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Google Launches AI Chat App Allo

September 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

allo-1-150x150Google-parent Alphabet Inc rolled out Allo, a messaging app that integrates Google’s search feature and a chatbot that uses machine learning to “improve” itself over time.

The new messaging service, which was unveiled in May, will compete with Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp and Messenger. The much-anticipated launch comes a month after Google rolled out Duo, its video calling app.

Allo features a chatbot powered by Google Assistant, a virtual personal assistant like Apple Inc’s Siri.

Users can call up the assistant in a chat by typing “@google” followed by a search query and the results will be displayed in the chat itself.

“The more you use it, the more it improves over time,” Amit Fulay, group product manager, wrote in a blog post.

The app has a “Smart Reply” feature that suggests responses to chats and can be send with just a tap.

“If your friend sends you a photo of their pet, you might see Smart Reply suggestions like ‘aww cute!’,” Fulay wrote.

Users can also use stickers and scribble on photos before sending them.

Allo will have end-to-end encryption only while chatting in “Incognito” mode. Whatsapp chats have end-to-end encryption.

Google has started rolling out Allo and said the app would be available worldwide in the next few days.

AT&T Announces Low-cost, High-speed Wireless Internet Service AirGig

September 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

att-logo-5-150x150AT&T unveiled a low-cost, high-speed wireless internet technology that relies on plastic antennas stationed along medium-voltage power lines.

The signals will not travel through the conductive materials inside the power lines, as with more expensive technologies that were tried and mostly failed a decade ago, AT&T executives said on a conference call.

Instead, the plastic antennas will be attached to the power lines and serve as a mesh network to distribute signals to homes and businesses. To test the technology, AT&T is looking for a location somewhere in the next year with a favorable regulatory environment, since the carrier would need to partner with an existing electric utility.

The project, called AirGig, relies on more than 100 patents, according to an AT&T statement. There is no direct electrical connection to the power lines, although network components could receive their needed power through inductive physical principals just by their proximity to the lines, AT&T Chief Technology Officer Andre Fuetsch explained.

AT&T said the testing will decide what frequency AirGig will use for commercial deployment, which could occur sometime around 2020, after the carrier rolls out 5G wireless. The frequency AT&T uses will affect the range of the signal and the speed, as well as whether it is over a licensed or unlicensed band.

By using power lines, AirGig avoids the expense of digging trenches to lay fiber optic cable. A utility company would be able to use the technology to help spot problems on its power lines from something like a downed tree.

“It’s a transformative technology that delivers low-cost and multigigabit speeds using power lines,” said John Donovan, chief strategy officer for AT&T. “There’s no need for enhancements for new towers, and it’s over existing infrastructure.”

Aside from saying it is low-cost, AT&T didn’t offer details. A location for the field testing will be offered soon, officials said.

AirGig has already been tested in outdoor locations on campus settings. “We’ve had it up and running 4k video and cameras on campuses for quite some time,” Donovan said.

He said the trial could be in an area where existing broadband is expensive, even in the U.S.

Twitter’s Livestream of NFL Game Touted As A Success

September 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

twitter-livestream-150x150Twitter Inc received an average of 243,000 viewers to Thursday’s National Football League livestream of the New York Jets triumph over the Buffalo Bills, the first time the social media platform has broadcast an NFL game.

The event drew mostly praise from Twitter users and media experts have said the NFL deal helps Twitter maintain its position as a venue for live video.

Still, the Twitter audience was only a fraction of the average of 15.7 million people watching across television and digital platforms, according to NFL data of the game, which the Jets won, 37-31.

Twitter’s arrangement with the NFL comes as sports fans increasingly rely on the internet to watch video at the expense of traditional cable and satellite connections.

The microblogging platform has struggled with user growth and advertising competition, and livestreaming the games gives it a new avenue to attract users as it tries to catch up with rivals such as Facebook Inc.

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA  Ford Motor Co, Bank of America Corp and Verizon Communications were among the brands that ran video ads during the game’s livestream.

