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Industry & Technology

Early Snapdragon 835 benchmarks show mixed results from semi-custom design

Ars Technica - 1 hour 24 min ago

(credit: Qualcomm)

When it announced the Snapdragon 835, Qualcomm promised that the latest in its family of ARM systems-on-chips would boost performance by 27 percent with a 40 percent reduction in power consumption. The first early benchmarks of the processor that Qualcomm doesn't want us to call a processor have been run and the results are... well, they're a little uneven.

Anandtech went to Qualcomm's San Diego headquarters and was shown the 835 running in a hardware platform reference—a basic smartphone built around the chip that serves as a platform for hardware testing and software development. During this visit, they were able to run a handful of basic benchmarks to gauge the performance of the new chip.

Naively, one would assume that Snapdragon 835 would be faster than the 820/821 that went before it. 835 is, after all, a higher number than 820, and higher numbers usually mean better when it comes to processors. But the situation with the 835 is more complicated than that. In the early days of the modern smartphone era, Qualcomm's 32-bit ARM Snapdragon chips were generally best-in-class. While many ARM chips use core designs that are developed by ARM itself in the UK, Qualcomm did something different; it had a pair of custom designs, Scorpion in 2008 and Krait in 2012, developed in house. These designs were broadly superior to ARM's Cortex-A8, A9, and A15 designs that other companies were using.

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The oldest Vespa in existence is up for auction - Roadshow - News - March 22, 2017 - 11:37pm
It's No. 3 of the 60 prototypes.

Here are the 9 best features in Android O - CNET - News - March 22, 2017 - 11:37pm
Google released a developer version of Android O, and here are some of our favorite features and why you should actually care.

Don’t Buy the Latest Trump Surveillance Hype

Wired - March 22, 2017 - 11:18pm
Rep. Devin Nunes made some unprecedented statements today. But even if they're true, they don't prove what the White House wishes they did. The post Don't Buy the Latest Trump Surveillance Hype appeared first on WIRED.

Stupid, dangerous and viral: Saying '108' to Siri - CNET - News - March 22, 2017 - 11:07pm
Law enforcement agencies around the world are asking people to stop giving Apple's digital assistant the three-digit code for emergency services in India.

With racy sperm pics on a smartphone, men can easily test fertility

Ars Technica - March 22, 2017 - 11:04pm

Enlarge / The smartphone-based semen analyzer tests for male infertility in seconds from the privacy of home with a 3D-printed setup costing less than $5, which can analyze most semen samples in less than 5 seconds. (credit: Vignesh Natarajan)

The male equivalent of the at-home pregnancy test may have just landed.

With a simple smartphone device and a chip that slurps up sperm, men can easily and cheaply measure the count and motility of their swimmers. The test is about 98 percent accurate, takes less than five seconds, and requires no training to run, Harvard researchers report Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine. It’s also cheap—the device and the microfluidic chip cost just $4.45 total to manufacture.

Researchers are hopeful that the invention will help couples trying to have children—as well as those trying not to. Worldwide, it's estimated that more than 30 million men face fertility issues at some point. And couples in developing countries or remote areas may not have easy access to fertility clinics. On the flip side, those who undergo vasectomies are encouraged to monitor their sperm counts afterward to make sure the procedure worked. A simple, mobile phone-based test could help both groups.

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This designer Samsung TV looks like a painting - CNET - News - March 22, 2017 - 10:51pm
Most TVs look like big, black rectangles that clash with your otherwise tasteful decor. This chic Samsung is wall art. Bonus: A TV that looks like sculpture.

The Senate Prepares to Send Internet Privacy Down a Black Hole

Wired - March 22, 2017 - 10:32pm
Senators could vote as early as today to not only reverse the Obama-era FCC's action but block the agency from passing similar rules in the future. The post The Senate Prepares to Send Internet Privacy Down a Black Hole appeared first on WIRED.

Amazon's next big market: Dubai? - CNET - News - March 22, 2017 - 10:19pm
The Seattle online retailer reportedly agrees to buy leading Arab world e-commerce player

The arcade world’s first Easter egg discovered after fraught journey

Ars Technica - March 22, 2017 - 10:15pm

(credit: Arcade Flyer Archive)

The historical record of video games received a strange shake-up on Wednesday from Ed Fries, the ex-Microsoft executive who had a huge part in the creation of the original Xbox. Fries took to his personal blog, which typically covers the world of retro gaming, to announce a zany discovery: he had found the world's earliest known arcade game Easter egg.

His hunt began with a tip from Atari game programmer Ron Milner about the 1977 game Starship 1. This tip seemingly came out of nowhere, as the duo were talking about an entirely different '70s arcade game, Gran Trak 10, which Fries was researching separately. Starship, Milner said, had a few special twists that didn't all make it to market, but one did: a secret message to players. The game would display "Hi Ron!" if players put in the right combination of button commands. This type of thing is better known to gaming fans as an Easter egg, and more than a few Atari games had them as a way to include the developer's name (which Atari never put in games or on cabinets).

