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Friday, June 28, 2013

SPAM : Adsense Watchdog, Zombiestat, Vampirestat, Villainstat and Uglystat Blog Traffic

If you have a blog and check to see where the traffic to your blog originates, you may notice traffic from websites called,,, and/or First off, don't click on them to find out why they are sending you traffic.

Neither Adsensewatchdog, nor any of these others have anything whatsoever to do with Google or Google AdSense and are essentially spam sites that use automated traffic to blogs to attract clicks to their own sites from blog owners such as you. Once you're at their site, at a minimum, you'll be fed ads. At worst, you might fall victim to malevolent code that seeks to infect your computer with who knows what (although I haven't verified that these particular sites are seeking to plant anything on your machine).

Stay away. Traffic from these sites won't affect your standing with the real Adsense, so just ignore them. 

Adsense Watchdog and the others can be traced to: 

Protected Domain Services - Customer ID: NCR-3559746
P.O. Box 6197
Phone: +1.3037474010
Email Address: [email protected]

Which is just a company that holds domain names for anonymous clients. If the domain owner wishes to stay hidden behind such a firewall of anonymity, that's should be another red flag.

Google 'working on videogame console'

The new hardware would allow Google to compete with rumored products from its rival, Apple , including a next generation TV that will include a video-game console and an Apple smart watch.
The internet search giant is planning to design and market the two devices and then release at least one of them this autumn, according to reports.
Google's smart-watch is expected to connect to smartphones using Bluetooth technology, much like its Google Glass product. Wearable computing is a key focus for major technology companies and Samsung has also said it has plans for an Android-based smart-watch.
Google also has some experience in the video-games market, as games that run on Android software are growing more quickly than those made for Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo consoles.
The Wall Street Journal reported the developments based on unnamed sources "familiar with the matter" and also claimed Google is planning to release a second version of its media-streaming device Nexus Q.
The first version of Google's home entertainment device was revealed last year but was criticized for costing $299 (£195) and never went on sale to the public.
Google's next attempt at the Android-based device is expected to be much less expensive, according to Wall Street Journal sources. The product should help Google sell more music through its streaming service, Google Play.
The technology company is also reportedly working on low cost Android smartphones that would be released in developing markets, including places where Google plans to help create wireless networks.
Google did not respond to requests for comment.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Android Console Ouya Goes on Sale on Amazon, Sells Out

THE ANDROID BASED Ouya games console has gone on sale on Amazon and almost immediately sold out.

We've checked both the US and UK Amazon webpages for the console, which Amazon lists as having been released today, 25 June.

Both websites are showing the games console as unavailable. "Order now and we'll deliver when available ," says the webpage, while the webpage offers a three week wait .

We have asked Amazon for more information about its stock and sales, and are waiting for a response.

The Ouya reviews, some of which come from Kickstarter backers, make for uncomfortable reading.

A general feeling of disappointment is our takeaway, and punters are damp eyed at the lack of really good games on the console. However, many accept that the low price, a penny change from £100, might excuse some hardware failings.

"The build quality seems cheap compared to the PS3, Xbox, and even the Wii," said one user. "Unfortunately, for now, there aren't a lot of games available for the Ouya. I haven't seen any standouts among them. Moreover, more than a few seem a bit rough compared to what I expect for software that I buy," added another.

Another Android games console, the Gamestick was due to be released this month but has slipped to August.

The Gamestick developers said that they would use the time to refine the console and apologised to disappointed backers.

"We have [taken] the decision to push back the whole project by [one] month to ensure we can fit this process in. We appreciate that this will frustrate backers keen to get their hands on their device but we did not feel it was fair to bypass this step as it was a key pledge and the feedback will be really welcome," the Gamestick developers said.
"We now expect to ship product from China during early August and expect it to be with you by the middle of the month, prior to units launching in retail."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Raanjhanaa Review: If you Enjoy Melodrama, the Film is Worth a Watch

