Shared posts

08 Dec 11:11

Bluetooth 5 spec has been finalized, brings 2x speed, 4x range compared to 4.2

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) first unveiled the Bluetooth 5 spec back in June, when it was still a work in progress. Today, however, the new spec has been finalized by the industry group and it's ready to be put to use by device makers across the world. Bluetooth 5 comes with twice the bandwidth, four times the range, and eight times the broadcasting message capacity of Bluetooth 4.2 when used with low energy devices. The maximum speed is now 2Mbps, up from 1Mbps. The bandwidth can however be decreased in order to allow for a 4x longer range while maintaining similar low...

08 Dec 11:06

Microsoft and Qualcomm Collaborate to Bring Windows 10 & x86 Emulation to Snapdragon Processors

by Brett Howse & Matt Humrick

Today at Microsoft’s WinHEC event in Shenzhen, China, the company announced that it’s working with Qualcomm to bring the full Windows 10 experience to future devices powered by Snapdragon processors. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, is “excited to bring Windows 10 to the ARM ecosystem” and looks forward to bringing “Windows 10 to life with a range of thin, light, power-efficient and always-connected devices,” which may include anything from smartphones to tablets to ultraportable laptops to servers. These new Snapdragon-powered devices should support all things Microsoft, including Microsoft Office, Windows Hello, Windows Pen, and the Edge browser, alongside third-party Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps and, most interestingly, x86 (32-bit) Win32 apps. They should even be able to play Crysis 2.

This announcement fits nicely with Microsoft’s “Windows Everywhere” doctrine and should come as no surprise. It’s not even the first time we’ve seen Windows running on ARM processors. Microsoft’s failed Windows RT operating system was a modified version of Windows 8 that targeted the ARMv7-A 32-bit architecture. It grew from Microsoft’s MinWin effort to make Windows more modular by reorganizing the operating system and cleaning up API dependencies.

This work first surfaced in Windows Server 2008, which could be installed with a stripped-down, command-line only interface that did not include components such as Internet Explorer that were not necessary for specific server roles. Windows RT also leveraged the newer Windows Runtime (WinRT) API that offered several new features such as digitally signed app packages distributed through the centralized Windows Store and the ability to run apps within a sandbox. It also made it easier for software developers to target multiple CPU architectures. However, Microsoft’s rework of Windows was not yet complete, leaving Windows RT with a bunch of legacy Win32 code that went unused. It also could not run Win32 desktop apps, severely limiting the number of available apps to only those using WinRT and distributed through the Windows Store.

MinWin and its derivatives have continued to evolve over the past few years after getting a major boost in 2013 when Microsoft reorganized its disparate software platforms into the singular Operating Systems Engineering Group. The end result is Windows 10, a modular OS that can run on anything from low-powered IoT devices to high-performing workstations and servers. Its foundation is OneCore, MinWin’s direct descendant, that includes only the operating system kernel and components essential for any hardware platform. OneCore UAP (Universal App Platform) is another major module for Windows 10 whose groundwork was laid during the creation of Windows Phone and Windows RT. It provides support for Universal Windows Apps and Drivers, along with more advanced features such as the Edge browser and DirectX. On top of these modules, Microsoft can add modules that target specific device families (desktop, mobile, Xbox, HoloLens, etc.) that provide specialized features and shells.

Also included in OneCore UAP is Universal Windows Platform (UWP). An extension of the WinRT API used in Windows 8, it allows developers to create universal apps that are CPU architecture agnostic and can run on multiple devices, seamlessly adapting their user interface and input methods to the hardware they’re running on. With UWP, the architecutre independence is achieved by having pre-compiled versions for each platform available from the Store, which will then download and install the correct version for the individual device. The major change with today's announcement over Windows RT and UWP is that x86 apps will be able to run on Qualcomm's ARM-based SoCs, along with support for all of the peripherals that are already supported with Windows 10. This alone is a huge change from Windows RT, which would only work with a small subset of peripherals.

Microsoft is also focusing on having these devices always connected through cellular, which is something that is not available for many PCs at the moment. Support will be available for eSIM to avoid having to find room in a cramped design to accomodate a physical SIM, and Microsoft is going so far as to call these "cellular PCs" meaning they are expecting broad support for this class of computer, rather than the handful available now with cellular connectivity.

