This week four people were accused of hacking at least 500 million Yahoo accounts, Spotify partnered with Waze and Intel bought computer vision company Mobileye. These are the top stories of the week, and you can also get this post as a weekly newsletter in your inbox, if you prefer. 1. The U.S. Department of Justice accused of two Russian FSB officers and two criminal hackers of… Read More
One of the staples of Intel’s upcoming Haswell processor architecture is its support for lower-power idle states that can rival tablet chips in power consumption, even on the desktop. However, that may come with a big caveat for budget and custom-built PCs: certain power supplies might not cut it. VR-Zone claims that those idle states require as little as 0.05 amps of current, which could be too nuanced for older or cut-rate supplies that deliver power in bigger clumps. That might not be a problem for companies building complete PCs, but Corsair’s Robert Pearce tells The Tech Report that it may lead to a lot of motherboard builders playing it safe by disabling those specific modes by default. Many of us, in turn, would either have to buy a fresh supply or toggle the power-saving options ourselves. We’ve reached out to Intel to verify the truth, but it may be wisest to make a cleaner break from the past with any near-term upgrades.
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Human-machine interaction — the term sounds so clinical, yet it’s the most important relationship we need to foster in the 21st century. Which is why the venture arms of Samsung, Intel and Spanish telco Telefonica have sunk considerable funding into Expect Labs’ voice recognition software, an investment the trio announced earlier today. The startup’s prescient tech, known as the Anticipatory Computing Engine (or ACE, zing!), aims to guesstimate a user’s actions or information needs by listening in on and analyzing real-time conversations. It’s understandable if the prospect creeps you out — it should — but the end goal isn’t to invade a user’s privacy (though the data mined would be significant), it’s to anticipate and assist.
That three major corporations with stakes in computing, mobile and home electronics would want to proactively invest in Expect Labs’ tech is a no-brainer. Apple, Samsung and Google all already offer voice navigation services (to varying degrees of success) on smartphones and the potential for current smart TVs (defined by their internet connectedness) to get smarter and change channels or record programs independently would do well by their slack-jawed worshippers. What’s more, practical applications for ACE aren’t some far-off prospect; the tech could easily make its way into Samsung’s next Galaxy S flagship. And then every other machine in your life not long after…
Source: Expect Labs
Intel has confirmed that it will be providing chips to Google, as the internet search giant will soon be introducing Android based notebooks in the market. This isn’t Google’s first foray in the notebook market. The company has released a number of Chromebooks in the past but they haven’t gained much traction. The latest offering, Chromebook Pixel, hasn’t been able to make waves as well despite its impressive build quality and amazing display. The company hopes that its Android based notebooks won’t suffer from a similar fate.
The Android notebooks will have touchscreen displays and are going to be powered by Intel Atom processors. Google is aiming for a new price point, it is expected to price these touchscreen notebooks at approximately $200. It remains to be seen how much of an effect this price point will have on sales of 7″ tablets that are similarly priced. An Intel executive believes that it is unlikely for Windows 8 based notebooks to be in this price range, but it all depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8. For Android notebooks, a $200 price is possible because the software itself is free for OEMs. No specifications or release time frame of these notebooks has been given.
We’ve just spotted a familiar friend at Intel’s Innovation Future Showcase in London — its Haswell-powered North Cape laptop / tablet hybrid. As a quick reminder, alongside that fourth-generation Intel Core processor there’s a 13-inch 1080p display that detaches from the keyboard, and now we’ve been given a few important updates on the reference device, battery performance on Haswell and how Intel’s reference design will transfer between tablet and Ultrabook mode. All that and more after the break.
Welcome to The After Math, where we attempt to summarize this week’s tech news through numbers, decimal places and percentages
As we scratch our head and puzzle over the almost-daily financial results for the last quarter, this week’s missive takes a slightly sentimental look at how two tech companies were faring a decade earlier. Is it unfair to compare the yesteryear Nokia to Google? Possibly. But it was the same year that a certain Engadget regular claimed a best-selling album — so it wasn’t all bad. Toshiba also unveiled a new pin-sharp Ultrabook to stand up to Apple’s Retina displays, and NASA continued the search for habitable planets.
