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Yaaree Sort of ‘Technology’ Category

Oct
18

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Technology giants IBM Corp, Google and seven others have joined hands to launch an open specification that can boost datacentre server performance by up to ten times, to take on Intel Corp.

The new standard, called Open Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (OpenCAPI), is an open forum to provide a high bandwidth, low latency open interface design specification.

The open interface will help corporate and cloud data centres to speed up big data, machine learning, analytics and other emerging workloads.

The consortium plans to make the OpenCAPI specification available to the public before the end of the year and expects servers and related products based on the new standard in the second half of 2017, it said in a statement.

Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, is known to protect its server technologies and has chosen to sit out of the new consortium. In the past also, it had stayed away from prominent open standards technology groups such as CCIX and Gen-Z.

“As artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced analytics become the price of doing business in today’s digital era, huge volumes of data are now the norm,” Doug Balog, general manager for IBM Power, told Reuters.

“It’s clear that today’s datacenters can no longer rely on one company alone to drive innovation,” Balog said.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co, Mellanox Technologies Ltd, Micron Technology Inc, NVIDIA Corp and Xilinx Inc are also members of the OpenCAPI consortium.

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Oct
17

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© AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Apple Inc. has drastically scaled back its automotive ambitions, leading to hundreds of job cuts and a new direction that, for now, no longer includes building its own car, according to people familiar with the project.

Hundreds of members of the car team, which comprises about 1,000 people, have been reassigned, let go, or have left of their own volition in recent months, the people said, asking not to be identified because the moves aren’t public.

New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said. Apple has kept staff numbers in the team steady by hiring people to help with the new focus, according to another person.

Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system and decide on a final direction, two of the people said. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment.

The new shift and deadline come after months of strategy disagreements, leadership flux and supply chain challenges inside Apple’s unmarked car labs in Sunnyvale, California, a short drive from its Cupertino headquarters.

Apple isn’t the first to realize mastery of mobile gadgets and software updates is no guarantee of automotive success. Alphabet Inc.’s Google learned the challenges of building its own vehicles and has sought partners. Its car project has also suffered departures. Tech investors are dubious too. They’re used to fat profit margins, while carmakers survive on net margins well below 10 percent.

“For a quality Apple-branded car they could probably get a healthy margin,” said Eric Paul Dennis, an analyst at the Center for Automotive Research. “They probably weren’t willing to compromise on quality issues” because that could hurt the perception of its other products, he added.

Apple started Titan in 2014 with grand ambitions to make a dent in an auto industry that consultant McKinsey & Co. estimates will be worth $6.7 trillion by 2030. The iPhone maker embarked upon an aggressive hiring spree, and an Apple-designed vehicle was targeted by the early 2020s. The hope was to revolutionize cars in the way the iPhone upended the mobile industry in 2007.

By the end of 2015, the project was blighted by internal strife. Managers battled about the project’s direction, according to people with knowledge of the operations. “It was an incredible failure of leadership,” one of the people said. In early 2016, project head Steve Zadesky, a former Ford Motor Co. engineer and early iPod designer, left Titan. Zadesky, who remains at Apple, declined to comment.

Zadesky handed the reins to his boss, Dan Riccio, adding to responsibilities that already included engineering annual iPhone, iPad, and Mac refreshes. Bob Mansfield, a highly regarded manager who helped develop the original iPad, returned in April from a part-time role at Apple to lead the team.

About a month later, Mansfield took the stage in a Silicon Valley auditorium packed with hundreds of Titan employees to announce the strategy shift, according to people who attended the meeting. Mansfield explained that he had examined the project and determined that Apple should move from building an outright competitor to Tesla Motors Inc. to an underlying self-driving platform.

Departures

In the following months, engineers started leaving. Some chose to quit amid doubts over job security and skepticism that an Apple car product would ever come to market. Others were cut. In August, a first wave of employees was let go, followed by a second round in September.

More than 120 software engineers working on a car operating system and testing procedures were cut. Several hundred hardware engineers working on car chassis, suspensions, and undercarriages also left, the people said. The New York Times reported in September that Apple had cut dozens of employees from Titan.

John Wright, a veteran Apple manager who led the software teams, has left the project, according to people familiar with the matter. Dan Dodge, creator of BlackBerry Ltd.’s QNX car software, took a larger role developing Apple’s auto platform architecture, some of those people said.

Remaining software engineers are working on autonomous programs, vision sensors, and simulators for testing the platform in real-world environments. The team also has regulatory specialists to navigate the heavily regulated auto industry, one of the people said.

