AMD has had a massive year, starting it off with the push of Polaris - and then the launch of the Radeon RX 400 series in May and June. Throughout the year, AMD launched a new driver initiative - releasing more drivers in the first 6 months of the year, than they did throughout the entire of 2015.
Then the Zen leaks and teases started to flow, teasing Core i7-5960X performance ($999+) for much less (purportedly $499) - and then the Vega 10 graphics card teases began. AMD flew us out to their annual AMD Tech Summit 2016 in Sonoma, California - teasing Ryzen, the new CPU family under the Zen architecture, as well as our first real glimpse of Vega 10.
AMD teased a Vega 10 graphics card with 8GB of HBM2 memory running DOOM at 4K 60FPS+ on Ultra/Nightmare settings, as well as their new Radeon Instinct push that will see AMD technology inside of supercomputers. What has that done for the company? Drive its stock prices up by a mammoth 280% over the year, rising from the sub $3 mark to $10+ right now, settling in at $10.66 at the time of writing.
Synaptics announced they are partnering up with OXi Technology, a Shanghai-based developer of unique and patented optical fingerprint technology.
The two will work on developing new proprietary optical sensing solutions for smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
Rick Bergman, President, and CEO of Synaptics, said in an official statement:
Synaptics' strategic engagement with OXi is the company's first move beyond capacitive technology and expands our innovative human interface portfolio into exciting new directions. This innovation will allow the removal of the home button and enable cleaner industrial designs for smartphones. Our close partnership with OXi supports getting to market very quickly with new and advanced optical fingerprint solutions that are scheduled to sample soon, and advances our China presence and support network.
In October, we reported that the worldwide smartwatch market experienced a round of growing pains in the third quarter of 2016, resulting in a "year-over-year decline in shipment volumes." The IDC reported that the smartwatch sales dropped in the Q3 by 51.6%, and Apple had the biggest drop - almost 72%, but they still maintained their position as the overall leader of the worldwide smartwatch market.
However, it seems that Apple has nothing to worry about because the sales of Apple Watch during the first week of holiday shopping season set a new record, and the current quarter is on the track to be the best ever for the Watch, Tim Cook told Reuters.
Cook didn't mention any numbers, but according to him, Apple Watch will be one of the most popular Christmas gadgets, which isn't surprising because if you are a fan of Apple, the Apple Watch is still one of the cheaper products from their lines of products.
After approving Google Fiber in September, the city of Nashville, Tennessee saw resistance from AT&T and Comcast. Both sued the city over streamlined utility pole attachment rules which would see quicker and easier adoption of Fiber, a threat to both companies' own services.
Now, the city of Nashville has filed a motion to dismiss the Comcast suit (no word yet on the AT&T suit), saying its within its rights to regulate public rights of way and that its methodology does not introduce "substantial impairment" to utility pole operator NES or its contracts, and that even if it did, what it's doing serves a "significant and legitimate" purpose for its people.
As it stands, about 50 percent of the 88,000 poles Google needs to attach fiber to in the city require extra work, but only 33 of them have actually received the work. Rivals to Fiber have been accused for years now of exploiting this loophole to stall adoption, and it appears that's very much the case here.
Today, you can order basically anything online, including groceries. But you are still going to end up grocery shopping at one point or the other, and the huge lines can be really annoying. Amazon has an alternative and has introduced Amazon Go, a shopping experience where instead of traditional checkouts, lines and cashiers, you enter, get your stuff and exit. No lines, no cashiers.
Amazon said they call this 'Just Walk Out Shopping' experience. First, you will have to download their Amazon Go app and use it when you enter the store. You take the products you want and walk out.
The checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. The technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track on your app. When you leave the store, Amazon will send you the receipt and charge your Amazon account.
In November, Elon Musk announced that he plans to choose a location for Gigafactory 2 in Europe next year. He also said that the factory would combine both the production of batteries and complete cars.
Of course, many European countries would be thrilled to become the home of the Gigafactory 2. And rightfully so because the Gigafactory would create between 6,000 and 10,000 direct jobs, and an investment of around $5 billion, says Electrek.
Portugal is using social media to try to attract Elon to their country. They formed a Facebook group called 'Bring Tesla Gigafactory to Portugal!' and they already have more than 25,000 members, and growing. The group description states: "Let's bring the European Tesla Gigafactory to Portugal! Invite your friends to this group, including Tesla employees. Let's show Tesla how welcome they will be in Portugal and how Portugal is the place to be for their new factory in Europe."
World AIDS Day, designated on 1 December every year since 1988, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV infection. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals around the world mark this day, often by organizing educations on AIDS prevention and fundraising.
In honor of World AIDS Day, Apple is offering ways for customers to join (RED) in its mission to create an AIDS-free generation. Apple is the world's largest corporate contributor to the Global Fund, founded by, among others, Melinda and Bill Gates and Kofi Annan. This year marks Apple's 10th anniversary supporting (RED) in the fight to end AIDS.
Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said in an official statement:
The gift of life is the most important gift that anyone can give. Thanks to the vision and dedication of (RED), an AIDS-free generation is within our reach. We want to leave the world better than we found it, and that's why our longtime partnership with (RED) remains so important to us.
"The cosmonaut training in Moscow saved my life," said Esther Dyson at the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) conference in Zagreb, Croatia. Back in the 2008 and 2009, she went through the training as a replacement for Charles Simonyi, a Hungarian-born American businessman who became the fifth space tourist in 2007, and in March 2009 he made a second trip to the International Space Station.
During her training, Dyson had gone through extensive coaching and learned a lot about every aspect of living in space. One of the routines during training were detailed medical inspections during which she was warned that she should carry out regular checks of the esophagus. She listened to the doctors and made sure she do as they said. This year she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, luckily in the earliest stages and the cancer is completely curable. Dyson noted that if she hadn't gone through the space training and tests, the cancer might have been detected too late.
This journalist, investor, and philanthropist now invests in the non-profit sector, and during her speech, she explained that she didn't completely stop with the classic investments. One of the projects she invested in "sounds boring," she said jokingly because it's a private company that develops products and offers services for the commercial utilization of space - NanoRacks.
The European Business Angels Network (EBAN) conference opened its doors today in Zagreb, Croatia. One of the first speakers and certainly the biggest star of the event was Bruce Dickinson, the voice of the legendary band Iron Maiden.
Those who follow Dickinson's work know that he is so much more than an amazing voice behind the iconic band. He's a pilot, an entrepreneur, and an investor. Dickinson spoke about his business adventures and said that he approaches business the same way he writes songs. It doesn't matter if the music or the lyrics come first during the process, what matters is that it all fits in.
"You need to remember what it was like to be a child. Not childish, but child-like. You need to dream," said Bruce.
Dickinson pointed out a big difference between successful and unsuccessful companies - the first ones treat their customers as loyal fans, while the other ones treat them exclusively as customers that bring them money.
Tesla recently snatched one of Microsoft's top designers, Andrew Kim. According to his LinkedIn profile, Kim spent three and a half years at Microsoft and will now join Tesla Motors to take up the role of Lead Designer.
During his work at Microsoft, Kim was highly involved in HoloLens, Microsoft's augmented reality project, so it's no wonder that everyone's asking what does Elon Musk have next in mind for his electric cars.
Perhaps we will soon see a first vehicle that uses augmented reality to its fullest. Imagine your windshield turning into a map, or your mirrors into monitors, etc.