I follow Sonam Kapoor on Instagram. (What? She wears great clothes and jewellery, and insists on documenting it all.) In the run up to her latest release, she’s mostly stuck to sharing stills from Raanjhanaa, or posing with her co-star, Dhanush (of the Kolaveri Di fame and Rajnikanth family connection). Directed by Anand L. Rai and written by Himanshu Sharma, Raanjhanaa reveals a plainer Sonam than we’ve come to expect, dressed in everyday denim, simple kurtas, minimal makeup  and the standard JNU-type jhola slung across her body.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn't even remotely curious. It helps that the unassuming Dhanush stars opposite her, and from him, you expect a restrained but incredible performance (spoiler alert: he delivers).
Raanjhanaa takes you quickly from a hospital room, in which it opens, to the holy city of Benaras. Might as well refer to it as the holy city, really, considering how often they celebrate this festival in an under three-hour movie. It is also apparently the city where there’s a lot of getting stalked, slapped and slitting wrists. Fun!

Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor in a still from the film. Image courtesy: Facebook

Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor in a still from the film.
Son of a temple priest, Kundan (Dhanush) first sets his eyes and heart on the daughter of a Muslim professor, Zoya (Sonam Kapoor) when they are both very young. By the time they hit high school, he’s completely smitten by her. He follows her around all over the place and is enchanted by everything she does.All this from afar, till he finally musters up the courage one day to tell her how he feels. She gives him one tight slap. This is a good sign of some sort, clearly, because his whole face is grinning. So she slaps him again. And again. And again. This goes on for weeks till one day she finally gives in and agrees to meet him in private, after first issuing a disclaimer:Tumhare consistency ki vajai se mil rahe hain, pyaar mein nahin.
They meet and Zoya discovers that Kundan is a Hindu. Uh oh — she’s Muslim, this love can never be, sorry, bye. But Wait a minute, Kundan has a blade, guys. He slits his wrist, which jolts Zoya out of her indifference (!) and into crazy, young love.
Their relationship is short-lived, however, because her parents find out about all this blasphemy, and she’s packed off to Aligarh to complete her education.Not ideal for the new lovers, but never mind. Kundan love you long time, he'll wait it out.
Eight years later, after studying in Aligarh and then JNU in New Delhi, Zoya returns to Banaras to play holi. Sure, things have changed, even if seemingly only for her. The question is: have they changed for good? Does Kundan get the girl? Does this turn into a love story of epic proportions? Does he cut his wrists again? Do they play Holi again? There’s only one way to know for sure — reading the rest of this review.I’m kidding. You're going to have to set aside three hours of your own time to find out.
Stalkee gives in to her stalker. Crazy man in love slits his wrist and gets the girl’s attention. It gives potential harassers and bleeding lovers across the country the wrong idea, of course. There’s a lot you won't agree with in Raanjhanaa. In fact, you'll be downright appalled at some of it, and as characters develop over the course of the film, you'll be switching sides like a road-crossing chicken on crack.
But you'll also be equally delighted by Dhanush’s performance, surprised that Sonam Kapoor may in fact be able to act, enjoy Swara Bhaskar’s performance as the jealous girl in love with Kundan, and grin widely when you recognise Naman Jain (from Zoya Akhtar’s Sheila ki Jawaani in Bombay Talkies), who plays Kundan as a child. Also of note is the music — AR Rahman is the man behind this film’s soundtrack — which is, for the most part, a seamless fit. And finally, hi, Abhay Deol. You make me want to sharpen my own blade.
The film is long, and every now and then you wish things would happen a little bit quicker, but it’s still not unbearably tedious. The drama gets a generous build up, and the film takes its time exploring its characters, which is a good thing. All in all, Raanjhanaa's worth a watch, but I personally enjoy the occasional dose of melodrama (both on and off screen). If you’re entirely averse to that sort of thing, you may want to give this one a miss. If not, prepare to forgive its little loopholes in logic and get lots of popcorn.

Monday, June 17, 2013

How CyanogenMod’s Founder is Giving Android Users their Privacy Back

New "Incognito Mode" enables more granular privacy settings than in stock Android.

