How Petronas’ Chinese New Year ad, Nobody’s Child stands the test of time- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As we enter the Year of the Rat, advertising creatives across Asia offer their favourite Chinese New Year campaigns from over the years as we celebrate the best work from the festive period and hear their views on what is best in class.
Insightful, powerful human truths make for compelling storytelling. Many families don’t eat reunion dinners with their loved ones anymore, and those that do might be physically there but are mentally in a world of their own, scrolling through their mobile phones. It’s not surprising that brother and sisters end up like strangers, and cousins end up not recognizing each other’s names.
Some view Chinese New Year (CNY) family gatherings as a waste of time, and would rather travel overseas for a holiday. I have encountered my close ones calling at that very afternoon they were supposed to have CNY dinner, to cancel.
That’s why I love this Petronas ‘Nobody’s Child’ commercial done in 2008. It comes with the message of cherishing your family during CNY. From earlier years, Petronas’ investment in its festive campaigns touched the hearts of many Malaysians.
“Nobody’s Child” is about Tan Tiam Hock, a nerdy seven years old boy who cannot draw a family reunion dinner. He remains smiley despite being scolded by his teacher. We soon realize why he doesn’t draw anything. When school ends, the boy is finally picked up by an Indian woman who escorts him back to an orphanage. ‘Please be home for reunion dinner, if you can. Gong Xi Fa Cai’, reads the endline.
What makes this film so powerful is a reminder of how important family is. Spending time with your loved ones is usually taken for granted, and if we are not careful, our family unit will slowly deteriorate. There is a real danger of this happening in today’s social media-obsessed world. A good CNY ad doesn’t just entertain. It should encourage good social values and enrich our lives. This content is very respectful of the local culture and is concerned about our Asian values and the society we live in.
The late Yasmin Ahmad, whom I had the pleasure of working with during my early years in Leo Burnett, directed this film. She has a way of creating touching human stories that bring out the tension in society using unpretentious characters we can all identify with, and Tan Tiam Hock is no exception. Her work always included a blend of humour, heart, and love that crosses various cultural barriers.
This film might be 12 years old, but the importance of family reunion still resonates with me until today. So if you are going for your reunion dinner with your extended family this CNY, count yourself blessed that you belong to an extended family that treasures you.
Tay Guan Hin, founder and global chief creative officer, TGH Collective
Check out the latest holiday ads here, and keep an eye on Tempemail’s ongoing Chinese New Year coverage.

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SpaceX capsule splashes down off Florida after rocket failure test – Strategy – Hardware- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Elon Musk’s SpaceX simulated a successful emergency landing on Sunday in a dramatic test of a crucial abort system on an unmanned astronaut capsule, laying the foundation for its mission to fly NASA astronauts for the first time.
A Crew Dragon astronaut capsule launched at 10:30 a.m. and softly splashed down about 32 km off the coast of Cape Canaveral in Florida roughly eight minutes later, after ejecting itself from a rocket that cut off its engines 19 km above the ocean to mimic a launch failure.
Tempemail Aeronautics and Space Administration administrator Jim Bridenstine called the mission a success.
“This critical test puts us on the cusp of once again launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil,” Bridenstine wrote on Twitter. “Spacecraft recovery operations are underway.”
In a key trial for carrying humans, SpaceX was also testing its rescue teams’ response after splash down. They scrambled toward Crew Dragon with the US Air Force’s Detachment 3 emergency rescue teams in tow — a vital part of the test to practice a rescue mission to retrieve astronauts from the capsule.
Moments before the launch, Musk wrote on Twitter that it was a risky mission that was “pushing the envelope in so many ways”.
The Crew Dragon capsule, an acorn-shaped pod that can seat seven astronauts, fired on-board thrusters to detach itself from a Falcon 9 rocket less than two minutes after liftoff, simulating an emergency abort scenario to prove it can return astronauts to safety. Each stage of the test prompted loud cheers from SpaceX crew members watching the footage from back on land.
The test is crucial to qualify the capsule to fly humans to the International Space Station, something NASA expects to come as soon as mid-2020. It follows years of development and delays as the United States has sought to revive its human spaceflight program through private partnerships.
NASA awarded $US4.2 billion to Boeing and $US2.5 billion to SpaceX in 2014 to develop separate capsule systems capable of ferrying astronauts to the space station from US soil for the first time since NASA’s space shuttle program ended in 2011. The space agency has since relied on Russian spacecraft for rides to the space station.
During the test the Falcon 9 rocket’s boosters shut down in a mock failure that triggered Crew Dragon’s so-called SuperDraco thrusters to jet itself away at supersonic speeds of up to 1,500 miles per hour (2,400 kph). The Falcon 9 booster free-fell back to the ocean, with its first stage crashing into the ocean creating a tall plume of smoke seen on the horizon.
The capsule deployed four parachutes to slow its descent to the water, and carried two human-shaped test dummies on seats fitted with motion sensors to collect data on the immense g-force — the effect of acceleration on the body — astronauts would be subjected to during abort.
The test was originally scheduled for mid-2019 but was delayed after a Crew Dragon capsule exploded in April on a test stand just before firing its launch abort thrusters, triggering a lengthy investigation.
SpaceX-led investigators in July zeroed in on a previously unknown explosive reaction between a titanium valve and a propellant used to ignite the thrusters. A SpaceX official said the company completed the investigation within the last week.

