Thursday, 29 September 2016

Four short links: 22 September 2016

Ops Papers, Moral Tests, Self-Powered Computing Materials, and Self-Driving Regulation

  1. Operability (Morning Paper) -- text of a talk that was a high-speed run past a lot of papers that cover ops issues. Great read, which will swell your reading list.
  2. Moral Machine (MIT) -- We show you moral dilemmas, where a driverless car must choose the lesser of two evils, such as killing two passengers or five pedestrians. As an outside observer, you decide which outcome you think is more acceptable. You can then see how your responses compare with those of other people.
  3. Self-Powered "Materials That Compute" and Recognize Simple Patterns -- “By combining these attributes into a ‘BZ-PZ’ unit and then connecting the units by electrical wires, we designed a device that senses, actuates, and communicates without an external electrical power source,” the researchers explain in the paper.
  4. NHTSA Guidance on Autonomous Vehicles -- requires companies developing self-driving cars to share a lot of data with the regulator.

Continue reading Four short links: 22 September 2016.

Read the full article here by Four Short Links - O'Reilly Media

Don't use Google Allo

Remember when Google said they wouldn't store messages in one of the company's new chat applications, Allo? Yeah, no. The version of Allo rolling out today will store all non-incognito messages by default - a clear change from Google’s earlier statements that the app would only store messages transiently and in non-identifiable form. The records will now persist until the user actively deletes them, giving Google default access to a full history of conversations in the app. Users can also avoid the logging by using Allo’s Incognito Mode, which is still fully end-to-end encrypted and unchanged from the initial announcement. Like Hangouts and Gmail, Allo messages will still be encrypted between the device and Google servers, and stored on servers using encryption that leaves the messages accessible to Google's algorithms. For this reason alone, don't use Google Allo. But wait, there's more! There's also the backwards way it handles multiple devices and phone numbers - another reason to not use Google Allo. Sadly, even if you don't have Allo installed, you may still be forced to deal with it at some point because of some 'clever' tricks by Google Play Services on Android. If someone sends you an Allo message, but you don't have Allo installed, you'll get a special Android notification. The notification lets you respond through text along (as opposed to stickers, photos or anything like that), or alternatively ignore it altogether. There's also a button taking you straight to the Play Store install page for Allo. How can Google do this? The notification is generated by Google Play Services, which is installed on just about every Android phone, and updates silently in the background. Don't use Google Allo.

Read the full article here by OSNews

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Mozilla ceases all Firefox OS development

By the end of 2015 Mozilla leadership had come to the conclusion that our then Firefox OS initiative of shipping phones with commercial partners would not bring Mozilla the returns we sought. We made the first of a series of announcements about changes in the development of Firefox OS at Mozilla. Since then we have gradually wound down that work and, as of the end of July 2016 have stopped all commercial development on Firefox OS. This message recaps what transpired during that period of time and also describes what will happen with the Firefox OS code base going forward. Symbian, Sailfish OS, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone, Firefox OS.

Read the full article here by OSNews

Fixing Problems

'What was the original problem you were trying to fix?' 'Well, I noticed one of the tools I was using had an inefficiency that was wasting my time.'

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Windows 10 Will Soon Run Edge In a Virtual Machine To Keep You Safe

