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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2119

AMD: NVIDIA's CUDA and PhysX are 'doomed'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 2:34 am

According to AMD's Vice President of Channel Sales, Roy Taylor, NVIDIA's CUDA and PhysX platforms are an utter failure. How does he get to that conclusion? Because the industry doesn't like proprietary standards.




Taylor continued: "NVIDIA should be congratulated for its invention. As a trend, GPGPU is absolutely fantastic and fabulous. But that was then, this is now. Now, collectively our industry doesn't want a proprietary standard. That's why people are migrating to OpenCL." The AMD VP says that Intel will continue adding more GPU to their die.


Taylor said that with Intel's Sandy Bridge platform, 17% of the die was GPU. Ivy Bridge notched that up to 27%, and Haswell sees 32% of its die reserved for GPU silicon. He thinks that Intel will eventually use the term APU, but not for a little while yet. He adds: "We think the reason they're doing that is because of GPGPU. It's not because of games. I think they see that HSA is an absolutely unstoppable force. I just don't know why they don't call [Haswell] an APU... it seems just like pride. If you remember [ATI] tried to join the coin term VPU... 'No, no, no, it's a VPU not a GPU,' they would say. GPU just became widely adopted they just quietly adopted it, and I believe Intel will do the same. Look [Intel] it's an APU, why are you protesting?"

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Google patents method to launch apps through pattern unlock screen

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 2:17 am

A new patent filing by Google shows the company wishes to use the pattern unlock screen on its Android mobile OS to launch apps. While this functionality is not new, this is the first time Google has suggested that it may end up in a future official release of Android.




While third-party skins and apps exist that allow users to launch apps from the lock screen, Google's variant would allow you to launch different apps via different unlock patterns. This new feature would allow users to launch apps such as their camera, messaging service, or even the dialer without having to actually unlock their phone. It is still unclear what version we will see this new feature arrive on, but with Android 5.0 in the works we are most likely to see it there.

Amazon now sells fine art, launches fine art store

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 1:48 am

Today, Amazon launched a new online fine art store named Amazon Art. This new marketplace will give customers direct access to more than 40,000 works of fine art from over 150 galleries around the world. Amazon says that the new store will showcase artwork from more than 4500 artists and is one of the largest online marketplace collections of original and limited-edition artwork in the world.




"We are excited to bring one of the largest selections of fine art direct from galleries to our customers. Amazon Art gives galleries a way to bring their passion and expertise about the artists they represent to our millions of customers," said Peter Faricy, vice president for the Amazon Marketplace. "We're thrilled to bring the excitement and emotional connection of art to our customers."


Amazon says that the new store provides easy searching discoverability that enables smaller art galleries to get their collection seen by millions of people, which in turn will lead to higher sales numbers and will allow the small galleries to grow. Head over to Source #2 to visit the online art store for yourself and let us know if you pick up something such as a work from one the old Masters.

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Skype for Windows Phone 8 gets an update with new homescreen layout

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 12:24 am

Today, Microsoft announced that has released an update for Skype for Windows Phone 8 that incorporates feedback the company has been receiving from users. Improvements have been made to the way contacts are managed and a new refreshed home screen layout has been added.




The new features include Skype contacts being split out in the Skype people list, which was something Skype users requested Microsoft change. Microsoft added the people list filter so that you can see all your contacts or only available contacts. Home screen changes include the ability to put it through Functions as well as smaller favorite contact tiles that now are able to fit three across the screen instead of the two users were able to fit previously.

Samsung files trademark for Galaxy Gear name, smartwatch is real

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 11:28 pm

It appears the rumors that Samsung will be bringing a Galaxy branded smartwatch to market are true. Of course we've known this for a while, but it's always nice to receive confirmation from new sources. Today, a new trademark filing has popped up in which Samsung has filed to protect the Galaxy Gear name.




The trademark filing was spotted by website GalaxyClub and it specifically states that the Samsung Galaxy Gear name pertains to a "wearable digital electronic device in the form of a wristwatch, wristband or angle capable of providing access to the Internet and sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mails and messages." The application goes on to mention that the Galaxy Gear could have the ability to keep track of messages, managing personal information, and smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

PS Vita update offers better streaming support and cleaner visuals

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 10:32 pm

Today, Sony released an update for its PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console that brings forth better streaming support and improved visuals. The update will bring your PS Vita up to version 2.6, and users will instantly notice softer circular content bowls thanks to some antialiasing that Sony tossed into the mix.