The deal with the NFL has the potential to reignite brands’ interest in working more with Twitter after it has had a bumpy ride over the past several months, said Victor Pineiro, senior vice president, social media at Big Spaceship, a Brooklyn, New York-based digital ad agency.

“We still see a big role for it,” he said.

For example, there is an opportunity for brands to be part of the conversation around the games through sponsored tweets and other means, said Edithann Ramey, vice president, marketing for Chili’s Grill and Bar, a Dallas-based restaurant chain.

“It’s very intriguing to us in terms of the number of impression they bring and ways we can jump in and be part of the conversation,” Ramey said.

witter is the second tech company to livestream an NFL game. In October, Yahoo Inc livestreamed a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills in London, which attracted an average of 2.36 million viewers, versus the 243,000 in the Twitter game.

About 15.2 million viewers watched at least part of the game on Yahoo, while a total of 2.3 million people tuned into Thursday’s game or pregame show on Twitter for at least three seconds, according to the NFL.

The Yahoo game, however, was not broadcast on U.S. TV nationwide and in some cases, the stream automatically started playing on Yahoo websites.

 

Twitter Launches New Video Streaming Service

September 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

twitter-jack-dorsey-150x150Twitter Inc rolled out a new video streaming application for Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc TV platforms, as well as Microsoft Corp’s Xbox One gaming console as it brings its video content to the forefront.

The application will also be available for users of these devices without a Twitter account or a pay-TV subscription, the company said.

The application will feature video content from a number of Twitter’s partners, including the National Football League and the National Basketball Association, as well as curated tweets and shorter video from its Vine and Periscope services.

The news comes a day ahead of the first of the 10 NFL Thursday night games that Twitter obtained streaming rights for in April.

Jack Dorsey-led Twitter has made a significant push into video, signing deals with several media companies and sports organizations to stream major events.

Twitter To Further Loosen 140 Character Limit In Tweets

September 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

twitter-logo-4-150x150Twitter reportedly will further relax restrictions on its 140-character limit for tweets as soon as next week.

Reports emerged in June that Twitter was looking to expand its character limit – maybe even giving users a 10,000-character limit. But while a change may be in the offing, it doesn’t look to be nearly that dramatic.

According to The Verge, Twitter will make a change to its character limit on Sept. 19.

The company will not exactly expand the number of characters it allows, but will stop counting some things, like images, GIFs and videos, against the limit. Twitter may also stop counting user names at the beginning of replies.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, the change would be a good thing.

“It’s certainly a small difference, but I know I appreciate it,” he said. “I like the discipline of the character limit, but I don’t like having to try and fit in names and links.”
However, Gottheil wouldn’t want to see Twitter do away with the limit all together.

“Sometimes you want more room, but that would happen with any limit, and not having a limit would make it a totally different experience,” he said. “So you live with 140, but it’s nice that it will be 140 for what you write, not 140 less things like names. It will also encourage you to include more names, which should add to the community feel.”

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said such a shift by Twitter could lead to more.

“Users want more room to tweet when they’ve added something like a picture or video,” he added. “This could be the start of something they could build momentum around…. Recently, Twitter has been taking more steps backwards than forward. Twitter isn’t growing, and in social media if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking. To make progress, they need momentum to move them forward and this move could be a start.”

 

AMD’s Market Share Appears To Be Increasing

September 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

AMD has been on the blower to point out that figures from Mercury and Jon Peddie Research, show that it has been growing market share for the fourth consecutive quarter.

A spokesman for AMD said that for the last nine months, AMD has got its mojo back through its Radeon Technologies Group. During that time, the company has made significant investments in hardware, marketing, and software for the graphics line-up leading to four straight quarters of market share growth.

Mercury Research said that AMD gained three points of unit volume share in Q1 2016. The Mercury Research and Jon Peddie Research market share data for Q2 2016 shows AMD seeing its fourth consecutive quarter of desktop discrete GPU share growth, driven by AMD’s strongest quarter of channel GPU sales since 2015 and the commencement of shipping of the next generation Polaris GPUs.

