MojoKid writes: Google has been teasing its Project Tango augmented reality (AR) platform for years but no OEMs have stepped up to the plate to deliver Tango-enabled hardware until now. Lenovo just came out with its PHAB2 Pro 6.4-inch phablet smartphone which packs a full-fledged AR experience. The PHAB2 Pro will be the first commercially available Lenovo smartphone in the US and it leverages Tango AR technology in three ways. The smartphone's "eye" uses motion-tracking to determine its location in 3D. Area learning can also feed location information to the phone, and depth perception allows the phone to analyze the world around it. The PHAB2 Pro is also huge with a 6.4" QHD display covered in 2.5D curved glass. Powering the PHAB2 Pro is a Snapdragon 652 processor with 4GB of RAM, a generous 64GB of storage and a microSD slot. There's also a 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera and a 4050 mAh battery. Lenovo's Motorola Mobility division also announced the Moto Z and Moto Z Force, which are next generation Android flagships. The Moto Z is the standard model and measures just 5.2mm thick and comes with a 5.5" QHD AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage. Its 13MP rear camera features optical image stabilization and laser autofocus, while its 5MP front camera with wide-angle lens takes care of selfies. Then there's the new Moto Z Force, which ups the ante with a 3500 mAh battery, a 21MP rear camera and a shatterproof screen. But what truly makes the Moto Z and Moto Z Force stand out are Moto Mods. These are modular accessories that attach to the back of the smartphones via four magnets and a 16-pin connector. It's much more elegant than what LG has employed with the G5 (which requires you to remove the bottom of the smartphone). Instead, Moto Z users can simply attach an accessory, like the JBL SoundBoost Mod which brings high-end sound, with a quick snap.
MojoKid writes: Yesterday, during his keynote address at GTC 2016, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang made a number of interesting announcements. We saw Apple co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak take a virtual tour of Mars and witnessed the official unveiling of NVIDIA's Tesla P100, which is based on the company's bleeding-edge, GP100 GPU. GP100 leverages NVIDIA's forward-looking Pascal GPU architecture and features 16GB of HBM2 memory, all built using TSMC's 16nm FinFET manufacturing process. GP100 is a massive chip with a 600mm2 die, which is about the size of current gen high-end Maxwell GPUs but when you consider it's built on 16nm process technology, you can see how NVIDIA was able to squeeze in excess of a 15 billion transistor design. What might be more impressive is that NVIDIA is also actually shipping the part now to select HPC (High Performance Computing) OEMs. Though NVIDIA's on DGX-1 Supercomputer was off limits at the show, an OEM by the name of QTC had Tesla modules racked up and exposed. Getting a closer look at the P100 shows just how large the chip complex is, with HBM2 modules just barely visible on either side of the die.
MojoKid writes: Intel let slip a mention of its forthcoming Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition processor this weekend and it's not an April Fool's Day prank. The new chip appears to be a beefy 10-core CPU. To be clear, Intel hasn't launched the Core i7-6950X, not yet anyway. But what the company did do is update its support website for its latest Management Engine software, listing the much anticipated Broadwell-E part as a compatible chip. Details show the flagship Broadwell-E part will feature a whopping 25MB of L3 cache and a boost clockspeed of 3.5GHz. Since Broadwell has always touted 2.5MB of cache per core, doing the math tells you this will be a 10-core processor. Toss in Hyper Threading support and you have 20 threads to throw at workloads. As for the base clockspeed, Intel lists the boost clock at 3.5GHz so a 3GHz base seems highly plausible. From what we already know about Broadwell-E, the 6950X will be compatible with the current crop of X99 Express chipset motherboards sporting LGA 2011-v3 sockets, though users will likely have to update their BIOS with the latest microcode.
MojoKid writes: Asus unveiled its latest addition to the Transformer series at CES in January, the Transformer Book Chi, which just recently began shipping. Available in three sizes, the new Transformer Book Chi Series features a 2-in-1 detachable design. The flagship Transformer Book T300 Chi offers a 12.5-inch screen, an Intel Core M processor, and a fanless cooling solution. The more compact T100 Chi is a 10.1-inch model that promises all-day battery life. The 2-in-1 detachable design employs a magnetic hinge that supports four usage modes: Attached, Detached, Flipped, and Tented. The T300 Chi measures about 0.65 inches when docked, making it slightly thinner than an Apple Macbook Air. Asus claims the T300 Chi is the world's thinnest Windows tablet, measuring just 0.28 inches thick. Most interestingly, perhaps, is that Asus built this machine with Intel's fastest Core M chip, the Core M 5Y71. In the benchmarks, it competes well even with full-sized ultrabooks, though battery life does take a hit due to the system's mechanical limitations and smaller 31Whr battery.
