The deal would mirror a first-of-its kind agreement that Disney and satellite rival Dish Network Corp announced earlier this week.
The Internet rights being discussed are part of a large-scale programming agreement that would replace a deal between the companies that expires in late December. Disney and Dish are in negotiations but the timing of the new deal could be not be learned.
“The deal and terms are not unexpected as the Dish contract was the most recent in the Disney timeline to expire,” DirecTV spokesman Darris Gringeri said on Wednesday. “The DirecTV contract is up next and we’re in the process of working with Disney on a similar long-term agreement of our own.”
A Disney spokesman declined to comment.
A new pact could give both Disney and DirecTV, the No. 1 satellite operator, an additional revenue source as consumers gravitate toward online video services such as Netflix Inc and watch more television online.
The agreement between Dish and Disney marked the first time that a U.S. pay TV operator has been given the flexibility to offer its content over the Web through smartphones, tablets and computers outside of a pay TV subscription.
In that agreement, Disney allows for Dish to stream linear and on-demand content from ABC broadcast stations as well as cable channels, ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2. Dish has not revealed plans for its streaming service.
DirecTV, which has 20.3 million subscribers, is expected to secure better rates on programming than Dish, which has 14.1 million subscribers, because of its size. Both companies have complained about the rising cost of programming and have been involved in high-profile blackouts over the past few years.
DirecTV Chief Executive Mike White has previously said the company is working on an “over-the-top” video package to suit niche audiences featuring Hispanic or kids programming, but has not yet given details on that offering.
Verizon Communications is engaged in discussions with content providers to deliver web-based TV services to mobile platforms, chief executive Lowell McAdam, said at an investor conference earlier in the week.
Just recently, Dish Network Corp and Walt Disney Co announced a landmark deal that will allow the No. 2 satellite TV provider to deliver Disney-owned network content online, outside of a traditional TV subscription.
Verizon’s goal “is to work with the content providers,” said
McAdam at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.
“I have personally had discussions with the CEOs of the large content companies, and we would love to partner with them to see how we can take FiOS contact mobilely across the country.” he said.
McAdam said the company could also look at providing a service delivered over wireless airwaves and not just broadband.
According to PwC’s annual entertainment and media forecast, North American consumers will spend $6 billion in 2014 on entertainment from services such as Netflix that are offered over the top, meaning they are utilized over a network but not offered by the network operator.
“I think you can actually get a virtuous cycle where broadcast viewing goes up and over-the-top viewing goes up, if you time this properly,” McAdam said.
In January, Verizon acquired Intel Corp’s OnCue service for an undisclosed sum to accelerate its push into next-generation video services, including integrating it with Verizon’s FiOS fiber-based Internet and TV service that has more than 5 million video subscribers, about 5 percent of pay TV households. The company said it was open to providing over-the-top content to any device.
McAdam also stressed that Verizon expects Netflix to pay for faster video delivery as part of a so-called interconnect deal, in an arrangement similar to the one the video provider has made with Comcast Corp.
“I have spoken live and via email with (Netflix CEO) Reed Hastings, and I believe that we will get some sort of an arrangement with them as well,” said McAdam.
Based on the firm’s Kabini system on chip (SoC), the APU is named the “AM1 Platform”, combining most system functions into one chip, with the motherboard and APU together costing around $60.
Due to be released on 9 April, the AM1 Platform is aimed at markets where entry-level PCs are competing against other low-cost devices.
“We’re seeing that the market for these lower-cost PCs is increasing,” said AMD desktop product marketing manager Adam Kozak. “We’re also seeing other devices out there trying to fill that gap, but there’s really a big difference between what these devices can do versus what a Windows PC can do.”
The AM1 Platform combines an Athlon or Sempron processor with a motherboard based on the FS1b upgradable socket design. These motherboards have no chipset, as all functions are integrated into the APU, and only require additional memory modules to make a working system.
The AM1 SoC has up to four Jaguar CPU cores and an AMD Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU, an on-chip memory controller supporting up to 16GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, plus all the typical system input and output functions, including SATA ports for storage, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, as well as VGA and HDMI graphics outputs.
AMD’s Jaguar core is best known for powering both Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4 (PS4) games consoles. The AM1 Platform supports Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 in 32-bit or 64-bit architectures.