The ability to run x86 Win32 apps on ARM will come through emulation, and to demonstrate the performance Microsoft has released a video of an ARM PC running Photoshop.

This of course raises several questions, few-if-any of which Microsoft is willing to answer. Intel has long exerted strong control over the x86 ISA, limiting or outright preventing competitors like NVIDIA from implementing x86 support. So how Microsoft and Qualcomm are able to (for lack of a better way to put it) get away with this is a big question. Certainly there's no indication right now that this has Intel's formal blessing.

The key points here are that this is a form of software emulation - Microsoft even calls it as much - and that only 32-bit x86 support is being offered. On the former, this means that there's no hardware execution of x86 instructions taking place - though Microsoft and Qualcomm are certainly lining up instructions as best they can - which avoids many of the obvious patent pitfalls of doing x86 in hardware, and puts it in the same category as other x86 emulation mechanisms like DOSBox and QEMU. Meanwhile only supporting 32-bit x86 code further rolls back the clock, as the most important of those instructions are by now quite old, x86 having made the jump to 64-bit x86-64 back in 2003. So it may very well be that it's easier to avoid any potential legal issues by sticking with 32-bit code, though that's supposition on our part. In any case it will be interesting to see what instructions Microsoft's emulator supports, and whether newer instructions and instruction set extensions (e.g SSE2) are supported in some fashion.

Of course, the performance of this solution remains to be seen. x86 is not easy or cheap to emulate, and an "emulator" as opposed to a Denver-like instruction translation makes that all the harder. On the other hand, while maximizing x86 compatibility is great for Microsoft and Qualcomm, what they really need x86 for is legacy applications, which broadly speaking aren't performance-critical. So while x86 on a phone/tablet ARM SoC may not be fast, it need only be "good enough."

In any case, Windows 10’s ability to scale and adapt to essentially any hardware platform is a remarkable feat of engineering, and it’s what makes today’s joint announcement with Qualcomm possible. The first devices with Snapdragon SoCs running the full Windows 10 experience should be available in the second half of 2017.

It will be interesting to see what shape these devices take and which companies produce them. Some new lower-cost, full-featured Windows 10 tablets would be a welcome addition, and Qualcomm has its eyes on the low-powered server market too with its Centriq product family. A Windows 10 smartphone with a Snapdragon SoC is also likely, but with Windows Phone 8 holding less than 1% global market share, according to Gartner, Microsoft is essentially starting from scratch. Will the benefits of universal apps be enough to lure software developers and users of other Windows products away from Android and iOS? Can Windows 10 reestablish Microsoft as a major player in the smartphone market, or is the hole it has dug over the past decade too deep?

07 Dec 15:34

Smart cycling glasses show data without blocking your view

by Jon Fingas
You can already buy smart glasses for cycling, but they tend to have one big catch: the heads-up display partly obscures your view. That's annoying at best, and risky at worst. Everysight thinks it can do better. It's close to finishing development o...
07 Dec 15:33

Fitbit buys Pebble's smarts, but not its products

by Matt Brian
The rumors were true: Fitbit is buying Pebble. Well, its talent and intellectual property, at least. The wearable maker confirmed today that it has acquired "specific assets" of Pebble, including key staff members and its software and firmware develo...
07 Dec 13:05

Westworld: 13 Questions for Season 2

by Eric Goldman

Westworld: Season 1 has come to a close and now... we want Season 2! Alas, the wait for a second season will be a notably long one too, as the show is not expected to return until 2018.

In the meantime, the very busy finale laid the groundwork for the future in many notable ways - though with so many characters and storylines, there also were some lingering elements not yet dealt with (Elsie!?) we're still trying to get to the bottom of.

That being the case, click through the slideshow below to see some of the big questions we have for Westworld: Season 2.

What questions are you most hoping to get answered in Season 2? Let us know in the comments!

Eric Goldman is Executive Editor of IGN TV. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheEricGoldman, IGN at ericgoldman-ign and Facebook at Facebook.com/TheEricGoldman.