MojoKid writes: Intel is taking the wraps off of its latest processors for enterprise server and pro workstation applications today, dubbed the Xeon E7-8800 / 4800 v3. Like its high-end desktop processors, the Xeon E7-8800 / 4800 v3 product families are based on the Haswell-EX CPU core. These new Xeons, however, offer a plethora of other enhancements and are packing significantly more cores than any current desktop processor. The highest-end Xeon E7-8800 series processors, for example, are 18 core chips. Previous generation Xeon E7 v2 processors were based on the Ivy Bridge-EX core, while the new E7 v3 parts are based on Haswell-EX, though both are manufactured on Intel's 22nm process node. Next generation Broadwell-EX based Xeons will make the move to 14nm. Xeon E7-8800 / 4800 v3 series processors have 32-lanes of PCIe 3.0 connectivity per socket, TSX is enabled in all SKUs, they offer support for both DDR3 and DDR4 memory (though, not simultaneously), and can address up to 6TB of memory in a 4-socket configuration or 12TB in an 8-socket setup. Intel has also goosed the chip's QPI interface speeds to 9.6GT/s.
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA's Maxwell GPU architecture has has been well-received in the gaming world, thanks to cards like the GeForce GTX Titan X and the GeForce GTX 980. NVIDIA recently took time to bring that same Maxwell goodness over the workstation market as well and the result is the new Quadro M6000, NVIDIA's new highest-end workstation platform. Like the Titan X, the M6000 is based on the full-fat version of the Maxwell GPU, the G200. Also, like the GeForce GTX Titan X, the Quadro M6000 has 12GB of GDDR5, 3072 GPU cores, 192 texture units (TMUs), and 96 render outputs (ROPs). NVIDIA has said that the M6000 will beat out their previous gen Quadro K6000 in a significant way in pro workstation applications as well as GPGPU or rendering and encoding applications that can be GPU-accelerated. One thing that's changed with the launch of the M6000 is that AMD no longer trades shots with NVIDIA for the top pro graphics performance spot. Last time around, there were some benchmarks that still favored team red. Now, the NVIDIA Quadro M6000 puts up pretty much a clean sweep.
MojoKid writes: Intel first offered a sneak peek of their forthcoming Compute Stick HDMI dongle earlier this year at CES but today is officially announcing product availability and has lifted embargo on first tests with the device. The Compute Stick is essentially a fully-functional, low-power, Atom-based system with memory, storage, and an OS, crammed into a dongle much bigger than a USB Flash drive. There will initially be two compute sticks made available, one running Windows (model STCK1A32WFC) and another running Ubuntu (model STCK1A8LFC). The Windows 8.1 version of the Compute Stick is packing an Intel Atom Z3735F processor, with a single-channel of 2GB of DDR3L-1333 RAM and 32GB of internal storage, though out of the box only 19.2GB is usable. The Ubuntu version of the Compute Stick has as a similar CPU, but is packing only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. All sticks have USB and MicroSD expansion capability.The device is packing a low-power Atom processor, Intel HD graphics and only a single-channel of DDR3L-1333 memory, so it's not going to burn through any benchmarks. For multi-media playback, basic computing tasks, web browsing, HD video, or remote access, the Compute Stick has enough muscle to get the job done and it's cheap too at $99 — $149.
totalcaos writes: YouTube announced today its plans for an ad-free, subscription-based service by way of an email sent out to YouTube Partners. The email details the forthcoming option, which will offer consumers the choice to pay for an “ads-free” version of YouTube for a monthly fee. The additional monetization option requires partners to agree to updated terms on YouTube’s Creator Studio Dashboard, which notes that the changes will go into effect on June 15, 2015.
MojoKid writes: Dell unveiled a new Android 2-in-1 today, the Venue 10 7000, which brings with it many of the same hardware features that we saw with their popular Venue 8 7000 8-inch tablet. It's powered by a quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a 2560x1600 10-inch display. You'll also find a microSD slot that supports up to 512GB of additional storage, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Miracast, front-facing stereo speakers, a 2MP front-facing camera, and an 8MP Intel RealSense 3D camera on the rear. Where things get more interesting, perhaps, is with the design of the tablet. Whereas the Venue 8 7000 features a more traditional tablet form-factor, the Venue 10 7000 features a cylindrical "barrel edge" which Dell says makes the tablet easier to hold and carry. It's reminiscent of Lenovo's Android-powered Yoga Tablet family. In addition to providing a handy place for your hand to grip the tablet, the cylindrical spine also serves as an attachment point for an optional keyboard that transforms the Venue 10 7000 into a laptop. The keyboard accessory allows the tablet to be used in five different configurations: Tablet Mode (w/o keyboard), Tablet Mode (w/ keyboard), Laptop Mode, Tablet Stand Mode, and Tent Mode.
