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AI

Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft Come Together To Create Historic Partnership On AI (techcrunch.com) 84

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: In an act of self-governance, Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, IBM, and Microsoft came together today to announce the launch the new Partnership on AI. The group is tasked with conducting research and promoting best practices. Practically, this means that the group of tech companies will come together frequently to discuss advancements in artificial intelligence. The group also opens up a formal structure for communication across company lines. It's important to remember that on a day to day basis, these teams are in constant competition with each other to develop the best products and services powered by machine intelligence. Financial support will be coming from the initial tech companies who are members of the group, but in the future membership and involvement is expected to increase. User activists, non-profits, ethicists, and other stakeholders will be joining the discussion in the coming weeks. The organizational structure has been designed to allow non-corporate groups to have equal leadership side-by-side with large tech companies. As of today's launch, companies like Apple, Twitter, Intel and Baidu are missing from the group. Though Apple is said to be enthusiastic about the project, their absence is still notable because the company has fallen behind in artificial intelligence when compared to its rivals -- many of whom are part of this new group. The new organization really seems to be about promoting change by example. Rather than preach to the tech world, it wants to use a standard open license to publish research on topics including ethics, inclusivity, and privacy.
Android

Google Is Planning a 'Pixel 3' Laptop Running 'Andromeda' OS For Release in Q3 2017 (androidpolice.com) 56

Google plans to launch a laptop next year with Pixel branding which will run 'Andromeda' operating system, reports AndroidPolice, citing sources. Andromeda is a hybrid of Android and Chrome OS, the report adds. Pixel, Chrome OS and Android teams have been working on this project, dubbed Bison, for years, apparently. From the report: Bison is planned as an ultra-thin laptop with a 12.3" display, but Google also wants it to support a "tablet" mode. It's unclear to us if this means Bison will be a Lenovo Yoga-style convertible device, or a detachable like Microsoft's Surface Book, but I'm personally leaning on the former given how thin it is. Powering it will be either an Intel m3 or i5 Core processor with 32 or 128GB of storage and 8 or 16GB of RAM. This seems to suggest there will be two models. It will also feature a fingerprint scanner, two USB-C ports, a 3.5mm jack (!), a host of sensors, stylus support (a Wacom pen will be sold separately), stereo speakers, quad microphones, and a battery that will last around 10 hours. The keyboard will be backlit, and the glass trackpad will use haptic and force detection similar to the MacBook. Google plans to fit all of this in a form factor under 10mm in thickness, notably thinner than the aforementioned Apple ultraportable.The report, however, adds that it is likely that Google might revise the specifications by the time of its launch, which is slated to happen sometime in Q3 2017.
Government

Senators Accuse Russia Of Disrupting US Election (washingtonpost.com) 199

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes The Washington Post: Two senior Democratic lawmakers with access to classified intelligence on Thursday accused Russia of "making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election," a charge that appeared aimed at putting pressure on the Obama administration to confront Moscow... "At the least, this effort is intended to sow doubt about the security of our election and may well be intended to influence the outcomes," the statement said. "We believe that orders for the Russian intelligence agencies to conduct such actions could come only from very senior levels of the Russian government..."

White House officials have repeatedly insisted that they are awaiting the outcome of a formal FBI investigation, even though U.S. intelligence are said to have concluded with "high confidence" that Russia was responsible for the DNC breach and other attacks. The White House hesitation has become a source of frustration to critics, including senior members of Congress.

Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence officials are reportedly investigating whether Donald Trump's foreign policy adviser "opened up private communications with senior Russian officials -- including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president."
Communications

The Verge's Deputy Editor Chris Ziegler Was Secretly Working For Apple For Two Months (gizmodo.com) 78

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Late this afternoon, Nilay Patel, the editor-in-chief of The Verge, published a post detailing the circumstances around the departure of Chris Ziegler, a founding member of the site. As it turns out, according to Patel, Ziegler had been pulling double duty as an employee of both The Verge and Apple. "The circumstances of Chris' departure from The Verge raised ethical issues which are worth disclosing in the interests of transparency and respect for our audience," Patel wrote. "We're confident that there wasn't any material impact on our journalism from these issues, but they are still serious enough to merit disclosure." According to Patel, Ziegler, whose most recent post was published in July, began working for Apple in July but didn't disclose his new job; The Verge apparently didn't discover he'd been working there until early September. Patel noted that Ziegler continued to work for The Verge in July, but "was not in contact with us through most of August and into September." What's not clear is how The Verge leadership went six weeks without hearing from their deputy editor or taking serious action (like filing a missing person's report) to try to find him. Patel says they "made every effort to contact him and to offer him help if needed." Patel noted the obvious conflict of interest, and added that Ziegler was fired the same day they verified his employment at Apple. "Chris did not attempt to steer any coverage towards or away from Apple, and any particular decisions he helped make had the same outcomes they would have had absent his involvement," Patel wrote. However, it's still unclear how exactly the team at Vox Media, The Verge's parent company, ascertained there was no editorial consequences from the dual-employment. You can read Patel's full statement here. Vox Media's Fay Sliger followed up with a statement to Gizmodo: "Chris is no longer an employee of The Verge or Vox Media. Chris accepted a position with Apple, stopped communicating with The Verge's leadership, and his employment at The Verge was terminated. Vox Media's editorial director Lockhart Steele conducted an internal review of this conflict of interest, and after a thorough investigation, it was determined that there was no impact on editorial decisions or journalism produced at The Verge or elsewhere in Vox Media. We've shared details about this situation with The Verge's audience and will continue to be transparent should any new information come to light."
Hardware

SolidRun x86 Braswell MicroSoM Runs Linux and Full Windows 10, Destroys Raspberry Pi (betanews.com) 205

BetaNews has a report today about a company called SolidRun, which has announced an Intel Braswell-based MicroSoM. Unlike the ARM-powered Raspberry Pi, this is x86 compatible, meaning it can run full Windows 10. Plus, if you install a Linux distro, there will be far more packages available, such as Google Chrome, which is not available for Pi. Heck, it can probably serve as a secondary desktop, Brian with the site writes. From the report: At 53mm by 40mm, these new MicroSoMs provide unheard of design flexibility while also eliminating the headache of having to design complicated power-delivery subsystems thanks to its single power input rail design. SolidRun's Braswell MicroSoM also offers flexibility in RAM options, ranging from 1GB to 8GB configurations, and offers on-board support of eMMC storage up to 128GB. Its robust design and unsurpassed HD Edge surveillance, event detection, and statistical data-extraction capabilities makes it the platform of choice for mission-critical applications requiring guaranteed reliability," says Solidrun.It starts at $117, the website has more details on specifications.
Android

Run Android 6.0 Marshmallow on Your PC With Android-x86 6.0 (softpedia.com) 90

This week saw the first stable release of Android-x86 6.0 (marshmallow-x86) -- and a new version of Remix OS for PC, a PC-optimized version of Android. Slashdot reader prisoninmate quotes Softpedia: Android-x86 6.0 has been in the works since early this year, and it received a total of two RC (Release Candidate) builds during its entire development cycle, one in June and another in August. After joining the Remix OS team, Chih-Wei Huang now has all the reasons to update and improve its Android-x86 system for the latest Android releases. Therefore, as you might have guessed already, Android-x86 6.0 is the first stable version of the project to be based on Google's Linux kernel-based Android 6.0 Marshmallow mobile operating system, and includes the most recent AOSP (Android Open Source Project) security updates too.

Under the hood, Android-x86 6.0 is using the long-term supported Linux 4.4.20 kernel with an updated graphics stack based on Mesa 12.0.2 3D Graphics Library, and offers support for Samsung's F2FS file system for SSD drives, better Wi-Fi support after resume and suspend, and initial HDMI audio support.

