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Watch a Fleet of SpotMini Robo Dogs Haul a Box Truck

Geek.com - Wed, 2019-04-17 09:45

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of the impending robot revolution. Actually, it’s the sound of 10 SpotMini robo dogs hauling a truck across the Boston Dynamics parking lot. Like I said: […]

The post Watch a Fleet of SpotMini Robo Dogs Haul a Box Truck appeared first on Geek.com.

(PR) Colorful Announces CVN-Z390M Gaming V20 Micro-ATX Motherboard

techPowerUp - Wed, 2019-04-17 04:50
Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and high-performance storage solutions is proud to announce its latest motherboard featuring Intel Z390 chipset which supports unlocked 8-core 9th-gen as well 8th-gen processors from Intel. The new COLORFUL CVN Z390M GAMING V20 is aimed at enthusiasts, system builders, and gamers looking for a serious foundation for an mATX build. This motherboard allows mainstream to high-end builds without breaking the bank while still delivering a performance and features for a wide range of use.

The new COLORFUL CVN Z390M GAMING V20 will feature support for both 8th-gen and 9th-gen Intel processors in the LGA1151 package. This allows users to upgrade from Intel's 8th-generation processor to the 9th-gen CPU that increases core count to give you a performance upgrade. The motherboard also supports DDR4 memory higher bandwidth so applications can run as fast as possible. The motherboard also supports overclocking on unlocked processors for increased performance. Read full story

(PR) AMD Announces the Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC Series

techPowerUp - Wed, 2019-04-17 04:44
At the Taiwan Embedded Forum, AMD announced the Ryzen embedded product family is growing with the new AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC. Building upon the success of the Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC, the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC provides embedded customers with dual core, quad-threaded performance, as well as the ability to run fanless, low power solutions for 4K displays; while providing leading-edge security features. The AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 is perfect for applications in digital displays, high-performance edge computing, networking, thin clients and more.

Customers like Advantech, ASRock Industrial, IBASE, Netronome, Quixant and others are already working on Ryzen Embedded R1000-based products. As well, Atari© is using the high-performance Vega 3 graphics and 'Zen' CPU architecture in the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC to power the upcoming Atari VCS game system. Read full story

Intel Also Announces Mobile 8th Gen Intel Core vPro Processors

techPowerUp - Wed, 2019-04-17 04:32
Intel in addition to updating its 5G strategy, also announced availability of its 8th generation Core vPro "Whiskey Lake" mobile processor SoCs. Built as multi-chip modules with the CPU and PCH dies sitting on a single package, the new Core vPro i7-8665U has identical specifications to the original i7-8665U from Q3-2018, but with the addition of vPro, a set of additional features relevant to large organizations, such as AMT (active management technology), and TXT (trusted execution technology). OEM majors Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Panasonic are giving finishing touches to enterprise notebooks based on the new chip, which by itself could be priced around $500.

(PR) Intel to Exit 5G Smartphone Modem Business, Focus on 5G Network Infrastructure

techPowerUp - Wed, 2019-04-17 03:44
Intel Corporation today announced its intention to exit the 5G smartphone modem business and complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices. Intel will also continue to invest in its 5G network infrastructure business. The company will continue to meet current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, but does not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space, including those originally planned for launches in 2020.

"We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the 'cloudification' of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns," said Intel CEO Bob Swan. "5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world." Intel expects to provide additional details in its upcoming first-quarter 2019 earnings release and conference call, scheduled for April 25.

Apple and Qualcomm Bury the Hatchet; Sign New Patent and Chip Supply Agreements

AnandTech - Wed, 2019-04-17 01:10

Putting an end to one of the most intense high tech legal battles in recent memory, this afternoon Apple and Qualcomm announced that the two firms were burying the hatchet. Effective immediately, all litigation between the two companies has been dropped, and the two have signed new patent license and chip supply agreements. As a result, the face of the cellular modem market is changing in an instant, as Apple’s shift in allegiances will have repercussions throughout the industry.

