Microsoft is developing designs for a touch-enabled smart watch, joining a number of other large competitors like Samsung Electronics and Apple who are said to be working on similar devices, according to a recent report.
Executives at suppliers to Microsoft told The Wall Street Journal that the company was sourcing components for the prototype of what could potentially be a “watch-style device.”
Microsoft has, for example, requested 1.5-inch displays from component makers for the prototype, an executive at a component supplier told the newspaper. It is unclear whether the company will decide to go ahead with the watch, the newspaper added.
Microsoft could not be immediately reached for comment.
A large number of vendors are looking at new product categories beyond smartphones and tablets.
This isn’t the first time, however, that Microsoft may be looking at watches as a product. It launched a smart wrist watch around a concept called Smart Personal Object Technology it unveiled in 2002, but withdrew it after a lackluster performance.
The Redmond, Wash., company is seeing its key PC market under threat from smartphones and tablets, and the failure of its new Windows 8 operating system to boost sales significantly. IDC said last week that first quarter PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units, down 13.9% compared to the same quarter last year. (The decline was worse than the 7.7% previously forecast by the analyst firm, and the market could be headed into further contraction, the research firm added.
Windows RT hasn’t really been a great success, to put it mildly. Despite the fact that tablets such as the Lenovo Yoga and Surface RT came with the Office package out of the box, they haven’t really been selling all that well and now vendors are cutting prices in an effort to boost sales.
Business people liked Excel, Word and now it seems Outlook is coming to Windows RT as well. However, it wasn’t enough. The problem is that you could not install legacy Windows applications on anything that doesn’t come through the Windows Store. What’s more, RT is rather bloated and quite pricey, so in order to keep the price low tablet maker are forced to use antiquated hardware.
Microsoft has learned from its mistakes and now we hear that Windows RT becomes a part of Windows Blue update that should come by the end of the year. This means that RT gets integrated in this new Microsoft OS update. This was confirmed by multiple high ranked industry contacts that preferred to remain anonymous and avoid the rage of Ballmer.
There are some indications that Microsoft will be able to make some applications run on ARM cores, despite the fact that they were programmed for the x86 architecture. This sounds like some sort of emulation but despite that, it sounds like a step in right direction.
End users don’t really care about ARM or x86 instruction set, they just want their applications to work.
Personal computer sales plummeted by 14 percent in the first three months of the year, the biggest decline in two decades of keeping records, as tablets continue to market share. Buyers appear to be avoiding Microsoft Corp’s new Windows 8 system, according to a leading tech tracking firm.
The huge drop over a year ago, the steepest since International Data Corp started publishing sales numbers in 1994, mark a new milestone in the apparent decline of the age of the PC as computing goes mobile via tablets and smartphones.
That marked the lowest level since the middle of 2009, according to competing data tracker Gartner Inc, which published its own figures showing an 11 percent decline on the same day.
Both firms blamed the sales drop on fading sales of netbooks, the small laptops that have been rendered obsolete by tablets, and more consumer spending going toward smartphones.
“Consumers are migrating content consumption from PCs to other connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones,” said Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner. “Even emerging markets, where PC penetration is low, are not expected to be a strong growth area for PC vendors.”
Microsoft’s new Windows 8 actually deterred potential PC buyers, IDC said, as users felt they could not afford touch-screen models required to make the most of Windows 8, even though the system runs equally well on standard PCs and laptops.
“People think they have to have touch, and they go look at the price points for these touch machines, and they are above where they want to be and they say, ‘I guess I’ll wait,’” said Bob O’Donnell, an analyst at IDC.
O’Donnell said other users were simply uncomfortable with the new Windows system, which dispensed with the familiar start menu and uses colorful ’tiles’ to represent applications.
New Microsoft operating systems usually boost PC sales, but the lukewarm reception for Windows 8 will likely mean an even greater drop in the market this year, said Jay Chou, senior research analyst with the IDC unit that tracks PC sales.
“Users are finding Windows 8 to offer a compromised experience that doesn’t excel either as a new mobile interface or in a classic desktop interface,” he said. “As a result, many users find a decline in the traditional PC experience without gaining much from new features like touch. The result is that many consumers are worried about upgrading to Windows 8, to say nothing of business users who are still just getting into Windows 7.”
Among manufacturers, Hewlett-Packard Co saw a 24 percent decline in sales in the quarter, but narrowly held on to its title of No. 1 global PC supplier, with 15.7 percent market share. Fast-growing rival Lenovo Group managed to keep sales flat and is now just behind HP with a 15.3 percent global share.
