RedHat Releases Fedora 23

October 6, 2015 by  
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Red Hat has torn the roof off the sucker once again with the release of Fedora 23 in beta form.

Coming in three incredible versions, Fedora 23 Cloud, Fedora 23 Server and Fedora 23 Workstation, this new edition picks up where the old one left off and runs with it.

The biggest news for fans is the use of compiler flags to help improve security. These are designed to help protect Fedora 23 beta binaries against memory corruption vulnerabilities, buffer overflows and similar issues.

This is the latest iteration of Red Hat’s Linux-based operating system that likes to think of itself as the leading-edge open source operating system across all use cases. It’s hard to believe, but absolutely true.

The dazzling array of updates starts with Red Hat Fedora Server Beta, which offers a new role through the rolekit service in the form of a cache server for web applications, with the underlying functionality delivered by memcached.

Also new is the fact that rolekit can now be triggered by anaconda kickstart to determine what function should be started with the next reboot, and I think we can all agree that’s been a long time coming.

Cockpit also sees some big changes, including a basic cluster dashboard for Kubernetes, Support for SSH key authentication and support for configuring user accounts with their authorised keys and compatibility with multipath disks.

Meanwhile in Fedora 23 Workstation Beta, the fun keeps coming with a preview of GNOME 3.18. Changes to the software application will allow it to offer firmware updates and access to Libreoffice 5. Improvements have also been made to Wayland, with the ultimate aim being to make it the default graphic server in a future release.

Sadly, that’s where the thrillride ends as Cloud Beta contains very little new of note – but we are warned to stay tuned for news of Fedora 23 Atomic Host, said to be coming soon. We’re literally on the edge of our seats and will bring you the news as soon as we get it.


Are Investors Losing Patience With Apple?

September 24, 2015 by  
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Investors fear that Apple has run out of ideas after it released a version of Microsoft’s surface pro and an iPhone, which was the same as last year’s.

Apple’s Tim Cook might have thought yesterday, as he walked away from the cheering crowds of Apple employees and rabid New York Times writers, that he had won the day.

However, Apple shares fell 1.9 percent as shareholders realised that there were no transformative products that could jumpstart the company’s sales ahead of the crucial holiday season.

Apple shares usually drop an average of 0.4 percent on the day of iPhone announcements because the hype never matches the reality but this is a much bigger fall.

The big iPad received a raspberry because it was too big and similar to Microsoft’s Surface tablet and the new iPhones were too similar to those released a year ago. The Apple Surface Pro even came with a stylus, which is something that Apple fanboys mocked for years. In fact the only innovative thing about it was that it required recharging every ten hours making it the chocolate teapot of pencils.

All they had which was new was the 3D Touch which is a “so what?” technology which no one really needed or cares about. It was certainly not worth upgrading to get.

Jobs’ Mob has clearly given up on any pretence of “thinking different” and short of ideas has copied itself and others.

We expected the Apple TV announcement to be hugely disappointing. Apple has mostly dialled back its ambitions this year as it plans a bigger telly service announcement next year. But you would think that after all these years not upgrading the Apple TV, Jobs Mob could have come up with some more interesting hardware.

What we got were demonstrations showed tricks to make viewing easier voice control which can rewind a video for 15 seconds and turn on subtitles, when a viewer asks something like “What did she say?”

Oddly Cook said that Apple had worked really hard, and really long on that project. The new set-top box will include an app store and let developers create new software for Apple TV, including video games.

Again nothing that you can’t get elsewhere and probably a lot cheaper.  We expect the Tame Apple Press will go into damage control limitation exercise and try to convince the world that everything is brilliant.  Watch the comments below for statements from “Apple investors” claiming that their shares have gone up and that there was tons in yesterday’s rally to get excited about.


AMD Increases FM2+ Lineup

September 22, 2015 by  
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AMD will expand its socket FM2+ chip lineup with three new parts – the A10-7890K and A8-7690K APUs, and the Athlon X4 880K CPU.

The new parts showed up on the compatibility list of socket FM2+ motherboards by BIOSTAR and it is not clear when they will be in the shops.

The architecture mentioned is “Kaveri,” but the silicon could be “Godavari” which is a Kaveri refresh.

The top of the range will be the A10-7890K, which has CPU clock speeds of 4.10 GHz out of the box. We do not know what the TurboCore frequency will be, but the current A10-7870K offers 3.90 GHz with 4.10 GHz TurboCore. The A8-7690K has a CPU clocks of 3.70 GHz. We are not sure what the iGPU clock speeds of the two chips.