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During its Q3 2013 earnings call today, Microsoft’s outgoing CFO Peter Klein noted that the company plans to bring Windows 8 to smaller devices. Until now, Windows 8 was mostly geared toward desktops and larger tablets, including Microsoft’s own Surface and RT machines.
With the forthcoming Windows 8 Blue, rumor had it that Microsoft would enable its OEMs to run Windows 8 on smaller devices, too. Klein confirmed this on today’s call, though he mostly talked about OEMs and did not mention whether Microsoft also plans to launch a smaller Surface tablet, though that’s probably a fair bet, too. Currently, there are no sub-10-inch Windows 8 tablets on the market, but according to Klein, we will hear more about these in the coming months.
During the Q&A phase, Klein also noted that Microsoft is working on “expanding and improving the experience, not just for Surface, but for Windows 8 devices at multiple price points, including lower price points going forward.” Earlier this week, Intel’s outgoing CEO Paul Otellini also noted that his company wants to ensure that OEMs can build Windows 8 machines for under $200 soon.
In addition, Klein also acknowledged that the transition to Windows 8 isn’t easy, but the company remains “excited about the opportunities ahead of [it].” According to Klein, Windows 8 has prepared Microsoft well for the transition from desktops to touch devices. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we feel comfortable about where we are going.”
He also expects to see more – and more attractive – Windows 8 touch-enabled devices to come on the market in the near future, too, and he thinks these will become more attractive.
We’re hearing from a source familiar with deliberations that Intel is buying Mashery for more than $180 million, in a move that shows how the chipmaker is slowly becoming both a hardware and a software company. ReadWrite had ballparked the acquisition price at 2-3x the company’s last reported valuation of $60 million.
ReadWrite, which first broke the news and confirmed the story, reported that Mashery’s 125 employees found out about the sale via an early morning email and that most will be given jobs in Intel’s Internet services division. Terms were not officially disclosed, but the deal was “not material to Intel’s financial results,” according to a statement.
API management company Mashery was founded in 2006 and raised about $35 million in funding prior to its acquisition. Mashery founder Oren Michels did not comment about the size of the deal when we inquired earlier today.
Mashery and Intel have been friends for awhile, having formed a partnership last November to develop the Intel Expressway API Manager. According to Programmable Web, the service is designed to solve the problems of ‘secure API enablement and API product management’ for Enterprises when they are looking for an API management solution.”
Intel has been showing signs that it is growing its investment in its software division. This latest move follows Project Rhino, which will optimize its own Hadoop distribution for its server chips. The move is in line with Intel’s strategy to become more of a security software provider, as symbolized most in the acquisition of McAfee Software for $7.7 billion in 2010.
The API management space has matured in the past few years. Apigee, Singly and Layer 7 all compete in the space. Apigee is the oldest one of the group and has recently diversified to offer analytics and API infrastructures for next-generation, software-defined data centers.
Toshiba’s been holding its own at the affordable end of the laptop and PC market for a while, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do classy. Perhaps that’s why it’s just announced KIRAbook, a 13-inch Ultrabook aimed squarely at the high end. All the usual top-tier treats are here, plus an impressive 2,560 x 1,440 (221 ppi) panel, making this the first Windows Ultrabook to offer such a high-resolution screen. There’s also a pressed magnesium housing and touchscreen input (non-touch version also available). That tactile input option also comes with a 10-point Corning Concore sheet of glass between your digits and the Windows 8 operating system. That OS will be housed on a 256GB SSD, supported by 8GB of 1,600 MHz RAM and third-gen Intel Core processors. There also 25GB of could storage if you need a little more. An launch, there will be three configurations starting at $1,599, rising to $1,999 if you want all the bells and whistles (i.e., Core i7 and that touchscreen). If this sounds like your thing, then you can pre-order in May 3rd, or walk into bricks and mortar stores on May 12th.
Filed under: Laptops
Via: The Verge
On the earnings call after Intel released its Q1 numbers, its executives faced many questions from analysts, including some asking what to expect from the company in Q4. According to CEO Paul Otellini and CFO / EVP Stacy Smith, among the reasons for investors to be optimistic are the prospects of cheaper touch screen computers powered by its upcoming Bay Trail (quad-core Atom) and Haswell processors. Just how cheap you ask? According to Otellini, as transcribed by SeekingAlpha:
We have a certain spec for ultrabooks, and that is the product that Stacy said is going to be centered at as low as $599 with some [diverse] SKUs to $499. If you look at touch-enabled Intel based notebooks that are ultrathin and light using non-core processors, those prices are going to be down to as low as $200 probably.
