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Intel to Split Manufacturing Branch Into Three Divisions

The Oregonian says that Intel will split its manufacturing and technology group into three different segments. Mike Mayberry, head of Intel labs, will lead the technology division. Ann Kelleher will lead manufacturing and operations, while Randhir Thakur will run the supply chain branch. Sohail Ahmed, who led the manufacturing division since 2016, will retire, and former Qualcomm executive Venkata "Murthy" Renduchintala will supervise all three divisions. This shakeup comes after long delays of the deployment of Intel's 10nm process, which was supposed to be ready in the second half of 2016.

"Thanks to the efforts of Sohail and the entire Intel team, we are making good progress on 10nm," Renduchintala wrote to employees Monday. "Yields are improving consistent with the timeline that we shared in April, and we continue to expect systems on shelves for the 2019 holiday season." Intel has been without a chief executive since June, when Brian Krzanich abruptly resigned after the company uncovered "a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee" in violation of corporate policy. Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan is serving as interim CEO.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 18, 2018 7:52 AM (CDT)

A Nude Mod for Shadow of the Tomb Raider Has Been Released

A nude mod for Shadow of the Tomb Raider has been released. Modder Fonglee of the Untertow Club has graced us with his vision of what Lara looks like in the buff. Needless to say the art contained in the link is NSFW.

The mods span a smorgasbord of options, this includes the complete nude mod version of Lara Croft from Angel of Darkness, a sheer version of the Angel of Darkness Lara, a desert tank top version wearing a sheer shirt, a sheer version of Lara from Tomb Raider II, a green-eyed version of Lara, a Lara wearing tactical shorts, and a variety of sheer dresses, shirts, and ripped pants based on the outfits from Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 17, 2018 2:12 PM (CDT)

Atomic Heart Artistic Trailer

Mundfish has released its latest trailer for the game Atomic Heart. The trailer emphasizes the art style of the game where good can quickly turn to evil in a blink of the eye.

Atomic Heart is an adventure first-person shooter, events of which unfold in an alternative universe, during the high noon of the Soviet Union. The main character of the game is a special agent, who was sent to a highly secret object by the Soviet government after it went radio silent. Soviet setting with a pitch of insanity, action-packed gameplay and a thrilling story will keep you entertained for the whole duration of your journey into the world of Atomic Heart. Unfold the secrets, restore peace and order, and show the Motherland what you got!

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 17, 2018 1:22 PM (CDT)

Tesla Secures Land for $2 Billion China Gigafactory

Electric car manufacturer Tesla has successfully purchased the land for its Shanghai Gigafactory. The 860,000 square meter plot in China cost the company $140.51 million and will be home to a $2 billion factory. The annual output of the factory is estimated at 500,000 electric cars. China has an insatiable desire for new-electric vehicles.

Tesla signed a long-anticipated deal with Shanghai authorities in July to build its first factory outside the United States, which would double the size of its global manufacturing and help lower the pricetag of Tesla cars sold in the world's largest auto market. "Securing this site in Shanghai, Tesla's first Gigafactory outside of the United States, is an important milestone for what will be our next advanced, sustainably developed manufacturing site," Robin Ren, Tesla's vice president of worldwide sales, said in a statement.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 17, 2018 1:00 PM (CDT)

The Discord Store is Open

Discord launched a beta version of a gaming storefront back in August, but it was limited to 50,000 people in Canada. Now, the Discord Store Beta is open to everyone. While they don't mention competitors by name, Discord seems to be pitching a more organized approach to shopping than Steam, offering a " curated selection, editorialized content, and surfacing of social information" as opposed to browsing "endless lists of anime titles." And, in addition to their store exclusives, Discord is adding a selection of free games for Nitro subscribers.

