Home - Critical Computer Company Limited

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional
[Valid RSS]

Search:    Start Date:    Detail:           Sources

Show Items:     Beginning 
31/01/2019 01:12:57  

Samsung has started mass producing what it says is the industry's first one terabyte embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) technology for smartphones. "It will give the company's mobile devices PC-like storage without the need for large-capacity microSD cards," Engadget reports. "It'll be incredibly useful if you use your phone to take tons of photos and HD videos -- Samsung says it's enough to store 260 10-minute videos in 4K UHD." From the report: "The 1TB eUFS is expected to play a critical role in bringing a more notebook-like user experience to the next generation of mobile devices," said Cheol Choi, EVP of Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics. As ZDNet notes, Samsung's upcoming flagship devices, such as the S10, will most likely come with a 1TB option thanks to its new eUFS technology. After all, Samsung started mass producing its 512GB storage technology back in December 2017 and then debuted it with its new phones early on in the following year. In addition to offering massive storage, the new eUFS was also designed to be faster than typical SSDs, microSDs and previous revisions of the technology. It has a 1,000-megabyte-per-second sequential read speed, twice that of the usual SSD and faster than its 512GB predecessor. Despite all those, Samsung says it'll come in the same package size as its 512GB flash memory, so it won't have to make its big phones even bigger.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

29/01/2019 21:12:15  

An anonymous reader writes: Today, System76 unveiled its latest laptop -- the 15.6-inch (full-HD) "Darter Pro." It is thin, but not overly so -- it still has USB-A ports (thankfully). The computer is quite modern, however, as it also has a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port. It supports Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS (64-bit), Pop!_OS 18.10 (64-bit), or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (64-bit) operating system. It comes in two variants, with the following processor options: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U: 1.6 up to 3.90 GHz -- 6MB Cache -- 4 Cores -- 8 Threads, or 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U: 1.8 up to 4.60 GHz -- 8MB Cache -- 4 Cores -- 8 Threads, with either coupled with Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU, and up to 32GB Dual Channel DDR4 @ 2400 MHz, and M.2 SATA or PCIe NVMe SSD for storage. As for ports, there is USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3, 2 USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x USB 2.0, SD Card Reader. The company says it will announce the pricing at a later stage,

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

13/01/2019 17:09:59  

dryriver writes: A recent Guardian article about the need for actors and celebrities -- male and female -- to look their best in a high-definition media world ended on the note that several low-profile Los Angeles VFX outfits specialize in "beautifying actors" in movies, TV shows and video ads. They reportedly use a software named "Beauty Box," resulting in films and other motion content that are -- for lack of a better term -- "motion Photoshopped." After some investigating, it turns out that "Beauty Box" is a sophisticated CUDA and OpenGL accelerated skin-smoothing plugin for many popular video production software that not only smooths even terribly rough or wrinkly looking skin effectively, but also suppresses skin spots, blemishes, scars, acne or freckles in realtime, or near realtime, using the video processing capabilities of modern GPUs. The product's short demo reel is here with a few examples. Everybody knows about photoshopped celebrities in an Instagram world, and in the print magazine world that came long before it, but far fewer people seem to realize that the near-perfect actor, celebrity, or model skin you see in high-budget productions is often the result of "digital makeup" -- if you were to stand next to the person being filmed in real life, you'd see far more ordinary or aged skin from the near-perfection that is visible on the big screen or little screen. The fact that the algorithms are realtime capable also means that they may already be being used for live television broadcasts without anyone noticing, particularly in HD and 4K resolution broadcasts. The question, as was the case with photoshopped magazine fashion models 25 years ago, is whether the technology creates an unrealistic expectation of having to have "perfectly smooth looking" skin to look attractive, particularly in people who are past their teenage years.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