Dell Inc, roiled by plans to go private, along with rivals Acer Inc and Asustek, all saw double-digit declines in PC sales.
Apple Inc was not immune from the decline, as some sales of its own Macs appeared to be displaced by iPads. Its U.S. PC sales fell 7.5 percent in the quarter, but it held on to its spot as No. 3 U.S. PC manufacturer, behind HP and Dell.
On Thursday, while announcing that the beta tag has been removed from the Google Compute Engine (GCE) cloud service, Google also reduced prices for the on-demand virtual machines by 4% across the board.
Not to be outdone, about 12 hours later — almost as if it was waiting for a competitor to make such a move — Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a 26% drop in prices for its Windows virtual machines (VMs) on demand. Take that Google, AWS seemingly said.
Like most of the price reduction announcements from AWS, the market-leading cloud computing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider, this week’s announcement of a price drop on AWS virtual machines (VMs) applies to only a subset of its services, this time focusing on its Microsoft Windows products.
Pricing for the default small VM running Windows OS dropped from $0.115 per hour to $0.091 per hour, a 21% drop. Other Windows VM types also fell in price, in some cases by an even higher percentage, including high-memory (now $0.51 per hour) and high-CPU (now $0.225 per hour).
The news of AWS’s price reduction was seemingly in response to the announcement by Google that same day of its Amazon-competitor cloud. In ablog post earlier in the day on Thursday, Google engineers said the beta tag has been taken off the company’s GCE. The IaaS on-demand VM service complements its Google App Engine (GAE) platform as a service (PaaS) already available on the market. Customers can now use GCE without being invited to do so by Google and without special arrangements from a salesperson, it said. There is a catch though: It requires a Gold support package, which costs $400 a month and includes 24/7 phone support and consultation on architecting the service.
As part of announcing the semi-general availability of its GCE, Google also announced a 4% price reduction of GCE prices. A standard GCE VM now costs $0.132 per hour, compared to $0.138 previously — a 4.3% reduction in price. Though slightly more expensive than AWS’s default VM, GCE’s standard single-core VM packs more compute power than AWS’s standard VM offering. GCE’s base-level VM comes with 3.75GB of memory and 420GB of local disk, while AWS’s standard offering comes with 160GB of local storage and 1.7GB of memory. Both AWS and GCE offer high-capacity VM sizes as well.
The products will be a refresh of Dell’s current tablet offerings, said Steve Lalla, vice president and general manager of mobile products and solutions at Dell, in an interview.
Dell is exploring designs with different screen sizes to its current 10-inch models, he said, though it was unclear if those new sizes will be among the products released later this year. Dell is primarily interested in screen sizes of 10 inches or larger, Lalla said.
The new tablets will succeed the XPS 10, which runs Windows RT, and the Latitude 10, which runs Windows 8 Pro. Dell continues to work on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices, Lalla said, but he didn’t give further details about the upcoming products or their exact release dates.
The company also plans to release thinner and lighter laptops and convertibles later this year.
AMD claims that the delay in transitioning from 28nm to 20nm highlights the beginning of the end for Moore’s Law.
AMD was one of the first consumer semiconductor vendors to make use of TSMC’s 28nm process node with its Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards, but like every chip vendor it is looking to future process nodes to help it increase performance. The firm told said the time taken to transition to 20nm signals the beginning of the end for Moore’s Law.
Famed Intel co-founder and electronics engineer Gordon Moore predicted that total the number of transistors would double every two years. He also predicted that the ‘law’ would not continue to apply for as long as it has. It was professor Carver Mead at Caltech that coined the term Moore’s Law, and now one of Mead’s students, John Gustafson, chief graphics product architect at AMD, has said that Moore’s Law is ending because it actually refers to a doubling of transistors that are economically viable to produce.
Gustafson said, “You can see how Moore’s Law is slowing down. The original statement of Moore’s Law is the number of transistors that is more economical to produce will double every two years. It has become warped into all these other forms but that is what he originally said.”
According to Gustafson, the transistor density afforded by a process node defines the chip’s economic viability. He said, “We [AMD] want to also look for the sweet spot, because if you print too few transistors your chip will cost too much per transistor and if you put too many it will cost too much per transistor. We’ve been waiting for that transistion from 28nm to 20nm to happen and it’s taking longer than Moore’s Law would have predicted.”