AMD said that it is going after Intel’s Bay Trail with the AM1 Platform, and expects to see it in small form factor desktop PCs such as netbooks and media-streaming boxes.
“We see it being used for basic computing, some light productivity and basic gaming, and really going after the Windows 8.1 environment with its four cores, which we’ll be able to offer for less,” Kozak added.
AMD benchmarked the AM1 Platform against an Intel Pentium J2850 with PC Mark 8 v2 and claimed it produced double the performance of the Intel processor. See the table below.
The FS1b upgradable socket means that users will be able to upgrade the system at a later date, while in Bay Trail and other low-cost platforms the processor is mounted directly to the motherboard.
The AM1 Platform will ship to system vendors in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and Latin America first, then to North America and the Pacific region later this year.
AMD lifted the lid on its Kabini APU for tablets and mainstream laptops last May. AMD’s A series branded Kabini chips are quad-core processors, with the 15W A4-5000 and 25W A6-5200 clocked at 1.5GHz and 2GHz, respectively.
Worldwide sales of tablets to end users totaled 195.4 million units, fueled by sales of low-end, smaller screen devices, and purchases by first time buyers, the company reported.
Android has become the biggest tablet operating system with 62% of the market. In 2012, Google’s OS trailed Apple’s iOS by a margin of about 8 million tablets, but by the end of last year had turned that into a 50 million-unit lead.
The Android camp led by Samsung sold almost 121 million tablets, for a 61.9% share, compared to 53.3 million units and a 45.8% share in 2012. Apple’s tablet sales increased from 61.5 to 70.4 million units, but because the overall market grew faster, the company’s share dropped from 52.8% to 36%.
Microsoft’s Windows tablet sales improved but the share remained small at 2.1%, with shipments growing from 1.2 million to 4 million units. To compete, Microsoft needs to create a more compelling ecosystem for consumers as well as developers across all mobile devices, Gartner said.
Apple’s strong fourth quarter helped it maintain the top position among the manufacturers. Samsung, ranked in second place, had the biggest growth of the worldwide tablet vendors, at 336 %. The expansion and improvement of its Galaxy tablet portfolio, together with a lot of marketing, helped Samsung shrink the gap with Apple.
Samsung sold 37.4 million tablets for a 19.1% slice of the market.
The rest of the top 5 was made up of Asus, Amazon.com and Lenovo. Of those three companies, Lenovo did particularly well with tablet sales growing by 198% to 6.5 million units, or a 3.3% market share. The company’s success was due to a combination of new tablet models launched during the second half of last year, and sales of its Yoga model and its Windows tablets doing particularly well, Gartner said.
However, Lenovo is still behind Asus, with 11 million units sold, and Amazon, with 9.4 million. Asus’ market share grew from 5.4% to 5.6%, while Amazon’s share declined from 6.6% to 4.8%.
As the tablet market becomes even more competitive, this year it will be critical for vendors to improve user experience, technology and ecosystem value beyond just hardware and cost, Gartner said.
As in-vehicle electronics become more sophisticated to support autonomous driving, cameras, and infotainment systems, Ethernet has become a top contender for connecting them.
For example, the BMW X5 automobile, released last year, used single-pair twisted wire, 100Mbps Ethernet to connect its driver-assistance cameras.
Paris-based Parrot, which supplies mobile accessories to automakers BMW, Hyundai and others, has developed in-car Ethernet. Its first Ethernet-connected systems could hit the market as soon as 2015, says Eric Riyahi, executive vice president of global operations.
Parrot’s new Ethernet-based Audio Video Bridging (AVB) technology uses Broadcom’s BroadR-Reach automotive Ethernet controller chips.
The AVB technology’s network management capabilities allows automakers to control the timing of data streams between specific network nodes in a vehicle and controls the bandwidth in order to manage competing data traffic.
Ethernet’s greater bandwidth could provide drivers with turn-by-turn navigation while a front-seat passenger streams music from the Internet, and each back-seat passenger watches streaming videos on separate displays.
“In-car Ethernet is seen as a very promising way to provide the needed bandwidth for coming new applications within the fields of connectivity, infotainment and safety,” said Hans Alminger, senior manager for Diagnostics & ECU Platform at Volvo, in a statement.
Ethernet was initially used by automakers only for on-board diagnostics. But as automotive electronics advanced, the technology has found a place in advanced driver assistance systems and infotainment platforms.
