twitter-sandeep sharma  facebook-sandeep sharma  google plus-sandeep sharma  linkedin-sandeep sharma email-sandeep sharma

Monday, March 2, 2015

Intel Unveils A Trio Of New Mobile Chips: Atom x3, x5, and x7 - Coming To Phones, Tablets, And Other Stuff

This week at MWC, Intel revealed its 2015 and 2016 mobile chipset lineup, as well as the fact that the company is adopting a similar naming scheme to its Core line of processors with these new chips. They've been dubbed x3, x5, and x7, and as with the Core processors, bigger is generally better.
Intel has long been something of a dark horse in the mobile industry. The company has seen negligible penetration in smartphones to date (though not none) and competes almost exclusively in the low to mid-range segment in Android tablets. Of course, as the ultraportable market changes and small, super-thin laptops and convertibles become more common, Intel is swooping in with design wins left and right, keeping the likes of Qualcomm, NVIDIA, MediaTek, and Samsung out of a lucrative market.
The Ultrabook swing was a huge help to Intel, a beacon of hope as the world's top chipmaker failed to break into mobile. While Intel struggled to foist itself into a viable position in the consumer tablet market, the resurgent laptop cemented Intel's strong relationships with OEMs like Dell, Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, Samsung, HP, and others. Who have those OEMs come to for their most recent Android tablets? Not counting Samsung, the answer has almost universally been Intel.
In fact, it's actually getting quite difficult to find new Android tablets that aren't running with Intel processors - not that there aren't holdouts like Sony, Google, and Samsung. Today's announcement sees Intel marching forward with its plans for tablet, convertible, and Ultrabook world domination, as well as signaling that it's not quite giving up on phones just yet.
The Atom x3 processor (note that these aren't 'Core' processors - that level starts at the Core M tier, above x7) is Intel's first fully-integrated LTE system-on-a-chip, a major milestone. The x3 was made possible in large part through Intel's acquisition of the SoFIA platform, on which the x3 is based, with the exception of the Intel application processors.
These chips are aimed directly at the budget market where Intel has seen success in tablets - don't expect to find them in major smartphones unless they're majorly cheap. x3 comes in three flavors to start: 3G, 3G-R, and LTE (the top-tier LTE version will also ship as Wi-Fi only for tablets). The 3G-R and LTE models get quad-core 64-bit Atom processors (Intel isn't providing specifics) and varying levels of Mali graphics with SoFIA integrated modems. The entry-level 3G is a dual-core.
x5 and x7 are more interesting, but don't hold your breath on phone applications. While there's nothing exactly stopping these bleeding-edge 14nm 64-bit Cherry Trail processors from being put in a smartphone, their lack of integrated cellular modems simply won't make them attractive to most phone manufacturers. Intel is touting its new XMM 7360 LTE modem alongside x5 and x7, and while it is a discrete chip, it's at near feature parity with Qualcomm's current offerings. The aside, of course, is that we have no idea what power consumption, efficiency, and general performance is like compared to Qualcomm's latest, and I doubt Intel's chomping at the bit to tell us. The x5 and x7 do feature brand-new integrated wireless (Wi-Fi, BT, FM, etc.) chips, NFC controllers, and an Intel-developed location chip.

Wi-Fi only versions of x5 and x7 will be in commercially available devices in the first half of the year (Intel didn't say when x3 would launch), which is likely to only increase Intel's sphere of influence in the tablet world. How fast are x5 and x7? If your guess was "Intel isn't saying," you win! Intel hasn't actually announced any specific x5 and x7 models, so specifications are pretty scarce. Intel's basic outline of the x5/x7 platform seems to suggest all the chipsets will get quad-core Airmont 14nm processors, though I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a dual-core setup at the cheap end of the parts bin. 8th-gen integrated Intel GPUs will push the pixels on x5 and x7 hardware with, as you may have guessed, precious few details as to what exactly that means for performance. Intel boasts benchmark gains in Open GL of up to 100% over older Atoms, and 50% in applications like 3DMark. How the old chip performed is, of course, not elaborated on.