What if you could privately use an application and manage its permissions to keep ill intending apps from accessing your data? That’s exactly what Steve Kondik at CyanogenMod—the aftermarket, community-based firmware for Android devices—hopes to bring to the operating system. It’s called Incognito Mode, and it’s designed to help keep your personal data under control.
Kondik, a lead developer with the 

CyanogenMod team, published a post  on his Google Plus profile last week about Incognito Mode. He offered more details on the feature:
I've added a per-application flag which is exposed via a simple API. This flag can be used by content providers to decide if they should return a full or limited dataset. In the implementation I'm working on, I am using the flag to provide these privacy features in the base system:
  • Return empty lists for contacts, calendar, browser history, and messages.
  • GPS will appear to always be disabled to the running application.
  • When an app is running incognito, a quick panel item is displayed in order to turn it off easily.
  • No fine-grained permissions controls as you saw in CM7. It's a single option available under application details.
The API provides a simple isIncognito() call which will tell you if incognito is enabled for the process (or the calling process). Third party applications can honor the feature using this API, or they can choose to display pictures of cats instead of running normally.
Every time you currently install a new application on Android, the operating system asks that you to review the permissions the app requests before it can install. This end-all, be-all approach to user data is certainly precarious because users can't deny individual permissions to pick and choose what an application has access to, even if they still want to use that app. Incognito Mode could potentially fix this conundrum, enabling users to restrict their data to certain applications.

“This would theoretically allow you to disallow the app from connecting to the Internet, accessing your contacts, using the GPS, etc.” Kondik told Ars in an e-mail. He goes on to write that the development of Incognito Mode is largely in response to malware-like features of some applications that have been gathering private data for data mining. “I had been thinking about how we can improve the privacy situation and put the power back in the hands of the user,” Kondik continued. “I proposed ‘Run in incognito mode’ on one of our internal development groups.
This app looks so harmless, but do you accept or deny?
Since not all applications are malicious, users will be able to enable Incognito Mode on a per-app basis. The option will be available within each application’s individual settings. The feature is applied by simply checking off the option in each app’s settings menu. It will hide all personal data, like contacts, call logs, and MMS, from any application that you might want to use but don't fully trust. If the app asks for your contacts, for instance, it will retrieve an empty list. If it asks for your location, the system will tell it that GPS is disabled.

Incognito Mode isn't an entirely new concept. An older version of CyanogenMod, CM7, originally contained a similar feature that allowed users to revoke permissions from any application. It was popular among users, but its initial implementation was plagued by a few issues. “If you just revoke a permission from an app, the Android system will just crash it when it tries to use a feature that requires that permission," Kondik wrote. "The solution to this was to create fake implementations of the features which are to be revoked. So if an app tried to query your contacts, it would get… something else.

The implementation in CM7 was also teetering along the line of anonymity as it interacted with other applications, with the code acting somewhat aggressively by returning junk data instead of an empty list for certain queries. It also hid device-specific data that broke some techniques that developers were utilizing to count the number of users using their application.

“Needless to say, we got a lot of pushback on this from app developers who considered it a ‘hostile’ environment to run their apps,” Kondik added. “Since CM is trying to be good citizen of the Android ecosystem, we shelved the feature for later releases.” The feature also required users to manually micro-manage the permissions that were granted to an app. "I'm of the opinion that anything that requires excessive configuration is almost always a bad user experience and is only going to be useful to the most technical of users."

On the topic of if it will ever be available in the Google Play Store as a standalone application for non-rooted Android users, Kondik wrote that’s not too likely. “The way that I've implemented the feature requires changes to the Android framework and the core content providers. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to do this as a standalone app.” He added that the CyanogenMod team must make changes to the code that is responsible for serving the data up to the applications. And this is difficult to do without modifying the base system.

There is some hope that Google might look to CyanogenMod as a model for future versions of its Android operating system. “When it's complete, I do plan to upload it to the Android Open Source Project to see if it gets any traction,” wrote Kondik. “I don't know if Google would be interested in picking a feature like this up, but I think that we've done it in a way which is generally useful.

Either way, the main goal of a service like Incognito Mode is to get privacy back into the hands of the users. “I think a lot of people have given up on their right to privacy for the sake of convenience, and too many companies are taking advantage of it,” Kondik concluded. “This feature is just a way to take some of that power back.