Far Cry

It’s a far cry from early plans that excited Apple executives. “The car is the ultimate mobile device, isn’t it?” Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said in 2015.

Soon after, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the auto industry was “at an inflection point for massive change.”

Apple executives had imagined an electric car that could recognize its driver by fingerprint and autonomously navigate with the press of a button. One plan sought a partially autonomous car that still had a steering wheel and pedals, while later plans migrated toward a fully autonomous vehicle.

Regardless of Apple’s struggles, established carmakers have recognized the threat posed by new entrants and have embarked on a hiring and acquisition splurge to beef up their software capabilities. They are wary of allowing technology companies to own the lucrative software component of new cars.

Apple meanwhile struggled to tackle complex automotive supply chains, according to another person familiar with the situation. In smartphones, Apple wields extensive influence and often secures exclusive rights to certain parts from suppliers. For cars, the heavy investment required to make automotive parts means suppliers are less willing to commit their products to a vehicle like Apple’s which may have initially shipped in small quantities.

“When they started digging into the details of what that would entail it likely became an intractable problem,” the Center for Automotive Research’s Dennis said.

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Oct
09

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© Bobby Yip A staffer holds a drone at DJI’s flagship store in Hong Kong, China September 22, 2016, two days before its opening.

Appealing to the growing market of amateur drone enthusiasts, Chinese drone maker DJI unveiled its newest model, the Mavic Pro, which is the size of a water bottle and sports a 12 megapixel camera.

Flying 40 miles per hour for a 27 minute duration, the Mavic Pro’s specs are remarkably similar to DJI’s higher end drone, the Phantom 4, which speaks to the proliferation of hobbyist drone operators that has occurred since the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) released its unmanned aircraft systems guidelines in June. However, some are worried that even with the new guidelines, hobby drone use has outpaced safety.

In Congress last fall, Democrats proposed a bill called the Consumer Drone Safety Act, which would require manufacturers to sell safety information with drones and place technological safeguards into the drones themselves. Sen. Charles Schumer (D) of New York, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California, expressed frustration with unchecked drone use.

“Our bill would advance technologies focused on detecting, identifying, and cracking down on dangerous drone use,” Senator Schumer said, according to The Hill. “Drone technology has the potential to be truly positive and transformative, and many users operate them safely, but when it comes to protecting our skies and the traveling public, we can leave no stone unturned.”

FAA unmanned aircraft regulations, which went into effect Aug. 29, provide two courses of action for hobbyists looking to fly drones: either to get a remote pilot certificate, or to adhere to set of community guidelines including keeping the drone in the visual line-of-sight, giving way to manned aircraft, and being mindful of protected airspace.

Prior to the release of the regulations there were as many as 400,000 FAA-registered hobbyists, but as hardware becomes more affordable, that number is poised to increase. At $749 and $999, the Mavic Pro is significantly cheaper than the $1,400 Phantom 4.

“I think we’ve got the balance [between government and industry] right now,” Brian Wynne, the president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), told the Monitor in August. “Now we’re actually getting things done in a much more timely fashion.”

DJI is not the only company looking to capitalize on hobbyists. GoPro’s Karma drone is also designed to be foldable and portable, but at $800 it does not include the camera.

Ryan Wood of Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems told the Monitor that drones costing $1,000 today would have cost 10 times that three years ago.

With less upfront investment required, and increased regulation actually giving way to more freedom, drone hobbyists have come out of the woodwork to experiment with the new technology – but not without their fair share of mishaps, which have some wondering if the safety standards imposed by the FAA are enough.

Drones that have found their way into protected airspace have interfered with wildfire fighting, collided with planes, and crash landed on the White House lawn, but they have also caused injuries.

While at a Pi Kappa Phi party at University of Southern California, a woman suffered injuries when a drone flying overhead to photograph the party fell on her head, resulting in long-term headaches that have affected her ability to study. She is suing the fraternity for damages.

Similarly, rapper Stanley “Flesh-N-Bone” Howse was hit in the face by a drone while playing a show at California’s High Life Music Festival in Victorville. Although he was not hurt, and the incident did not disrupt his playing, it is unclear whether a fan or someone working at the festival was flying the drone.

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Oct
03

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Forty-seven years of US government authority over the internet’s most basic functions has been ended, not with a celebration or a wake but with the quiet expiration of a contract.

The agreement essentially gives a California-based non-profit group the sole authority to organise cyberspace’s address book. And though this entity, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has played this vital role for years, the retreat of US control has sparked Continue Reading…

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Sep
29

Sony Xperia XZ which comes with 23MP rear camera and will cost more than Rs 50,000. Here’s our first impression.