Continue reading…

07 Dec 07:27

NASA's new satellite will circle the globe repairing broken space robots

by Sarah Fecht
restore-l satellite rendezvous with broken satellite

Restore-L could fix broken satellites and clean up space junk

NASA announced it's setting aside $127 million to fund a satellite that repairs and refuels others in orbit.
07 Dec 07:00

Bloomberg: Fitbit acquisition will kill Pebble Time 2 and Core

by Mariella Moon
Roumen.ganeff

No like - i participated in the KS for Time 2 because I didn't like any other smartwatch..

According to Bloomberg, Fitbit is close to buying up Pebble for less than $40 million, which aligns with what we reported when info on the acquisition first came out. Since the fitness tracker maker is only interested in Pebble's software assets and...
06 Dec 15:23

Is This the Year That Westworld Takes Place?

by Lucy O'Brien

After last night's Westworld finale, HBO has dropped a huge - possibly unintentional, probably not - clue as to the show's time period.

Spoilers for Westworld Season 1 ahead.

The official Westworld website holds the clue. As outlined by Thisinsider.com, fans who signed up to the Westworld mailing list were sent an email about a security alert after last night's episode, prompting them to head to the Delos Security panel for an important message. Within the email, several letters were grayed out to spell  "reverie," a nod to last night's episode.

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06 Dec 08:32

Westworld: What we Got Right & Wrong

After the finale's explosive revelations, we look back at the fan theories that got the story right...and those that were way off base.
05 Dec 22:43

Westworld Creators Talk Season 2 and Ford's Plan

by Eric Goldman

Warning: Full spoilers for the Westworld: Season 1 finale follow.

Westworld’s first season has come to a close, and suffice to say, fans can’t wait to see what happens next – though they will indeed have to wait, unfortunately, as the show isn’t likely to rerurn until 2018 for Season 2. In the meantime though, I spoke to the show’s creators, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy – who co-wrote the season finale, with Nolan directing as well – to discuss the big reveals that occurred and what it means for the future.

Nolan and Joy weighed in on what we learned, what it could mean and more, including how they felt that some of their big reveals were being predicted online by a passionate group of Westworld fan theorists.

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05 Dec 22:24

Westworld: Season 1 Finale Review

by Eric Goldman

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

The thing that made me nervous going into Westworld's season finale was that yes, at this point, William and the Man in Black being one and the same was blatantly obvious. So if the finale held off on this until the very end, saving it as a big “Gotcha!”, it would have been decidedly weak. That being the case, it was good to see that moment occur about half way through the episode, because now a weight had been lifted and we still had plenty of time left for other events to take precedence.

Should the William/Man in Black reveal still have happened earlier in the season? Yes, I think so. It couldn’t help but feel like a bit of a waste of finale screen time seeing MIB explain it all to Dolores since most viewers could see it coming for so long, complete with William picking up a black hat for the first time. Still, the moment where he saw Dolores have the same “meet cute” with another guest that he’d had was impactful as far as showing his perception of her as someone meant for him shatter. Also, I was glad to at least have him tell her, “You never did escape,” since that was my big concern with this scenario since it was first suggested as a potential twist – that Dolores’ whole journey with William this season was actually a futile/pointless one, since she never did actually get away.

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05 Dec 22:24

Westworld: Season 2 Will Be 'Defined by Chaos'

by Terri Schwartz

Full spoilers for Westworld's Season 1 finale continue below. Read on at your own risk.

Westworld ended Season 1 on a major turning point, and the creators of the show explained in a segment following the episode on HBO Go how Season 2 will explore the fallout of that.

"If the first season was defined by control, the second season is defined by chaos," said co-showrunner Jonathan Nolan during the episode's "The Big Moment" segment. "That's part of what we come to understand Ford has been planning all along."

The big question remaining after the finale is what Ford's true motives are, and Nolan promises that will be a key focus in Season 2.

Continue reading…

05 Dec 15:50

Uber will track your location even after you get out of the car

by Dave Neal
Roumen.ganeff

Uninstall immediately

Uber will track your location even after you get out of the car

Oh hail no

05 Dec 15:49

Google's Trusted Contacts app lets people know you're safe

by Matt Brian
Roumen.ganeff

Oh, noes, more surveillance?