Version 2.6 also brings forth an improved UI that makes accessing saved game data on PlayStation Plus much easier. The way users toggle network options has also been refined with a new control screen similar to those used on Android and iOS devices to allow gamers an easy way to manage Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G settings.


Another cool option that has been brought forth in version 2.6 is the ability to stream content directly from other connected devices such as the PlayStation 3 or a PC. In the past, users had to save the content locally first before being able to view the content.

Nikon announces two new CoolPix compact cameras

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 9:43 pm

Earlier today, Nikon released two new CoolPix compact cameras to add to their impressive lineup of point-and-shoot digital cameras. Up first is the CoolPix S6600, which features a vari-angle screen that allows users to view the screen, even at extremely awkward angles. The company has included gesture control, which makes taking self-portraits easier than ever.




The CoolPix S6600 also features a 16-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor and 12x optical zoom. Full 1080p HD recording is also available as is on-board Wi-Fi. Up next is the L620, which features an 18-megapixel CMOS BSI sensor and a 14x Optical Zoom lens. Additionally, the L620 is AA compatible and will also record full HD video. Nikon says that the S6600 and L620 will retail for $305 each and will hit store shelves early next month.

Perseid Meteor Shower set to dazzle stargazers on August 11

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 9:05 pm

August holds a special event for stargazers across the nation in the form of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. This astronomical event occurs on an annual basis and produces more fireballs and "shooting stars" than any other meteor shower. During its peak, stargazers could see more than 100 meteors per hour with some streaking across the sky as bright fireballs.




"We have found that one meteor shower produces more fireballs than any other," Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office said in a statement. "It's the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on August 12 and 13."


Cook and a team of scientists from NASA have placed meteor observing cameras across the southern United States in an effort to count the amount of fireballs produced during the Perseid event and between 2008 and 2013, the project logged 568 fireballs. This is significantly more than next largest meteor shower event, The Geminids.

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Researchers create world's smallest recreation of Mona Lisa

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 8:33 pm

The world's smallest re-creation of the Mona Lisa has been painted on a surface that is just 30 microns in width, which is roughly one-third as wide as a human hair. This tiny feat was accomplished by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and used a process known as ThermoChemical NanoLithography, which is similar to the process used to etch the circuitry on the silicon used in microprocessors.




The process uses a precise application of heat in a painstaking process that "paints" the image pixel by pixel. Varying the amount of heat allows for changes in in the darkness of the gray used to illustrate the image. For example, the more heat used in a single pixel, the darker that pixel will be. Likewise, less heat produces a lighter pixel.


"By tuning the temperature, our team manipulated chemical reactions to yield variations in the molecular concentrations on the nanoscale. We've created a way to make independent patterns of multiple chemicals on a chip that can be drawn in whatever shape you want," Jennifer Curtis, an associate professor in the School of Physics and the study's lead author, said in a statement.

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Marvell chip powers first self-branded China Mobile smartphone

By: Charles Gantt | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Aug 6, 2013 8:04 pm

Today, Marvell announced that China Mobile's first self-branded smartphone will feature a Marvell ARMADA Mobile PXA988 processor. Dubbed the M601, the Android-based smartphone will feature unified 3G performance thanks to the ARMADA PXA988 which has been designed to deliver high-performance computing with industry-leading graphic capabilities, while at the same time producing best-in-class robust connectivity.




The ARMADA PXA988 is a unified 3G and LTE single-chip solution that integrates a high-performance low-power ARM Cortex A9 application processor alongside cutting-edge cellular modems that support advanced multimedia and graphics capabilities. The PXA988 also features TD-HSPA+ R8 as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM radio, and GPS.


"I am very pleased to see the launch of China Mobile's first self-branded smartphone, which is a major milestone for China Mobile and over a billion consumers in China. In the past several years, we have seen the fast development of China's 3G TD-SCDMA technology and the rapid growth of the smartphone market, thanks to the close collaboration among China Mobile and global companies, such as Samsung, ZTE, Yulong Coolpad, Lenovo and others," said Weili Dai, President and Co-founder of Marvell.

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