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The Indian smartphone market has seen quite a few launches recently with camera being the major focus point. The latest to join the list of premium smartphones with a focus on camera is the Sony Xperia XZ which has a 23MP rear camera with triple image sensing technology and 5-axis stabilization for shooting steady videos. It has a 13MP camera on the front.

Sony says this 5-axis stabilization is the first in any smartphone. Other specifications of Xperia XZ include Snapdragon 820 processor, Android Marshmallow, 3GB RAM, 2,900 mAh battery, IP68 rating. We spent a little more than a day with Xperia XZ clicking pictures and testing the device. Here’s our first impression of the phone.

Sony Xperia X series has a standard rectangular design, and Xperia XZ is no different. It has a sturdy built and does not feel too heavy. Power, volume and camera buttons are on the right with SIM slot placed at the left. The camera lens with image sensor and flash is placed neatly on the left side.

Sony has introduced a new Loop design which is supposed to make it easier for users to hold the smartphone, and I had no issues there. In terms of design, it has a metal back and uniform platinum colour both at the front and the back.

I quite liked the display on Sony Xperia XZ. It is sharp and vivid with great viewing angles in bright sunlight. It comes with a 5.2-inch full HD display, which produces good colours and is comfortable to look at. The power button in Xperia XZ doubles up as a fingerprint scanner, which I found really quick.

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Sony has introduced a new Loop design which is supposed to make it easier for users to hold the smartphone.

Processor, battery and memory

Sony Xperia XZ comes with Snapdragon 820 processor and 3GB RAM and 64GB internal memory (expandable up to 200GB). As far as basic things like opening multiple apps and watching videos go, I didn’t encounter lags there so far. However, the device heats up pretty quickly; especially within 15 minutes of using the camera and shooting 4K videos. Sony is planning to fix that with an update, but we’re not sure how fast will it be rolled out.

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The smartphone is capable of clicking some stunning shots in bright outdoors.

My initial experience with the battery hasn’t been very good. Just within 1 hour of using the camera on Xperia XZ, the battery levels fell down from 50 per cent to 30 per cent. This is when I didn’t put a SIM on the device and wasn’t using WiFi or making calls on it. But we’ll have more on that in our review soon. Also, this one comes with a USB Type-C slot for charging so make sure you always have a Type-C cable around.

Camera

Now, let us come to the highlight of Xperia XZ – camera. The smartphone is capable of clicking some stunning shots in bright outdoors. The pictures come out to be sharp and colour reproduction in most cases was accurate. The low-light performance is decent as well. However, I had a hard time focusing on objects especially in low-light settings, which tends to make pictures look blurry at times. Zooming in really affects the picture quality for worse.

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Sample shot from Sony Xperia XZ camera. (Image resized for web)sony xperia xz, xperia xz, xperia xz price, xperia xz price in india, sony xperia xz price, sony xperia xz price in india, sony xperia xz specs, sony xperia xz fetaures, xperia xz specifications, xperia xz features, sony xperia xz mobile price, sony xperia xz launch date in india, sony xperia xz first look, xperia xz first look, xperia xz first impression, sony smartphones, sony latest news, Xperia XZ camera, technology news

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Sample shot from Sony Xperia XZ camera. (Image resized for web)

But my bigger here is the heating issue which generally starts after using 15-20 minutes of using the camera. Plus, Sony’s technology makes apps (including camera) that consume a lot of battery shut down when the device reaches a certain temperature level to avoid damage to the smartphone. The camera app also shuts down when your phone’s juice comes down to 15 per cent.

The 5-axis video stabilization technology is new and I tried my hands on it, trying to shoot videos from a shaky boat. And I was quite impressed with its performance. It has always been hard for me to keep my hands steady while shooting, but this technology does minimise shakes to a great extent.

OS

Sony Xperia XZ comes with Android Marshmallow OS, which comes with permissions, battery doze and other features. However, Sony promises Xperia XZ will get Android Nougat update in a month or so.

Conclusion

Sony Xperia XZ comes across as a pretty good device in the premium segment, but the competition is tough if you consider the LG G5 or Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. While Sony Xperia XZ is priced at Rs 51,990; LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge come at Rs 52,990 and Rs 50,900 respectively. Then there’s iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus which is launching in the market soon. Sony’s smartphone has a lot to offer on the camera, but winning in the premium segment won’t be easy.

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Sep
27

Just take them out and they’re ready to use with all your devices. Put them in your ears and they connect instantly. Speak into them and your voice sounds clear. Introducing AirPods. Simplicity and technology, together like never before. The result is completely magical.