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Microsoft has announced that the next major update to Windows 10 will run its Edge browser in a lightweight virtual machine. Running the update in a virtual machine will make exploiting the browser and attacking the operating system or compromising user data more challenging. Called Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge, the new capability builds on the virtual machine-based security that was first introduced last summer in Windows 10. Windows 10's Virtualization Based Security (VBS) uses small virtual machines and the Hyper-V hypervisor to isolate certain critical data and processes from the rest of the system. The most important of these is Credential Guard, which stores network credentials and password hashes in an isolated virtual machine. This isolation prevents the popular MimiKatz tool from harvesting those password hashes. In turn, it also prevents a hacker from breaking into one machine and then using stolen credentials to spread to other machines on the same network. Credential Guard's virtual machine is very small and lightweight, running only a relatively simple process to manage credentials. Application Guard will go much further by running large parts of the Edge browser within a virtual machine. This virtual machine won't, however, need a full operating system running inside it -- just a minimal set of Windows features required to run the browser. Because Application Guard is running in a virtual machine it will have a much higher barrier between it and the host platform. It can't see other processes, it can't access local storage, it can't access any other installed applications, and, critically, it can't attack the kernel of the host system. In its first iteration, Application Guard will only be available for Edge. Microsoft won't provide an API or let other applications use it. As with other VBS features, Application Guard will also only be available to users of Windows 10 Enterprise, with administrative control through group policies. Administrators will be able to mark some sites as trusted, and those sites won't use the virtual machine. Admins also be able to control whether untrusted sites can use the clipboard or print.
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Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Scania Clock

How do you keep the first ever clock made of trucks running for 24hrs? See the new generation Scania trucks and services take on the greatest challenge there is. Time itself. 14 trucks - 24 hours - a 750,000 square foot clock...(Read...)

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Unigine Is Working On Perhaps The Most Beautiful GPU Benchmark, Coming Later This Year

Following the Unigine 2.3.1 engine update I was able to get confirmation from Unigine Corp they do have a new technology demo / benchmark coming out!..

Read the full article here by Phoronix

Samsung’s latest Note 7 battery fix violates Android compatibility docs [Updated]