Incognito Mode is expected to be available via a nightly build of CyanogenMod 10.1 sometime this week. Kondik added that it won't be included in the stable release, which is currently in the release candidate phase.

Micromax A117 Canvas 4

Micromax A117 Canvas 4 is a new upcoming dual SIM Android smartphone from the house of Micromax in the Micromax Canvas series of smartphones. It is a GSM dual SIM Android smartphone which runs on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or Key Lime Pie OS. It is powered by powerful 1.7 GHz Quad-core processor for faster processing and multitasking operations. It consist of 5 inch IPS Super LCD 2 Capacitive Touchscreen with the resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. It comes with the 13 MP primary camera and 2 MP secondary camera for video calling facility.

Micromax A117 Canvas 4 smartphone consist of 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB internal memory which can be expandable up to 64 GB through microSD card. It comes with Audio player, Video player and FM Radio features for long lasting user entertainment. In terms of connectivity, it comes equipped with 2G, 3G, 4G, GPRS, EDGE, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC and micro USB Connectivity features. The smartphone consist of powerful 3000 mAh battery for long lasting battery backup facility in terms of Talk time and Standby time of the user.

Specifications of Micromax A117 Canvas 4  :

  • Dual SIM (GSM+GSM) with dual standby
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or Key Lime Pie OS
  • 1.7 GHz Quad-core Processor
  • 5 inch IPS Super LCD 2 Capacitive Touchscreen (480 x 854 pixels)
  • 13 MP Primary Camera
  • 2 MP Secondary Camera
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16 GB Internal Memory
  • 64 GB Expandable Memory through microSD card
  • Connectivity : 2G, 3G, 4G, GPRS, EDGE, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS, NFC, micro USB v3.0 Connectivity
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5 mm Jack
  • 3000 mAh Battery
Price : The Micromax A117 Canvas 4 smartphone price in India will be around Rs 20,000/- and the prebooking of the smartphone will be starts from 28 June, 2013.
Note : These are the expected specifications, please stay updated for the official specifications.

Sony reportedly readies first phablet

The 6.4-inch honker, expected to be announced July 4th, could house a powerful quad-core processor and 1080p HD screen.
Is Sony jumping on the phablet bandwagon?

A French press invite from Sony Mobile touts a "big surprise" at an upcoming July 4 event in Paris, but a slew of leaked images and specs may have spoiled the secret of Sony's first phablet before its big reveal.

The invitation features a mysterious image of a tall and slim device with a profile that resembles the Xperia Z smartphone and tablet . The new device -- expected to be named the Xperia Z Ultra -- is rumored to have a 6.4-inch screen and a 1080p HD resolution (That's a pixel density of 342 ppi for you pixel hounds).

What's really exciting about this tablet -smartphone hybrid is the massive 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor rumored to be under the hood. The CPU, which would be acceptable on a tablet, is a big deal on a phone.

The high-end Snapdragon 800 -- faster than the Snapdragon 600 that the zippy Samsung Galaxy S4 houses -- would make the Xperia Z Ultra a promising, stylish device with fast gaming graphics and performance.

Rounding out the leaked feature set is 16GB of internal storage, NFC, and an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

The phablet is expected to be compatible with a stylus as well as stylus-esque objects, like pencils. It is also anticipated to be dust and water resistant with the ability to take a dunking up to one meter for 30 minutes, which is the industry standard.
Nothing is official beyond the July 4 event date

HANA puts SAP at Risk of Being A Modern Tech Vendor with Aging Business Apps

SAP's in-memory platform HANA puts the software giant at risk of becoming a modern technology vendor with aging business applications, where it needs to 'create a vision' of how a 21st century enterprise will operate, aided by in-memory technology.
This is the view of Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, who has released a report called 'Behind the ROI of Deploying SAP HANA' .

SAP released HANA over two years ago as an in-memory database, but has since incorporated analytic and transactions into the platform, enabling businesses to achieve near real-time results. SAP is pinning much of its future success on HANA, as it has outlined plans to move almost all of its offerings, including its software-as-a-service products, onto the in-memory platform.

However, despite having a lead on other vendors in the in-memory market, Constellation Research's Mueller warns that SAP shouldn't be too arrogant about dominating the space in the future.