What’s a chip doing in there? A whole lot.

All the groundbreaking things AirPods can do are driven by the custom-designed Apple W1 chip. It produces extremely efficient wireless for a better connection and improved sound. And the W1 chip manages battery life so well, you can listen for 5 hours on a single charge.3 It’s performance that’s unheard of in a device this small.

Knows when you’re talking.

A voice accelerometer recognizes when you’re speaking and works with a pair of beamforming microphones to filter out external noise and focus on the sound of your voice.

Knows when you’re listening.

Optical sensors and motion accelerometers work with the W1 chip to automatically control the audio and engage the microphone, giving you the ability to use one or both AirPods. They also enable AirPods to play sound as soon as they’re in your ears.

The power of 24‑hour battery life.

AirPods deliver an industry-leading4 5 hours of listening time on one charge.3 And they’re made to keep up with you, thanks to a charging case that holds multiple additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time.5 Need a quick charge? Just 15 minutes in the case gives you 3 hours of listening time.6 To check the battery, hold the AirPods next to your iPhone or ask Siri “How’s the battery on my AirPods?”

More than24hr.of battery life with charging case
Up to5hr.of battery life on one charge
15min.of charging equals 3 hours of battery life

Clearly superior sound.

It’s great-sounding music, movies, and more to your ears. AirPods provide rich, high-quality AAC audio. And when you want to be heard, dual beamforming microphones filter out background noise when you make calls or talk to Siri.

Automatic setup. Seamless switching.

AirPods connect automatically with all your Apple devices. They’re simultaneously connected to your iPhone and Apple Watch, and sound switches instantly between the devices. Want to listen to your Mac or iPad? Just choose AirPods on those devices.1

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  1. Requires iCloud account and macOS Sierra, iOS 10, or watchOS 3.

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Sep
26

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WASHINGTON: Yahoo on Friday faced pointed questions about exactly when it knew about a cyber attack that exposed the email credentials of 500 million users, a critical issue for the company as it seeks to prevent the breach from affecting a pending takeover by Verizon Inc.

The internet company has so far not provided a clear, detailed timeline about when it was made aware of the breach announced Thursday. Yahoo blamed the incident on a “state-sponsored actor” but has not provided any technical information supporting that claim.

“We don’t know a lot. We don’t know how the bad guys broke in. We don’t know when Yahoo first found out,” said Jeremiah Grossman, chief of security strategy for SentinelOne and a former information security officer at Yahoo.

In a Sept. 9 regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Yahoo stated it did not have knowledge of “any incidents of, or third party claims alleging … unauthorized access” of personal data of its customers that could have a material adverse effect on Verizon’s acquisition.

Verizon, which said Thursday it learned of the breach within the past two days, agreed in July to pay $4.83 billion for Yahoo’s core business.

If the hacking prompts customers to leave Yahoo, the company may see its value erode.

Yahoo was sued Friday in a California federal court by a user who accused it of gross negligence in its handling of the massive hacking.

The suit, filed on behalf of all Yahoo users in the United States who had their personal information compromised, sought class-action status and unspecified damages.

Some lawmakers swiftly called for close scrutiny of what the company knew and when.

“As law enforcement and regulators examine this incident, they should investigate whether Yahoo may have concealed its knowledge of this breach in order to artificially bolster its valuation in its pending acquisition by Verizon,” Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic senator from Connecticut, said.

Verizon declined to comment on how the breach might affect the deal. Sources familiar with the transaction say Verizon and its advisers are still examining the situation before determining what actions if any might be taken.

The Financial Times reported Thursday that embattled Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer knew of the breach in July, citing a person briefed on the matter.

The FT article did not specify if Mayer was aware of the hack announced Thursday or of a separate incident, in which a hacker calling himself Peace took to the dark web this summer to claim he was selling hundreds of millions of Yahoo credentials.

“Yahoo has never had reason to believe there is any connection between the security issue disclosed yesterday and the claims publicized by a hacker in August 2016. Conflating the two events is inaccurate,” said a Yahoo spokesperson who declined to be identified by name, adding that Yahoo’s investigation was still ongoing.

Sources familiar with the Yahoo investigation said that the company learned of the theft of data ─ which included encrypted passwords, names and emails but not banking information ─ only after probing the claims made by Peace, which Yahoo determined were meritless.

Joseph Cox, a reporter with the technology news site Motherboard, said he emailed Yahoo on July 30 to ask if the company was aware that Peace was attempting to sell Yahoo data.

Motherboard published a story on Aug. 1 stating Yahoo was “aware” of the hacker’s claims.

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