The Athlon X4 880K is the most interesting. It has 4.00 GHz CPU clocks. The Athlon X4 FM2+ series lack integrated graphics that means that they are good for those who will buy discrete GPUs, on the FM2+ platform.

All three chips offer unlocked base-clock multipliers, enabling CPU overclocking.


Is Electricity In TSMC’s Future?

September 18, 2015 by  
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Contract chip-maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is thinking of generating electricity in-house.

The cunning plan is to install electric generating equipment at its factories or even building its own power plant.

Apparently, the company’s electricity bill will go up by 50 per cent over the next ten years as it moves to more-advanced technologies.

Taiwan is already facing power shortage problems and TSMC is worried that its plans could be stuffed up.

TSMC has asked Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and government-owned Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) about the feasibility of building its own power generators and related regulatory matters.

According to Digitimes companies can set up power generating equipment for use at their own factory sites, but the law has to be revised to allow TSMC to build its own power plant.

TSMC previously pointed out that it does not necessarily need nuclear power unless there is an alternative. We really hope that quote does not mean that TSMC is considering going nuclear.


Both AMD And nVidia Preparing For 14nm

September 4, 2015 by  
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AMD and Nvidia both appear to be certain to get their “14 nm” out next year.

According to TweakTown Nvidia is apparently dotting the “I” and working out where to put in the semi-colons for its Pascal GPU using TSMC’s 16nm FinFet node. AMD rumored has been wining and dining its old chums at GlobalFoundries to use its 14nm process for its Greenland GPU.

Although these sound like different technologies the “14nm and 16nm”  is difference how you measure a transistor. The outcome of both 14 and 16 should be a fairly same sized transistor with similar power features. TSMC calls its process 16nm FinFet, while Samsung and GloFo insist on calling it 14nm FinFet.

The dark satanic rumor mill suggests that the Greenland GPU, which has new Arctic Islands family micro-architecture, will have HBM2 memory. There will be up to 32GB of memory available for enthusiast and professional users. Consumer-oriented cards will have eight to 16GB of HBM2 memory. It will also have a new ISA (instruction set architecture).

It makes sense, AMD moved to HBM with its Fury line this year. Nvidia is expected to follow suit in 2016 with cards offering up to 32GB HBM2 as well.

Both Nvidia and AMD are drawn to FinFET which offers 90 percent more density than 28nm. Both will boost the transistors on offer with their next-generation GPUs, with 17 to 18 billion transistors currently being rumored.


Is NVidia King Of The GPU Arena?

September 2, 2015 by  
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Nvidia’s desktop GPUs accounted for nearly 80 percent of all sales in the segment in Q2 2015, its highest market share ever.

According to beancounters at the market research firm Mercury Research the GPU market is slowly dying.

The latest quarter was a decrease of 11 percent from Q1 2015 and a year-on-year decline of 21.7 percent so Nvidia is the undisputed king of a much smaller kingdom.

Mercury Research notes that the notebook GPU segment also witnessed a decrease to the tune of 34.1 percent year-on-year, mainly due to the continued improvements in the iGPU segment.

However when comparing both number of GPUs sold to partners and a four-quarter average of sales, Nvidia is the Windows and AMD is the FreeBSD.

AMD is dependent on its latest Radeon 300 series of cards to claw back something but at the moment it is looking like Nvidia is unstoppable.

Nvidia has continued to amass more sales over the course of the last year, and with its Maxwell-generation cards now available across all price tiers, it is unlikely has much to worry about from AMD.


More Details Uncovered On AMD’s ZEN Cores

August 27, 2015 by  
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Our well informed industry sources have shared a few more details about the AMD’s 2016 Zen cores and now it appears that the architecture won’t use the shared FPU like Bulldozer.

The new Zen uses a SMT Hyperthreading just like Intel. They can process two threads at once with a Hyperthreaded core. AMD has told a special few that they are dropping the “core pair” approach that was a foundation of Bulldozer. This means that there will not be a shared FPU anymore.

Zen will use a scheduling model that is similar to Intel’s and it will use competitive hardware and simulation to define any needed scheduling or NUMA changes.

Two cores will still share the L3 cache but not the FPU. This because in 14nm there is enough space for the FPU inside of the Zen core and this approach might be faster.

We mentioned this in late April where we released a few details about the 16 core, 32 thread Zen based processor with Greenland based graphics stream processor.

Zen will apparently be ISA compatible with Haswell/Broadwell style of compute and the existing software will be compatible without requiring any programming changes.