"SAP has done a good job describing HANA from a technical point of view but still lacks concrete business value propositions. In fact, some complex concepts could benefit from some more thought cycles," reads the report.

"But what will make HANA a success? SAP must show how the return on investment (ROI) of this new technology will transform business."

Mueller's report identifies that when HANA was released, new hardware was considered to be the main cost as it requires the best kit running on an Intel platform, including the best processors, fastest components and highest power usage efficiency (PUE) devices.

However, through a non-disclosure agreement with SAP, Constellation Research has determined that the cost of the new hardware is significantly lower than the expense of hardware that is required to support the same footprint on a conventional SAP hardware landscape.

Mueller writes: "The cost savings is quite significant and a pleasant surprise. In fact, the move from a hardware perspective is a no brainier." Although this all depends on what stage of write-down the hardware is in.

Also, the report indicates that from a total cost of ownership perspective, moving an SAP system to HANA is not a new implementation, but more of an optimization exercise. Though an organization may need to migrate the data, once this is complete, the SAP systems will just run.

However, Mueller notes that SAP is "masking the complexity" of a HANA implementation, as up until this point it seems that all live customers have worked very, very closely with SAP on the projects. He writes: "This is an area that SAP must address in terms of training, documentation and a more stable product that can be successfully implemented without hand-holding by development."

SAP's biggest challenge, according to Constellation Research, is describing HANA's business value. The report states: "Despite the anticipated lower costs on the hardware, implementation and maintenance sides, customers will want to see the tangible, quantifiable business benefits in the overall ROI picture of HANA.

"Faster running reports will not be enough to justify the migration to HANA. A few business functions running faster will still be a stretch and only justify the investment under favorable circumstances.

"SAP needs to create new applications, re-think how a 21st century enterprise operates on in-memory technology, make the associated business benefits tangible and evangelize those benefits among the market leaders and fast followers."

Mueller claims that SAP needs to be careful not to declare victory too early in the war of 
database adoption for SAP products and that the risk for the software company is significant if it doesn't fill this 'HANA vision' void.

However, Constellation Research believes that this lack of vision creates an opportunity for partners to create clever applications for HANA.

"The good news - the lack of thought leadership on SAP's behalf on the next generation application side - drives opportunities for partners to create higher business opportunities with applications on top of HANA," says Mueller.

"Partners seeing a future in the SAP ecosystem should not miss the opportunity to create a bigger piece of revenue (and different piece) than the traditional services revenue."

Friday, June 14, 2013

PlayJam's GameStick micro Android game console gets set to take on Ouya

 PlayJam's GameStick micro Android game console
The $79 GameStick, which comes bundled with a controller, plugs into the HDMI port of your TV.

As Microsoft and Sony gear up to release powerful next-gen gaming consoles that cost $500 and $400 respectively, a handful of companies are diving into the sub-$100 gaming space with Android-based "micro" game consoles.
Ouya and its hypersuccessful Kickstarter campaign, which raised $8.5 million, have gotten the most attention. But U.K.-based casual-gaming company PlayJam is getting set to ship its tiny, plug-and-play GameStick this July for $20 less than the $99 Ouya, which has been trickling out to customers who preordered it, but is still a little rough around the edges, particularly in terms of its interface. I recently got some hands-on time with the GameStick and wanted to pass on some first impressions.

Design and features
The package will include a game controller and an AC adapter to power the GameStick, which runs on an Amlogic 8726-MX processor (it's a dual-core, 1.5GHz Cortex A9 chip combined with a dual-core, 400MHz Mali 400 GPU). Other specs include 1GB of memory, Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n for connectivity, 8GB of onboard flash storage, and a microSD expansion slot that accepts cards of up to 32GB. It runs Android Jelly Bean.

The controller has a flat rectangular design and the final version will have a slot for storing the GameStick.
The GameStick looks like an enlarged thumbdrive and plugs directly into an open HDMI slot on your TV. If your TV supports MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link), then the GameStick will detect that automatically and draw power from the TV. If it doesn't, then you plug the power adapter into the Micro-USB port on the stick. Alternatively, if your TV has a USB port (and it's powered), you run the included cable to the Micro-USB port on the stick and power the unit that way.