Many manufacturers also use Ethernet to connect rear vision cameras to a car’s infotainment or safety system, said Patrick Popp, chief technology officer of Automotive at TE Connectivity, a maker of car antennas and other automobile communications parts.
Currently, however, there are as many as nine proprietary auto networking specifications, including LIN, CAN/CAN-FD, MOST and FlexRay. FlexRay, for example, has a 10Mbps transmission rate. Ethernet could increase that 10 fold or more.
The effort to create a single vehicle Ethernet standard is being lead by Open Alliance and the IEEE 802.3 working group. The groups are working to establish 100Mbps and 1Gbps Ethernet as de facto standards.
The first automotive Ethernet standard draft is expected this year.
The Open Alliance claims more than 200 members, including General Motors, Ford, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai, BMW, Toyota, Volkswagen. Jaguar Land Rover, Renault, Volvo, Bosch, Freescale and Harman.
Broadcom, which makes electronic control unit chips for automobiles, is a member of the Open Alliance and is working on the effort to standardize automotive Ethernet.
The change was initially published to Steam’s private developer forums, but was ultimately leaked by a Reddit user known as “Sharkiller.”
The new Steamworks tools cover both fixed weeklong promotions, which developers can decide to join and then set a percentage discount, and custom promotions, where the price and duration can be decided up to a two-week maximum. Prior to this change, pricing in Steam sales was worked out in collaboration with Valve.
“As with the addition of a ‘Recently Updated’ section to Steam, this is another effort to shorten the distance between developers and customers,” Valve’s Alden Kroll said in a statement issued to Ars Technica.
“This new Steamworks tool allows developers to configure discounts for their own products, on their own schedules. They can define custom sale periods or opt in to regularly scheduled sales. This will enable developers to better coordinate their promotions with events, announcements, or major updates they are planning for their products.”
While there have been arguments both for and against the short, deeply discounted sales on Valve’s digital distribution platform, from a consumer perspective they have been instrumental in allowing Steam to become such a force in retail.
These new tools, and the freedom they give developers to control their own inventories, represent another bold step from Valve.
Qualcomm Executive Vice President Murthy Renduchintala has announced the first 20nm chip from Qualcomm. It is not a processor though – it’s the Gobi 9×35 4th generation LTE modem. It is sampling right now and there should be customers who will announce the designs on it shortly.
The SVP has also confirmed that SoC parts will soon to move to 20nm and when asked whether TSMC has capacity and is ready for mature production of 20nm his answer was positive. He actually said to expect a 20nm SoC real soon, but he didn’t get into any details.
The Cat 6 300 Mbps modem in 20nm obviously needs much less power and it will improve battery life on LTE devices. We can see this product as very interesting option for many high-end phones. Modems are easier and less complex to make compared to SoCs and this is why Qualcomm traditionally moves the LTE modem to a new processor node first. The company then follows up with a SoC that is much more complex to manufacture.
With every shrink of the processor node, power goes down significantly and this is what high-end application processors are all about. At 28nm chipmakers are already pushing the envelope with big A15-class parts and the move to 20nm can’t come soon enough.
Written by Ronald Bultje and Clément Bœsch, the decoder is built around FFmpeg and has been written from scratch. The pair say that FFmpeg aims to be a fast, free, community-developed implementation similar to ffvp8. The sorts of speeds being talked about are between 25 and 50 per cent faster than the libvpx-based decoder and there is significant improvements too in multi-threaded performance.
The developers wrote a FFmpeg’s VP8 decoder which was also faster than Google’s own VP8 video decoder. But all of this is decoder-only, and the big issue for VP9 adoption – at this point – is encoder performance, so while it is all well and good it is going to be a while before any of this makes much of an impact.
Announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the $349 tablet has a 10-inch screen and a snappy Qualcomm 400 Snapdragon processor. The screen displays images at a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, setting it apart from the previous Yoga 10 tablet, which was criticized for its poor performance and low-resolution screen.
But the company has retained some of the key features from the original Yoga 10. The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ has a cylindrical battery that the company claims gives the device 18 hours of battery life, and a kickstand that allows the tablet to stand upright at 30-degree to 80-degree angles.