We’d put more weight in those figures if they were price tags attached to products or at least from the OEMs that will build them, but at least there’s a target. Whatever happens, there’s sure to be a flood of new ultrabooks, tablets, convertibles and detachables hitting the streets later this year, and if the price is right (along with some Windows 8 tweaks) maybe they’ll be worth the wait.
Source: Seeking Alpha
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Intel just reported a quarterly net income of $2 billion, with $12.6 billion in revenue for a total earnings of 40 cents per share. Net income is down 17 percent compared to Q4 2012, when the company reported $2.5 billion in profit. Revenue is also down by seven percent compared to the previous quarter’s $13.5 billion. President and CEO Paul Otellini, who is stepping down in May, references the upcoming 14nm transition, saying that the technology will “will significantly increase the value provided by Intel architecture and process technology for our customers and in the marketplace.” The earnings call is set to happen soon; we’ll report back with any additional news — on the CEO front or otherwise.
Source: Intel Newsroom
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In an effort to improve the quality of K-12 public education, schools across the country have begun to adopt the Common Core State Standards, which are designed to align the diversity of state curricula under one consistent, standardized guidebook of what students are expected to learn — and teachers are expected to teach. Formally adopted by 46 states, which will be making the transition over the next two years, the Common Core is becoming essential to the educational system, but it can also be overwhelming.
Founded in 2011 by a former principal and a former teacher, LearnZillion is developing a platform to help teachers, schools and districts implement the Common Core State Standards by providing a digital curriculum with lessons from teachers across the country. To help it scale and continue to add content to its free resource, the startup is announcing today that it has raised $7 million in Series A financing.
The round was led by DCM, with participation from O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, Calvert Social Investment Fund, NewSchools Venture Fund and D.C. Community Ventures — among others. The round brings the startup’s total investment to $9.4 million, which it will use to ramp up hiring and scale more quickly.
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Tech companies are already well known for some of the extra benefits they offer their employees, but several companies stand head and shoulders above others in keeping their workers happy, a new poll has found.
The survey, based on reviews on the site CareerBliss, ranked and rated the happiest tech companies in the United States. Overall, workers at Intuit were found to be the happiest employees in tech. Texas Instruments (No. 2) and Avaya (No. 3) rounded out the top three.
Employees at Google — which is often recognized for its comprehensive benefits package that includes everything from free food and haircuts to on-site doctors and fitness centers — were rated the fourth happiest workers in tech. EMC Corp and Intel followed Google on the CareerBliss list, at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. The rest of the top-10 list included Unisys, Yahoo!, HCL Technologies and Advanced Micro Devices. Read more…
At IDF’s second-day keynote in Beijing today, Intel announced its collaboration with bank card giant China UnionPay for secure mobile payment, with the latter utilizing Intel’s Identity Protection Technology and also its distribution of the Hadoop software framework for datacenters. With UnionPay being China’s top bank card organization boasting a total of 3.5 billion cards to date, this is obviously a big deal for Intel both locally and around the world — at least in the 141 countries and regions where UnionPay is accepted, according to Executive Vice President Chai Hongfeng.
Chai also used his stage time to show off UnionPay Quick Pass, China’s very own NFC payment service with over 1.1 million local POS terminals as of December 2012. The exec used none other than Intel’s developer device to buy its Corporate Vice President Doug Fisher a can of “Mountain Doug” (we would’ve preferred “Chai Tea” instead), but of course, HTC beat Intel to it with the joint launch of mobile Quick Pass back in August 2011. Anyhow, there’s a press release after the break.
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Oh ZTE you cheeky monkey. Towards the end of day one at IDF in Beijing, we stumbled upon this awkwardly titled Android Jelly Bean phone that is the Geek at ZTE’s booth. Needless to say, this is yet another phone powered by an Intel processor — a 2GHz Clover Trail+ Atom to be exact, which is what Lenovo’s K900 also has. The rest of the device isn’t too shabby, either: you get a nice 5-inch 720p display with Gorilla Glass, along with an 8-megapixel main camera, a 1-megapixel front-facing camera, 8GB of storage space, 1GB of RAM, 2,300mAh battery and wireless charging. Radio-wise we see UMTS 900/2100 courtesy of Intel’s XMM 6260 chip, and there’s also the usual lot of 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and GPS.