In the event of an emergency, it's not always easy to notify people that you are safe. Google knows that, so it's created Trusted Contacts, a new app that can automatically share your status and location with friends or loved ones. It's available tod...
05 Dec 10:35

Virgin Galactic's new spaceship completes its first glide test

by Jon Fingas
Virgin Galactic just came much closer to resuming its dreams of private spaceflight in the wake of its tragic crash from 2014. The company has successfully conducted the first glide test flight for VSS Unity, better known as the new SpaceShipTwo. The...
05 Dec 10:35

Netflix gives 'Luke Cage' a second season

by Jon Fingas
Marvel must be feeling glad that it bet on a slew of internet-only superhero shows -- Netflix has confirmed that it's renewing Luke Cage for a second season. There's no mention of a date for the new episodes (the teaser's "always forward" is a nod t...
04 Dec 08:49

Netflix's Sense8 Season 2 and Christmas Special Announced

by Alex Gilyadov

Netflix has announced the release dates for the Christmas special and second season of Sense8.

Sense8: A Christmas Special is a two-hour event and will make its debut globally on Netflix December 23.

It tells a standalone story about the series' eight main characters, as they learn how to better connect with one another while learning each other's deepest secrets.

Sense8_201_Unit_22706_R.jpg Sense8 season 2.

Season 2 premieres May 5, 2017. The story picks up right where the first season left off, with the main characters coming together both "physically and mentally," while also running from Whispers.

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03 Dec 23:42

'Uncharted' is back on PS4 with 'The Lost Legacy'

by Timothy J. Seppala
There's a new Uncharted. Well, a new story chapter at least. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, from the looks of it, is a lot like The Last of Us: Left Behind. Meaning, it's a standalone story that fleshes out characters from the main game in a new way. Th...
03 Dec 23:42

Ellie is all grown up in 'The Last of Us: Part II'

by Jessica Conditt
Sony closed out its PlayStation Experience keynote with the first trailer for The Last of Us: Part II, the sequel to Naughty Dog's breakout 2013 shooter. The stars of the original game, Joel and Ellie, return in Part II, older and apparently filled w...
03 Dec 23:11

Joel and Ellie’s journey continues with The Last of Us Part II

by Neil Druckmann

Let’s cut to the chase. The sequel to The Last of Us is happening. It’s called The Last of Us Part II and here is the just released announcement trailer (coming soon to this post).

TITLE

I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to finally be able to say that Ellie and Joel are back for another intense, harrowing, and emotional adventure. Like many of you, we have a deep love for the world of The Last of Us and its characters, and while a sequel may have seemed like a foregone conclusion, it wasn’t the case. We knew that it needed to be a story worth telling and, perhaps more importantly, a story worthy of Joel and Ellie. After spending years on different ideas (and almost giving up), we finally uncovered a story that felt special—a story that evolved into an epic journey.

It’s still early days for the project–the game’s release is a ways off–but we couldn’t wait any longer to give you a glimpse of what’s to come. We’re going to let the trailer speak for itself, but expect more information about The Last of Us Part II in the coming months.

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In the meantime, if you’re at PSX today or watching the live stream from home, don’t miss our panel at 2:00pm PT where I’ll be joined by Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker to talk about the reveal. Keep an eye on Naughty Dog’s channels to see more of what we’re up to this weekend at PSX.

Until next time, endure and survive!

The post Joel and Ellie’s journey continues with The Last of Us Part II appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

03 Dec 23:11

All the announcements from PlayStation Experience 2016

by Fred Dutton

Watch live video from PlayStation on www.twitch.tv

And that’s a wrap on the PlayStation Experience 2016 showcase. Did you see something you liked? If you missed the show, you can re-watch the stream above. Alternatively see below for a comprehensive rundown of all the breaking news from the event, including news of a sequel to Naughty Dog’s classic The Last of Us, a new entry in the Marvel vs Capcom series and your first look at a new Uncharted 4 single player campaign.

The post All the announcements from PlayStation Experience 2016 appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

03 Dec 22:58

DC's Legends of Tomorrow: "Invasion!" Review

by Jesse Schedeen

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

And with that, The CW's three-part Invasion crossover wraps. Legends of Tomorrow was the most successful in terms of delivering what was actually promised with this crossover - a giant mass of colorful heroes punching aliens and saving the world. And while there was a critical lack of certain characters in this episode (namely Supergirl), it served as a very epic and satisfying finish for Invasion.