In total discrete graphics, AMD gained 4.8 share points to 34.2 per cent of market by unit volume (based on Mercury Research). In desktop discrete sector, AMD saw a 7.3 share point increase, rising to 29.9 per cent market share.

“This is another positive testament AMD’s strategy is working as the company drives forward towards “Vega” offerings for the enthusiast GPU market, which AMD expects to bring to market in 2017 to complement our current generation of “Polaris” products,” the spokesperson said.

“AMD believes it is well positioned to continue this trend in market share gains with the recently launched Radeon RX 480, 470, and 460 GPUs that bring leadership performance and features to the nearly 85 per cent of enthusiasts who buy a GPU priced between $100 and $300,” she added.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel Envisions A Big Market For Mixed Reality Headsets

September 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

intel-project-alloy-150x150Intel believes untethered headsets may be a new class of computers in the future, and the company may develop chips dedicated to those devices.

The chipmaker previewed its virtual and augmented reality plans last month with Project Alloy, a Microsoft HoloLens-type headset that can mix images from real and virtual worlds. Project Alloy will be available for PC makers to replicate, but Intel may also see a market for mixed reality headset chips.

Project Alloy is a prototype headset running on Microsoft’s Windows Holographic platform, and it could support other VR and AR platforms in the future.

The Alloy design and specifications will be open-sourced early next year. PC makers have expressed interest in making headsets based on the design.

Just like it has done with PCs, Intel is trying to provide guidance to device makers on how to design headsets, integrate hardware, and resolve camera issues, as well as provide ideas on production and productizing, said Venkata Renduchintala, president of the client and internet of things businesses and the Systems Architecture Group at Intel.

Mixed reality can generate a new class of VR/AR products and will probably generate “a custom piece of silicon built on the PC platform to exemplify and amplify the use case,” said Renduchintala, nicknamed Murthy.

The Project Alloy headset has a Skylake laptop chip, but as of now, the company has no dedicated chip for headsets that are also self-contained computers. Intel recently announced new 7th Generation Core PC chips code-named Kaby Lake but has no specific chip for all-in-one headset computers in that lineup.

VR is already catching on quickly, with products like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive — which need to be wired to PC with high-end GPUs — getting a lot of attention.

Spurred by HoloLens, there are efforts to develop untethered PC-style VR and AR headsets, but the makers need to address problems related to wireless connectivity and battery life. Mobile VR — in which smartphones are placed in headsets — is taking off with products like Samsung’s GearVR.

Analyst firms are projecting headset shipments to grow, and it makes sense for Intel to have VR-specific chips. IDC is projecting VR/AR headset shipments to reach 9.6 million units this year, and 110 million units by 2020.

Intel is backing more PC-style mixed reality experiences over mobile VR. Project Alloy provides a powerful mixed reality experience, and that’s the kind of market Intel wants to develop, Renduchintala said.

 

Pandora, Amazon Both To Launch New Music Streaming Service

September 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

amazon-music-150x150Amazon.com Inc and Pandora Media Inc are gearing up to roll out new versions of their streaming music services in coming weeks, the New York Times has reported, citing several anonymous people with knowledge of the matter.

Pandora could announce its plans this to expand its $5-per-month platform this week, with possible features including skipping more songs or storing several hours of playlists, the newspaper said. The company plans to launch a full-fledged on-demand platform by Christmas. Such a platform, priced at $10 a month, would compete with Spotify and Apple Inc’ Apple Music.

Amazon, meanwhile, is expected to reveal a platform with a large catalog of music for $10 per month or about half that amount for customers using its Echo voice-activated speakers, according to the Times.

Both companies are close to completing months of negotiations for deals with record companies and music publishers that will allow them to offer the new services, the Times reported.