Other features in the tablet include an 8-megapixel rear camera, a front camera, micro-USB port, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The tablet has the Android 4.3 OS.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon chip is able to render full high-definition video, which should give the tablet competitive multimedia performance.
The tablet will be packaged with apps from Lenovo to easily share files, sync contacts and protect the device from malware. The software belongs to Lenovo’s newly announced Do-it software apps package.
The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ will be available in April, the company said.
Intel’s NUC is about to get its biggest overhaul yet later this year. The tiny barebones should get Broadwell-based Core i3 and Core i5 processors, but that’s not all.
It appears that Intel is planning to introduce completely redesigned boxes with plenty of new features. Codenamed Rock Canyon, the new NUC kits will feature miniHDMI and miniDP video outputs, allowing triple display support and 4K/UHD support.
In the storage department, Intel went for a standard 2.5-inch bay backed by an M.2 SSD. This means users will be able to use a small SSD as a system drive along with cheap mechanical storage. On the other hand, the M.2 form factor is anything but popular at this point. All new NUCs will feature USB 3.0 and in terms of connectivity they’ll have built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, IR sensor for HTPC remote controls and replaceable lids with NFC and Wireless Charging.
That’s not all though. Rock Canyon is the mainstream kit, but another one is on the way. Maple Canyon is a “professional” unit and it features Intel vPro technology and TPM hardware, but it does not have an IR sensor or lids with wireless charging.
So, while Broadwell probably won’t appear in the form of socketed desktop CPUs, you’ll still be able to buy a Broadwell desktop, albeit a NUC.
Google has been investing in ad fraud prevention for years, said Neal Mohan, Google’s Display Advertising VP in a blog post on Friday. The company last year turned down millions of applications from sites looking to join its network because of suspected fraudulent activity, he said.
Now, Google will immediately include Spider.io’s fraud detection technology in its video and display ads products to complement existing efforts, said Mohan.
Spider.io helps preventing display advertisers from being defrauded by networks of hijacked PCs, tablets and phones that generate billions of fake ad views, according to its website.
Currently there are two types of display advertising fraud being committed using hijacked Internet-enabled devices, according to Spider.io.
The first involves the attacker running fully automated browsers on the hijacked devices without the knowledge of the device owners. Those browsers visit ad-laden websites of the attacker’s choosing and simulate mouse movements and ad clicks, Spider.io said.
The second type involves hijacking the browsing sessions of the device owners. That typically takes one of four forms, Spider.io said. The device owner’s clicks could for instance be redirected to websites of the attacker’s choosing, and the device owner may also be shown unexpected pop-up windows. Web pages may also be hidden in pop-under windows under the owners’ active browser windows, and ads could be illegitimately injected into web pages ordinarily visited by the device owners.
The company’s technology prevents hijacked PCs, tablets and phones from being used to defraud online advertisers by identifying the type of automated agent responsible for each individual ad request in real time, according to its website.
Google said it hopes its anti-fraud efforts will eventually improve the metrics that advertisers and publishers use to determine the value of digital media and give all parties a clearer picture of what campaigns and media are truly delivering strong results.
Details of the deal where not disclosed in the blog post. Google did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Intel has released details about its new Xeon E7 v2 chipset. The Xeon processor E7 8800/4800/2800 v2 product family is designed to support up to 32-socket servers with configurations of up to 15 processing cores and up to 1.5 terabytes of memory per socket.
The chip is designed for the big data end of the Internet of Things movement, which the processor maker projected will grow to consist of at least 30 billion devices by 2020. Beyond two times better performance power, Intel is promising a few other upgrades with the next generation of this data-focused chipset, including triple the memory capacity, four times the I/O bandwidth and the potential to reduce total cost of ownership by up to 80 percent.
The 15-core variants with the largest thermal envelope (155W) run at 2.8GHz with 37.5MB of cache and 8 GT/s QuickPath connectivity. The lowest-power models in the list have 105W TDPs and run at 2.3GHz with 24MB of cache and 7.2 GT/s of QuickPath bandwidth. There was also talk of 40W, 1.4GHz models at ISSCC but they have not been announced yet.
Intel has signed on nearly two dozen hardware partners to support the platform, including Asus, Cisco, Dell, EMC, and Lenovo. On the software end, Microsoft, SAP, Teradata, Splunk, and Pivotal also already support the new Xeon family. IBM and Oracle are among the few that support Xeon E7 v2 on both sides of the spectrum.
