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Industry

[Rumor] Windows 9 is one of the more discussed iterations of operating systems out there. A new report by Winbeta reveals that Windows 9 also known as ‘Threshold’ will be getting a completely new Modern UI 2.0 with a new feature called Interactive Tiles. Now because I am not very familiar with OS and mobile related sources, I am going to be tagging this one as a Rumor, even though this report looks pretty much legit to me. Windows 9 Threshold Modern UI 2.0 Live Tiles

Interactive Live Panel to Feature in Modern UI 2.0 in Microsoft Windows ‘Threshold ‘ 9

Now Windows 9 is slated for a launch in 2015 according to latest reports with a beta coming in September this year. The Start Screen has been a thorn in the side of hardcore Windows users for quite a long time and is one of the multiple reasons why 50% of the Windows sector is sticking to Windows 7. Previous reports have indicated that Microsoft  will be disabling the Start Screen by default in desktops to appease the aforementioned crowd. However, I think the same users might be open to a completely redesigned start screen. One that actually has useful features like live interactive tiles for your email etc.

You can see the Live Interactive Panel screenshot above, courtesy of winbeta once again. Now the source goes on to state that the Start Screen will not be available in Desktop version and the Mobile version won’t have desktop. Thats a very interesting statement because it means that Microsoft will be able to pursue its Unification dream without changing the aesthetics that old users love. For devices like the Surface Pro 3.0 you can always enable the Start Menu interactive start- screen-thing. The removal of the desktop will feature mostly in Windows RT devices. Interestingly Win32 applications are being replaced by Modern UI alternatives, so Microsoft is actually going through a reboot of the desktop-less windows for tablet devices. Windows ‘Threshold’ is shaping up to be either a glowing success or another failure by the looks of things. However, if you follow the old wives (programmers?) tale of the failure-success pattern of windows, Windows 9 is slated to be the platform Win7 users finally upgrade to.

It’s official! Apple has finally announced its annual fall event for September 9, 2014. It was hugely rumored that Apple will unveil its next generation iPhone 6 on this day. Yesterday, we also saw some rumors claiming that Cupertino is gearing to launch its first ever smartwatch – popularly known as iWatch – on the same day along with iPhone 6 on Thursday morning.iphone 6 launch event official

iPhone 6 launch event official!

It is expected that Apple will unveil iPhone 6 variants (at least two models) on the day. This year is considered

samsung_galaxy_s5_official
Industry

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is going in full swing with tech celebrities getting on the challenge. This ice bucket challenge is designed to bring awareness and raise funds to fight ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in brain and spinal cord. Following the lead of the “human” leaders, we are now looking at the Samsung Galaxy S5 taking on the challenge and nominating other smartphones leading the smartphone technology world. In this video, Samsung Galaxy S5 has nominated HTC One M8, iPhone 5s, and Lumia 930.galaxy s5 ALS ice bucket

- iPhone 6 vs Samsung’s 4.7-inch Galaxy Alpha in Pictures

Galaxy S5 ALS ice bucket challenge:

While many are complaining about Sammy having turned a charity cause into a marketing gimmick, we don’t seem to hate it. Everything in this commercial world is definitely tweaked to benefit the products or the companies at the end of the day. It is no different then for the case of Galaxy S5 ALS ice bucket challenge. ALS

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Industry Web

Tumblr is about to sign a deal with a photo-analytics startup, Ditto Labs. Cambridge, Massachusetts based company analyzes photos posted on social media websites to get brand-related data. Brand-affiliation data helps corporations track the way consumers interact with their brands. Acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion, this would be the first major move by the social media platform that could affect its user base. While it is being promised that this partnership is in no way based on advertisements, data analysis of brand affiliation could very well trigger targeted advertising, if not now then in future!tumblr ditto

Tumblr – Ditto deal:

Tumblr’s expected partnership with Ditto Labs essentially means that if you post a photo with a product, say your laptop, Ditto Labs will scan the photo to extract the brand details of that laptop. This brand recognition helps advertising companies in making better strategies of their campaigns. However, head of business development at Tumblr, T.R. Newcomb promises that no ad-related stuff will happen, “Right now, we’re not planning to do anything ad-related.”