Amazon was preparing to launch a standalone music streaming subscription service at $9.99 per month, in line with major rivals, Reuters reported in June, citing sources.

Amazon so far has not responded to a request for comment. Pandora declined to comment.

Intel Updates Its HD Graphics Ensemble

September 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-intel-hdIntel has released a new version of its HD Graphics package.

Dubbed the 20.19.15.4501 driver, the software adds Unify colours for different panels and support for 5K3K panel. It also provides content protection for Overlay and non-Overlay drivers.

The 6th-gen camera pipe gets Windows 7 support and will allow for three DVI/HDMI displays on 6th-gen processors and x2 DP mode for type-C systems. Other improvements include a new LACE(Local Adaptive Contrast Enhancement) feature, because you can never have too much lace.

Intel said that the update improves the DX12 performance on some benchmarks. It also selects outputs to be active when more compatible displays are available, and synchronizes the operating system and driver gamma values.

It also has a fix in the OGL component to resolve TDR problems when running the 3D-CAD application “FJICAD/SX,” and removes the bug that prevented the display from switching back to LCD-only in certain situations.

Intel has provided two downloadable archives suitable for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 operating systems, one for each 32 and 64-bit architecture.

Courtesy-Fud

AT&T, Qualcomm To Test Drones On Wireless Networks

September 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

Qualcomm-drones-150x150AT&T and Qualcomm announced that  they will team up and begin testing drones on commercial 4G LTE wireless networks.

The companies want to test how drones can operate safely and more securely on commercial 4G LTE and upcoming 5G networks, they said in a joint statement. Trials begin later in September at Qualcomm’s San Diego campus.

Researchers said the goal is to help enable future drone operations, including when regulations evolve to allow drones to fly beyond an operator’s line of sight. With that capability, a drone could be used for deliveries of packages and other goods, as well as for remote inspections and explorations. A drone, for example, could assess damage in a hurricane or windstorm, but would probably need to fly well beyond of the vision of an operator.

To deliver packages or conduct inspections and searches will require a highly secure and reliable wireless connection, something that LTE has the potential to provide. LTE connections could deliver flight plans wirelessly to drones and track their location and adjust flight routes in near real-time.

“Solving the connectivity challenges of complex flight operations is an essential first step in enabling how drones will work in the future,” Chris Penrose, senior vice president of Internet of Things Solutions at AT&T, said in a statement.

Qualcomm will use its Snapdragon Flight drone software and chip development platform for control and navigation. The chip is already in use in some commercially available drones. It allows high fidelity sensor processing, autonomous visual navigation and 4k video.

Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob is expected to discuss the LTE-based drone test during a keynote at CTIA Super Mobility in Las Vegas on Thursday.

AT&T said at CES in January that it was collaborating with another major player, Intel, on drone research. The effort with Qualcomm is new.

 

Is AMD A Takeover Target?

September 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

I can’t remember how many times in the last 20 years that I’ve written up rumors that AMD is ripe for a takeover but now it seems it’s time to do it one more time.

This time the speculation is from the guys at Seeking Alpha – in a note to clients it suggests that it’s the magic X86 licences that could be the lure for a company with the financial muscle to make it go somewhere.

There aren’t that many of those around but the rumor mill mentions Qualcomm, Broadcom and Oracle as possible candidates.

There is, of course, the slight matter that Intel would no doubt spin up a legal challenge because it knows where it is with the AMD X86 licenses but might find itself losing that just like it lost it after AMD’s sale of its factories to GloFo.

Even more spectacularly, Seeking Alpha thinks that Intel could take over AMD but we can’t see that one being a goer.

Seeking Alpha doesn’t stop at Qualcomm, Broadcom, Oracle and Intel. It claims Microsoft, Samsung and even TSMC.

Heck, is it really going to happen? We’ve heard the rumors so many times before that perhaps it’s just that time of year.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel Focuses On VR and 4K With Kaby Lake

September 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Intel has launched the 7th-Generation Core chip, dubbed Kaby Lake, intended to power the next-generation of 4K UHD, 360-degree and virtual reality (VR) content. 