Intel

Windows 10 Haters: Try Linux On Kaby Lake Chips With Dell's New XPS 13 (pcworld.com) 234

Attention Linux enthusiasts. Your OS of your choice can finally work on laptops with Intel's Kaby Lake chips. Dell is releasing three new models of slick XPS 13 Developer Edition that will be available with Ubuntu OS and 7th Generation Core processors in the U.S. and Canada starting on Oct. 10, reports PCWorld. From the article:Prices for XPS 13 DE will start at $949. Dell also announced the XPS 13 model with Kaby Lake and Windows 10, which will ship on Oct. 4 starting at $799. Dell didn't share details on what version of Ubuntu desktop OS will be preloaded. It officially supports Ubuntu 14.04 in existing laptops, but could pre-load version 16.04 on the new XPS 13 DE. Dell has remained committed to Linux while major PC vendors shift to Windows 10 on PCs. Intel made a major commitment to supporting Windows 10 with its new Kaby Lake chips but hasn't talked much about Linux support. XPS 13 DE is perhaps the sexiest and thinnest Linux laptop available, with an edge-to-edge screen being a stand-out feature. It is the latest in Dell's Project Sputnik line of laptops, and it is targeted at computer enthusiasts who want a Windows or Mac alternative. A knock against Linux is that the OS has lagged behind Windows on driver development and on supporting the latest technologies like USB-C ports, 4K screens, and Thunderbolt. Project Sputnik started four years ago as an effort between Dell and the open-source community to bridge that gap, and since then, the resulting laptops have achieved cult status among Linux enthusiasts. A Dell XPS 13 with a Core i5 chip will have a full HD screen, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. Another configuration will have a 3200 x 1800-pixel screen, Core i5, and a 256GB SSD. A fully loaded model will have a Core i7 chip, a 512GB SSD, 16GB of RAM, and a 3200 x 1800-pixel screen.
Intel

Intel Breaks Qualcomm's Hold On Apple's Baseband Chips (wsj.com) 84

Long-time Slashdot reader randomErr writes: In a big blow to Qualcomm, Apple plans to incorporate Intel baseband chips into at least some models of the new iPhone 7. The selection of Intel chip means that in newer iPhones Apple will no longer support CDMA technology popularized by Qualcomm. The Wall Street Journal states that many industry analysts believe Intel could be supplying as many as half of of baseband chips for Apple's handsets.
This was the last key iPhone component that didn't have two sources, and the Journal estimates that Intel's revenues could now increase by up to $700 million before the end of 2016.
Businesses

Intel Selling Majority Stake In Intel Security, 'New' Company To Be Called McAfee (fortune.com) 30

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fortune: Intel is spinning out its security business with help from private equity firm TPG, as the chip giant focuses more on its top growth opportunities. Intel will collect $3.1 billion in cash and retain a 49% ownership stake. TPG will own 51% of the new company, to be called McAfee. Under terms of the spin off, TPG will make a $1.1 billion equity investment in McAfee, which will also take on $2 billion of debt. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, Intel said. The deal ends Intel's sometimes tumultuous efforts to add cybersecurity software features to its various semiconductor chip businesses. It also marks a near-final coda to Intel's $8 billion purchase of McAfee in 2010. Analysts and investors have favored disposing of the business, which they said didn't add much to the chip sales and was too dependent on the shrinking PC market. The unit reported $1.1 billion of revenue in the first half of the year, up 11% from the same period of 2015, and operating income of $182 million, a 391% jump. Chris Young, who joined Intel's security unit from Cisco Systems in 2014, will be CEO of the new company. Intel said it still plans to collaborate with McAfee to add security features across its product lines.
Microsoft

Why Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Zen Will Only Be Optimized On Windows 10 (hothardware.com) 276