Zen also focuses on a various compiler optimisation including GCC with target of SPECint v6 based score at common compiler settings and Microsoft Visual studio with target of parity of supported ISA features with Intel.

Benchmarking and performance compiler LLVM targets SPECint v6 rate score at performance compiler settings.

We cannot predict any instruction per clock (IPC improvement) over Intel Skylake, but it helps that Intel replaced Skylake with another 14nm processor in later part of 2016. If Zen makes to the market in 2016 AMD might have a fighting chance to narrow the performance gap between Intel greatest offerings.


Apple TV Service Delayed Again

August 26, 2015 by  
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Apple Inc will push back rolling out its live TV service to at least next year, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the iPhone maker’s plans.

The company had planned to introduce the service, which is delivered over the Internet, this year.

Discussions with broadcasters such as CBS Corp and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc to license programming are progressing slowly, and lack of content has led Apple to scrap plans to announce the service at a Sept. 9 event, Bloomberg said.

Apple also lacked the computer network capacity to ensure a good viewing experience, Bloomberg said.

The company still plans to introduce a more powerful version of its Apple TV set-top box at the event, which will be held in San Francisco.

Apple was aiming to price the new service at about $30 to $40 a month, media reports have said.


Has The iPhone Peaked in The U.S.?

August 21, 2015 by  
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Apple’s vice like grip in the US smartphone market is falling off as sales of the overpriced gadgets slump.

Research outfit Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said the 2.3 per cent drop in US sales had been covered by rises in China, Japan and Australia.

But the fact that Apple’s home ground is the US and that it has become increasingly dependent on its iPhone, this statistic does not bode well, particularly as the company depends on continual growth to maintain its share price the whole lot is starting become unstuck.

For the second quarter of 2015, iPhone sales grew by 2.1 percent from the same quarter last year across Europe’s five biggest markets, namely the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Growth was strongest in the UK at 5.5 percent and weakest in Italy at only 0.1 percent. Beyond Europe, iPhone sales surged by 9.1 per cent  in Australia, 7.3 percent in China and 2.7 percent in Japan.

It is worthwhile pointing that the European growth outside the UK, Australia and China is more indicative of a flat market rather than actual growth.

A possible reason for the fall in the US is better competition from Android where Apple’s Android rivals provided a tougher fight.

Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said in a press release. “In the U.S., as we forecasted last month, Android’s growth continued in the quarter ending June 30, with both Samsung and LG increasing their share sequentially. Forty-three percent of all Android buyers mentioned a ‘good deal on the price of the phone’ as the main purchase driver for their new device.”

“Android in the U.S. is undergoing its strongest consolidation yet, with Samsung and LG now accounting for 78 percent of all Android sales,” Milanesi added. “LG is the real success story of the quarter. Not only did it double its share of the US smartphone market once again, but it was also able, for the first time, to acquire more first-time smartphone buyers than Samsung.”

Screen size was the main driver for Android buyers across Europe, according to Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director at Kantar. Samsung and LG both sell big-screen “phablet” phones. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 sports a 5.7-inch screen, while LG’s G4 packs in a 5.5-inch screen.

Though the iPhone 6 Plus also uses a 5.5-inch display, iOS buyers are driven by a wider range of factors, Sunnebo said, including “phone reliability and durability, as well as the quality of the materials.”

Of course if you are member of Tame Apple Press you will forget to report the news and say the opposite and claim that the iPhone’s wonderful sales are a problem.


AMD Coherent Data Reaches 100 GBs

August 20, 2015 by  
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After a lot of asking around, we can give you some actual numbers about the AMD’s coherent fabric.

The inter-connecting technology already sounded very promising, but now we have the actual number. The HSA, Heterogeneous System Architecture MCM (Multi Chip Module) that AMD is working on can give you almost seven times faster score than the traditional PCIe interface.

Our industry sources have confirmed that with 4 GMI (Global Memory Interconnect) links AMD’s CPU and GPU can talk at 100GB/s. the traditional PCIe 16X provides 15GB/s at about 500 ns latency. Data Fabric eliminates PCIe latency too.

AMD will be using this technology with the next gen Multi Chip module that packs a Zeppelin CPU (most likely packed with a bunch of ZEN cores) and a Greenland GPU that of course comes with super fast HBM (High Bandwidth Memory). The Greenland and HBM can communicate at 500 GB/s and can provide highest performance GPU with 4+ teraflops.

This new MCM package based chip will also talk with DDR4 3200 memory at 100GB/s speed making it quite attractive for the HSA computation oriented customers.