Discord Nitro now includes a growing library of critically acclaimed games that we think you and your friends should play. Subscribing to Nitro now costs $9.99 a month. As of today, there's over 60 curated games for you to download and play at a total value of over $1000. We are going to add games at a regular cadence to keep the Nitro library fresh and growing. Games may sometimes leave the Nitro selection (due to our contracts with the developers/publishers expiring without renewal). With our cloud saves, your save data will remain even if games rotate out of our library. We also want an option for those looking to support us but don't want games. Enter, Nitro Classic. At $4.99/mo, get access to a slew of chat perks like animated avatars, ability to choose your tag (the #0000 next to your username), higher quality screen share, custom emoji anywhere, animated emoji, larger file upload limit (50mb from 8mb), and a badge to show how long you've been supporting us.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 17, 2018 9:50 AM (CDT)

Otoy Uses Gamer GPU Cloud to Render Content

VentureBeat reports that Otoy is using a gamer GPU "cloud" to collaboratively render graphics on the cheap. RNDR is an advancement of established cloud-based rendering company OTOY, which leverages blockchain technology and a distributed network of idle GPUs to render graphics more quickly and efficiently. The company claims the whole system obtained a combined OctaneBench score of 1.5 million, compared to a score of 37 for a single Amazon EC2 instance with Nvidia Tesla GPUs. The project has already received support from JJ Abrams and Ari Emanuel. Interestingly, Otoy announced a "fusion cloud" rendering project with AMD back in 2009, and this appears to be the fruit of those efforts.

In an email, Urbach said, "In one week, we have amassed more GPU rendering power, from small individual users on the RNDR network, than we have ever been able to offer in the five years since we launched Otoy's public cloud services. This indicates that our network will only continue to grow and expand, especially once we allow larger mining facilities onto the network, and also offer MESA/MPAA certification guidelines for studio work. The cost and scale of GPU rendering and compute has been turned on its head through the RNDR platform, just 10 years after I first made the case for this with the CEO of AMD on stage at CES 2009. Through RNDR, we now have the capacity to process jobs for holographic rendering (100 times the compute of VR or film rendering) for games and volumetric media (such as for our partnership with Facebook 360)."

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 17, 2018 8:45 AM (CDT)

Google Responds to Antitrust Charges

Back in July, the European Commission slapped Google with a $5 billion dollar fine for forcing Android handsets makers to include Chrome if they want access to the Play Store. The commission also accused Google of suppressing AOSP and paying large manufacturers to push Google search. The European regulators promised to hit Google with even more fines if they don't comply. In a blog post, Google finally announced plans to meet the demands.

First, we're updating the compatibility agreements with mobile device makers that set out how Android is used to develop smartphones and tablets. Going forward, Android partners wishing to distribute Google apps may also build non-compatible, or forked, smartphones and tablets for the European Economic Area (EEA). Second, device manufacturers will be able to license the Google mobile application suite separately from the Google Search App or the Chrome browser. Since the pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome together with our other apps helped us fund the development and free distribution of Android, we will introduce a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the EEA. Android will remain free and open source. Third, we will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome. We'll also offer new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome. As before, competing apps may be pre-installed alongside ours.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 17, 2018 8:01 AM (CDT)

Here Is an Early Build of the "Beyond the Baltic Sea" DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2

The developers of Euro Truck Simulator 2 have decided to release some footage of their upcoming map expansion called Beyond the Baltic Sea. The DLC will feature locations within Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, and parts of Russia. It is expected to launch on the Steam Store later this year.

A few glimpses from driving through Saint Petersburg in Euro Truck Simulator 2's upcoming DLC Beyond the Baltic Sea.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 3:01 PM (CDT)

Google Pixel USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter Performance Review

Most everyone misses the headphone jack on modern phones. Companies such as Google and Apple have replaced them with USB-C dongles with a DAC+amp built into them. Audio Science Review performed testing on 3 flavors of adapters to find out just how well designed are these USB-C to 3.5mm adapters. For comparison, read the glowing review of the ESS quad DACs ES9218P with integrated headphone amplifier found in the LG G7 ThinQ Smartphone.

I did some brief testing of the dongles using my Sennheiser HD-650 headphone. Here, I was surprised that the original Pixel V1 had decent amount of bass with clear response and loud enough for enjoyment. In sharp contrast, the other two dongles would not even reach my normal listening level. Yes, you can hear the music but this is no way to treat the HD-650. This whole business of removing the headphone jack is anti-consumer. No phone is thinner than the 3.5 mm jack allows. I don't like the idea of a dongle as it can get lost, get damaged, etc. If you are going to get one for your Pixel phone (or whatever else it may work with), then my strongest suggestion is to buy the original version before the stock runs out on them. It has far more power, and better performance. The other two dongles, the Google Pixel 2 and Venture/Veclan are what we name "phoned in design." You call a shop in China and ask them to produce a checklist item with no attempt to set quality and performance standard. What you get produces sound but it is a very poor attempt at engineering.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 1:09 PM (CDT)