Intel envisions x5 and x7 parts will find their ways into devices retailing anywhere from $200 to $400+, which will put those Airmont cores among slightly more rarified air than their x3 cousins, which Intel relegates to the sub-$200 market.

Intel's process size advantage over Qualcomm basically ensures its continued rise in the tablet space through 2015. Qualcomm 14nm parts aren't expected in quantity until next year, though there is some speculation that limited 14nm runs of the San Diego firm's next-gen core may make it into production by year's end. For Qualcomm, though, the tablet space already seems lost - Intel is competing in large part with MediaTek and other budget processor companies at the low end, where an integrated cellular radio isn't a dealbreaker. At the high end, Samsung is pushing Exynos, and Amazon remains Qualcomm's last truly major tablet partner. Intel has competed aggressively on price and sell-through assistance with its partners to basically wrap up the Android tablet market - Intel is currently the largest independent vendor of chipsets in tablets, though Apple still manages to ship more iPads with its own chips overall than Intel does with all of its partners around the world.

x5 and x7, though, show that we're basically dealing with the same problems Intel has for years: the lack of a solid integrated cellular solution and mediocre graphics performance (though that is changing). Power consumption aside (which Intel says will be "competitive" on these new chips), it's clear Intel still has a winding road ahead of it before it can take on Qualcomm in its home space - the smartphone. As the tablet market shows signs of contraction, it also seems unlikely that 2015 will be especially lucrative for Intel's mobile business, which has lost money every year it has operated. Intel will likely keep losing money here as it hones and streamlines its mobile portfolio, though x5 and x7's Airmont underpinnings are finally seeing Intel's architectural roadmap align a bit more. Regardless, it's clear the desktop CPU market's sleeping giant is awake, and Intel doesn't plan on going back to bed any time soon.

Read More

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mother Monster: Lady Gaga lands role in American Horror Story: Hotel

Lady Gaga may have looked angelic whilst performing at the Oscars on Sunday night, but we all know that she’s a little monster at heart. It seems only fitting then that she’s landed a role in the upcoming series of American Horror Story. The producers have been tight-lipped about the fifth season of the popular FX show, merely revealing that the title will be American Horror Story: Hotel.

The star took to Twitter to share the news, posting a black and white video of herself in a mask and body cover, revealing her face as she says the name of the upcoming season. It’s not known what role Gaga has, but with Jessica Lange supposedly having quit the show, there’s room for another big player.

Speaking to E! News last year, Lange said, "You know, I told him that we would sit down and have a long conversation when this was over. In a way this character is so great, I don't know how you top Elsa Mars. I really—in deference to Ryan, who I love dearly and who I respect beyond—I have no idea at this point." However, after the finale of the fourth season aired on January 21, co-creator Ryan Murphy hinted that she was gone for good, tweeting, "Thank you Jessica...for everything. Always."

Gaga will be a season regular in AHS (Twitter)

American Horror Story has previously been set in a haunted house, a 1960s asylum, a witches' coven and, most recently, a travelling freakshow in mid-century America. And whilst the location for season five has yet to be revealed, eagle-eyed viewers have suggested clues from the last series suggest that it will have something to do with Area 51 in America, rumoured to be a top-secret alien testing site.

Just like the very first season, FX CEO John Landgraf recently revealed that Hotel would be set in the present day. "That’s my hope, yeah," he said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “One of the things I love so much about that is that it can be radically, radically reinvented in terms of tone, setting, period, characters, cast. I think there’s going to be an unusually large reinvention in between Book 4 and Book 5 relative to, say, between Book 3 [Coven] and 4 [Freak Show].”

It has been suggested that Gaga has been brought onboard to help with the shows dire viewing figures. Slammed universally by critics and viewers worldwide, season four may have premiered with about 10 million viewers but the finale only attracted 3.2 million.

But Gaga is certainly no gimmick. The star is said to have been given a recurring role in the upcoming series and already has an impressive resume, showing off her acting skills in the likes of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Machete Kills and The Sopranos.