8307143_sa
Industry

September is bringing a lot of products in the computer sector but even that pales in comparison to the amount of mobile products launching in September. From Sony to Samsung to Microsoft, we have tons of mobile devices and gadgets coming in so we take a look at what we are expecting from different brands in the next month.Microsoft Sony Motorola September Mobile Releases

September to See Many Mobile Launches – Sony, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and Motorola Included

Lets begin chronologically, the first date of interest is September the 3rd. Sony will be ready to announce some new phones and maybe even a phablet. If Sony’s past record is to be any indicator then it will push these products very actively in the US Markets, and should be readily available to the US consumers. The next day, September 4th, is the day any technophile and gadget lover should note down in their calenders because we have announcements from across the board. Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft are all queuing up for big announcements.

Samsung and Microsoft will be hosting events in Beijing and New York while Motorola has scheduled an event in Chicago. Samsung is expected to officially announce the Galaxy Note 4 according to latest reports. The rumored devices are 4K OLED TVs and maybe even a competitor to the Google Glass. Motorola will be teasing the new Moto G and ofcourse the anxiously anticipated Moto 360 Smart Watch. And also we will finally get to see the Moto X replacement which might be called the Moto X+1 or the Moto X2. The exact specifications are unknown but it will probably have a larger screen and more TDP overhead.

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Industry

Something very strange occurred today. On the flight scheduled for the Czech Republic from Israel, during the boarding process, smoke was seen coming out of the commercial airplane. A smoke and a plane are two words that shouldn’t ever be together, but as it turned out the root cause was a smoking iPhone and not the plane itself. This comes only days after an unrelated event which involved an iPad distracted a pilot long enough for the plane to dip 5000 feet.

iPhone Plane Fire Tel AvivThe remains of the smoking iPhone 5.

Apple iPhone Catches Fire Inside Aircraft days after iPad distracts a Pilot till the Plane Drops by 5000 Feet

Needless to say, the past few days have had an unusually high number of Apple related, aircraft aviation incidents. The flight which was basically going from Tel Aviv to Prague had about 150 or so passengers already boarded when the first signs of smoke were detected. Thankfully, the flight had yet to take off and the passengers were immediately evacuated till the cause of the smoke could be ascertained. Needless to say the passengers who could not see the source of the commotion were very alarmed during the incident. However, after the officials checked out the source, which turned out to be passenger Yardin Levi’s iPhone 5, the passengers were allowed to reboard the flight and reach their destination. The cause for the short circuit hasn’t been determined, but is thought to be an over heating issue.

Just a few days back, the Apple brand name got the attention of the aviation authorities when a flight en route from Mumbai to Brussels nearly crashed. The flight dropped 5000 feet before stabilizing unexpectedly. The cause? Well, this is what happened. The main pilot was asleep while the co-pilot was at the controls, however, she got ‘distracted’ by her iPad and the flight dropped 5000 feet before the commander woke up and stabilized the plane. Even though the presence of Apple products is just a coincidence, it still makes for interesting and unwanted product placement.

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Industry

Alienware’s 13 inch Alienware 13 notebook is something to wait for indeed. The Alienware 13 is going to come with several impressive specifications indeed. First of all it will come with a 13 inch QHD screen which will be capable of accepting inputs directly. In other words, the Alienware 13 will be a touch screen gaming notebook. It will sport a 13 inch 2560 x 1440 IPS touchscreen panel which will be capable of an impressive 400 nits of brightness. The 13 inch screen size also represents a catering towards the increase demand of smaller sized notebooks today.

AMD, today launches their new FirePro professional graphics lineup which includes the new FirePro W7100, FirePro W5100, FirePro W4100 and FirePro W2100 graphics cards. The latest FirePro W7100 graphics card features the latest Tonga GPU core architecture which runs at a sub-150W TDP and features 1792 stream processors which identifies that this is a Tonga Pro variant.AMD FirePro W7100 W5100 W4100 W2100

AMD Launches Tonga Powered FirePro W7100 Professional GPU

While AMD has already launched their flagship offerings in the FirePro lineup which include the $2500 US Firepro W8100 based on Hawaii GL-Pro and $4000 US FirePro W9100 based on the full Hawaii GL-XT variant. The latest of the FirePro lineup is based on new and rebranded cores which include Tonga, Bonaire, Cape Verde and Oland. It should be noted that the Tonga GPU is a completely new chip which features 4 triangles/clock geometery boost and is a replacement for the current Tahiti based chips. The consumer variant of the Tonga GPU codenamed the Radeon R9 285 and Radeon R9 285X will arrive in August and Q4 2014 respectively.

