Friday, November 6, 2015

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Intel CEO sells shares

Posted: 06 Nov 2015 12:19 AM PST

537272_537272Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has surprised the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street by flogging off a big chunk of his shares.

According to a SEC filing on Nov. 04. Krzanich sold 35,000 shares at an average price of $34 each. The total value of the transactions was $1.2 million.
In the last 30 days, Krzanich also sold 35,000 shares valued at $1.06 million.

This is major insider selling, especially from the CEO. These sales have lowered Krzanich's stake in Intel to 0.01% of the chip maker's total market capitalisation.

He is not the only Intel executive trying to shift a lot of shares. Renee James sold 3,602 shares at an average price of $34.76 on October 26 in a transaction worth $125,206. Gregory Pearson sold off $51,472 worth and Andy Bryant sold $772,968.

All this is surprising. Most analysts consider Intel worth holding onto. UBS analysts think the stock is worth buying. This is mostly because Chipzilla has been doing better than Wall Street expected. One has to wonder if the executives know something we don't.

GlobalFoundries fabbed AMD’s first 14nm sample – probably Zen

Posted: 06 Nov 2015 12:19 AM PST

Zen-DogGlobalFoundries has announced that it has successfully fabbed AMD's first 14nm sample and we think it is a Zen chip.

The fab has produced its first 14nm FinFET LPP sample for AMD. The announcement is somewhat vague as GloFlo has not really explained what it means by successful.

It could mean that AMD has received working samples back from the fab which do not catch fire and work. This does not mean that they have got yields up to economic viability yet. However the message appears to be that the pair are making progress on bringing up 14nm manufacturing at GlobalFoundries ahead of mass production in 2016.

The sample chips were fabbed on 14nm Low Power Plus (LPP), which is Samsung's and GlobalFoundries' second-generation 14nm FinFET design. It is a refined process designed to offer roughly 10 percent  better performance than earlier designs.

AMD has taped out several 14LPP designs for GlobalFondries and its future largely depends on Zen.  To be fair AMD is refusing to say what chip was successfully fabbed but given that it is GloFlo it is likely to be a CPU/APU and the time line suggests it is an early Zen chip.

GlobalFoundries' production plans call for their 14LPP process to enter the early ramp-up phase this quarter, with full-scale production starting in 2016. Similarly, in today's announcement AMD reiterated that they will be releasing products in 2016 based on GlobalFoundries' 14LPP process.

 

Cameron’s internet law has huge loopholes

Posted: 06 Nov 2015 12:18 AM PST

cameronThe Draft Investigatory Powers Bill presented by the UK Home Secretary Theresa May to parliament earlier this week has a loophole so wide you could park a 747 in it, sideways.

This is legislation that will force UK ISPs to keep an Internet Connection Record for a year and force Apple and Google to abandon consumer level encryption.

But the entire law fails to mention the one thing which makes the whole law pointless – Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

For a few pounds a year you can install some 'customer-friendly' VPN software which makes every transaction show up as encrypted traffic.  This makes them the tool of choice of any paedophile child sex ring and practically mandatory for terrorists.

It is surprising that May didn't think of these. Other control freak politicians like  Vladimir Putin are obsessed with them. So why didn't the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill mention them?

Under proposed changes to the law as described in the bill, no-one will be able to offer an encrypted service for which it cannot provide a key, as is the case with local encryption on iOS. It is possible that May believes her law can force foreign VPNs to hand over encryption keys in advance (in order not to be blacklisted by blighty-based ISPs.

It seems unlikely that it would happen, besides avoiding blacklists is easy – just ask anyone who uses Pirate Bay in the UK.

Intel releases new Quarks

Posted: 06 Nov 2015 12:17 AM PST

0379b23e9845c9c652488c13f7bb557fc62a3642Chipmaker Intel has released a new IoT Platform reference architecture with new hardware and software products.

The whole thing is part of its cunning plan to get its foot in the door of the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

The products include new Intel Quark processors for IoT, free operating systems with a cloud suite from Wind River and analytics capabilities which are the key to ruling all things – at least the Internet of Things.