MojoKid writes: There was quite a stir caused recently when it was determined that Microsoft would only be fully supporting Intel's Kaby Lake and AMD's Zen next-generation processor microarchitectures with Windows 10. It's easy to dismiss the decision as pure marketing move, but there's more to consider and a distinction to be made between support and compatibility. The decision means future updates and optimizations that take advantage of the latest architectural enhancements in these new processors won't be made for older OS versions. Both of these microarchitectures have new features that require significant updates to Windows 10 to optimally function. Kaby Lake has updates to Intel's Speed Shift technology that make it possible to change power states more quickly than Skylake, for example. Then there's Intel's Turbo Boost 3.0, which is only baked natively into Windows 10 Redstone 1. For an operating system to optimally support AMD's Zen-based processors, major updates are likely necessary as well. Zen has fine-grained clock gating with multi-level regions throughout the chip, in addition to newer Simultaneous Multi-Threading technology for AMD chips. To properly leverage the tech in Zen, Microsoft will likely have to make updates to the Windows kernel and system scheduler, which is more involved than a driver update. Of course, older versions of Windows and alternative operating systems will still install and run on Kaby Lake and Zen. They are x86 processors, after all.
Intel

John McAfee Sues Intel To Use His Own Name (bloomberg.com) 111

Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo quotes a report from Bloomberg: John McAfee, the creator of the eponymous antivirus computer software system, sued Intel Corp. for the right to use his name in new ventures after the chip maker bought his former company. Intel bought McAfee in 2010 and eventually renamed it "Intel Security." McAfee has since joined digital gaming company MGT Capital Investments Inc. as chairman and chief executive, with plans to rename the company "John McAfee Global Technologies Inc."

McAfee says Intel warned him that any use of his name will infringe on the company's trademarks that it acquired with the McAfee deal in 2010, according to his complaint filed Friday in Manhattan federal court.

Intel hopes to sell their antivirus unit for $3 billion, according to the article -- after acquiring it in 2011 for $7.7 billion.
Intel

Intel Confuses, Rebrands Some Core M Processors As Core I (laptopmag.com) 61

Reader thegarbz writes: As already covered previously Intel has announced it's 7th generation Kaby Lake processors. Curiously absent from the announcement was any mention of Core m5 and Core m7 product lines. As it turns out, Intel quietly removed the m branding and rolled its budget processors up into the Core i5 and Core i7 brands.

When we met with representatives of Intel to talk about Kaby Lake, they said that consumers didn't understand the Core m branding and that this move would help alleviate customer confusion.But what's more confusing: having two different brand names for different types of CPU or having the same name for both? Intel will tell you that you have to pay attention to the SKU numbers at the end of the chip names. And if you do, you can sidestep the issue. The regular i-series will continue as usual: Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7, with all of the processor numbers ending in the letter "U" (the i3-7100U, i5-7200U and i7-7500U). The former m5 and m7 will have the letter "Y" in the name (i5-7Y54, i7-7Y75 and m3-7Y30).


Operating Systems

PC-BSD Follows a Rolling Release Model, Gets Renamed To TrueOS 132

prisoninmate quotes a report from Softpedia: By following a rolling release model, TrueOS promises to be a cutting-edge and modern FreeBSD-based operating system for your personal computer, designed with security and simplicity in mind -- all while being stable enough to be deployed on servers. TrueOS will also make use of the security technologies from the OpenBSD project, and you can get your hands on the first Beta ISO images right now. The development team promises to offer you weekly ISO images of TrueOS, but you won't have to download anything anymore due to constant updates thanks to the rolling release model. TrueOS will use LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL, offer Linux DRM 4.7 compatibility for supporting for Intel Skylake, Haswell, and Broadwell graphics, and uses the pkg package manage system by default. "TrueOS combines the convenience of a rolling release distribution with the failsafe technology of boot environments, resulting in a system that is both current and reliable. TrueOS now tracks FreeBSD's 'Current' brand and merges features from select FreeBSD developer branches to enhance support for newer hardware and technologies," reads today's announcement.
AMD