Overall, the joint press release put out by the two companies is very short on details, as the agreement is largely a private matter. To settle their legal affairs, Apple will be making a one-time payment to Qualcomm, presumably to cover any IP use since Apple cut off payments to Qualcomm in 2017. Replacing those lawsuits, Apple has signed a 6-year patent license agreement with Qualcomm, which is being backdated to April 1st. The agreement includes a further 2-year extension option, which if Apple eventually chooses to exercise it, would take the agreement through April of 2027.

Along with licensing Qualcomm’s patents, Apple is also going to resume buying chips from Qualcomm. A separate chipset supply agreement has been inked; though the official announcement doesn’t say for how long beyond the fact that it’s a “multiyear” agreement. Interestingly the word “modem” does not appear once in the press release itself, but from the nature of the two companies’ conflict and Apple’s own needs, clearly Qualcomm is once again going to be supplying modems for Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

As noted by Reuters, the sudden nature of the deal took many people by surprise. Apple and Qualcomm announced the deal as the two companies were simultaneously in federal court in San Diego, arguing their cases on day 2 of what was their ongoing trial. That trial is now over, as are all of Qualcomm and Apple’s other legal tussles across the world.

Apple and Qualcomm are not announcing the overall financial details of the deal – how much Apple is paying in royalties, nor how much the one-time payment is. However Qualcomm has put out a summary slide disclosing that as product shipments ramp, the company is expecting the deal to bring the company’s incremental earnings to around two dollars per share. Which goes to show just how big of a deal this is in terms of sales and volume, and how important it was for Qualcomm to bring Apple back on board. Accordingly, as noted by CNBC, Qualcomm’s stock had its best day since 1999, with the stock jumping up 23% during market hours, and a further 7% after-hours.

Overall, the consequences of the deal are significant. Qualcomm has been accused across the globe of FRAND violations and other anti-competitive behavior, with Apple serving as Qualcomm’s fiercest critic in this area. While various regulatory cases are still going on – particularly in the US – settling with Apple means that the company will no longer be petitioning regulators and government officials to rule against Qualcomm. So while indirect, this could remove a lot of pressure against Qualcomm in their ongoing regulatory cases.

Meanwhile, Apple’s shift in allegiances has led to their alternative modem supplier, Intel, to drop out of the 5G smartphone market entirely. A few hours after the Qualcomm settlement was announced, Intel made its own announcement that it was exiting the 5G smartphone modem business, and will be reevaluating the rest of its client modem business. So in the span of a day, the 5G modem market has already lost a competitor.

On that note, however, it’s interesting that the chip supply agreement between Apple and Qualcomm isn’t for the same fixed length as their patent agreement. Apple has developed a well-earned reputation for going their own way in chip development, and this may be a sign that Apple intends to eventually develop their own modem technology. This could prove especially prudent, as it would allow Apple to integrate a modem directly into their A-series SoCs, doing away with the need for an external modem and freeing up some valuable PCB space. Fittingly, this is one of Qualcomm’s greatest strengths in the Android SoC space, as the company routinely offers SoCs with various integrated modems.

Intel Exits 5G Smartphone Modem Market; Other Client Modem Businesses to Be Reviewed

AnandTech - Wed, 2019-04-17 00:05

With today’s announcement out of Apple and Qualcomm that the two fierce rivals have buried the hatchet for good, the situation immediately put into question the fate of Intel’s modem business. As Intel’s only major smartphone modem patron, Apple’s business and enormous order volume made Intel’s smartphone modem business an all-or-nothing affair. Now, as Apple and Qualcomm are seemingly reconciling towards Apple once again using Qualcomm’s modems, Intel has sent out an announcement this afternoon that they are bowing out of the 5G smartphone modem market entirely.

In the brief announcement, Intel stated that it was scrubbing its plans to launch 5G modems for smartphones, including modems planned for next year, i.e. the smartphone version of XMM 8160. Intel’s rationale here, while not mentioning the Apple/Qualcomm deal, is rather simple, with Intel’s CEO, Bob Swan, noting that the company doesn’t see a “clear path to profitability and positive returns.” Without a major customer, there won’t be an opportunity for Intel to make back their R&D costs.