Milner didn't tell anyone at Atari about the secret message for 30 years, he told Fries, and one reason is because he'd forgotten how to trigger it.

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Grab 'em by the pussy! Trump's lawyers 'send cease-and-desist letters' to a KITTEN website

The Register - March 22, 2017 - 10:01pm

Lawyers for US President Donald Trump have sent not one, but two cease-and-desist letters to a website featuring his face being pawed by kittens, it is claimed.…

17,000 AT&T technicians and call center workers go on strike

Ars Technica - March 22, 2017 - 10:00pm

Enlarge (credit: Mike Mozart)

About 17,000 AT&T wireline technicians and call center employees went on strike in California and Nevada today while filing an unfair labor charge to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that AT&T violated federal law.

"The company has shown disrespect to the bargaining process by changing the work assignments of workers without bargaining as required by federal law," the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union said in its strike announcement. "Further, AT&T reneged on an agreement to resolve the dispute without any explanation."

The CWA said that AT&T "is asking its workers to do more for less—keeping them from their families with unpredictable overtime, undercutting pay and advancement, offshoring good jobs, and pushing more health care costs onto employees."

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Putting light in a spin generates a ring of fire on gold film

Ars Technica - March 22, 2017 - 9:50pm

Enlarge / The evolution of the vortex over femtoseconds. (credit: Spektor et. al.)

The late 20th and early 21st century have seen a revolution in the study of light. Far from the old days of seeing things dimly through microscopes, we are now in the position to freeze light, use it to make materials transparent, and watch it spiral around on a gold surface.

Watching light do its thing is very difficult. This sounds a bit silly, as we observe the world through the effects of light. But what we actually see is an average effect. Light, shade, colors, and texture all come to us via the intensity of light, provided by lots of individual photons. We are in no position to see the femtosecond flickering of the field that averages to our spectacular view of the world.

All the interesting stuff we see is related to the amplitude and phase of the light field, though. And the amplitude of a light wave changes very fast, going through a complete cycle in two to three femtoseconds. The wavefront (phase) also travels very fast, moving around 300 nanometers every femtosecond. Tracking this sort of motion is tricky, but it reveals all sorts of intriguing stuff.

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AT&T pulls ads from YouTube, other Google sites - CNET - News - March 22, 2017 - 9:48pm
The US carrier joins British retailers after ads appear next to extremist videos on YouTube.

Bonavita 8-Cup Connoisseur Brewer Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - March 22, 2017 - 9:47pm
Bonavita's new Connoisseur coffee maker sports an improved design to create even better pots of drip.

LinkedIn add news curation with ‘trending storylines’ - IT industry - March 22, 2017 - 9:42pm

LinkedIn is taking a more forceful approach to news curation. The company today is releasing a “trending storylines” feed that lives alongside your personally curated feeds to showcase news articles and related posts personalized based on your interests and profession.

The experience is like the trending topics Facebook surfaces for its users. The trending storylines are determined by a mix of algorithms and human curation from LinkedIn’s editorial team. When you are in the trending storylines tab, you can also follow new people and topics to improve your primary feed.


LinkedIn's new trending storylines feed is personalized by algorithms as well as editorial curation. (Click for larger image.)

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It's happening! It's happening! W3C erects DRM as web standard

The Register - March 22, 2017 - 9:39pm
World has until April 19 to make its views known on latest draft

The World Wide Web Consortium has formally put forward highly controversial digital rights management as a new web standard.…

Facebook Live victim 'afraid to go home'

BBC Technology News - March 22, 2017 - 9:26pm
Police say the 15-year-old girl was assaulted in a Facebook live video viewed by at least 40 people.

Russian mastermind of $500m bank-raiding Citadel coughs to crimes

The Register - March 22, 2017 - 9:23pm
Chap's code infected 11m PCs, helped crooks make off with half a billion bucks, say Feds

The Russian programmer who built the bank-acount-raiding Citadel Trojan has admitted his crimes.…

The world’s first official gaming-company newsletter, now preserved online

Ars Technica - March 22, 2017 - 9:20pm

Consider this your regularly scheduled reminder that the Internet Archive continues to host some of the coolest relics of nerd history. Now, the scan-and-upload team led by Jason Scott delivers quite the piece of video game nostalgia: the Atari Coin Connection.

Long before consumer magazines and fan newsletters ruled the industry, Atari's first publication launched in 1976 to an audience of businesses and arcade operators. The publication existed to simultaneously promote new arcade games and offer operator advice for existing machines, and full archives of the mostly black-and-white newsletter can now be accessed in the form of pristine scans. Scott confirmed to Ars that these scans have been sitting on other sites for roughly eight years. "I have been handed a pile of manuals, newsletters, and magazines today—about 20 gig—and while a lot were already on the Archive, a bunch weren't, so I'm reconciling that," Scott said to Ars via e-mail. As a result, they're bound to receive much more attention and love.

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