As we said many times before, in the smartphone, tablet or notebook market it is all about the product cycle. You need to be able to deliver your chip and rest of the platform on time, so OEMs can create the products around your chip.
The design and manufacturing process of a smartphone phone takes up to two years and as you could see with Nvidia’s Tegra 4, the two quarter delay pretty much destroyed the sales of this chip and put this business unit on its knees. In 2014 Nvidia could not let this happen and the outlook is a bit better at this time. The recovery, according to CEO Jen-Hsun Haung, starts in late Q1 2014 when the company starts shipping some of its new chips.
“Tegra K1 and T4i devices coming to market, and other modem devices coming to market and our automotive business.” claims Jensen.
We expect to see high performance tablets, set-top and gaming boxes (essentially Android PCs), Tegra T4i in some mainstream phones and of course Tegra parts in car infotainment systems.
Companies start shipping chips at least a quarter before we see the actual products shipping and with late Q1 2014 as shipping date for some chips, we can expect to see announcements in Q2. Jensen claims that the near term catalyst growth for Nvidia starts in late Q1 but happens mostly in Q2 and mostly in Q3 2014. This is in line with what we were expecting all along. Like we said back in August, much of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 were (very) bad for Nvidia’t Tegra division.
From some preliminary Tegra K1 benchmarks revealed at CES 2014 it is obvious that the chip looks faster than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 powered by Adreno 420, but it is still too early to announce any winners.
Traditionally Nvidia did well in tablets, while Qualcomm always did great in phones thanks to LTE support. In 2013 Qualcomm swiped the most significant tablet wins as well as virtually all significant high-end phones with LTE, except Apple and Samsung flagships based on in-house parts.
According to Jaime Sanchez, the security researcher who discovered the issue, authorization tokens accompanying Snapchat requests from authenticated users don’t expire.
These tokens are generated by the app for every action — like adding friends or sending snaps — in order to avoid sending the password every time. However, since past tokens don’t expire, they can be reused from different devices to send commands through the Snapchat API (application programming interface).
“I’m able to use a custom script I’ve created to send snaps to a list of users from several computers at the same time,” Sanchez said. “That could let an attacker send spam to the 4.6 million leaked account list in less than one hour.”
Hackers exploited a different vulnerability in Snapchat at the beginning of January to extract over 4.6 million phone number and user name pairs from the service. They then posted the list online.
However, in addition to spamming a large number of users, the new issue discovered by Sanchez can also be used to attack a single user by sending him hundreds or thousands of snaps using unexpired tokens.
When this attack is performed against a user who uses Snapchat on an iPhone his device will freeze and the OS will eventually reboot itself, Sanchez said.
The researcher demonstrated the attack against the iPhone of a reporter from the Los Angeles Times with his approval by sending 1,000 messages to the reporter’s Snapchat account within five seconds. A video of the demonstration was also posted on YouTube.
“Launching a denial-of-service attack on Android devices doesn’t cause those smartphones to crash, but it does slow their speed,” Sanchez said. “It also makes it impossible to use the app until the attack has finished.”
There is a limiting factor to this attack: the default privacy setting in Snapchat that only allows accounts in a user’s friends list to send him snaps, meaning the attacker would first have to convince the targeted user to add him as a friend. According to Snapchat’s documentation, sending a snap to a user without being in his list of friends will result in the user receiving a notification so they can add back the sender.
Users who changed their account’s default privacy setting so they can receive snaps from anyone would be directly exposed to the attack described by Sanchez.
Snapchat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Google said it was partnering with Asus, Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell to offer a specialized version of its Chromebox PC that comes with videoconferencing gear, including a video camera and speakers.
The first Chromebox for meetings to be available is made by Asus and goes on sale in the U.S. on Thursday for $999, Google said. Customers can also pay a $250 annual service and management fee, though the first year is included in the product’s sales price.
The product uses Google’s free Hangouts video chat technology to connect up to 15 separate video streams from users in different locations.
The product will put Google in competition against Cisco Systems Inc and Polycom Inc, which make the video conferencing systems used by many corporations.
The world’s largest Internet search engine, Google makes the vast majority of its revenue from advertising. But Google also sells services to corporate customers, including special versions of its online apps such as email and word processing, as well as Chromebook laptops aimed at business users.