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Vendor News

Spectre Patch Affects New Core Chips After All

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Spectre Patch Affects New Core Chips After All

Intel eats back the words it said earlier this month as it admits newer Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs are also affected by the patch released to fix the issues brought about Spectre and Meltdown.

According to a company blog post, while the firmware updates are "effective at mitigating exposure to the security issues," they also lead to more frequent reboots. Previously Intel insisted the issue was only noticeable on systems running on older Broadwell and Haswell CPUs, but tests have confirmed similar behaviours happen on Ivy Bridge-, Sandy Bridge-, Skywell- and Kaby Lake-based platforms.

That said, Intel insists it is close to identifying the root cause of the issue. In parallel, it is providing vendors with "beta microcode" for validation in the near future.

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Karma Leads to GoPro Drone Exit

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Karma Leads to GoPro Drone Exit

Business is not going too well for GoPro-- the action camera maker announces it is slashing nearly 300 jobs (or over 20% of its global workforce), citing the difficulty of making a profit in an "extremely competitive" market.

In addition, the company says it is quitting the drone business following the non-success that was Karma. Announced back in September 2016, the Karma was GoPro's first (and last) drone. Supposed to be a great profit driver, the Karma proved to be the exact opposite. A fault causing random power losses during operation led to a November 2016 mass recall, while the specialist press compared the drone unfavourably to rivals from the likes of DJI.

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EU Rejects US Intervention in Apple Tax Case

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EU Rejects US Intervention in Apple Tax Case

The European Union's General Court refuses US government intervention in the Apple appeal the 2016 European Commission ruling, Reuters reports-- the one with the tax bill worth up to €13 billion (plus interest).

The intervention in question was filed in April. It insists EU actions will impact US tax revenues, as well as hurt tax treaties with other EU member states and even affect global tax reform efforts. In turn, the court simply says "The United States of America has failed to establish the existence of a direct interest in the result of the case.”

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Intel to Cut Intel Inside Program?

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Intel to Cut Intel Inside Program?

According to CRN Intel plans to slash the "Intel Inside" program by 40-60%-- cuts that will "reverberate through the industry," bringing about anything from PC prices increases to marketing cutbacks.

An anonymous source described as a "top executive for a major Intel partner" says funds making the program are being shifted towards driving datacentre business, "giving more to the data side of the house instead of compute." This means Chipzilla is moving dollars in other areas or keeping them in house, all in the name of improving profit and margins.

Meanwhile, an unidentified "CEO of a major solution provider" adds the funding cut will bring a "ripple effect" across the Intel ecosystem, before saying it is "disappointing, but it's not surprising," considering the cost challenges the company currently faces. Another CRN source simply says that he has "moved on" and partnered with other CPU makers, such as AMD.

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Apple Buys AR Headset Maker Vrvana

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Apple Buys AR Headset Maker Vrvana

TechCrunch reports Apple has quietly acquired another small startup-- Vrvana, a augmented reality specialist and maker of the unreleased Totem headset. The price for the company is reportedly $30 million.

Apple has no comment on the story, but does not deny it either. Vrvana similarly has no comment on the story, but TechCrunch says it has "sources close to the deal" confirm the acquisition. The news site also says a number of Vrvana employees are now working with Apple in California, and while the Vrvana website is still running it stopped updating any social media accounts and news on August 2017.

Vrvana's AR offering is the Totem, a headset combining AR and VR technology through pass-through cameras able to project real world images into a built-in 1440p OLED display. The cameras track the position of the user in both real and virtual space, while additional IR cameras detect the user's hands.

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Microsoft Confirms End of Windows Phone

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Microsoft Confirms End of Windows Phone

Microsoft OS designer Joe Belfiore takes to Twitter to confirm what many already suspected-- work on Windows Mobile is officially over, bringing an end to the Microsoft-powered smartphone.

Belfiore does say existing support phones will continue to receive bug fixes and security updates, but Microsoft is not working on new software features or hardware. This was to be expected, considering how new development builds of the mobile OS stopped appearing earlier this year.

One also has to keep in mind Windows Phone user volumes remained all too low, leading to developers dropping support for the platform even as Microsoft offered financial incentives.

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More Google Devices at Pixel 2 Event

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More Google Devices at Pixel 2 Event

The Google Pixel 2 event might have technically been about the flagship smartphone, but the search giant also found the time to reveal a range of other devices-- the Pixelbook Chromebook, the Home Max and Mini smart speakers, and the Clip camera.

Tying all the recently announced Google devices together is Assistant, the Google virtual assistant. The search giant says the launch builds on its current "AI-first philosophy," making a combination of hardware and software able to learn and adapt to the user.

But on to the devices themselves. The Pixelbook is a continuation of Google's Chromebook efforts, being a 12.3-inch notebook powered by the browser-based OS, with built-in Google Assistant and Play Store support. It is 10mm thick, weighs 1kg and carries 7th generation Intel i5/i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, up to 512GB SSD storage and a battery promising 10 hours of use on a single charge.

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Intel Gives Up on Project Alloy?

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Intel Gives Up on Project Alloy?

Road to VR reports Intel has given up on Project Alloy-- the reference design for an all-in-one self-contained VR solution promising to "cut the VR cord."

Described as "the future of merged reality" back at its 2016 Intel Developer Forum reveal, the Project Alloy headset carried all components to power VR experience. As such, it allowed a full range of motion with 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF), as well as Augmented Reality (AR) via RealSense technology.

However a statement provided to Road to VR reads Intel is winding down the reference design because of lack of partner interest. The reason why partners are not interested is unclear, but it could be due to costs associated with essentially cramming a full Windows PC in a headset.

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China-Backed Equity Firm Buys Imagination

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China-Backed Equity Firm Buys Imagination

Imagination Technologies, the former maker of the graphics chips inside iDevices, has found a buyer-- Canyon Bridge, an equity firm backed by Chinese fund Yitai Capital.

According to the Financial Times the deal is worth £550 million, and is conditional on the completion of the sale of MIPS. The Imagination US unit currently being bought by Silicon Valley investment group Tallwood Venture Capital.

Back in June 2017 Imagination put itself on the selling block after Apple, its largest customer and one of its biggest shareholders, decided to stop using PowerVR technology in favour of self-designed solution. The announcement halved the value of Imagination stock almost overnight, causing a crisis in the company.

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