Design-wise the Geek takes a huge step away from the Grand X IN and shares a similarly clean look with the Grand S, but without the black eye around the main camera. This particular unit had a glossy white finish as well, but we’d prefer a matte finish for a more premium feel. Since ZTE admitted that it had to rush this prototype for exhibition at IDF, we’ll come back to the build quality once we see a final retail unit. Until then, check out our hands-on video and the press release after the break.
Gallery: ZTE Geek hands-on
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Right after Intel’s somewhat mundane announcement of the Ultrabook Convertible and Ultrabook Detachable sub-brands at IDF in Beijing, SVP Kirk Skaugen surprised us by whipping out an unnamed laptop coming from Toshiba, so we jumped onto the stage to get a sniff of the only two units at the venue. Judging by the looks of it, we’re confident that this is actually the Portege Z10t that hit the FCC last month — the vents, camera and logo on the back match those in the drawing (embedded after the break) filed in the application.
Gallery: Toshiba Portege Z10t hands-on
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The upcoming Thunderbolt controller, code-named Falcon Ridge, enables 20 Gbps data throughput, both ways. That means, for example, that video professionals will be able to display and transfer 4K video simultaneously
The production of the new chip should start in late 2013 and ramp up in 2014
At the show, Intel has also showcased the new DSL4510/4410 Thunderbolt controllers which add DisplayPort 1.2 capability when connecting to native DP displays and improve power management Read more…
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It looks like Intel’s planning on bringing its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) mini-computer upmarket, if a leaked roadmap from ComputerBase.de is to be believed. The documents look highly tentative, but if they come to fruition then Intel will start offering new NUCs (code-named “Skull Canyon” and “Horse Canyon”) with Intel Core i7-3537U and Core i5-3427U processors along with its current Core i3 model during the first half of the year. New motherboards would be used that alter the slot configurations substantially: the Thunderbolt connector would be dropped in favor of USB 3.0 — three on the i7 model, one on the i5 — with DisplayPort 1.1a added to each along with HDMI 1.4a connectors. There’s no pricing yet, but we found that you’d need to nearly double the price of the original NUC to create a working computer, so bear that in mind when you’re looking at the leaked slides after the break.
[Image credit: ComputerBase.de]
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Microsoft’s next Xbox, which could get an initial unveiling as early as next month, will use an AMD system-on-a-chip according to a new Bloomberg report. The new AMD SoC will mean that Microsoft is moving to an x86-based system architecture, which Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 is also adopting. The change is great news for AMD, and for gamers, and bad news for AMD’s chief rival Intel.
The new Microsoft console will be running a “Jaguar” CPU, which is also what’s going into Sony’s PS4, alongside a Radeon graphics processor from ATI, an AMD subsidiary. The similarity between the two SoCs employed in each next-gen console should go a long way toward silencing complaints from developers that it’s too difficult and resource-intensive to develop for each type of console. A shared x86 architecture means that it’ll be much easier to port titles, both between consoles and from the PC.
For AMD, it means gaining access to a much bigger chunk of the console gaming industry, at a crucial juncture: the desktop and notebook PC market is shrinking, facing increasing encroachment from devices like the iPad, meaning there’s less room to vie with Intel for market share in a space where Intel already clearly dominates. The console industry hasn’t exactly been a shining beacon of growth itself, but with a hardware refresh imminent, AMD is in the best position to capitalize should consumer interest once again be caught by fancy new console devices.
The problem with Microsoft’s decision to reportedly change over to AMD is that it will likely render games made for the 360 incompatible with the next-generation platform. But long-term, the decision means it’s much easier for developers to work with, which should translate to an alleviation of financial pressures on game studios that are already facing revenue crunches which are forcing cost-cutting measures. The console exclusive might be more of a rarity, but gamers benefit, and we could also see shorter development cycles leading to more frequent game releases.
Another party left out of the fun might be the Wii U, which uses a PowerPC based processor under the hood. But overall this is very good news for gamers, since it could both free up resources for developers to spend on innovation and R&D, and suggests both consoles will behave much more like home entertainment PCs based around the TV.
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