The firm announced earlier this month that the processor was in the hands of PC makers, and spilled more details on Wednesday, saying that it will power more than 100 2-in-1 devices and notebooks before the year is out.

Kaby Lake is built on Intel’s 14nm+ manufacturing process, which offers a 12 per cent performance increase compared with standard 14nm, according to Intel, and is “designed to tackle the immersive internet”.

Karen Regis, director of mobile platform marketing at Intel, said: “Consumers’ appetite for rich immersion has become insatiable. People want more interactive experiences. This is what we call the ‘immersive industry’. We think this provides a lot of opportunity for end users and the industry alike.”

Looking past Intel’s marketing guff, this essentially means that the chip is designed to improve the performance of new(ish) internet-led experiences, such as 4K UHD content, 360-degree video, VR, merged reality (apparently) and e-sports.

For example, Intel’s 7th-Generation Core chip’s energy efficiency improvements allow it to offer “all-day” (well, 9.5 hours) 4K video playback, whereas its Skylake predecessor supported only 1080p footage.

With this in mind, Intel said that the processor will crop up in more systems with 4K screen options. 

The chip also has HEVC-10-bit and VP9 decode capability, and provides smooth 4K UHD playback while multitasking, according to Intel. 

Kaby Lake will allow seven hours of playback for 360-degree footage, which Intel said has generated more than 800 million views globally since it launched on Facebook and YouTube. This is 1.7 times longer than the four hours of the 6th-Gen chip. 

Intel claimed that Kaby Lake will provide 12 per cent overall productivity gains compared with Skylake, and a 19 per cent increase in web performance. 

The chip will also allow slimmer machines, according to Intel, and will show up in 10mm convertibles, sub-10mm clamshells and 7mm fanless detachables.

More functionality can be expected from these skinny devices as Microsoft’s Windows Hello authentication and Thunderbolt support will be included.

Further Kaby Lake SKUs will crop up in January targeting enterprises and enthusiast machines such as desktops PCs, workstations and gaming laptops.

Courtesy-TheInq

Twitter Has A Plan To Share Revenue With Its Users

September 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Twitter Inc is upping the ante in its battle to lureTwitter-videos-1-150x150 video talent to its platform, saying it will allow U.S. users who upload a video to share in any advertising revenue it generates.

Twitter, Facebook Inc, Snapchat and YouTube are all competing to keep or recruit top video talent as they seek to cash in on the wave of televison-style advertising that has been moving to the internet.

Twitter already offers revenue sharing to media and entertainment companies such as CBS Corp and the National Football League which post videos through its Amplify Publisher Program. That option will now be open to any Twitter user, Twitter said in a blog post.

YouTube has long offered its video stars a cut of revenue. Facebook, for its part, has ramped up its Live video product in recent months and paid a relatively small number of media companies and celebrities to generate video.

Facebook said it is testing ways to “create a sustainable, long-term monetization model for live video that includes new and different ways of sharing revenue with some partners.”

Instagram and Snapchat also rely heavily on celebrities, who often have millions of followers, to encourage user engagement and growth by posting personal photos and videos.

Twitter’s new program will offer video creators a 70 percent share of revenue. YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, shares 55 percent of the ad revenue with content creators.

Twitter said individual users would also be allowed to share their videos on other platforms.

Under Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, the company has made a significant push into video, signing deals with several media companies and sports organizations to stream major events.

 

Do Indie Game Developers Have A Chance In The Mobile Space

September 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Gaming

From the advent of what we might consider modern game consoles in the 1980s through to the point when standard budgets for individual games topped $10 million took around 25 years. Budgets spiked significantly when the PlayStation shifted the industry from 2D to 3D, but that merely drove them from six to seven figures; it wasn’t until the last generation, with Xbox 360 and PS3, that $10 million became the baseline for developing a AAA game.

