This Week in Tech 611: Bezel Come Back

At the F8 Developer Conference, Facebook shows off its hot new augmented reality technology – which looks a whole lot like Snapchat. Apple is secretly working on non-invasive blood sugar detection, which could be a boon to millions of diabetics. Apple also wants to save the Earth by using 100% recycled materials in its products, covering its headquarters in solar panels, and manufacturing its own sweat. Wait, what? Google, which has made billions in ad revenue, is working on an ad blocker. The Samsung Galaxy S8 came out this week and has yet to explode. Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant, seems to be fizzling. According to Qualcomm, the first Windows PC using an ARM chip could be out later this year. in completely unrelated news, Intel has canceled the Intel Developer Forum. HTC’s newest phone, codenamed Ocean, will have a squeezable frame and a questionable logo. Steve Ballmer’s new site makes government spending more accessible. Another bad week for Uber. And McDonald’s new uniforms highlight the techno-dystopia we all live in.

Intel launches budget-minded 540s Series SSDs, pricing starts under $55

By | Techspot

Intel’s budget-minded 540 Series solid state drives are now available to purchase. The drives, based on 16-nanometer TLC NAND flash memory from SK Hynix, are available in two form factors and half a dozen capacities.

The new Intel 540s Series drives are offered in capacities of 120GB, 180GB, 240GB, 360GB, 480GB and 1TB in your choice of 80mm M.2 or 2.5-inch form factors. It’s worth noting that all M.2 drives are single-sided with the exception of the 1TB model.

Intel says its new entry-level drives offer sequential read speeds of up to 560MB/sec and write speeds of up to 480MB/sec (IOMeter, Queue Depth 32). Random 4K read and write IOPS check in at 78,000 and 85,000, respectively.

All models are compatible with Intel’s SSD Toolbox, SSD Optimizer, Intel Data Migration Software and Intel Rapid Storage Technology.

As value drives, you can expect a fair price when it comes time to check out. Right now on Newegg, the 120GB M.2 drive is selling for $53.87 with the 2.5-inch variant commanding just $54.45. If you need more storage, the 480GB M.2 drive will currently set you back $158.65 (or $149 for the 2.5-incher). At the top end is the 1TB drive, yours for $303.48 on the M.2 form factor or $303.43 for the 2.5-inch model.

If you haven’t yet moved to a solid state drive for your primary drive (it’s hard to imagine any enthusiast hasn’t at this point), you’re really missing out. In addition to blazing fast performance versus a traditional spinning hard drive, SSDs generate zero noise and produce less heat which in turn, typically means they are more energy efficient. What’s more, they’re less prone to failure (at least, in theory) and more durable as they have no moving parts.

The 10 most popular TechSpot news stories of 2015

By TechSpot Staff | TechSpot

As 2015 comes to a close we’re taking a look back at the year’s most popular stories on TechSpot. Throughout the day we’ve gone compiled the most read stories narrowed down by company/topic, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, tech culture news, security and our reviews and longer-form features. To wrap up, these are the most read posts overall in any category.

We hope you enjoyed our daily dispatch of technology news and analysis as much as we’ve enjoyed bringing it to you. Here’s to an even more exciting 2016!

#10 Amazon may soon give FedEx, UPS and USPS the boot

Amazon is reportedly the entity behind a secretive air cargo operation launched this past September codenamed “Aerosmith.”

#9 Multi-monitor, ultra wide or 4K: What delivers the best gaming experience?

delivers gaming experience guest

A performance and overall gaming experience analysis using four different display setups: 16:9 (1080p or 2560×1440), multi-monitor surround, 21:9 ultra-wide, and 4K (technically 16:9, but different due to high pixel density).

#8 Panasonic’s consumer-grade exoskeleton can be yours in September

Read More

Intel launches new graphics drivers with OpenGL 4.4 support

Intel graphics driver releases tend to be a lot less exciting than their Nvidia and AMD counterparts, but they’re just as important for those who are currently using a system without a discrete graphics card.

The latest 15.40.7.4279 Intel graphics drivers introduce support for the company’s HD Graphics 500 series GPUs, which are integrated into their new Skylake processors. There is also official support for OpenGL 4.4 in these new drivers, provided you have either a Skylake or Broadwell CPU.

As for bug fixes, Intel has addressed an issue where displays connected through DisplayPort 1.2 flicker after returning from sleep. There are also fixes for graphics corruption in some Windows Store video apps, and crashes in EVE Online and World of Warcraft.