Medtronic Disables Pacemaker Software Updates Over Security Concerns

Following an independent investigation by security experts, and an FDA review, Medtronic disabled software updates for the Medtronic CareLink and CareLink Encore Programmer models 2090 and 29901, which are used in pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization devices, and insertable cardiac monitors. The vulnerability would theoretically allow an attacker to update a medical device with non-Medtronic code, which is obviously a serious concern in a pacemaker. Fortunately, the company claims it hasn't received any reports of attacks or compromised patients. Users will have to manually update their medical devices via USB, and the company claims that its working on getting the online update system back up and running.

The FDA has reviewed information about potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities associated with the internet connection of Medtronic's programmers, and has confirmed that these vulnerabilities could allow an unauthorized user (that is,someone other than the patient's physician) to change the programmer's functionality or the implanted device during the device implantation procedure or during follow-up visits. Specifically, this cybersecurity vulnerability is associated with using an internet connection to update software between the CareLink and CareLink Encore programmers and the SDN. Software updates normally include new software for the programmer's functionality as well as updates to implanted device firmware. Although the programmer uses a virtual private network (VPN) to establish an internet connection with the Medtronic SDN, the vulnerability identified with this connection is that the programmers do not verify that they are still connected to the VPN prior to downloading updates. To address this cybersecurity vulnerability and improve patient safety, on October 5, 2018, the FDA approved Medtronic's update to the Medtronic network that will intentionally block the currently existing programmer from accessing the Medtronic SDN.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 16, 2018 12:12 PM (CDT)

Sony Wants to Use Blockchain for DRM

Sony is officially jumping on the blockchain bandwagon. The company announced that it intends to integrate blockchain technology into their current DRM scheme for "electronic textbooks and other educational content, music, films, VR content, and e-books" and possibly more. We've noted that blockchain doesn't necessarily work with every problem, and the effective's of Sony's new DRM remains to be seen.

Today, advances in technologies for digital content creation allow anyone to broadcast and share content, but the rights management of that content is still carried out conventionally by industry organizations or the creators themselves, necessitating a more efficient way of managing and demonstrating ownership of copyright-related information for written works. This newly-developed system is specialized for managing rights-related information of written works, with features for demonstrating the date and time that electronic data was created, leveraging the properties of blockchains to record verifiable information in a difficult to falsify way, and identifying previously recorded works, allowing participants to share and verify when a piece of electronic data was created and by whom. In addition to the creation of electronic data, booting up this system will automatically verify the rights generation of a piece of written works, which has conventionally proven difficult. Furthermore, the system lends itself to the rights management of various types of digital content including electronic textbooks and other educational content, music, films, VR content, and e-books. As such, Sony is contemplating possible uses in a wide range of fields.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 16, 2018 11:44 AM (CDT)

Eta Compute Brings AI to Tiny Computers Near You

Don't have enough AI in your IoT devices yet? Eta Compute has you covered. At ARM con, the California-based startup demonstrated low power processors that can train their own neural networks, which they call "One of the holy grails of machine learning." In typical low power devices, neural networks are trained on powerful external hardware, like high power GPUs in datacenters. At best, the smart device runs the inference algorithm itself, although many services do that in a datacenter too. But Eta Compute managed to squeeze a chip that can train neural networks into a 50-500 microwatt power envelope. Like Brainchip, the device uses a spiking neural network architecture. Production is expected to begin in early 2019.

The TENSAI chip consists primarily of an Arm M3 core and an NXP CoolFlux digital signal processor core. The DSP has two arrays dedicated to doing deep learning's main computation-multiply and accumulate. These cores are implemented in a manner that's called asynchronous, subthreshold technology. It allows them to operate at as low as 0.2 volts (compared with the 0.9 V most chips use), and with a clock period that can be scaled up or down to suit the computational need. The feat required a good deal of analog design work, even for the digital parts, says Washkewicz. "We spent a lot of engineering time on analog; it's a source of advantage."

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 16, 2018 9:44 AM (CDT)