From the advent of modern smartphones, in mid-2007, less than a decade has passed; so when Kabam CEO Kevin Chou talks about budgets of over $10 million for mobile games, and easily twice that when launch marketing costs are taken into account, it’s a sign of how quickly the world has accelerated.

Only a few years ago, mobile was the platform recommended to anyone starting out in game development; it was a new, exciting and fertile land waiting to be discovered by anyone with a smartphone, a copy of Xcode and a flash of genius. The very lure of mobile was that it was fast, it was cheap and it had no gatekeepers; you could prototype an idea, try it out in the marketplace, and either discard it or iterate upon it in a matter of weeks or months, even with a tiny indie team.

It would be wrong to imply that there’s no room in the mobile space for small teams and indies any more – an inspired game and a bolt of astonishing luck could still create a cultural phenomenon and a smash hit for something developed on a shoestring budget. Short of winning the development lottery in this way, though, it’s pretty clear that the big opportunities for smaller developers on mobile aren’t just shrinking; they’re actually gone entirely.

What Chou is saying merely reiterates what’s been clear to those watching the industry carefully for the past few years. Mobile games have become an enormous business, but most of the activity in the sector is no longer focused on game development, per se; it’s an incredibly marketing led business. The games that dominate mobile in 2016 are, with the notable exception of Pokemon Go, the same games that dominated 2015 and 2014. They’ve been updated somewhat and are constantly tweaking their formulas based on the data fed back from the playerbase, but the real efforts that drive consistent chart-toppers like Clash of Clans or Candy Crush Saga are marketing led – and very, very expensive marketing at that.

Indeed, while Chou’s comments on development budgets may seem intimidating to an indie creator, they’re the part of his message that deserves to be taken with a pinch of salt. Sure, moving to 3D has boosted development costs in mobile, but high quality 3D is not a hard and fast requirement for a successful game – and his claim that mobile games will be running with a graphical quality comparable to today’s home console titles within two years is pure fantasy (and not even desirable, were it possible; any game attempting such graphical quality will crucify its own retention statistics by being an unforgivable battery hog). Mobile development is unquestionably more expensive than it has been in the past and I don’t doubt Kabam’s budget estimations – they’re in line with what I’ve heard from others in the mobile sector recently – but this level of budget is still a nice-to-have, not a must-have.

In two areas, though, budget is non-negotiable. The first is network services. The reality is that even if a small independent developer came along tomorrow with a Pokemon Go beating game (which won’t happen, because Pokemon Go’s primary strength is in its license, but humour me anyway), the game wouldn’t survive a month. Either the game wouldn’t scale to match its audience, and would abruptly fall over and lose all market momentum; or it would scale, but the bills for the cloud services used in the process would reach unsustainable levels before the revenues from players actually started to roll in. Without good financial backing and the ability to sustain some high up-front costs, a runaway hit could be more likely to bankrupt its creator than a mediocre success.

The second area in which budget is non-negotiable, or rapidly becoming that way, is the aforementioned marketing. Chou suggested that Kabam is putting around $10 million in marketing behind its launches, which is a huge figure that’s still dwarfed by the amount big players such as Supercell and King are spending on “player acquisition” (which is just another way of saying marketing, in mobile game parlance) on their behemoth games. The sheer volume of TV, outdoor and online advertising space occupied by mobile games dwarfs the marketing for even the biggest console games, for the simple reason that the equation is different. Mobile game operators know that their existence relies on acquiring lots of players (which costs marketing money), holding on to as many of them as possible for as long as possible, and ultimately making more money out of each player than it cost to acquire them.

As the mobile market has grown, the cost of getting a player to try your game (Cost Per Acquisition, CPA) has risen enormously. That’s a cost that’s right there from day one of a mobile game’s existence; if you don’t have an acquisition strategy, which means expensive, high-profile advertising, you don’t have a mobile game with any chance of commercial success. Far, far more than any boost to development budgets, that’s what’s locking small teams and indies out of the mobile space. There are workarounds to some degree – like getting someone at Apple to love your game and feature it on the App Store frontpage, for example – but they’re a million to one shot.