There was certainly a lot of ground to cover in the finale. The Flash's portion of the crossover wasn't exactly blessed with a lightning-quick pace, and last night's Arrow was generally more preoccupied with Ollie's dream world than advancing the larger narrative. So that left Legends of Tomorrow to shoulder a great deal of the burden as far as fleshing out the conflict with the Dominators and their reasons for invading Earth. This episode did finally dip into some of the back-story of the Invasion comic book series in terms of the Dominators' collective fear of metahumans. The final battle was still very Independence Day-ish, but at least the Dominators had clear motivations and no longer felt like a completely faceless, generic alien threat.

Continue reading…

03 Dec 22:44

Brandon Routh’s Meta Superhero Reference Explained

by Joshua Yehl

Tonight’s episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which acted as the third and final part of the Arrowverse “Invasion!” crossover event, saw Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer make a big wink at his Superman role.

IGN attended a screening of the crossover where producers/writers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg told the assembled press the extent that Ray’s line will impact the Arrowverse.

The producers also told IGN about all the moments that had to be cut from tonight's episode of Legends of Tomorrow.

Continue reading…

03 Dec 22:43

How Supergirl Is Involved in the Arrowverse Post-Crossover

by Terri Schwartz

The Arrowverse "Invasion!" crossover has come to a close, but the door remains open for more crossovers in the future.

The Flash, Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow all exist in the same universe, while Supergirl resides in a different part of the multiverse on Earth-38. But the conclusion of the "Invasion!" crossover added a new wrinkle that makes bringing Supergirl into the fold a lot easier in the future.

Full spoilers for the "Invasion!" crossover continue below. Check out our reviews of The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow crossover episodes, plus the moments that were left on the cutting room floor.

Continue reading…

03 Dec 09:12

SSD Prices Skyrocket As NAND Shortage Deepens, HDD Shortage Looms As Components Become Scarce

Roumen.ganeff

Not like

The NAND shortage is on, and it appears HDDs are also headed for the cliff.
03 Dec 09:10

Court Awards Damages Following Bogus DMCA Takedowns

What's that you say? You can actually fight back against bogus copyright takedowns and win? That's exactly what happened in this case and the guy was even awarded damages. Topdawg Entertainment Inc., Interscope Records and Universal Music Group must pay damages after issuing false DMCA notices which damaged an artist's reputation. Montreal hip hop artist Jonathan Emile teamed up with Kendrick Lamar on a track, but the labels wrongfully took it down from YouTube, iTunes and Soundcloud. Comments
03 Dec 09:06

Seagate Skyhawk 10TB Review

There is a review of the Seagate Skyhawk 10TB hard drive posted today at Overclockers Club. I like how this review points out all the things you could use the extra storage space for...without mentioning porn. You'll now probably be asking... what's all this cost me? Amazingly, this 10 TB monster of a drive will set you back just barely over four cents per GB stored! That's right, for essentially $400, you can have 10 TB of reasonably fast and reliable storage for your DVR, surveillance system, NAS, or gaming rig. Even compared to its immediate predecessors, that's a step up in storage capacity per dollar. Comments
03 Dec 09:00

High school students cheaply reproduced a drug that sells for $750 a dose

by Kelsey D. Atherton
Sydney Grammar School Chemistry Students

Martin Shkreli has responded.

Students at Sydney Grammar School recreate compound in drug whose price last year increased 5000 percent.
02 Dec 15:57

Fitbit reportedly plans to buy Pebble for just £31.7m

by Carly Page
Roumen.ganeff

Too bad, Pebble have better ideas than Fitbit

Fitbit reportedly plans to buy Pebble for just £31.7m

Deal could mean curtains for the indie smartwatch maker

02 Dec 15:57

Nokia returns to phone biz with first Android smartphones coming in 2017

by Carly Page
Nokia returns to phone biz with first Android smartphones coming in 2017

Firm's fellowship with HMD fires up as firm starts flogging feature phones