The AMD FirePro W7100 Tonga GPU based graphics card features 1792 stream processors configured in 28 compute units. Based on the GCN 1.1 die, the Tonga GPU has 32 Compute Units in total but we are looking at a toned down version which has four CUs disabled resulting in the 1792 SPs variant. The FirePro W7100 like I said has 4 triangles per clock cycle, 32 ROPs, 112 TMUs, L2 cache of 512/1024 KB and a 256-bit memory controller. The W7100 features a 8 GB GDDR5 memory running across a 256-bit bus pumping out a cumulative bandwidth of 160 GB/s and has 12 times the encode performance of W7000 while display outputs include the ability to drive four 4K monitors with Display Port 1.2. The Tonga GPU was always meant to be highly efficient and AMD has toned down its TDP to sub-150W so we can say a TDP of 150W is what’s to expect from the consumer Radeon R9 285 variant which goes on sale this month.

windows-8_logo_250px
Industry

Just like the Xbox One, Microsoft has announced today that it will be bringing monthly updates to Windows 8 as well. Keep in mind that update here means major updates such as new features and tweaks. Microsoft presently has an update cycle for Windows 8.1 which is known as update Tuesday. This is a monthly process through which security and non-security updates are delivered for the operating system.

a
Industry Software

Aircraft security at risk:

A security consultant has found out the vulnerabilities that enabled him to possibly hack the satellite communications equipment on passenger jets through the inflight WiFi and entertainment systems. Scheduled to share the details of this research at the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas this week, Ruben Santamarta is being waited for his presentation that could help change the aircraft security mechanism. Black Hat hacking conference is held every year with an aim to help improve cyber security measures and identify growing threats posed to various industries globally. If this possibility of having been able to hack satellite communications proves to be right at the conference, the research could gear start an strong shift of aerospace security.

“These devices are wide open. The goal of this talk is to help change that situation” – Santamarta.aircraft security

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Industry

New information that has just appeared reveals interesting details about the upcoming update of Windows 8.1 and the anxiously awaited Windows 9. ZDNet tells us that the upcoming update 2 (referred to as August Update) will not be a compulsory update for the operating system and will be the last major update for Windows 8.1. Meaning the next thing we see is Windows 9 finally landing.

windows-9-availableFan Made Concept of Windows 9.

Windows 9 May be Closer than Expected – August Update to be the last Windows 8.1 Update

Interestingly, Update 1 had been tagged as a compulsory update while as Update 2 wont be. Infact, it will be a relatively minor update and will simply be referred to, as the August Update. Now the source says that there won’t be an Update 3. The only eventuality in which an update 3 is released is one in which Microsoft decides to do so just for the sake of continuity and establishing a ‘serviceability’ pattern.  In all probability however, the source alleges, we will not be seeing the Update 3 at all. Infact the next stop is Windows 9 with all the goodness of the new start menu that we have been waiting so long for.

The August Update is coming on August 12 and will land dead center on Patch Tuesday. It would appear that Microsoft will not be making a very big deal out of this particular update and it wont contain any big feature changes. Though some design adjustments will be present, there is a reason Microsoft will be tagging it as non-compulsory.  Also it will probably be pushed just as another Monthly update. Apparently, all the folks over at Microsoft will be putting their energy behind Windows Threshold/Windows 9 to make sure it is completely stream lined and bug free at launch. The source indicates that Microsoft might even cut Windows XP, Vista and especially Windows 7 Users (50% of the entire user base I might add) some kind of deal by giving them a free upgrade to Windows 9 directly. All of this, just to get the somewhat stagnant Windows loyalists to get a move on. I have a feeling however, that the only real factor in triggering a migration will be if Windows 9 truly hits home.

mZipWpCh_400x400
Industry

Update 8/11/2014:  There seems to be some sort of internal struggle going on. Since this has now become a matter of choosing sides and a completely domestic issue, this is going to be our last update on this matter. From what you all can see, the roster has changed completely with the old writers gone and some fresh blood in. Make of that what you will.

Update 8/4/2014: I had an opportunity to see some details of VR-Zone and it looks like the company is in a real mess. Most of its staff has left for BSN’s New Publication but a few have stayed behind to fulfill some contractual obligations that will be over by this week. However, the website remains active with a few contributors still posting. These will probably keep posting for some time.