It is, bluntly, long past time that we called time on the romantic myth of the indie mobile developer. If you’re an indie with good skills and a great idea, you’re far better off peddling that idea elsewhere. PC remains fertile ground for indie developers, of course, but one of the wonderful things that mobile has done for game development is the role it’s played in forcing console platform holders to open up to indies. If you’re talented and creative, getting access to a console development kit has never been easier or cheaper – in some cases, such as Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program, platform holders actually give dev kits away for free to just about anyone who wants one. It’s a far, far cry from the walled gardens of only a few years ago.

At first glance, mobile still looks like a more open platform than console (or even perhaps than PC, where Steam and its dubious Greenlight program act as de facto gatekeepers); everyone has a smartphone, the development tools to make games on them are free and anyone can upload a game to the App Store or the Play Store with ease. In reality, though, the opportunities for a small studio to succeed on mobile have narrowed rapidly to the point of nothingness, while opportunities on PC and on traditionally more “closed” platforms have boomed. Short of finding someone with a genuinely amazing, eye-opening idea for a mobile title, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend mobile development to any indie studio in 2016.

The wheel may yet turn again. Mobile game audiences, if nothing else, are still very new and very fickle; their tastes and desires may well shift, and more commercially viable niches may grow within the mobile space. As these devices get more powerful and capable, they’ll enable new experiences and consumers may come to demand more diversity from their gaming. For now, though, mobile has gone the way of console games around a decade ago; rising costs and an escalating arms race in marketing have killed, or are killing, the low-cost end of the market entirely. Unless you’ve got millions you don’t mind losing on a risky gamble, consider the mobile space closed to new entrants for the time being.

Courtesy-GI.biz

Intel’s Mobile Kaby Lake Arrive In Q2 2017 Too

August 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

A  report from the folks at NotebookCheck.net shows an Intel slide detailing some updates to the company’s mobile ULV processor lineup based on the Kaby Lake third-generation 14nm processor lineup.

As we mentioned in July, Intel is describing Kaby Lake mostly as a “2017 platform” and plans to launch some desktop processors in the fourth quarter of this year, but will have larger volumes planned for Q1 2017 and will probably announce them formally at next year’s CES.

Quad-core ULV chips arriving for the first time

With Skylake, Intel currently has its mobile processors separated into four categories – “Y”-series (Core M) for 2-in-1 notebooks, “U”-series for thin and light notebooks, “H”-series for gaming notebooks (with unlocked “HK” and “HQ” quad-core variants). The lineup includes some chips with Intel HD Graphics (listed as “+ 2” for “Tier 2”), while others feature upgraded Intel Iris Graphics (listed as “+ 3e” for “Tier 3”).

 “U” series gets a quad-core 15W design

There will not be any new chip configurations for Core M from Skylake to Kaby Lake, as the new generation will also feature dual-core CPUs with Intel HD Graphics and a 6W TDP. According to the source, however, the Kaby Lake “U” series will be receiving a new quad-core variant with Intel HD Graphics inside a 15W TDP. This will be placed alongside two current dual-core CPUs with Intel Iris Graphics (3e) in 15W and 28W designs.

“H” gaming series gets a quad-core 18W design

The Kaby Lake “H” gaming series will also be receiving a quad-core design with Intel HD Graphics inside a remarkable 18W TDP.

Not much has been reported about Kaby Lake notebook processor lineups yet, other than that the integrated GPUs will be be capable of supporting High Dynamic Range (HDR) content, Wide Color Gamut (Rec.2020) and HDCP2.2 playback. This is a great value for consumers seeking thin and lightweight ultrabook lineups that don’t necessarily have physical room for a dedicated GPU, but who still want to experience 4K Ultra HD and similar resolutions with the benefits of a more complete color spectrum.

Courtesy-Fud

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