HughPickens.com writes: Robinson Meyer writes in The Atlantic that in the past year, after the killings of Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, many police departments and police reformists have agreed on the necessity of police-worn body cameras. But the most powerful cameras aren’t those on officer’s bodies but those wielded by bystanders. We don’t yet know who shot videos of officer officer, Michael T. Slager, shooting Walter Scott eight times as he runs away but "unknown cameramen and women lived out high democratic ideals: They watched a cop kill someone, shoot recklessly at someone running away, and they kept the camera trained on the cop," writes Robinson. "They were there, on an ordinary, hazy Saturday morning, and they chose to be courageous. They bore witness, at unknown risk to themselves."
“We have been talking about police brutality for years. And now, because of videos, we are seeing just how systemic and widespread it is,” tweeted Deray McKesson, an activist in Ferguson, after the videos emerged Tuesday night. “The videos over the past seven months have empowered us to ask deeper questions, to push more forcefully in confronting the system.” The process of ascertaining the truth of the world has to start somewhere. A video is one more assertion made about what is real concludes Robinson. "Today, through some unknown hero’s stubborn internal choice to witness instead of flee, to press record and to watch something terrible unfold, we have one more such assertion of reality."
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA just officially took the wraps off its latest flagship monster graphics card, the $999 GeForce GTX Titan X. The GeForce GTX Titan X is powered by the company's massive Maxwell-based GM200 GPU, which is comprised of roughly 8 billion transistors and is manufactured using TSMC's 28nm process node. The GPU packs 3072 CUDA cores and links to a huge 12GB frame buffer via a 384-bit wide interface. In terms of performance, the GeForce GTX Titan X is easily the fastest single-GPU powered graphics card available, though the dual-GPU (and less costly) Radeon R9 295X2 was faster overall. The Titan X is also highly overclockable, relatively quiet, and surprisingly power efficient.
MojoKid writes: Lenovo just revamped the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and in this third generation of the machine, they've adopted Intel's latest 5th generation Core Series Broadwell processors, along with a few other updates. In addition, they've retooled the keyboard and trackpad area, returning back to more traditional roots versus the second generation machine, which was met with some criticism due to its adaptive function key row and over-simplified, buttonless trackpad. Notable upgrades to this 3rd gen model are a faster Core i5-5300U processor and a self-encrypting Opal2 compliant SSD. Performance-wise, the new ThinkPad offers up some of the best numbers in utlrabooks currently, though battery life is a bit middle of the road, but still able to last over 8 hours under light, web-driven workloads.
MojoKid writes: Intel recently released its latest generation of NUC small form factor systems, based on the company's new low-power Broadwell-U series processors. The primary advantages of Intel's 5th Generation Core Series Broadwell-U-based processors are better performance-per-watt, stronger integrated graphics, and a smaller footprint, all things that are perfectly suited to the company's NUC (Next Unit of Computing) products. The Intel NUC5i5RYK packs a Core i5-5250U processor with on-die Intel HD 6000 series graphics. The system also sports built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, M.2 SSD support, and a host of other features, all in a 115mm x 111mm x 32.7mm enclosure. Performance-wise the new 5th Gen Core Series-powered NUC benchmarks like a midrange notebook and is actually up for a bit of light-duty gaming, though it's probably more at home as a Home Theater PC, media streamer or kiosk desktop machine.
MojoKid writes: What a week it has been for Lenovo. Often considered one of the best of the notebook vendors, it was discovered earlier this week that the company in recent months had been bundling some seriously shady software on many of the PCs it sold to consumers. Not only did this software inject advertising into user Web browsing, it also opened up a can of worms with regards to security. While it seemed at first that Superfish was just another bundled bloatware, Lenovo quickly changed its tune after the web exploded with ire and even US Homeland Security urged removal. That lead up to yesterday, where the company apologized and offered an uninstall guide. Hopefully as the final chapter in this debacle, Lenovo has today released a tool that automatically removes Superfish, rather than forcing the user to jump through hoops to get it off their system.