Today is a very significant day for our colleagues that work for VR-Zone.com and subsidiaries, because I just got word that the beloved tech site is  going to be put to rest as we know it. However, its ‘spirit’ will live on anew in a project that will will launch in Early September. Judging from an editorial post by BSN (Bright Side of News) it would appear that some part of the team is migrating there for the time being. VR-Zone shutting down, rebooting

Farewell and Good Luck to VR-Zone.com – Team to get a New Home in Early September

VR-Zone and its subsidiary Chinese VR-Zone were one of the few sites that could be relied on completely and utterly for authentic information. Being one of the few sources that always delivered, the entire team at WCCFTech Prvt. Ltd, would wish them good luck for their future endeavors. Sam Reynolds, Editor VR-Zone, got in contact with me this past hour and revealed the bittersweet news. While it would seem that the VR-Zone we knew and loved is gone (the site appears to be still up) I am told that we should stay tuned for a re-embodiment of the project that might launch by next month.

“While a series of unfortunate circumstances have lead to the demise of the VR-Zone we all know, its spirit will live on with a new project that’s being launched in late August/early September.” – Sam Reynolds told me via email.

apple logo
Industry

It seems like Apple’s in full gear for updates this week. Starting from the update of the 13 and 15 Retina MacBook Pro, the wheels continued to spin with Apple’s Boot Camp System Requirements page also listing the Mac Mini for a mid 2014 update. The listing has been taken down as of now, but you can see it here. The updates aren’t over though. The Boot Camp: System Requirements Page also lists a new 27 inch Mac for this year.

imac27-mid2014-1

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When it comes to rumors, the Mac Mini is one Apple product that has received little to no coverage. The latest version of the Mac Mini was launched by Apple in 2012. With the ways things move forward today, the Mac Mini is one Apple product that is long overdue for an upgrade. Apple only yesterday upgraded its offerings of the Retina MacBook Pro.

The 13 and 15 inch versions of the popular notebook receive significant upgrades over their predecessors, including an upgraded range of Haswell processors. In fact, just after a day having passed since the upgrade, we’ve been able to get our hands on comprehensive benchmarks for the products. These show performance increase of over 8% over previous versions. Well, back to the Mac Mini. Apple’s Boot Camp system requirements page for Windows, a new Mac Mini for Mid 2014 showed up earlier today.

NVIDIA’s next generation Maxwell core architecture based GeForce GTX 880, GeForce GTX 870 and GeForce GTX 860 will launch in October this year, as reported by GDM.OR.JP. The site which is part of one of the most major hardware retailers in Japan have been pretty accurate with their earlier leaks so we will assume that the October launch time-frame is quite accurate considering the launch was planned for Q4 2014 was narrowed down to October / November a few weeks ago and now we have a much more accurate schedule of NVIDIA’s Maxwell GPU launches.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880

NVIDIA Maxwell Based GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870 To Launch in Early October

The first two Maxwell cards to launch in the consumer market would be the high-performance GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870. These cards will feature the GM204 core architecture which is the successor of the GK104/GK114 core from the Kepler generation. From little things we know thanks to the leaked PCB shot of NVIDIA’s alleged GeForce GTX 880 graphics card, we come to know that the core being used for the sample variant was GM204-INT41684-A1 however there has been a little variation in the codename and it is now called GM204-CS0-A1 (note that the CS stands for Consumer Sample) which means that final testing is under way and the chip will soon end up in the consumer market as the GeForce GTX 880. The chip is also the first of four variants which will make their way to the rest of the lineup including the GeForce GTX 870.

The GeForce GTX 870 on the other hand will be a cut down variant of the GK204 core featured on GeForce GTX 880 with some disabled SMM (Streaming Multiprocessor Maxwell) units. Its not know what specifications does the GM204 hold in general but it does feature a die size larger than its predecessor which is due to the existing 28nm process technology and the card will make use of high-frequency SKHynix H5GQ4H24MFR 0.5G clocked at 7 GHz. We will most probably be looking at a 256-bit since the memory arrangement as seen on the ES board is similar to the GeForce GTX 680 ES board and the final consumer variant. The card was shown with 8 GB GDDR5 memory which is a lot of VRAM for a reference card but we believe that the cards will ship in 4 GB variants. Aside from that, the total power consumption would be similar to Kepler around 195W but it will deliver performance on scale with some of the overclocked GeForce GTX 780 Ti’s we have seen. If the recent GeForce GTX 880 benchmark is taken for reference, we might be looking at a 20-30% performance uplift from Maxwell over GK110 which is insane and makes us wonder the performance uplift with the GM200 core which won’t ship to consumers till next year.



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