The controller has a unique look and is flatter and more rectangular than most. 
It connects to the GameStick via Bluetooth. PlayJam Chief Marketing Officer Anthony Johnson says that any Bluetooth game controller should work with the system, so if you have an extra PS3 controller lying around, you can use it as a second controller, but I haven't tested that yet. PlayJam will also sell a controller as a separate accessory and the system currently supports four controllers connected at the same time.

The controller I used wasn't a final product and Johnson noted that the shipping controller would have a slot for storing the GameStick for transport. Ergonomically, the controller felt pretty good in hand and fairly solid, not cheap. It's not quite as good as a PS3 or Xbox 360 controller, but I'll reserve judgment until I get the final product.
The micro console has 8GB of flash storage and a microSD expansion slot that accepts cards up to 32GB.

I mainly looked at the gaming end of things, but Johnson said the GameStick would also have additional features, such as video playback through the XBMC media center (you could store files on a memory card), as well as a Netflix client, though it probably won't be available at launch. The company is open to having developers and hackers come up with custom software for the unit, and Johnson expects to see plenty of modded GameSticks in the future.

As far as the store goes, it's PlayJam's, not Google's, and will be populated with around 100 titles at launch, all of which offer game controller support (that seems obvious but just thought I'd make it clear). PlayJam is tiny compared with Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft, but it has built a large global platform for casual and social games for smart TVs, so it has the experience to build a well-designed store. The interface I saw looked pretty slick and inviting and PlayJam was still in the process of improving it. The question, of course, is whether the company can convince big game developers to tweak their Android games to support game controllers and make them part of the GameStick games roster.
The heat venting on the GameStick.

I only played a few games -- Riptide, the FPS Shadowgun , and Expendable Rearmed, a 2D arcade shooter -- and all ran smoothly on a 1080p Panasonic TV. The water effects in Riptide looked as impressive as they do on a high-resolution tablet display. Johnson said the GameStick would ship with the aforementioned dual-core processor but PlayJam's engineers were looking at quad-core processors down the road. The larger Ouya uses a more powerful quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, but Johnson says the processor in the GameStick is capable of running all current Android games.

I had some fantasies about playing FIFA's soccer franchise using the GameStick controller (alas, FIFA is only available as FIFA 12 on Android), but as of now, the GameStick lineup doesn't seem incredibly exciting, though Johnson said that once the system is launched the company will be adding new games quickly. Also, two games are included for free with the system.
A few of the 100 or so launch titles that will be available for GameStick.

A world of potential
From the 30 minutes or so I spent with the GameStick, it appears to have a lot of potential. It's obviously very portable. And at $79, it's quite affordable. Just as importantly, games for it will be cheap, with prices mirroring those of Android smartphone and tablet games. Some of its success will hinge on whether the platform can avoid any glitches out of the gate and how fast it can add more premium games. It also doesn't hurt that GameStop is an investor, so it's got some retail presence here in the U.S.

Riptide ran smoothly.
That said, Ouya will soon become more widely available and other companies, such as Mad Catz, are entering the market with their own Android micro consoles (Mad Catz's system is called M.O.J.O.). Gamepop is taking preorders for its subscription-based Android mini gaming system and let's not forget the portable Android game consoles with built-in displays -- Wikipad and Nvidia's Shield .

All these upstarts talk a good game about making "open" platforms and wanting to appeal to indie developers. But what remains to be determined is which platform -- or platforms -- will break out and achieve critical mass. There's probably only room for a couple, though PlayJam's Johnson says the company would be perfectly happy to license its GameStick Gaming Network to any hardware manufacturer who wants it.