Google Trips Personalizes and Automates Your Travel Plans From Start to Finish

* Apple's A10 Fusion, benchmarking, and the death of macOS *

Oh, benchmarks. Benchmarks of computer hardware have their uses. Especially if you have a relatively narrow and well-defined set of calculations that you need to perform, benchmarks are great tools to figure out which processor or graphics chip or whatever will deliver the best performance - scientific calculations, graphics processing (e.g. video games), these are all use cases where comparisons between benchmarks of different hardware components can yield useful information. A different way to put it: benchmarks make sense in a situation where "more power" equals "better results" - better results that are noticable and make a difference. A GTX 1080 will result in better framerates than a GTX 1070 in a modern game like The Witcher 3, because we've not yet hit any (theoretical) framerate limit for that game. A possible future GTX 1090 will most likely yield even better framerates still. Where benchmarks start to fall apart, however, is in use cases where "more power" does not equal "better results". Modern smartphones are a perfect example of this. Our current crop of smartphones is so powerful, that adding faster processors does not produce any better results for the kinds of ways in which we use these devices. Twitter isn't going to open or load any faster when you add a few hundred megahertz. In other words, modern smartphones have bottlenecks, but the processor or RAM certainly isn't one of them. Before you can even reach the full potential of your quad-core 2.4Ghz 6GB RAM phone, your battery will run out (or explode), or your network connection will be slow or non-existent. As a result, I never cared much for benchmarking smartphones. In 2013, in the wake of Samsung cheating in benchmarks, I wrote that "if you buy a phone based on silly artificial benchmark scores, you deserve to be cheated", and today, now that Apple is leading (in one subset of processor) benchmarks with its latest crop of mobile processors, the same still applies. So when John Gruber posted about Apple A10 Fusion benchmarks... Looking at Geekbench's results browser for Android devices, there are a handful of phones in shouting distance of the iPhone 7 for multi-core performance, but Apple's A10 Fusion scores double on single-core. ...I snarked: Funny how just like in the PPC days, benchmarks only start mattering when they favour [insert platform of choice]. Setting aside the validity of Geekbench (Linus Torvalds has an opinion!), this seems to be the usual pointless outcome of these penis-measuring contests: when the benchmarks favour you, benchmarks are important and crucial and the ultimate quanitification of greatness. When the benchmarks don't favour you, they are meaningless and pointless and the world's worst yardsticks of greatness. Anywhere in between, and you selectively pick and choose the benchmarks that make you look best. I didn't refer to Apple's PowerPC days for nothing. Back then, Apple knew it was using processors with terrible performance and energy requirements, but still had to somehow convince the masses that PowerPC was better faster stronger than x86; claims which Apple itself exposed - overnight - as flat-out lies when the company switched to Intel. When I use my Nexus 6P and iPhone 6S side-by-side, my Nexus 6P feels a lot faster, even though benchmarks supposedly say it has a crappier processor and a slower operating system. Applications and operations seem equally fast to me, but Android makes everything feel faster because it has far superior ways of dealing with and switching between multiple applications, thanks to the pervasiveness of activities and intents or the ability to set your own default applications. Trying to quantify something as elusive and personal as user experience by crowing about the single-thread performance of the processor it runs on is like trying to buy a family car based on its top speed. My 2009 Volvo S80's 2.5L straight-5 may propel the car to a maximum speed of 230km/h, but I'm much more interested in how comfortable the seats are, all the comfort options it has, if it looks good (it does), and so on. Those are the actual things that matter, because the likelihood of ever even approaching that 230km/h is very slim, at best. I bought an iPhone 6S and Apple Watch late last year and used them for six months because I feel that as someone who writes about every platform under the sun, I should be using them as much as (financially and practically) possible. I used the iPhone 6S as my only smartphone for six months, but after six months of fighting iOS and Apple every step of the way, every single day, I got fed up and bought the Nexus 6P on impulse. Not once during those six months did I think to myself "if only this processor was 500Mhz faster" or "if only this thing had 4GB of RAM". No; I was thinking "why can't I set my own default applications, because Apple's are garbage" or "why is deep linking/inter-application communication non-existent, unreliable, broken, and restricted to first-party applications?" or "why is every application a visual and behavioural island with zero attention to consistency?". iOS could be running on a quantum computer from Urbana, Illinois, and it wouldn't solve any of those problems. The funny thing is - Gruber actually agrees with me: I like reading/following Holwerda, because he's someone who I feel keeps me on my toes. But he's off-base here. I'm certainly not saying that CPU or GPU performance is a primary reason why anyone should buy an iPhone instead of an Android phone. In fact, I'll emphasize that if the tables were turned and it were Android phones that were registering Geekbench scores double those of the iPhone, I would still be using an iPhone. In the same way that I've been using Macs, non-stop, since I first purchased a computer in 1991. Most of the years from 1991 until the switch to Intel CPUs in 2007, the Mac was behind PCs in performance. I never argued then that performance didn't matter - only that for me, personally, the other benefits of using a Mac (the UI design of the system, the quality of the third-party apps, the build quality of the hardware, etc.) outweighed the performance penalty Macs suffered. The same would be true today if Apple's A-series chips were slower than Qualcomm's CPUs for Android. So, he'd be buying iPhone even if the benchmark tables were turned, thereby agreeing with me that when it comes to phones, benchmarks are entirely meaningless. Nobody buys a smartphone based on processor benchmark scores; at this point in time, people mostly buy smartphones based on the smartphone they currently have (i.e., what platform they are currently using) and price. That being said, there is one reason why benchmarks of Apple's latest mobile processors are quite interesting: Apple's inevitable upcoming laptop and desktop switchover to its own processors. OS X (or macOS or whatever) has been in maintenance mode ever since the release and success of the iPhone, and by now it's clear that Apple is going to retire OS X in favour of a souped-up iOS over the coming five years. I know a lot of people still aren't seeing the forest through the trees on this one, but you can expect the first "iOS" MacBook within 1-2 years. I put iOS between quotation marks because that brand of iOS won't be the iOS you have on your phone today, but a more capable, expanded version of it. Vlad Savov: It sounds wild, but the A10 looks to have the power and efficiency to handle the workload of a full PC. This coalescence of mobile and desktop PCs is driven by forces on both sides: mobile chips are getting more potent at the same time as our power needs are shrinking and our tasks become more mobile. If you think your workplace isn't changing much because there are a bunch of weathered Dell workstations sitting next to frumpy HP printers, consider just how much more work every one of your officemates is doing outside the office, on their phone. And all those grand and power-hungry x86 applications that might have kept people running macOS - Adobe's Photoshop and Lightroom being two key examples - well, they're being ported to iOS in almost their full functionality, having been incentivized by the existence of Apple's iPad Pro line, last year's harbinger for this year's performance jump. Unlike Windows, whose x86 reliance is tied to its dominance of the lucrative PC gaming market, Apple really has very few anchors locking it down to macOS. The Cupertino company has been investing the vast majority of its development time into the mobile iOS for years now, and that shows in the different rates of progress between its two pieces of software. macOS is, in many ways, legacy software just waiting for the right moment to be deprecated. It’s getting a fresh lick of paint now and then, but most of its novelties now relate to how it links back to Apple's core iOS and iPhone business. This is where benchmarking and the performance of Apple's A10 Fusion processor do come into play, because even in the constrained environment of a smartphone, it seems to be reaching performance levels of laptop and desktop processors. That "iOS" MacBook is closer than you think. Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...