Gustafson was pretty clear in his view of transistor density, saying, “I’m saying you are seeing the beginning of the end of Moore’s law.”
AMD isn’t the only chip vendor looking to move to smaller process nodes and has to wait on TSMC and Globalfoundries before it can make the move. Even Intel, with its three year process node advantage over the industry is having problems justifying the cost of its manufacturing business to investors, so it could be the economics rather than the engineering that puts an end to Moore’s Law.
While Amazon is not confirming any such project, it recently hired a former Microsoft executive, Charlie Kindel. Kindel headed up the Windows Phone application platform and developer relations, although his role at Amazon is still a mystery. The close proximity of Kindel’s name with the Kindle product line has been hard for bloggers to overlook. He also blogged about his new job on April Fool’s Day, saying “Part of the following is true.”
Kindel confirmed to GeekWire that he was hired by Amazon to be a director of “something secret.”
Kindel’s LinkedIn page says he is at Amazon as a “general troublemaker in the tech & mobile space … hiring developers, program managers and product managers.”
He could not be reached for further comment.
Just about all that’s known about the reported smartphone is that it will have a 4.7-in. screen and run a custom version of Android, much like the Kindle Fire tablet.
Yankee Group analyst Boris Metodiev said on March 27 that he expects Amazon to sell a smartphone at a low price, with the hope of making money by selling digital content as it has with the Kindle Fire. Metodiev cited a report in DigiTimes that Amazon was developing a 4.7-inch smartphone that could be released in 2014.
Microsoft released Windows RT for ARM-based devices and Windows 8 for Intel-based devices in October last year. The price drop is an acknowledgement that Windows RT has failed, analysts said.
Prices of popular products usually don’t fall, but Windows RT devices were not in demand, and prices fell, analysts said.
The starting price for Dell’s XPS 10 is now US$449 for a 32GB model, scalping $50 off the original launch price. The 64GB model is $499, which is a drop from the original $599 price. By comparison, the price of the Latitude 10 tablet with Intel processors and Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS remained stable at $499.
Asus’ VivoTab RT, which is largely sold through retailers, is being offered by Amazon.com for $382 with 32GB of storage, which is a heavy discount from the $599 launch price. Retailers like Best Buy, Staples and Office Depot have also dropped the price of the tablet by $50, now selling it for $549.
Newegg is listing VivoTab RT as having been discontinued. Asus did not respond to a request to comment on whether the company was still offering the tablet.
Lenovo is offering the IdeaPad Yoga 11 for $599 as part of a seven-day deal, which is a drop from the original $799 price. However, TigerDirect is offering an IdeaPad Yoga 11 model for $599 on its website, while Amazon is selling a model for $499.99.
Samsung did not ship its Windows RT tablet, Ativ Tab, to the U.S. market.
However, the starting price of Microsoft’s Surface RT remained consistent at $499 on its online store. Microsoft also offers Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 11 through its store, but has stopped offering tablets like the VivoTab RT on its website. The company last month said it stocks its store with RT devices based on availability and demand.
Ouya, the open Android-based console designed by Yves Behar, is being shipped to its Kickstarter backers today, and the company officially announced this week at GDC that it will hit retailers in the US, UK and Canada on June 4. Ouya is promising “hundreds” of titles for the June 4 release and the $99 console will be available at Amazon, Best Buy, GAME, GameStop, Target, and the store on OUYA.tv. Additional controllers will be sold for $49.99. And for digital purchases, consumers will be able to get pre-paid cards with redeemable codes at retail if they wish.
The company said that over 8,000 game developers worldwide are currently developing games, including both up-and-comers and more well known game makers like Square Enix, Double Fine Productions, Tripwire Interactive, Vlambeer, Phil Fish’s Polytron Corporation, and Kim Swift’s Airtight Games. “The majority of devs so far are experienced devs who’ve never built an Android game before. About 1 out of 5 have never even built a game before,” Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman said that at the GDC unveiling. She boasted that Ouya “already has more titles a couple months before launch than any console has ever launched with.”
The Ouya hardware itself is even smaller than we had previously thought (think Rubik’s Cube or smaller), and its sleek design and brushed aluminum is pleasing to the eye. Uhrman, however, stressed the controller more than anything else. “What we spent the most amount of time on is the controller. We really want this to be our love letter to gamers,” she said, adding that Ouya focused on the ergonomics, the weight, the feel, and wanted it to be a precise, accurate controller. “This is one of the pieces of Ouya that evolved a lot based on early supporter feedback,” she continued.