American Horror Story: Hotel is slated to air in October.

Read More

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Katy Perry - The Prismatic World Tour to Macao in May

MUMBAI: International superstar, Katy Perry, has announced today that she will bring The Prismatic World Tour to Macao on 1-2 May.This tour is presented by The Venetian Macao and AEG Live, and sponsored by Citi.She will be touring in support of Prism, which debuted at number one on The Billboard 200.  The platinum album has given Katy her biggest ever single with 'Roar', while ‘Dark Horse’ just became her lucky 13th Top Ten hit on The Billboard Hot 100.

Tickets for the show go on sale starting 17 February  through Cotai Ticketing, HK Ticketing and Kong Seng and are priced from MOP 380 to MOP 1,680.

Citi is the official card of The Prismatic World Tour, and will offer its card members a 3-day presale.  This advance purchase period will run from 10 am 10 February  to 10 pm 12 February.

“We are absolutely delighted to be able to bring artists of the caliber of Katy Perry to The Venetian Macao's Cotai Arena," said Scott Messinger, SVP of Marketing, Sands China Ltd. “We are equally thrilled to be able to offer her legion of fans in the region a chance to see what has so far been an electrifying tour. Katy joins an illustrious list of performers that Sands China has brought to Macao as part of our efforts to diversify the cultural landscape of Macao and turn it into a center for leisure and tourism."

"I'm thrilled to bring the Prismatic World Tour to some of my favorite places in Asia, as well as some sensational places I've never been. I can't wait to take in the sights and the culture, and share my music and meet all of the new fans," said Katy.

Katy is currently touring the world on the Prismatic World Tour, which continues to be a hugely successful global spectacle, with 17 sold out arenas in the UK, 66 sold out arenas in North America and 25 sold out arenas in Australia/New Zealand during 2014. The tour continues in 2015 throughout Europe, Asia and South America where Katy will headline Rock In Rio in Brazil on September 25.  The state-of-the art stage, specifically designed by Katy for The Prismatic World Tour, allows her to get closer to her fans than ever before.   The one-of-a-kind set design will provide concert-goers with a truly magical experience from every angle in the arena.

Katy Perry cemented her status as a best-selling superstar with the global success of her second studio album, ‘Teenage Dream’, which debuted at No. 1 in eight countries and spent more than two years on Billboard's Top 200 album sales chart. She became the only female artist to have five No. 1 singles from one album on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (‘California Gurls’, ’Teenage Dream,’ ‘Firework’, ‘E.T.’ and ‘Last Friday Night’). The special edition, ‘Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection’, added ‘Part of Me’ and ‘Wide Awake’ to Katy's list of nine Top 40 chart-toppers (dating back to her multi-platinum debut album, 2008's ‘One of the Boys,’ which generated four hit singles: ‘I Kissed A Girl,’ ‘Hot N Cold,’ ‘Thinking of You’ and ‘Waking Up In Vegas’). 

Prism has already equalled the sales success of its predecessor, and generated five hit singles, two of which, 'Roar' and ‘Dark Horse’, hit #1 for multiple weeks, which helped Katy set a new record at Top 40 for most total weeks (46) at No. 1 in the Billboard airplay chart's archives, and makes her the only artist in 2014 with top spins at three different radio station formats (Top 40, Hot AC and AC radio).  She is the first artist to surpass the 75 million digital award threshold, counting digital downloads and on-demand streams – 20 million ahead of any other artist.

Read More

Saturday, February 21, 2015

How much does Joey owe Chandler? One 'Friends' fan did the math

Even with a rent-controlled apartment, living in downtown Manhattan is incredibly expensive. In season 8's “The One Where Rachel is Late,” Joey tries to figure out just how much he owes Chandler for keeping him financially afloat the past three years. When he sees the enormous figure, he hurriedly reassures Chandler that all has been forgiven and calls it even.

A curious Redditor wanted to know the actual amount Joey owed, so he posed the question to the They Did the Math subreddit. Within 24 hours, the world had its answer.