Read the full article here by OSNews

Monday, 19 September 2016

'Mr. Robot' star Rami Malek wins Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy

The USA series Mr. Robot has more than just surprisingly realistic hacking scenes, as it now can claim an Emmy win. Series star Rami Malek snagged the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series award tonight, beating out Kevin Spacey, Bob Odenkirk and others. After double checking to make sure we were all seeing this too (good call), Malek said he wanted to "honor the Elliots...because there's a little bit of Elliot in all of us." The show's season finale airs Wednesday night, and if the breakdown of its hacking scenes hasn't turned you into a fan yet, take a look at our interviews with show creator Sam Esmail. Other notable winners include Tatiana Maslany's Lead Actress in a Drama win for her multiple Orphan Black characters (14 at last count), a writing award for Aziz Ansari's Master of None Netflix series, and a pair of Emmys for Amazon Prime's Transparent. The complete list of nominees and winners is available here.


Read the full article here by Engadget

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Clustering A Lot Of Raspberry Pi Zeros

It became something of a cliché a few years ago in online discussions, whenever a new single board computer was mentioned someone would pop up and say something like “Imagine a Beowulf cluster…“. Back then it was said largely in jest, but with the current generation of boards it’s a distinct possibility. Who hasn’t looked at a Raspberry Pi and idly thought about a cluster of them, or even created one!

[Electronoob] did just that, creating a variety of Raspberry Pi cluster configurations, the most impressive of which is a stack of 32 Pi Zeros mounted together with stand-offs. The plan was to network it via USB, for which he initially considered building a backplane, but was put off by the cost of vertical USB connectors and instead went for a wired approach. If there is a lesson to be learned from his experiences it is that buying very cheap USB cables is a minefield: his pile of eBay specials turned out to have significant numbers of faults. He’s now faced with a stark choice, solder  32 sets of USB pads on the base of each Zero or buy better cables.

The stack of Zeros is pretty impressive, but so what, you think. It’s still not working properly. But the Zero cluster isn’t his only work. He’s also created a set of very nicely executed Ethernet clusters using the larger Pi boards, and the way he’s mounted them on top of compact Ethernet switches sets them apart from some of the more spaghetti-like Pi clusters.

It’s true a Pi cluster won’t cut it in the world of supercomputers, you could almost certainly buy more bang for your buck without too much effort. But it does represent a very accessible way to learn about cluster computing, and you have to admit it a stack of Zeros does look rather impressive.

We’ve seen quite a few Pi clusters here since 2012, the biggest of which is probably this 120 node behemoth, complete with screens.