You can grab Intel’s new drivers for their integrated GPUs here for Windows 7, 8.1 and 10.

Source: Intel launches new graphics drivers with OpenGL 4.4 support – TechSpot

Intel’s five (not very) big announcements from IDF this week

If you’ve paid any attention to Intel’s developer event in San Francisco this week, you’ve probably gathered already that there’s almost no chip news at the show. Intel has moved up the food chain, so to speak, and is showing developers what they can build with its technologies rather than focusing on new components.

It makes sense, since with PCs on the wane Intel needs developers to get creative with its products. It can no longer flash a faster Core i7 chip and expect them to go do something interesting with it, because PCs nowadays just aren’t that interesting. Instead, it needs to show them what else they can do with its latest chips.

So we’ve been hearing a lot about robots, depth-sensing cameras, smart vending machines and bracelets that log you into your PC. It’s important stuff for Intel, and entertaining to watch a sensor-equipped BMX bike jump over the head of CEO Brian Krzanich. But there’s not a ton of big news we hadn’t heard about before.

Still, here are 5 of the most interesting things announced so far, and since we’re already halfway through IDF there probably won’t be much else.

SmartSound and Wake on Voice

Intel didn’t talk much about its upcoming Skylake desktop CPUs this week, but it did reveal that the chip has an integrated DSP used for a feature called Intel Smart Sound, which will allow computers to listen out for audio signals without using up too much power.

It worked with Microsoft to build an upcoming technology for Windows 10 called Wake on Voice, which will let you walk up to a Windows 10 in sleep mode and bring it to life by saying “Hey Cortana.” Some smartphones already have this always-listening feature, but it’s not available yet on a PC.

The catch is, we’re told Wake on Voice won’t arrive with the first Skylake chips, which means it won’t be supported in the first wave of Windows 10 PCs.

Button-sized Curie chip coming in Q4

OK, there was a little bit of chip news. Curie is Intel’s tiny system-on-chip for wearables. Unveiled at CES earlier this year, it’s as big as a fingernail and includes a Quark microprocessor, Bluetooth radio, accelerometer and gyroscope.

Intel announced this week that “select” hardware makers will get their hands on Curie to build products in the fourth quarter. Regular developers will get it too at the Maker Faire in Rome, Krzanich said, which takes place in October.

As well as rings, bracelets and fitness trackers, Curie can be embedded in just about anything. Intel showed how you can track the speed and position of a BMX bike that apparently had Curie chips on its handlebars and saddle. It also released some new SDKs, including one called Identity IQ, which can authenticate a wearer’s identity. That could eventually let you unlock your PC using a smart bracelet, as Krzanich demonstrated in his keynote.

RealSense goes everywhere

RealSense is Intel’s 3D depth-sensing camera. It uses three lenses — a standard 2D camera, an infrared laser and an infrared camera. It basically allows a computer to “see,” and Intel has already shown a drone navigating through trees in the woods using RealSense.

It’s already in some PCs, and at CES Intel showed the first prototype smartphone with RealSense. This could allow several handy uses. RealSense can be used to measure distances, so you can go furniture shopping and use your smartphone as a tape measure. It can also take photos that allow you to adjust the focus later, a bit like a Lytro camera, and it can be used to scan objects for sending to a 3D printer.

RealSense is the most pervasive technology at IDF. It’s also being shown in a vending machines that can tell the sex and age of the person standing in front of it, and in a robot bellhop that will deliver drinks to your hotel room. it’s also in gaming systems, including a new camera from Razer to use on the Twitch game streaming service.

High-speed 3D XPoint memory and storage coming next year

Intel will launch the first products next year based on 3D XPoint, a new memory type it developed with Micron. Intel claims it will be 10x as dense as DRAM and 1,000 as fast as NAND Flash – although speed tests on stage revealed the initial performance gain to be closer to just 7x.

Under a new brand called Intel Optane, Intel will launch SSDs for servers and PCs next year, and also memory DIMMs for servers. Intel says 3D XPoint will supercharge everything from PC gaming to in-memory databases.

Intel is sponsoring a reality show?

Strange but true, Intel has partnered with United Artists to produce a reality TV show called “America’s Greatest Makers.” It will follow the trials and travails of inventors cometing to build the greatest wearable or gadget using Intel’s Curie chip, and the winner will get a $1 million prize.

via Intel’s five (not very) big announcements from IDF this week | PCWorld.