The new Quark chips draws just 27 milliwatts, or thousandths of a watt. Intel also relaxed its preference for the underlying x86 chip design that it has used since the 1980s. The new Quark D1000 chip, the first of the three products to become available, evolved from that design but doesn’t qualify as an x86 chip.

Douglas Davis, an Intel senior vice president who heads its IoT group, said the chip can't run Windows or other software usually associated with x86 technology.

Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich said the company has made a series of investments related to the field, including funding startups that make drones, smartwatches and computerized eyewear.

One of the Quark chips announced by Intel this week includes built-in, pattern-matching circuitry to identify anomalies in information arriving from external sensors, the company said. The Quark chips also are designed to work in extremely high and low temperatures.

The Intel Quark microcontroller D1000 is available now, while the Intel Quark microcontroller D2000 will be available by the end of this year. The Intel Quark SE SoC for IoT will be available in the first half of 2016.

Smartphones save DRAM’s day

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 07:51 AM PST

Samsung DRAMPressure on the prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) will be limited because of demand for smartphones in the fourth quarter of this year.

That's according to Trendforce which warns, however, that this is a temporary situation.

Avril Wu, an executive analyst at Trendforce, said that better smartphone shipments will drive demand for mobile DRAM. That means the decline of its average sales price will be within five percent during the fourth quarter.

But Wu said that the new year will show quarterly price declines of between six to eight percent as demand falls and supply increases

The next generation of smartphones will use a type of mobile memory called LPDDR4 – and only Samsung is able to manufacture in bulk right now.

Other big manufacturers including SK Hynix and Micron will be up to speed by the end of next year.

3D printers can be toxic

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 07:16 AM PST

Zortrax Inventure 3D printerA report by scientists at the University of California, Riverside said parts produced by some commercial 3D printers are toxic.

The scientists tested two common types of 3D printers – ones that melt plastic to build parts and others that use light to turn liquids into solid parts.

The scientists said that parts from both types of printers were "measurably toxic to zebrafish embryos". Parts from liquid based printers were the most toxic.

William Grover, an assistant professor of bioengineering said: "These 3D printers like tiny factories in a box. We regulate factories. We would never bring one into our home. Yet we are starting to bring these 3D printers into our homes like they are toasters."

The value of 3D printers will be $16.2 billion by 2019 and prices of 3D printers are being to drop.

The dicovery of the toxicity was an accident because a student in Grover's laboratory is making tools for studying zebrafish embryos and she wanted to use a 3D printer. But she noticed that zebrafish embryos die after exposure.

Smartphone apps spy on you

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 07:00 AM PST

GoogleA report from scientists in the USA have concluded that using Android and iOS apps runs the risk of your data being shared with others.

Harvard, Carnegie-Mellon, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that 47 percent of 110 iOS apps they studied shared location data, while 73 percent of Android apps shared peoples' email addresses.

Android apps are more likely to share personal names and addresses than the IOS apps.

But rather worringly one Android health app, the researchers claimed, shared medical information with third parties.

One iOS app, Localscope, sent data to 17 third party domains while 93 percent of Android apps connected to a domain called safemovedm.com No one, perhaps except Google, knows why this happens or what's going on at safemovedm.com

Microsoft, Amazon to aid the tablet market

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 06:47 AM PST

Dell TabletEven though growth in the market fell during the third quarter, shipments rose by 6.8 percent from the second calendar quarter.

Taiwanese market research company Trendforce said the drop in demand is because the market is saturated.

Total shipments of tablets in 2015 are expected to amount to 163.4 million units, down 14.9 percent compared with 2014.

But there appears to be some light at the end of the tablet tunnel.

Trendforce believes Amazon will see "a dramatic increase" in shipments as the year ends and that's largely due to the introduction of the seven inch Fire tablet released at the end of last month. It only costs $50 and will push Amazon shipments up steeply in this, the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Microsoft saw 2-in-1 growth in the third quarter, with sales of Surface 3 doing particularly well.

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