We'll have a full review of the GameStick once we receive the final product later this summer.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Intel unveils 4th generation Haswell microprocessors

Haswell is here. Intel has unveiled the chips based on its latest fourth generation core microarchitecture, code-named Haswell. The first batch Intel unveiled also includes quad-core processors for laptops and desktops named Z87 and Q87, respectively. Intel claims that the new chips feature 50 percent better active battery life and 20 times better idle battery life. The company has also said that graphics for the Haswell-based chips will be twice as good as the graphics for last year’s Ivy Bridge chips. Intel is continuing with the same three tiered naming and branding as before and is branding Haswell processors using the Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 naming conventions.  
While Intel has taken the wraps off  five Core i7 laptop processors and 12 quad-core Core i7 and Core i5 desktop chips today, further details will be divulged in Intel’s keynote at Computex on Tuesday. Of the processors unveiled on Saturday, the Core i7-4770K heads the desktop line and the Core i7-4930MX tops off the laptop range.
Haswell microarchitecture
Haswell microarchitecture
In contrast to the buzz regarding the launch, Intel has made relatively modest microarchitecture improvements with Haswell, especially when compared to Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge release, which is the name given to 22nm shrunk die of the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture based on 3D transistors. The release is in line with Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ product development and release strategy adopted since 2007. Every 'tick' is a shrinking of process technology of the previous microarchitecture and every 'tock' is a new microarchitecture. Intel’s Sandy Bridge microarchitecture, introduced in early 2011, was a ‘tock’ built using a 32nm manufacturing process, the Haswell release too is a ‘tock’ and it uses the 22nm manufacturing process as Ivy Bridge.
PC makers would be hoping that the latest launch will boost the PC market, which according to the latest IDC analysis will decline by 7.8 percent in 2013.Intel has said that the fourth generation mobile and desktop processors will be energy efficient, allowing computer makers to expand and refine designs for new product categories like portable All-in-One desktops and hybrid ultrabooks where the screen can be detached from the keyboard and work like a tablet. The company also said that the energy-efficient Haswell processors will allow for thinner, lighter laptops without the performance hit associated with moving to a lower-powered Atom platform.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside Just Declared War On The Mobile Industry

While on stage at D11 during his interview with Walt Mossberg, Motorola (now owned by Google ) CEO, Dennis Woodside went on the offensive about the prices of smartphones.  Woodside stated, “Every product in technology…the price has gone [down] because component costs have fallen.  Those companies [smartphone makers] can earn 50 percent margin on those products, we don’t necessarily have the same constraints.” [emphasis added]
He went on to say, ”One of the areas that we think is really open for Motorola is building high-quality, low-cost devices.  The price of a feature phone right now is about $30 on a global basis, the [wholesale] price of a smartphone is $650?That’s not gonna persist.
At face value, it may not seem like much of a statement, if anything it may be an obvious one — as technology becomes cheaper so do the products.  However, the part I emphasized, where he says “we don’t necessarily have the same constraints,” is not what I would like to hear if I were Samsung, HTC, or any Android smartphone manufacturer.
While Motorola is supposedly operated as a separate entity from Google, it seems [based on that statement] like Google is more than happy to allow Motorola sell devices at cost if it means that Android eats up even more marketshare.  While Google doesn’t make any money directly from Android itself, it does make money from people relying on its services such as search, Google Drive, Google Play, etc.  And obviously, the more people who are using Google services, the better.  This strategy isn’t unheard of, in fact, it’s the same strategy used by Amazon with its Kindle and Kindle Fire line of products — get people on your hardware, and into your ecosystem, so they have to rely on your services.
If Motorola offers a high quality smartphone, with top of the line (or close to) specifications running the latest version of Android, at a price that cannot be matched by Samsung or HTC, people will likely choose the Motorola smartphone over the others.  I mean why pay more for essentially the same thing?
Right now, the Samsung Galaxy line of products is by far the most popular Android product out there, which also means if Samsung does well, so does Google.  The relationship between the two companies was even described as “symbiotic” by Android and Chrome OS chief, Sundar Pichai.  So it will be really interesting to see how that relationship evolves if Motorola starts to cut into Samsung’s profit margins.
We already know there are other mobile operating systems being developed – Ubuntu Phone OS Firefox OS , and Tizen (backed by Samsung, Intel, and others) are just a few of the newcomers on their way to market, and with the number of choices increasing for smartphone manufacturers one wrong move by Google could pose some problems for the continued expansion of Android.
Mobile is really starting to heat up.

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