Note however that this doesn’t mean Intel is getting out of smartphone modems entirely, at least not right away. The company’s announcement is also making it clear that Intel will continue delivering 4G modems to current customers (e.g. Apple) to meet their sales commitments. So while we won’t see any Intel-powered phones in the 5G era, Intel will remain a fixture in the 4G era – at least as long as Apple keeps buying modems from them.

Meanwhile Intel is also announcing that alongside canceling their smartphone modem plans, they’re also going to use this opportunity to reevaluate the rest of their client modem portfolio. Intel’s plans for the XMM 8160 took it well beyond smartphones, with plans for putting it in devices like PCs and broadband access gateways as well. Now the company needs to figure out if these plans still make sense – if the XMM 8160 will be competitive in these markets, and if continued development and manufacturing make sense without a large smartphone customers. At this point Intel faces an uphill battle in the rest of the client modem market, and there’s a very good chance that Intel’s reevaluation will find that there’s no place for the company in this highly competitive market.

Interestingly however, while Intel is on a path to throwing in the towel on client 5G entirely, the company is also making it clear that they intend to stay in the lucrative 5G infrastructure market, and that today’s announcement is only about client products. To use Intel’s favored buzzword here, the company is still driving hard on its data-centric approach to chips, which means they continue to be invested heavily in servers, infrastructure, and AI.

Ultimately, if this is to be the end of Intel’s client modem business, it’s certainly been one heck of a ride for the group. After supplying modems for all of Apple’s 2G and 3G iPhones as Infineon’s wireless solutions group, the modem business was sold to Intel in 2011, who largely struggled with the business since then. Intel’s 4G modems were late to market, and there are still debates over whether they’re as good as the best 4G modems available today. As a result, Intel was never able to recapture the same kind of success the group saw in the 2G/3G era.

Sony PlayStation 5 Console Confirmed Powered by 8-core Zen 2 CPU, Navi and Ray Tracing Confirmed

techPowerUp - Tue, 2019-04-16 23:49
Sony's own lead system architect Mark Cerny spilled the beans on the company's upcoming "PlayStation 5" games console - the name isn't confirmed, but it's a PlayStation, and it's the fifth, so, following from the previous nomenclature just makes sense, doesn't it? One particular detail, however, is of most interest to us PC hardware junkies, and that one little fact is the confirmed Navi GPU that will power it. This is, almost certainly, a semi-custom Navi-based GPU, however; but the tidbit that PlayStation 5 will have raytracing support is the one game changer for hardware expectations - on paper, at least.

Of course, Navi is expected to debut much sooner in the consumer space than on next-gen consoles, but the fact that PlayStation 5 development kits are already being seeded - and an increasing rate, according to Sony - bodes well for the feature's inclusion on AMD's consumer-based cards. Either that or the company is taking a software approach to raytracing, which, if NVIDIA's 1000 and 10*0 series is any indication, wouldn't go very well with performance intentions. This does mean that raytracing is about to receive a much-needed market penetration boost for its adoption by developers. NVIDIA will of course be able to wave the flag of having been the first company to introduce the technology to consumers. Read full story

No Man's Sky Updated to Support Vulkan Renderer API

techPowerUp - Tue, 2019-04-16 23:12
I've written my fair share of articles on No Man's Sky, since the game's concept is one of the more interesting in recent years (for me; editor liberties, can we call it?). The game may have excelled more in concept than in execution, but a series of updates have brought the game close to what was promised. Now, developer Hello games has brought about an update that brings a more subtle change: the game's API has been updated from OpenGL to Vulkan. The "behind the curtains" update has brought about improved performance across the spectrum of graphics cards that support that API renderer (in particular AMD users, as the patch notes themselves spell out), and, expectedly, an easier coding time for the developers. Improved HDR support was also coded into the game. The full patch notes follow, as well as Hello Games' words on this change. Read full story

Kaspersky: Most Cyber Attacks Directed at Microsoft Office in Q4 2018

techPowerUp - Tue, 2019-04-16 23:01
Having the world's most pervasive operating system (or office suite) is sure to leave a big mark on any company when it comes to exploitation attempts from hackers. It's a simple equation: aim your efforts at a software that runs in millions (if not billions) of machines and even a light chink in the armor could be enough to cause a cascading effect through that many users.