Apparently, the feedback led to numerous changes on the controller in terms of button placement, and the style of d-pad. The team found out that many preferred a cross-style d-pad than a disc because it’s superior for fighting games. Also, the engineers retooled the tension of the analogs and the design of shoulder buttons. And Ouya even made the responsiveness and speed of the center touch pad customizable. In this journalist’s hands, it felt comfortable and familiar while playing a few titles.
After showing off the hardware, Uhrman dived into the user interface of Ouya. The whole UI is incredibly streamlined, with four categories and an apps-like layout. The four categories are Play, Discover, Make, and Manage (which is for settings). Play is simply where anything you’ve downloaded – games or music or video apps – will be placed. Discover is the store, and it’s been designed to encourage people to “find the best games.” For example, sub-selections in Discover include featured channels like Go Retro, Hear Me, Genres, and Sandbox. The plan is to offer more descriptive names for games within genres.
“The way games get exposed in the genre list is based on what we call the O-rank, which is our fun algorithm. It’s how we rank great games. A lot of app platforms today use downloads as a metric or they use revenue as a metric and we don’t think that’s a good way to say if it’s a good game,” Uhrman said. “You could download a game and never play it again. And with the free-to-try model, revenue isn’t necessarily the best model either. What is [a good metric] is what proves that the game is fun, and that’s engagement. So things like how long you have played a game, how many times you’ve played that game over a certain period of time. How quickly from the time you boot up Ouya, which is an always-on device, do you play that game… It’s those types of engagement metrics that we think prove it’s a fun game.”
Another interesting area within Discover is Sandbox, which offers developers an opportunity to put builds up and ask people to thumb it up. The idea is for great games to get out of the Sandbox and be searchable and merchandized. It encourages developers to market their games and promote them to fans. Once you get out of Sandbox you know the people next to you have great quality games, Uhrman explained.
The Make channel is an area that appears to still be in flux. Uhrman said the goal is to serve two audiences, gamers and developers, equally. While Make is a place where a developer can upload early builds, over time it’ll be a place for devs to communicate with fans. “We also can grow it to be, what if you want to make a game, here’s how to market a game, etc. We’ll look to devs and gamers for feedback on how to evolve the section,” Uhrman said.
A console that’s as open as Ouya should have a fairly simple submission process for developers right? Uhrman confirmed that it’s not overly complicated and should be something most can complete within an hour. “It’s something we thought a lot about given that we’re an open platform… but we wanted to make sure that there are good quality games, at least to the extent that it was optimized to the television and for the controller. So the guidelines isn’t necessarily a quality review, but it checks if there’s malware, does it break or freeze often, does it use our controller schema in the right way, we need to make sure there’s no IP infringement, no pornography, does it elicit real-world violence, you are who you say you are kind of thing – that’s the review. We try to keep it under an hour. Developers can choose to go live immediately or they can choose a certain time,” she detailed.
Curiously, there’s been no partnership reached with the ESRB to rate the games in North America. Right now, the games will be self-rated by devs and community reviewed. Given that Ouya is being sold in mainstream retail, however, we do have to wonder if this will pose potential problems for the company in an atmosphere where some people are still pointing fingers at violent video games. “We’ll take it as it comes; right now we want to expose great content from any type of developer and we do have the thumbs-up/like feature or the report if this is abuse on the system,” responded Uhrman, adding that “We basically say that we can change the rules at any time and we can reject the game for any reason that doesn’t fit our content guidelines – we want everybody on Ouya to have a great experience.”
Ratings aside, one of the big questions surrounding Ouya is whether or not it can truly carve out a market for itself in the console space as industry veterans Sony and Microsoft prepare to launch their respective next-generation systems. The games we saw on Ouya are not graphically intense and are very indie in nature. Can Ouya handle high fidelity triple-A releases? Or does it even need to in order to get noticed?
Ouya does has a partnership with OnLive, so that’s one way to get triple-A games. “That’s one solution. We also support 1080p, hi-def… and we have a USB port so someone can add an external hard drive, so for games that are heavy you could absolutely use that. We have a max download size of 1.2GB for the first download, but as a developer if you want to add and send additional content from your servers you can,” Uhrman said.
“Traditional games take longer to develop, and we have some of those in development that we’re really excited about. Ouya is not about the number of polygons on the screen,” Uhrman acknowledged. “That’s not where we went. We wanted to have innovative and creative exclusive content, and we’re already starting to see that.”