Filed under: Raspberry Pi, slider

Read the full article here by Hack a Day

Microsoft Has More Open Source Contributors On GitHub Than Facebook and Google

An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Next Web: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has really embraced open source over the past couple of years. GitHub, a site that is home to a number of the web's biggest collaborative code projects, has counted more than 5.8 million active users on its platform over the past 12 months, and says that Microsoft has the most open source contributors. Microsoft has 16,419 contributors, beating out Facebook's 15,682 contributors, Docker's 14,059 contributors, and Google's 12,140 contributors. The Next Web reports: "Of course, this didn't happen overnight. In October 2014, it open sourced its .NET framework, which is the company's programming infrastructure for building and running apps and services -- a major move towards introducing more developers to its server-side stack. Since then, it's open sourced its Chakra JavaScript engine, Visual Studio's MSBuild compiling engine, the Computational Networks Toolkit for deep learning applications, its Xamarin tool for building cross-platform apps and most recently, PowerShell. It's also worth noting that the company's Visual Studio Code text editor made GitHub's list of repositories with the most contributors. You can check out these lists, as well as other data from GitHub's platform on this page." GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath said in an interview with Fortune, "The big .Net project has more people outside of Microsoft contributing to it than people who work at Microsoft."
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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Putting Linux on your Chromebook is easier than you think (and totally worth it!)

If you need to use those productivity programs that Chrome OS just doesn't offer, or you just want to try something new, Linux on your Chromebook has you covered.

You've may have seen chatter on the internet about installing Linux on your Chromebook. Plenty of longtime Chrome OS users are doing it, and it allows the use of programs like GIMP (a Photoshop replacement), or Darktable, (a Lightroom alternative) as well as plenty of programs for video and audio editing. It's a way to use your Chromebook for the few power-user features you might need. It's also completely free and easier than you think.

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Friday, 16 September 2016

Xiaomi Can Silently Install Any App On Your Android Phone Using A Backdoor

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer many refer to as the "Apple of China," can silently install any app on your device, according to a Computer Science student and security enthusiast from the Netherlands. Thijs Broenink started investigating a mysterious pre-installed app, dubbed AnalyticsCore.apk, that constantly runs in the background and reappears even if you try and delete it. The Hacker News reports: After asking about the purpose of the AnalyticsCore app on the company's support forum and getting no response, Thijs Broenink reverse engineered the code and found that the app checks for a new update from the company's official server every 24 hours. While making these requests, the app sends device identification information with it, including the phone's IMEI, Model, MAC address, Nonce, Package name as well as signature. If there is an updated app available on the server with the filename "Analytics.apk," it will automatically get downloaded and installed in the background without user interaction. Broenink found that there is no validation at all to check which APK is getting installed to a user's phone, which means there is a way for hackers to exploit this loophole. This also means Xiaomi can remotely and silently install any application on your device just by renaming it to "Analytics.apk" and hosting it on the server. Ironically, the device connects and receives updates over HTTP connection, exposing the whole process to Man-in-the-Middle attacks."
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Thursday, 15 September 2016


Say it with pictures. Describe your feelings about your everyday sysadmin interactions.

Inspired by Infosec Reactions.

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Getting schooled by the technical lead of another team

Say it with pictures. Describe your feelings about your everyday sysadmin interactions.

Inspired by Infosec Reactions.

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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Apple's AirPods get a $10 tether (so maybe you won't lose them)

Apple's incoming AirPods are a technical marvel, cramming a load of tech into the same teeny tiny earbud cases that have been packaged with iPhones for years. While we wait to test a pair out for ourselves, accessory makers have wasted no time in correcting possible design faults in Apple's new headphones. Spigen has taken it upon itself to announce a ten-dollar tangle-free strap to keep the 'phones together -- and, well, un-wireless them. The AirPods Strap is already listed on Amazon and -- patent pending -- is set to ship October 17th, when you'll maybe already fear misplacing one half of the $150 pair. It is very much simply a glorified tether: there's no electronics or wiring inside, but it really does defeat the purpose of the darn things. Almost like a headphone converter.


Source: Amazon

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Dog Adorably Terrifies Cats Stalking Bird

A persecuted stray dog gets attached to a funny man in swimming trunks - literally attached.

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Friday, 9 September 2016

LLV8 Is An Experimental LLVM Compiler For V8 JavaScript

LLV8 is an experimental compiler for the V8 JavaScript Engine as shipped in Chrome, etc. LLV8 makes use of LLVM's MCJIT for code optimization and while it takes longer to compile this way, the generated code should be superior...