This principle applies to almost everything: a small effect across a billion users usually provides greater returns than a large effect on one or two players. Kaspersky labs on its security report, presented at the Security Analyst Summit, reported that the favorite target for cyber attacks was Microsoft's Office suite - a 70% figure suggests an incredible attention given to Office, really. These Office-related cyber attacks don't directly relate to the suite itself; there are other, OS-integrated components that can be targeted, or simply that Office file extensions are used as clever, headache-inducing ways of disguising malware as the second greatest evil in the world - spreadsheets.

CyberLink Launches PowerDVD 19 for UltraHD Blu-ray and 8K Videos

AnandTech - Tue, 2019-04-16 22:40

CyberLink's PowerDVD remains the only legitimate Blu-ray playback software in the PC space. Over the last few years, the company has been trying to add value to the software with extra features such as support for VR HMDs and 360° videos. PowerDVD 19 is being launched today. It continues CyberLink's tradition of incremental improvements to the playback software.

The improvements in PowerDVD 19 include the ability to play 8K videos, video postprocessing enabled for higher-resolution videos compared to PowerDVD 18, and the transition to a 64-bit playback engine. The new version also brings support for the HEIC/HEIF image format, and can play back HDR videos without taking over exclusive control of the desktop's HDR configuration. PowerDVD 19 also makes improvement in the YouTube interface, allowing for the selection of the video quality before making a title available for watching offline.

While 8K playback is looking more into the future, CyberLink's advancements in TrueTheater (their video and audio postprocessing features set) can be seen by consumers right away. While PowerDVD 18 focused on TrueTheater effects mainly for HD videos, PowerDVD 19 brings 4K support for post-processing features related to color correction, contrast enhancement, and HDR.

PowerDVD 19 also brings improvements to the VR HMD playback feature, with the 360° video support getting complemented with new support for 360° spatial audio.

Similar to the previous PowerDVD versions, CyberLink plans to offer four different flavors of PowerDVD 19 in the market - the Ultra, Pro, and Standard versions are perpetual licenses at a one-time cost of $100, $80, and $60 respectively. The fourth flavor is the Live version, which is a subscription-based offering at $15 per quarter (or $45 per year). The exact differences in the features are brought out in the slides reproduced at the end of this piece.

Usage Impressions

CyberLink's PowerDVD and UltraHD Blu-ray Advisor Tool are used in every HTPC review published on AnandTech, as physical disk playback evaluation continues to be an oft-requested point in our reader feedback. The company offered us an early look at PowerDVD 19, and we took it out for a spin on a couple of different systems - on the Kaby Lake Beebox which plays UHD Blu-rays perfectly with PowerDVD 17, the newer version forced us to update our drivers. We also installed the software on the Bean Canyon NUC. On both machines, attempting the playback of a UHD Blu-ray triggered the 'Initiating components for Ultra HD Blu-ray' pop-up box and the progress bar ended up getting stuck close to completion (similar to the issue reported here for an older version. After 6 hours, I gave up attempting to use the software on the Beebox. On the Bean Canyon NUC, I let the system idle with the program active. Eventually, after more than 24 hours, the pop-up box disappeared, and the playback started. All in all, it was not great user experience. But, once past that initial stage, UHD Blu-ray playback was relatively painless. The TrueTheater effects are taxing on both the GPU and the CPU, and it is useful to have for user-generated content, rather than Blu-rays. PowerDVD's TV mode, with a 10-foot UI, is very intuitive to use, though not as flexible as Kodi's.

A lot of the UX issues with PowerDVD are a result of the onerous content protection schemes mandated by the Blu-ray Disc Association. As Netflix and many other OTT content providers have shown, it is possible to keep users relatively satisfied while still protecting the content, and the BDA / CyberLink could learn from them. That said, for people who don't watch protected content, it is a bit difficult to justify the cost of a PowerDVD purchase (given that open-source software like Kodi, VLC, and MPC-HC with LAV Filters do a great job for local media playback). The TrueTheater features go up against the capabilities offered by renderers such as madVR. While PowerDVD 19 / TrueTheater is perfect for the average consumer (working out of the box), madVR is definitely much more flexible (users can even use madVR with Kodi). That said, some of PowerDVD's features such as VR HMD support and 360° video support are unique. They offer a definite value proposition to consumers with a need for playback of such content on specific devices. While the direct-to-consumer appeal may appear limited, CyberLink can continue to target OEMs and bundled sales with the new set of features in PowerDVD 19.

