DMC.
DMC is the Display Microcontroller used by Skylake (Gen9) within the display engine to save and restore its state when entering into low-power states and then resuming. It saves and restores display registers across low-power states separate of the kernel.
Intel said that the firmware blobs are required by the DRM driver rather than being an optional add-on.
The license of these firmware blobs also indicate that redistribution is only allowed in binary form without modification. Beyond that, “no reverse engineering, decompilation, or dis-assembly of this software is permitted.”
Basically this will kill off any desire for Open Source enthusiasts to touch Skylake, although we doubt Intel will be too worried – they are a very nice couple. In any event AMD apparently uses something similar to protect bits of its operation.
Still Intel is shipping these firmware files early so everyone knows they are there.