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TweakTown's Computex Taipei 2015 Coverage direct from Taipei, Taiwan - ALL STORIES!

TweakTown News Posts - Page 31

ESB teams up with Vodafone to deliver 1Gbps Internet in Ireland

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

ESB and Vodafone have joined forces to launch a new broadband company in Ireland known as Siro, with €450 million ($512 million), that will launch high-speed fiber optic broadband in the country.




The first outlay will cover 500,000 premises in regional towns throughout Ireland. There has been a trial in Cavan of 300 premises, where users were able to tap an insane speed of 1Gbps, bidirectional. The new network will be laid out on ESB's existing overground and underground infrastructure, which already uses fiber optic cable. This will ensure that up to 1Gbps speeds can be delivered to users.


The new service will be offering users speeds of between 200Mbps and 1Gbps, which is magnitudes more than what most users in Ireland have at the moment. Better yet, Siro will be offering its super-fast broadband to other telecom operators, so that it can be pushed in the retail side of things, too. Siro will be rolling out the fiber broadband in June, starting in Cavan, Dundalk, Westport, Castlebar, Sligo, Carrigaline, Tralee, Navan, Letterkenny and Wexford.

Oculus VR releases the 'recommended requirements' for the Oculus Rift

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

Oculus VR has released the recommended requirements for the Oculus Rift, which will launch in the first quarter of 2016. You'll need an Intel Core i5-4590 or equivalent, along with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 to get an optimal experience out of the VR headset.




The Facebook-owned VR giant has said: "The goal is for all Rift games and applications to deliver a great experience on this configuration. Ultimately, we believe this will be fundamental to VR's success, as developers can optimize and tune their game for a known specification, consistently achieving presence and simplifying development". The full specs you'll need:


  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

NASA: the reality we live in is like 'The Matrix', made by aliens

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

According to British philosopher Nick Bostrom, the reality that surrounds us is thanks to a highly-advanced computer program, similar to the events of The Matrix.




Dr Bostrom proposed his theory in a paper that he wrote, saying that an evolved race of aliens have "imprisoned the human race" in what Bostrom refers to as "digital imprisonment". You might think he is crazy, but NASA scientist Rich Terrile agrees with Bostrom in a way. Terrile is the director of the Centre for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


Terrile spoke with VICE, where he said: "Right now the fastest NASA supercomputers are cranking away at about double the speed of the human brain. If you make a simple calculation using Moore's Law [which roughly claims computers double in power every two years], you'll find that these supercomputers, inside of a decade, will have the ability to compute an entire human lifetime of 80 years - including every thought ever conceived during that lifetime - in the span of a month".


He continued: "In quantum mechanics, particles do not have a definite state unless they're being observed. Many theorists have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how you explain this. One explanation is that we're living within a simulation, seeing what we need to see when we need to see it. What I find inspiring is that, even if we are in a simulation or many orders of magnitude down in levels of simulation, somewhere along the line something escaped the primordial ooze to become us and to result in simulations that made us - and that's cool".

Continue reading 'NASA: the reality we live in is like 'The Matrix', made by aliens' (full post)

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to wear your Oculus Rift in public one day

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, says that virtual reality is the next big computing platform. VR is something that Zuckerberg is most looking forward to, in that it will transform the world. Especially since Facebook owns Oculus VR, the makers of the Oculus Rift.




During a town hall hosted at Facebook's HQ in Menlo Park, California, Zuckerberg said: "What I think is going to be really cool is as the form factor keeps on getting smaller and smaller, [it] stops being big goggles or headset. But instead it just looks like normal glasses or sunglasses where you can use it without being tied to a computer".


Zuckerberg sees a world in the not-too-distant future where people won't need to use their phones to show photos to their friends, he added: "In the future you'll be able to snap your fingers and instantiate a photo album or a big photo, make it whatever size you want, and people will be able to see it through their glasses". This won't happen in the short term, but that's something the Facebook founder is very aware of, where he said: "It's going to take five, seven, 10, I don't know, maybe 12 years to build that out and have that be something that really works and is cheap enough for everyone in the world to use".

MIT researchers developing underwater robots that can think

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

The use of robots and remote control underwater vehicles are nothing new for ocean exploration, but researchers at MIT want to take things a step further: allow robots to think for themselves, so they can have cognitive capabilities.




Operators are able to program the robots to complete a high-level task, and the underwater robots are able to figure out what they are doing once submerged. It can be a helpful feature so researchers can monitor what is happening below the surface, but the customized craft will be responsible to determine what they should be doing.


"We wanted to show that these vehicles could plan their own missions, and execute, adapt, and re-plan them alone, without human support," said Brian Williams, mission planning principal developer at MIT. "We can give the system choices, like, 'Go to either this or that science location and map it out,' or 'communicate via an acoustic modem, or a satellite link."