Exclusive content plus a very appealing $99 price point is what could make the system an easy impulse buy for many gamers Uhrman believes. Moreover, Uhrman noted that most core gamers tend to purchase more than one console, so Ouya is likely to be something they’ll want to buy even if they are getting a PS4.
“Ouya offers something different; every gamer has a different expectation depending upon the platform and we believe we’re going to have innovative, creative games and exclusive games to Ouya… And the barrier to entry at just $99 where every game is free-to-try, I think opens up the opportunity for a number of gamers, even core gamers. Core gamers on average own more than one console. We don’t really think it’s an either/or situation. We’re offering something different – I think they’re going to want Ouya too,” she said.
A number of traditional consoles in the past have launched selling at a loss. Since Ouya is built with off the shelf components, it may be easier to contain costs, but Uhrman wouldn’t confirm that each unit is sold at a profit. “We’re really comfortable with our business model,” is all she would say.
That said, if things go the way Uhrman would like, this is only the beginning. Ouya will continue to evolve its software and hardware, and the hardware is likely to get refreshed quickly.
“We’re like any other software platform that iterates and grows over time, and we’ll have a hardware refresh rate more similar to a mobile refresh rate than a console refresh rate because we want to take advantage of the best chips out there and falling commodity prices. We will certainly make sure that there’s enough content that’s optimized for that chip and we don’t push on higher prices to the consumer,” she said.
Does that mean some Ouyas in future will not be compatible with certain games? Uhrman is looking to avoid that scenario. “We have a plan where all content will be compatible with future Ouya systems; we don’t want to fragment our own market for developers, and we always want gamers to have a great experience,” she commented.
Ouya will be interesting to watch. It’s a bold move for the industry and everything we’ve seen so far is completely unconventional. Whether or not that will pay dividends in the long-run is hard to judge at this point in time. “The market is calling us the ‘un-console’ and we like doing things the ‘un-way’,” Uhrman remarked.
Japan’s NEC Corp is in negotiations to sell its struggling mobile phone unit to its PC venture partner Lenovo Group Ltd, a source familiar with the discussions said, confirming media reports of the negotiations.
NEC is also in talks with potential domestic buyers, the source said on condition that he wasn’t identified.
“Amid the rapidly changing market we are considering a number of ways to bolster the competitiveness of our mobile phone business, but nothing has been decided,” NEC said in a statement through the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday in response to the media reports.
Lenovo officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
Japanese phone makers have struggled to gain traction overseas inmarkets dominated by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc where they are also being challenged by upcoming Chinese makers. In Japan, the two foreign giants are whittling down their share of cell phone sales.
Last October, NEC cut its mobile phone sales target for the year ending March to 4.3 million from a previous estimate of 5 million units. Lenovo, the world’s No.2 maker of PCs, is cranking up overseas expansion in smartphones after solid growth in China.
Japan’s biggest cell phone maker, Sony Corp, is vying with China’s Huawei Technology Co and ZTE Corp to be No.3 in the global smartphone market.
NEC also plans to sell its mobile services subsidiary NEC Mobiling Ltd for as much as $850 million, separate sources told Reuters this month.
Marubeni Corp’s telecommunications unit and TD Mobile, a joint venture between Toyota Tsusho Corp and Denso Corp, are vying for the 51 percent stake, the sources said.
“BlackBerry has gone through a major and exciting transition this year,” CEO Thorsten Heins told analysts on a conference call, without making much reference to the subscriber declines. The profit of $94 million came on revenues of $2.7 billion for the quarter that ended March 2.
The 1 million new Z10 smartphones were sold mainly in Canada and the U.K. before the quarter ended, well before sales even started in the U.S. last Friday at AT&T.
Heins told analysts that sales of the Z10 and Q10 qwerty device would be helped by an infusion of 50% more marketing dollars globally in the current quarter, although he didn’t provide a dollar amount.
Later in the year, BlackBerry plans to launch midpriced and low-end BlackBerry 10 devices around the globe, he said.
“BlackBerry seems to have effectively slowed down the bleeding to a trickle,” said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates. “The loss of subscribers is troubling of course, especially in a key market like the U.S.”
BlackBerry said its fourth-quarter revenues from the U.S. were 14% of the total, a decline from the previous quarter of 19%. For all of North America, revenues declined to 22% in the fourth quarter from 24% in the previous quarters, while the areas of Europe, the Middle East and Africa surged to 46% of the total revenues in the fourth quarter, up from 43% for the prior quarter.