10/01/2019 15:09:35  

In a wide-ranging interview, Nilay Patel of The Verge speaks with Bill Baxter, chief technology officer of Vizio, about what the company thinks of some TV vendors adding support for Apple's AirPlay 2, and other things. A remarkable exchange on the business of data collection and selling: Nilay Patel: I guess I have a philosophical question. You guys are committed to low price points and you often beat the industry at those price points. Can you hit those price points without the additional data collection that TV does if you don't have an ad business or a data business on top of the TV? Bill Baxter: So that's a great question. Actually, we should have a beer and have a long, long chat about that. So look, it's not just about data collection. It's about post-purchase monetization of the TV. This is a cutthroat industry. It's a 6-percent margin industry, right? I mean, you know it's pretty ruthless. You could say it's self-inflicted, or you could say there's a greater strategy going on here, and there is. The greater strategy is I really don't need to make money off of the TV. I need to cover my cost. And then I need to make money off those TVs. They live in households for 6.9 years -- the average lifetime of a Vizio TV is 6.9 years. You would probably be amazed at the number of people come up to me saying, "I love Vizio TVs, I have one" and it's 11 years old. I'm like, "Dude, that's not even full HD, that's 720p." But they do last a long time and our strategy -- you've seen this with all of our software upgrades including AirPlay 2 and HomeKit -- is that we want to make things backward compatible to those TVs. So we're continuing to invest in those older TVs to bring them up to feature level comparison with the new TVs when there's no hardware limitation that would otherwise prevent that. And the reason why we do that is there are ways to monetize that TV and data is one, but not only the only one. It's sort of like a business of singles and doubles, it's not home runs, right? You make a little money here, a little money there. You sell some movies, you sell some TV shows, you sell some ads, you know. It's not really that different than The Verge website. Patel: One sort of Verge-nerd meme that I hear in our comments or on Twitter is "I just want a dumb TV. I just want a panel with no smarts and I'll figure it out on my own." But it sounds like that lifetime monetization problem would prevent you from just making a dumb panel that you can sell to somebody. Baxter: Well, it wouldn't prevent us, to be honest with you. What it would do is, we'd collect a little bit more margin at retail to offset it. Again, it may be an aspirational goal to not have high margins on our TV business because I can make it up downstream. On the other hand, I'm actually aggregating that monetization across a large number of users, some of which opt out. It's a blended revenue model where, in the end, Vizio succeeds, but you know, it's not wholly dependent on things like data collection.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

04/01/2019 10:09:09  

The L3 protection level of Google's Widevine DRM technology has been cracked by a British security researcher who can now decrypt content transferred via DRM-protected multimedia streams. ZDNet's Catalin Cimpanu notes that while this "sounds very cool," it's not likely to fuel a massive piracy wave because "the hack works only against Widevine L3 streams, and not L2 and L1, which are the ones that carry high-quality audio and video content." From the report: Google designed its Widevine DRM technology to work on three data protection levels --L1, L2, and L3-- each usable in various scenarios. According to Google's docs, the differences between the three protection levels is as follows: L1 - all content processing and cryptography operations are handled inside a CPU that supports a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). L2 - only cryptography operations are handled inside a TEE. L3 - content processing and cryptography operations are (intentionally) handled outside of a TEE, or the device doesn't support a TEE "Soooo, after a few evenings of work, I've 100% broken Widevine L3 DRM," [British security researcher David Buchanan] said on Twitter. "Their Whitebox AES-128 implementation is vulnerable to the well-studied DFA attack, which can be used to recover the original key. Then you can decrypt the MPEG-CENC streams with plain old ffmpeg." Albeit Buchanan did not yet release any proof-of-concept code, it wouldn't help anyone if he did. In order to get the DRM-encrypted data blob that you want to decrypt, an attacker would still need "the right/permission" to receive the data blob in the first place. If a Netflix pirate would have this right (being an account holder), then he'd most likely (ab)use it to pirate a higher-quality version of the content, instead of bothering to decrypt low-res video and lo-fi audio. The only advantage is in regards to automating the pirating process, but as some users have pointed out, this isn't very appealing in today's tech scene where almost all devices are capable of playing HD multimedia [1, 2].

Read more of this story at Slashdot.