Candy Crush Saga developer now has 550 million monthly active players

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

King, the developer behind mega smash hit Candy Crush Saga, has reported its fiscal first quarter earnings today, where we have found out that the company has a huge 550 million monthly active players. This is up from the 481 million during the first quarter of its fiscal 2014. The company should expect an injection of players in the near future, as Candy Crush Saga will be pre-installed with Windows 10.




The company has 158 million daily active players, with 364 million monthly unique players, respectively. With mobile gaming being a massive $30 billion business, King is one of the kings of it - pun intended. But, it's not all soda pops and candy bars, as player spending has dropped considerably over the last 12 months.


The amount of unique players that are spending money inside of King's games has dropped, from 11.86 million from this time last year, to 8.52 million. Paying gamers who continue to spend money, are spending an average of $23.64, compared to $18.02 during the same time of 2014, but it's not enough to make up for the amount of players not spending money.

Continue reading 'Candy Crush Saga developer now has 550 million monthly active players' (full post)

Google is hiring people for its 'smart eyewear' and related products

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: May 16, 2015 2:11 am

It looks like Google is expanding its Google Glass team, which is now working on "smart eyewear and other related products". The Mountain View-based giant is hiring a slew of new people to expand its products and services.




With Google going on a hiring spree, we could expect Google Glass 2.0, or a totally new Glass to be unveiled at Google I/O at the end of the month. The company has been posting job listing ads for its Glass team, something that has included an Audio Hardware Manager, a Human Factors Designer, an RF Systems Engineer, and a Hardware Automation Engineer (Manufacturing).


Google has said that it is working on a new version of Glass for consumers, but we haven't heard much about it lately, until now. The new description for the Glass team teases: "The Google Glass division is a world-class team focused on the cutting edge of hardware, software and industrial design. It is charged with pioneering, developing, building and launching smart eyewear and other related products in line with Google's ambitious and visionary objectives".

Xbox One sales topped PlayStation 4 sales in the US last month

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: May 16, 2015 12:52 am

The current generation consoles have been around for over 18 months now, with the PlayStation 4 being the more successful of the two. Until last month, that is.




Research firm NPD has released a new report, stating that the Xbox One topped the PS4 last month to become the best-selling console of April. With around 20 million PS4 consoles sold so far, Microsoft needs as much help as it can get to catch up, with around 12 million Xbox One consoles sold to date.


Xbox marketing boss Mike Nichols talked with GamesBeat, where he said: "As the best-selling console in the U.S. in April, fans set record April sales and engagement for Xbox One last month. Xbox One console sales in the U.S. increased 63 percent in April 2015 compared to April 2014 and Xbox Live comparisons showed the number of active global users [Xbox One and Xbox 360] grew 24 percent. We are grateful to our fans for their passion and support and are looking forward to sharing more on the best game lineup in Xbox history at E3".

NVIDIA wants to play a role in growing autonomous vehicle effort

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: May 15, 2015 10:30 pm

NVIDIA has plenty of experience in the automotive market, but wants to play a larger part in the growing craze surrounding autonomous vehicles. The company's hardware can help power automotive displays, automated driving systems, and other in-car technology that requires advanced hardware chips.




NVIDIA's technology can already be found in the Tesla Model S, Audi A8, and other vehicles - and will continue to gain acceptance among other automakers. However, the Silicon Valley company still isn't anywhere near Qualcomm, Intel, Texas Instruments, and Renesas Electronics, which are the leaders in developing and manufacturing automotive chips.


"They offer us computing systems with the strength" necessary to process large amounts of information, noted Ulrich Hackenberg, head of technical development at Audi, in a statement published by Reuters.

Continue reading 'NVIDIA wants to play a role in growing autonomous vehicle effort' (full post)

Microsoft wants its HoloLens headset to respond to stress levels

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: May 15, 2015 9:20 pm

Microsoft wants to push augmented reality to the next level, and hopes it can use its HoloLens headset to win over customers. A recent US patent application indicates Microsoft could try to use HoloLens to help read and respond to wearers' stress levels, based on heart rate, pulse oximetry, sweat production, and other biometric signals.




"A person may experience stress that is related to a situation or current context," according to the Microsoft patent application. "For example, a person may have difficulty performing a task and grow frustrated as the number of unsuccessful attempts at completing the task grows."


There is concern that the biometrics feature could be more trouble than it's worth, depending how Microsoft includes it in HoloLens. However, the idea that the AR headset can identify when a person is struggling to repair their kitchen sink, and then super impose step-by-step instructions, could prove to be helpful.

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