He then says 3 years worth of rent, utilities, and food. They live in Manhattan in a nice area of The Village, in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, apartment on one of the upper levels. That is a very expensive location to live in; today an apartment like that would cost around $5000 a month easily, using as a guide (and I'm low balling it assuming they got a good deal). Using an online dollar appreciation site, and using the year 1997, i found that $5000 would translate too about $3500 for them. The rent was supposed to be split 2 ways, so this is 3 years of chandler paying Joey's $1250. So $45,000 in rent alone. Now we're at $49,000.

Also counting for three years of utilities, cable and satisfying Joey's insatiable appetite, the total cost is staggering.

In total, if he calculated everything, it would be around $90,760. Chandler basically funded the living expenses of a full grown man for 3 years in one of the most expensive parts of Manhattan, so it was pretty costly to him.

Even for a friend, those are expenses you just can't ignore. It makes one want to ask the question why does Chandler let Joey mooch off him so much? One Redditor's answer:

"Because they're F·R·I·E·N·D·S!"

Read More

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ariana Grande is launching her first fragrance

Watch out Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga - Ariana Grande is joining the competitive market of celebrity fragrances with her debut perfume for her female fans.

That's right, the 21-year-old singer songwriter is launching her first fragrance and we imagine it'll smell sweet and gorgeous, just like her. We're expecting pretty packaging, too - and possibly a slightly sexy ad campaign.

No details have come through as yet about Ariana Grande's new fragrance, but we here it's scheduled to be released September 2015 but as soon as we know more we will keep you updated.

Ariana recently said in a magazine interview that she's a "fragrance girl. I love perfumes, body sprays; I love lotions that smell really good."

When asked about her favourites, she said: "...I think my top are Flowerbomb, the Trish McEvoy Sexy No. 9 - I love that, the blackberry and vanilla one - there's a Givenchy one that I love, I think it's called Hot Couture. I love the Victoria's Secret body sprays, I think they smell really sweet and delicious."

The American star has recently revealed her new video for One Last Time, and it was also announced that she will be embarking on a worldwide tour in support of her summer album, My Everything.

Ariana Grande's mission for world domination is almost complete.

Read More

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Big Sean and Ariana Grande premiere new collaboration 'Research'

Big Sean and Ariana Grande have shared their collaboration online.

'Research' appears as a bonus track on the rapper's new album Dark Sky Paradise and features vocals from Grande.

The track sees Big Sean namecheck the likes of Chris Brown and Drake.

Grande and Big Sean previously teamed up for the 'Break Free' singer's tracks 'Right There' and 'Best Mistake'.

The rapper has also unveiled album track 'Blessings', which features Kanye West and Drake.

© Chelsea Lauren/WireImage
Dark Sky Paradise will be released via GOOD Music, Def Jam and Roc Nation on February 24.

Meanwhile, Grande's new music video for 'One Last Time' has been accused of plagiarism by an Australian group.

Listen to Big Sean's 'Win Some, Lose Some' below:

Read More

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Phantom Dust Xbox One's Developer Shuttered, But Development Continues

Microsoft claims the game remains in development.

Microsoft has cut ties with Darkside Games, the studio responsible for the new Xbox One game Phantom Dust, resulting in the studio's shutdown, according to a new report by Kotaku.

The Florida-based independent studio reportedly laid off its staff after Microsoft canceled the version of Phantom Dust it was working on. In a statement to GameSpot, a Microsoft spokesperson didn't address the closure, stating, "Microsoft partnered with Dark side Game Studios in the development of Phantom Dust, but our working relationship has now ended. We have great respect for their studio and their work in the industry."

The spokesperson then went on to confirm that Phantom Dust is still coming: "While we do not have anything new to share on Phantom Dust at this time, we can confirm that development of the title continues. We look forward to sharing more details on the game as we get closer to release."

As for when that release is coming, we really don't know. Following the discovery of a trademark filing, the game was unveiled at last year's E3 as a reboot of the 2005 Xbox game of the same name. Since then, we've heard little about it, and today's developments could mean it'll now be longer before we see it again.