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The Android Runtime On Chrome OS Makes Use Of Wayland

With Google's Android Runtime for Chrome (ARC) it turns out that this technology for letting Android apps run on Chrome OS is making use of the Wayland protocol and could open up other Wayland clients to running on Chrome OS.

Readers in the

Phoronix Forums

pointed out that the ARC++ runtime makes use of Wayland, per a session description for this month's XDC2016 conference in Helsinki.

David Reveman of Google will be talking about ARC++ and the description reads:

ARC++ provides existing and future Chromebooks with the ability to run applications from the Google Play Store. The performance and seamless integration into ChromeOS achieved by ARC++ is in large part a result of a carefully designed graphics stack. Rendering, compositing and window management has been designed to fit together in a way that makes no compromise on performance or resource usage.

This talk will give an overview of the pieces that make up the ARC++ graphics stack, describe how Wayland is used as a compositor protocol and explain how we achieve the goal of running Android applications on ChromeOS with native graphics performance and window management capabilities expected from an application running on a Chromebook. It will also provide some basic pointers for running Wayland clients on ChromeOS, and future direction.

I haven't been following ARC too closely, but don't believe it's well known they are making use of Wayland. Android or Chrome OS itself otherwise hasn't relied upon Wayland up to this point.

This talk should be interesting and will happen in Helsinki with XDC2016 running from 21 to 23 September.

For those of you who don't recognize the name, David Reveman has long been involved in the open-source graphics scene but there hasn't been much from him in the past few years. Among his past accomplishments was leading the XGL/Compiz work in the early days at Novell, GPU acceleration for Mono's Moonlight, and more during his Novell tenure before joining Google a number of years ago.

Stay tuned for XDC2016 remote coverage on Phoronix later this month.

Read the full article here by Phoronix

Rocket League Finally Released For Linux

A game that many Linux gamers have been waiting months to see has finally been released on Steam for Linux: Rocket League...

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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Google To Buy Apigee For $625 Million To Expand Enterprise

An anonymous reader shares a Bloomberg report:Google is buying software development toolmaker Apigee for $625 million, the latest move by the search giant to bulk up its cloud-based offerings for businesses. Alphabet Inc.'s Google has agreed to pay $17.40 a share in cash, San Jose, California-based Apigee said in a statement Thursday. That's a 6.5 percent premium to Apigee's closing price Wednesday. The companies expect the deal to be completed by the end of the year. Apigee sells a platform that aids companies in managing their APIs, which are programming tools that help developers build software that talks to each other and shares information without revealing the underlying code. APIs have become an integral part of cloud software development, allowing one application to pull data and use services from multiple other programs. "The addition of Apigee's API solutions to Google cloud will accelerate our customers' move to supporting their businesses with high quality digital interactions,â Diane Greene, senior vice president of Google's cloud business, said in a blog post, referring to application program interface products.
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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

10 Jaw-Dropping Lego Mindstorms Projects


We all love Lego. Whether you’re a fan of the video games (Lego Dimensions is a particular favorite (Amazon US, CA, UK), or enjoy building kits of various themes and sizes, the enduring brick building toy continues to thrill children of all ages. Not just children, either. The Mindstorms range of Lego kits feature an “intelligent” programmable brick that can be used to extend the possibilities of the kit. We’ve previously featured one such kit in one of our most popular ever giveaways, and the Mindstorms range is becoming an increasingly popular tool for makers of all skill levels and interests. These 10...

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Intel buys Movidius to build the future of computer vision

Intel is making it extra-clear that computer vision hardware will play a big role in its beyond-the-PC strategy. The computing behemoth has just acquired Movidius, a specialist in AI and computer vision processors. The Intel team isn't shy about its goals. It sees Movidius as a way to get high-speed, low-power chips that can power RealSense cameras in devices that need to see and understand the world around them. Movidius has already provided the brains behind gadgets like drones and thermal cameras, many of which are a logical fit for Intel's depth-sensing tech -- and its deals with Google and Lenovo give nothing to sneeze at, either.