Heins also said that 55% of the sales of the Z10 were from customers moving from other platforms than BlackBerry. He predicted that Q10 qwerty devices, which will go on sale in the next three months, will do well with traditional qwerty users in corporate and government jobs.
Microsoft listed the sunset dates on its Web site recently, with WP8 support ending July 8, 2014, and WP7.8 support ending Sept. 9, 2014.
Both dates are 18 months after the support lifecycle starting date. The updates provide changes and improvements to the OS, including security, that are distributed by either the wireless operator or the phone manufacturer,Microsoft said.
The support lifecycle for Windows RT, which runs on tablets from various manufacturers, has not been detailed, although Microsoft said last fall that the policy “will be communicated as available.” As of Monday, that policy remained in place for Windows RT on the Microsoft site.
Last November, Microsoft said its support of Surface RT tablets (also running Windows RT) would expire April 11, 2017. That time frame is less than half the usual 10 years of support that Microsoft gives its software products. For its Windows Phones, the time frame is less than one-fifth as long.
The 18 months for Windows Phone support might seem limited, but most wireless carriers, phone makers and phone OS makers typically view the lifetime of a phone as two years in the U.S. That’s one reason why carriers sign customers to two-year contracts. Still, the two-year U.S. approach is challenged by the three-year contracts offered by many Canadian carriers.
Even some new phone models are being updated in about a year, as has happened with the Samsung Galaxy S III introduced in 2012, which will be updated to the new Galaxy S4 when it ships this April.
Analysts are eager to see how many GSIII users will move to the GS4. The GS4 runs Android 4.2.2.
Richland is set to replace AMD’s Virgo platform, powered by Trinity processors, and this change will happen in June 2013, most likely coinciding with Computex 2013.
AMD has just launched the first batch of Richland mobile APUs and we still have to see some notebook designs hitting the market. We wrote about mobile Richland APUs.
As of late last year Desktop Richland was always set to launch in June 2013 and the fastest of them is the A10 6800K, clocked at 4.1GHz and 4.4 with Turbo. It also features Radeon HD 8670D graphics that run at 844 MHz. This is the fastest Richland part and it comes unlocked, ready to replace the current AMD A10 5800K. In Europe, the A10 5800K currently sells for 112, while in US the same CPU sells for $129.00 (boxed).
The alpha dog A10 6800K is followed by A10 6700, A8 6600K (Unlocked) and A8 6500. AMD has a mix of 100W and 65W quad-core Richland desktop SKUs. There will be a single A6 6400K (Unlocked) SKU and the A4 6300, both dual-cores with 65W TDP.
Production ready samples were churned out in late January, while volume production is scheduled for late March 2013. The announcement was always scheduled for June 2013 and Richland last through most of 2013, until Kaveri with 28nm Steamroller comes on line.
Samsung makes half of the Android-based smartphones globally, and Android now has more than 70% of the global smartphone market, according to research firms IDC and Gartner. The confirmation of a phone running on Tizen came hours after Samsung announced the Galaxy S4 smartphone running Android 4.2.2 in a lavish Broadway-style production from New York City.
During the New York unveiling, analysts noticed that Samsung barely mentioned that the Galaxy S4 runs on Android. Some speculated that Samsung was setting the stage for greater use of Tizen as an OS. In a Bloomberg news service interview from Seoul, Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung mobile, said the Tizen smartphone “will be in the high-end category” and “the best product equipped with best specifications.”
Samsung officials did not respond to requests to elaborate on the Tizen news and specifically whether Samsung would sell it in the U.S.
Bernstein has discovered cracks in TLS and SSL when they’re combined with another encryption scheme known as RC4. The system invented in 1987 is one of the most popular and most widely recommended mechanisms for protecting traffic on banking, email, and other private sites.
Kenny Paterson, a professor at Royal Holloway, University of London who worked with Bernstein said it was known that RC4 is weak in all kinds of ways. But until now no one has been able to put it all together to break TLS. RC4, invented by legendary cryptographer Ron Rivest for the security firm RSA, uses a key value to generate a stream of seemingly random numbers that can be combined with bits in a message to scramble them in ways that only someone with access to the same key value can unscramble.
Its weakness is that the stream of random numbers isn’t as random as it looks. If you feed the same message through the encryption scheme again and again, the cryptographers could find enough non-random “biases” occur in the scrambled data. While it does take a gigantic number of identical messages the attack in its current form takes close to 32 hours to perform. It is still worthwhile in some cases.