PowerDVD 19 Versions - Feature Set Comparison

New Planet Discovered in Two-Star ‘Tatooine’ Kepler-47 System

Geek.com - Tue, 2019-04-16 22:15

Astronomers have found a third planet in the Kepler-47 system dubbed Kepler-47d, and according to a new study, it is about seven times larger than Earth. In the study, a team of astronomers […]

The post New Planet Discovered in Two-Star ‘Tatooine’ Kepler-47 System appeared first on Geek.com.

Bloodsucking Worms in Pythons Are Killing Florida Rattlesnakes, Study Says

Geek.com - Tue, 2019-04-16 21:20

Burmese pythons, one of the most deadliest types of invasive reptiles, are now indirectly killing native Florida pygmy rattlesnakes with parasitic worms, according to a new study. Stetson University researchers, which were alarmed […]

The post Bloodsucking Worms in Pythons Are Killing Florida Rattlesnakes, Study Says appeared first on Geek.com.

3D Laser Scans Could Be Crucial in Notre Dame Cathedral Restoration After Fire

Geek.com - Tue, 2019-04-16 20:32

A day after a devastating fire tore through the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, hundreds of millions of committed donations have poured in to help rebuild the damaged portions of the cathedral. But […]

The post 3D Laser Scans Could Be Crucial in Notre Dame Cathedral Restoration After Fire appeared first on Geek.com.

Hands-On: ‘Dreams’ Is Sony’s Wildly Ambitious Game Maker

Geek.com - Tue, 2019-04-16 20:15

The Dreams beta is available now on PS4. Here’s what we thought the last time we played Sony’s wildly ambitious game making software. I remember a decade ago when Media Molecule first hit […]

The post Hands-On: ‘Dreams’ Is Sony’s Wildly Ambitious Game Maker appeared first on Geek.com.

Geek Pick: Marshall Stanmore II Voice Is a Smart Speaker for Audiophiles

Geek.com - Tue, 2019-04-16 19:20

I’ve got a lot of respect for hardcore audiophiles. I like to think my ears can appreciate a good sound. But they’re practically morons compared to the ears on these folks, detecting the […]

The post Geek Pick: Marshall Stanmore II Voice Is a Smart Speaker for Audiophiles appeared first on Geek.com.

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8, Episode 2 Preview: The Calm Before the Storm

Geek.com - Tue, 2019-04-16 19:20

Game of Thrones just kicked off its last season with a stellar first episode, but there is more to come. As Arya Stark says, “death has many faces,” and the show’s Season 8, […]

The post ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8, Episode 2 Preview: The Calm Before the Storm appeared first on Geek.com.

Kit Harington Says He ‘Doesn’t Give a F*ck’ About ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Critics

Geek.com - Tue, 2019-04-16 18:17

Kit Harington, also known as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, is not a fan of critics who are bashing the show’s final season. In a recent Esquire interview, Harington discussed the difficulties […]

The post Kit Harington Says He ‘Doesn’t Give a F*ck’ About ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Critics appeared first on Geek.com.

‘Forza Street’ Makes Microsoft Racing Game Mobile

Geek.com - Tue, 2019-04-16 18:13

Forget Halo, these days the premier Microsoft franchise has got to be Forza. Granted, when you put out a game in the same franchise every year, people will start associating you with that […]

The post ‘Forza Street’ Makes Microsoft Racing Game Mobile appeared first on Geek.com.

Toy Tuesday: The Most Fatal ‘Mortal Kombat’ Toys

Geek.com - Tue, 2019-04-16 18:05

We’re about to hit a new installment in the eternal Mortal Kombat series, and MK11 is making some changes in the franchise, with customizable loadouts for even greater character customization and contextual Fatal […]

The post Toy Tuesday: The Most Fatal ‘Mortal Kombat’ Toys appeared first on Geek.com.

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