New Intel and AMD Chips Will Only Support Windows 10 (pcworld.com) 585

An anonymous reader writes: Buried in the announcement of the new Kaby Lake (seventh-generation) processors and a rash of incoming notebooks set to use them is the confirmation that they will have a Windows 10 future. Microsoft has been warning people for ages that Kaby Lake will not run on anything older than Windows 10, and it looks like AMD's upcoming Zen chip will be going the same way. Microsoft said, "As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon." "We are committed to working with Microsoft and our ecosystem partners to help ensure a smooth transition given these changes to Microsoft's Windows support policy," an Intel spokesperson said. "No, Intel will not be updating Win 7/8 drivers for 7th Gen Intel Core [Kaby Lake] per Microsoft's support policy change." An AMD representative was equally neutral. "AMD's processor roadmap is fully aligned with Microsoft's software strategy," AMD chief technical officer Mark Papermaster said, via a company spokeswoman. Slashdot reader MojoKid via HotHardware has some more details on Intel's Kaby Lake 7th Gen Core Series Processors for those yearning to learn more.
Intel

Lenovo's 'Yoga Book' Laptop Is So Thin It Needs A Touchscreen Keyboard (gizmodo.com) 115

An anonymous reader writes: At IFA in Berlin, Lenovo announced the Yoga Book, a laptop that measures in at just 0.38-inches thick, making it the thinnest laptop currently available. In order for it to retain such a slim profile, the keyboard needed to be redesigned. The Yoga Book features what is called the Halo Keyboard, a touchscreen keyboard that is separated from the display and doubles as a drawing tablet. Gizmodo reports: "Officially it's called the Halo Keyboard, and if you've ever tried to quickly type on a tablet's software keyboard than you'll be familiar with the experience. Only it's a little nicer because the keyboard is separated from the display, so it doesn't suck up screen real estate, and it has a pleasantly rough texture. It's also got haptic feedback, which in the case of a touchscreen keyboard is sort of like sticking lipstick on the pig. A press of a button turns the keys off and turns the keyboard into a drawing tablet. From there, it behaves a lot like a Wacom tablet, directly reporting pen input into your chosen app. It even reads pen inputs through paper laid over the input panel." Some other specs of this 2-in-1 laptop/tablet include an Intel Atom processor, 64GB of onboard storage with support for a microSD card, 13 hours of battery life, 4G LTE, 802.11 AC Wi-Fi, front and rear cameras, and a 10.1-inch, 1080p display.
Windows

Acer Unveils Slim Windows 10 Notebooks, Convertible Chromebook, Curved Screen Laptop (zdnet.com) 46

Ahead of this week's IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, Acer has unveiled a range of notebook computers. The company has a new 13-inch Chromebook R 13 laptop, which it says can also be used as a tablet. There's a new line of Windows 10 Swift notebooks and Spin convertible laptops that are powered by Intel's just unveiled seventh generation Core processors. The Chromebook R13 sports a screen resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, and is powered by a MediaTek quad-core processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. It also houses a USB Type-C, USB 3.0, and HDMI ports. It offers as much as 12-hour of battery life. ZDNet adds:The 14-inch Spin 7 features an aluminium unibody design and is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, with up to 8GB RAM, and 256 GB solid state disk storage. It weighs 1.2 kg (2.6 pounds) with a width of 10.98mm (0.43 inches). It also includes two USB 3.1 Type-C ports. The Spin 7 goes on sale in the US and Europe in October, with prices starting at $1,199 and 1,299 euro respectively. Heading up Acer's ultra-slim lineup is the aluminium construction, black and gold Swift 7. It features a 13.3-inch full-HD IPS display and Intel 7th generation i5 processor, with a 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM. It boasts fast wireless and dual USB 3.1 Type-C ports. Acer is promising nine hours of battery life for the device, which weighs 1.1kg (2.48 pounds) and has a height of 9.98mm (0.39 inches), making it the slimmest in the Swift series. It will be available in the US and Europe in October from $999 and 1,299 euro respectively.
Intel