Read More

Sunday, February 8, 2015

‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’ Is Getting Popular ‘Gun Game’ Mode

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is one of the most popular games in the long-running series. Advanced Warfare is constantly at or near the top of the sales charts and got a boost with the launch of the brand new Advanced Warfare DLC, Havoc. Now Advanced Warfare is going to be even better thanks to the announcement that it will be getting the multi player Gun Game that has been featured in a number of Call of Duty titles.

Cinema Blend reports that Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey teased the announcement of Gun Game with a tweet on Friday in which he showed off a picture of a Gun Game match loading screen. This particular mode was first introduced in Call of Duty: Black Ops and was incredibly popular. Now that it’s coming to Advanced Warfare that popularity will likely be stoked.

If the mode is similar in Advanced Warfare as it is in other games, then six players will start off with just a pistol as their weapon. Players don’t get to choose the loadout when they start off. Once the player gets his or her first kill, the pistol is replaced with a new weapon. When it comes to Advanced Warfare, this means they might be able to get their hands on some rather futuristic guns.

Should the Advanced Warfare version truly mirror previous iterations, the only way to win the match is to log a kill with all 20 guns offered. If a Call of Duty player ends up killing someone with a knife or committing suicide, they will see their progress go backwards. Previously, the mode appeared in Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops 2, and Ghosts. In each iteration, there were different weapons available. This development further adds fuel to the fire that futuristic guns will play a part in this version.

The news comes at the same time as an announcement that the Call of Duty franchise will continue with a new game expected later this year. Gamespot reports the news was announced on Thursday, and Treyarch will be the developer for the new game coming this fall. Until the new untitled game gets a bit more information, gamers will have to entertain themselves with the new DLC, which includes a zombie mode and now the expected addition to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Gun Game.

Read More

Friday, February 6, 2015

Notches and Quivers: Arrow proves Team Arrow is better without Arrow

Since Esther seems to have pulled an Oliver, I've decided to bring back my Arrow recap for the week.* So: Arrow 3x13 Uprising, the finale of a three parter an episode coming on the heels of an excellent episode and mostly terrible one, manages to be just so-so, mostly because we don't dwell very much on the credulity straining main plot in favour of some great character moments. It's official: we've hit Arrow's midseason slump.

Some parts of this episode worked and some of them really didn't. The flashbacks to the time where Tommy's mother was killed were a nice surprise and they worked very well. Merlyn has been a bit of a cartoon villain so far, helped along by John Barrow hamming it up. And it worked, but it's nice to flesh out the character a little more. What didn't work: Attempting to sell us Melyn actually caring about someone else for a change. He's still a fucking psychopath, even his wife's death is all about what he lost and his anger.

I think someone needs to introduce Thea (and Roy) to the concept of "Cool motive. Still murder." Okay, so Thea doesn't know about the Sara thing yet, but Roy does. How can he for one second believe that what Merlyn did was not out of self interest? He really is dumber than he looks.

And Laurel, too. He killed her sister, how can she entertain the idea of working with him for a second? Luckily she came to her senses because that was DUMB. Dig delivering the "verdict" was perfect, though. Because Dig is perfect. Oh, and Felicity not even bothering to consider Merlyn's crazy-ass offer.

And speaking of dumb things, HOW HAS NO ONE NOTICED MALCOLM MANAGED TO INFILTRATE THEIR SUPER-SECRET SUPER-HERO COMPUTER SYSTEM. Goddamit. Not only does he get in and out at will apparently, but he also either installed a camera or hacked their system. WTF? It makes no sense, other than to reveal to Malcolm that brick was Rebecca's killer. Writers, please stop dumbing your characters down for your lazy writing.

The other thing that's bugged me for the whole ep: keeping Dig in the foundry with Felicity. I suppose it makes some sense considering Brick & co. are apparently fond of going after people's families, but at the same time it really didn't feel right. Especially considering how much Roy and Laurel almost get their asses kicked.