This isn't Intel's first AI-related buyout. However, it shows that Intel is increasingly determined to find new avenues to explore now that it can't count on large jumps in processor performance to maintain the bottom line. An acquisition like this could make it the go-to source for chips in fields that are still growing quickly, such as robotics and smart homes.

Source: Intel, Movidius

Read the full article here by Engadget

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

ARM now arm-in-arm with SoftBank as Japan’s Brexit demands loom

AMD ships its extra-efficient 7th-generation processors in PCs

While Intel is busy revamping its laptop processors, AMD is focused on the desktop side of personal computing. The chip designer has started shipping its 7th-generation A-series processors in desktop PCs, starting with machines from HP and Lenovo. The CPUs are based around as many as four Excavator cores, rather than the coveted Zen cores you've heard about lately, but that should still get you a lot of performance per watt. If you believe AMD, its 35- and 65-watt processors deliver the kind of speed that previously took over 90 watts -- the A12-9800 is about as fast in a general computing benchmark (PCMark) as Intel's Core i5-6500, and roughly twice as fast in graphics (3DMark) if you're relying on integrated video.

As you might guess from the testing, visual performance plays a big role. On top of a newer DirectX 12-friendly graphics architecture, the new processors tout native video decoding for 4K video in both H.264 and H.265 formats, taking a large load off of your system while you're watching Ultra HD movies.

The efficiency angle is a familiar one for AMD, and not surprising given that it's the company's main advantage. You're still looking at higher-end Intel Core i5 and i7 chips if you're focused on raw performance in a desktop. With that said, this may be worthwhile if you want a glimpse at AMD's future. The 7th-gen A-series is the first processor line based on AMD's new AM4 platform and the interfaces that come with it, including support for USB 3.1 and NVMe solid-state drives. At least some of the technology you see here will carry on for multiple hardware generations.

Via: VentureBeat

Source: AMD (1), (2)

Read the full article here by Engadget

Monday, 5 September 2016

400,000 GitHub Repositories, 1 Billion Files, 14TB of Code: Spaces or Tabs?

Here's a debate that refuses to die: given a choice, would you rather use spaces or tabs? An episode of Silicon Valley last season had a bit on this. Now we have more data to analyze people's behavior. A Google developer has looked into 400,000 GitHub repositories -- 1 billion files, 14 terabytes to find that programmers with interest in specific languages do seem to prefer either tabs or spaces. Spoiler alert: space wins, like all the time.
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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Gran Turismo Sport delayed to 2017

Taking a little longer to finish that last lap

Gran Turismo Sport won’t see release until sometime next year, Polyphony Digital announced this morning on the PlayStation Blog. Originally scheduled for a Nov. 15 launch in North America and Japan, the game has been pushed back so that the developer can spend "more time to perfect [it]."

"We do not want to compromise the experience in any way," creator Kazunori Yamauchi wrote. "While we cannot confirm a new release date at this time, we are more committed than ever to making GT Sport the best Gran Turismo game to date."

The delay comes even after Polyphony Digital canceled an open beta in order to cut down on development time. Both the demo and the game had been revealed last fall during Paris Games Week for a 2016 debut.

Gran Turismo Sport has been playable at recent events like E3 in June and Gamescom earlier this month, however, and it will continue to make the rounds at various events throughout the year. The latest entry in the successful racing series will be the first to hit PlayStation 4 whenever it does arrive.

Read the full article here by Polygon

New Google app wants to crowdsource your help... for free

On all mobile platforms -- and, indeed, desktop ones -- there are no end of apps and websites that can be used to earn money and other rewards in return for providing feedback. Google, however, has a different idea. The company has released a new app for Android called Crowdsource. The idea is to improve the likes of Google Maps and Google Translate with input from the likes of you and I. But rather than paying contributors -- or even offering any kind of incentive -- Google is rather cheekily looking for help completely gratis. Download a copy of the… [Continue Reading]

Read the full article here by Betanews