Intel Unveils Full Details of Kaby Lake 7th Gen Core Series Processors (hothardware.com) 95

Reader MojoKid writes: Intel is readying a new family of processors, based on its next-gen Kaby Lake microarchitecture, that will be the foundation of the company's upcoming 7th Generation Core processors. Although Kaby Lake marks a departure from Intel's "tick-tock" release cadence, there have been some tweaks made to its 14nm manufacturing process (called 14nm+) that have resulted in significant gains in performance, based on clock speed boosts and other optimizations. In addition, Intel has incorporated a new multimedia engine into Kaby Lake that adds hardware acceleration for 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding and VP9 decoding. Skylake could handle 1080p HEVC transcoding, but it didn't accelerate 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding or VP9 decode and had to assist with CPU resources. The new multimedia engine gives Kaby Lake the ability to handle up to eight 4Kp30 streams and it can decode HEVC 4Kp60 real-time content at up to 120Mbps. The engine can also now offload 4Kp30 real-time encoding in a dedicated fixed-function engine. Finally, Intel has made some improvements to their Speed Shift technology, which now takes the processor out of low power states to maximum frequency in 15 milliseconds. Clock speed boosts across Core i and Core m 7th gen series processors of 400-500 MHz, in combination with Speed Shift optimizations, result in what Intel claims are 12-9 percent performance gains in the same power envelope as its previous generation Skylake series, and even more power efficient video processing performance.
Data Storage

Ask Slashdot: What's The Best Way To Backup Large Amounts Of Personal Data? (foxdeploy.com) 366

An anonymous Slashdot reader has "approximately two terabytes of photos, currently sitting on two 4-terabyte 'Intel Rapid Storage' RAID 1 disks." But now they're considering three alternatives after moving to a new PC: a) Keep these exactly as they are... The current configuration is OK, but it's a pain if a RAID re-sync is needed as it takes a long time to check four terabytes.

b) Move to "Storage Spaces". I've not used Storage Spaces before, but reports seem to show it's good... It's a Good Thing that the disks are 100% identical and removable and readable separately. Downside? Unknown territory.

c) Break the RAID, and set up the second disk as a file-copied backup... [This] would lose a (small) amount of resilience, but wouldn't suffer from the RAID-sync issues, ideally a Mac-like "TimeMachine" backup would handle file histories.

Any recommendations?

This is also a good time to share your experiences with Storage Spaces, so leave your answers in the comments. What's the best way to backup large amounts of personal data?
Data Storage

Intel Launches Flurry of 3D NAND-Based SSDs For Consumer and Enterprise Markets (hothardware.com) 145

MojoKid writes: Intel launched a handful of new SSD products today that cover a broad spectrum of applications and employ 3D NAND technology. The SSD 600p Series is offered in four capacities ranging from 128GB, to 256GB, 512GB and 1TB. The drivers are targeted at consumer desktops and notebooks and are available in the M.2 form-factor. The entry-level 128GB model offers sequential reads and writes of up to 770 MB/sec and 450 MB/sec respectively. At higher densities, the multi-channel 1TB model offers sequential reads and writes that jump to 1,800 MB/sec and 560 MB/sec respectively. The 128GB SSD 600p weighs in at $69, while the 1TB model is priced at $359, or about .36 cents per GiB. For the data center, Intel has also introduced the DC P3520 and DC S3520 Series SSDs in 2.5-inch and PCIe half-height card form-factors. Available in 450GB to 2TB capacities, the range-topping 2TB model offers random reads/writes of 1,700 MB/sec and 1,350 MB/sec respectively. Finally, Intel launched the SSD E 6000p (PCIe M.2) and SSD E 5420s Series (SATA). The former supports Core vPro processors and is targeted at point-of-sale systems and digital signage. The latter is aimed at helping customers ease the transition from HDDs to SSDs in IoT applications.

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