I'm not even going to comment on how stupid the idea of a police force ceding a whole neighbourhood to a bunch thugs for more than a week is, I think that was well covered in last week's recap. But: Seriously? The TV pundit defending it was even worse.

Organizing the people of the Glades to kick out the ne'er doers? Probably a good idea. Certainly made for an awesome "HELL YEAH!" moment. But probably also not a fantastic idea. That could have been a spectacular backfire. I mean Wildcat got beat up pretty hard(just because he got a gig on another show, that was mean, writers), and people seemed pretty banged up. And then they'd trust the police to actually take Brick off their hands? Let's pretend this plot never happened. (If I were Esther I'd snark about how Arrow finally showcases the true heroes of this shows: the people of Starling City who, after all the disasters, still haven't gotten the fuck out - or chased out the vigilantes with pitchforks.)

One of the problems with this three parter was trying to pack too much into not-three-hours of TV. Vinnie Jones was criminally underused. Besides the white-washing of the character (Arrow, you have a representation problem what with your magical asians and white-washing certain charters and fridging women. Do better.) if you've got Vinnie Jones to chew scenery, let him. It's fun. And they didn't even bother to address why he seems impervious to bullets! It was also great seeing Sin again, and I'm guessing she had more scenes that maybe got cut for time. We need more normal person perspectives on this show, now that everyone seems to have joined the vigilante crew. And can we give Katana something to actually do? She can kick ass, let's have more of that!

Det. Lance was on a roll tonight what with rolling with the Hood Squad Team Arrow and snarking Roy (hopefully they'll stop asking us to pretend he hasn't figured out who the Arrow is, too). Minus points for not figuring out which daughter is wearing the costume though. I suppose it could make sense, humans can easily fool themselves int believing whatever they want, but somehow, I suspect the writers didn't think this through that much. The scene with him and Sin wonderful, and I'd like to see the two of them interact more. Sin as a rookie cop?

I also keep being surprised at how well Laurel works as Black Canary for me, considering how much I liked Sara and how mad I still am about how they killed her. I'm also enjoying the hell out of all the interactions between Laurel and Felicity. I'm really glad they're building up that friendship.

The titular hero's triumphant return isn't that triumphant, and his speech seems a little ridiculous especially seeing how he hasn't saved anyone in a while.

Once again the whole ep was saved by Felicity at the end speaking her mind (and the audiences mind), telling Oliver straight up just how far his head is up his own ass. Because Oliver, this is possibly the worst idea you've ever had, and at one point you wanted to just let Slade kill you. I mean you want to train with the guy who has such poor anger management skills he tried to level a whole city quarter, who purposefully painted a huge target on Thea's back and who let you get killed in his place. It's like way past time for Merlyn to face the consequences for his epically bad decision making.

(Also, if we could stop having men telling women "you're not upset by this, but that other thing" I will be forever grateful. It's awfully patronising, and it seems to happen every other ep.)

They're building something up with that discussion they had before he left and the conversation with Tatsu in this ep: that Ra'as will use his humanity against him. They're also building something with "only the student can defeat the master" thing. Merlyn defeats Ra'as and Thea defeats Merlyn? Or either Nyssa or Maseo (or both) turn against Ra'as. Because the student of the student thing isn't doing to work for Oliver.


Seriously, skip to the last paragraph if you want to avoid spoilers.

Here's the canadian promo for the next episode "Canaries":

  It seems that Oliver finally tells Thea about being the Arrow. That's one long overdue moment (and she doesn't seem surprised), and I it brings up some exciting possibilities.

Overall this three parter had a flimsy plot and somehow still managed to not have enough screentime for everything it wanted to achieve. It did give us some really great character moments and some much needed development to characters that didn't have much time to shine due to the non stop Oliver angst. One of the things this episode made clear is that we need a Roy flashback episode as well. We know very little about him and what he did before he decided to steal Thea's purse. Here's hoping that from now on the writers manage to keep things more balanced.

*Hope you're okay Esther and not fighting any duels to the death on any remote mountaintops.

Gif credit: one,

Read More