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AI can detect low-glucose levels via ECG without fingerprick test- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Tracking sugar in the blood is crucial for both healthy individuals and diabetic patients. Current methods to measure glucose requires needles and repeated fingerpicks over the day. Fingerpicks can often be painful, deterring patient compliance.
A new technique developed by researchers at the University of Warwick uses the latest findings of Artificial Intelligence to detect hypoglycaemic events from raw ECG signals, via wearable sensors. The technology works with an 82% reliability, and could replace the need for invasive finger-prick testing with a needle, which could be particularly useful for paediatric age patients
A new technology for detecting low glucose levels via ECG using a non-invasive wearable sensor, which with the latest Artificial Intelligence can detect hypoglycaemic events from raw ECG signals has been made by researchers from the University of Warwick.Dr Leandro Pecchia with the new technology from the University of Warwick.
Currently Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) are available by the NHS for hypoglycaemia detection (sugar levels into blood or derma). They measure glucose in interstitial fluid using an invasive sensor with a little needle, which sends alarms and data to a display device. In many cases, they require calibration twice a day with invasive finger-prick blood glucose level tests.
However, Dr Leandro Pecchia’s team at the University of Warwick have today, the 13th January 2020 published results in a paper titled ‘Precision Medicine and Artificial Intelligence: A Pilot Study on Deep Learning for Hypoglycemic Events Detection based on ECG’ in the Nature Springer journal Scientific Reports proving that using the latest findings of Artificial Intelligence (i.e., deep learning), they can detect hypoglycaemic events from raw ECG signals acquired with off-the-shelf non-invasive wearable sensors.
Two pilot studies with healthy volunteers found the average sensitivity and specificity approximately 82% for hypoglycaemia detection, which is comparable with the current CGM performance, although non-invasive.
Dr Leandro Pecchia from the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick comments: “Fingerpicks are never pleasant and in some circumstances are particularly cumbersome. Taking fingerpick during the night certainly is unpleasant, especially for patients in paediatric age. Our innovation consisted in using artificial intelligence for automatic detecting hypoglycaemia via few ECG beats. This is relevant because ECG can be detected in any circumstance, including sleeping.”
The figure shows the output of the algorithms over the time: the green line represents normal glucose levels, while the red line represents the low glucose levels. The horizontal line represents the 4mmol/L glucose value, which is considered the significant threshold for hypoglycaemic events. The grey area surrounding the continuous line reflects the measurement error bar.
The Warwick model highlights how the ECG changes in each subject during a hypoglycaemic event. The figure below is an exemplar. The solid lines represent the average heartbeats for two different subjects when the glucose level is normal (green line) or low (red line). The red and green shadows represent the standard deviation of the heartbeats around the mean.
A comparison highlights that these two subjects have different ECG waveform changes during hypo events. In particular, Subject 1 presents a visibly longer QT interval during hypo, while the subject 2 does not.
The vertical bars represent the relative importance of each ECG wave in determining if a heartbeat is classified as hypo or normal.
From these bars, a trained clinician sees that for Subject 1, the T-wave displacement influences classification, reflecting that when the subject is in hypo, the repolarisation of the ventricles is slower.
In Subject 2, the most important components of the ECG are the P-wave and the rising of the T-wave, suggesting that when this subject is in hypo, the depolarisation of the atria and the threshold for ventricular activation are particularly affected. This could influence subsequent clinical interventions.
This result is possible because the Warwick AI model is trained with each subject’s own data. Intersubjective differences are so significant, that training the system using cohort data would not give the same results. Likewise, personalised therapy based on our system could be more effective than current approaches.
Dr Leandro Pecchia comments:
“The differences highlighted above could explain why previous studies using ECG to detect hypoglycaemic events failed. The performance of AI algorithms trained over cohort ECG-data would be hindered by these inter-subject differences.”
“Our approach enable personalised tuning of detection algorithms and emphasise how hypoglycaemic events affect ECG in individuals. Basing on this information, clinicians can adapt the therapy to each individual. Clearly more clinical research is required to confirm these results in wider populations. This is why we are looking for partners.”

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Novel smartphone test can spot urinary tract infections in minutes- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Scientists have developed a new smartphone-based test that could help diagnose urinary tract infections (UTIs) in just 25 minutes. Similar in principle to a pregnancy test, the process can identify the presence of harmful E. coli bacteria in a urine sample using a smartphone camera, according to the researchers from the University of Bath in the UK.
As well as being far faster than existing testing, the test could make accurate UTI diagnosis more widely available in developing nations and remote regions, thanks to its potential to be made portable, and far more cheaply than existing lab-based tests, they said.
E. coli is present in 80 per cent of bacterial UTIs, so if it is found it tells medical professionals that an antibiotic treatment is needed. As well as a smartphone camera, the test, which could be adapted to detect a variety of bacterial infections, takes advantage of widely-available reagents and new micro-engineered materials.
Researchers said the simplicity of the test, which has now passed the proof-of-concept stage, could deliver a new way to quickly identify treatments for patients in poorer or remote regions. Described in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the test uses antibodies to capture bacterial cells in very thin capillaries within a plastic strip, detecting and identifying the cells optically rather than through the microbiological methods currently used.
“The test is small and portable — so it has major potential for use in primary care settings and in developing countries,” said Nuno Reis, from the University of Bath.
“Currently, bacterial infections in UTIs are confirmed via microbiological testing of a urine sample. That is accurate, but time-consuming, taking several days. We hope that giving medical professionals the ability to quickly rule in or rule out certain conditions will allow them to treat patients more quickly and help them make better decisions about the prescription of antibiotics,” Reis said.
The lack of rapid diagnostics for UTIs has in many cases led to a catch-all prescription of potentially unnecessary antibiotics, which increases the risk of bacteria becoming resistant to treatment — one of the biggest threats to global health and development, researchers said.
The test is carried out by passing a urine sample over a ridged plastic micro-capillary strip, containing an immobilising antibody able to recognise E. coli bacterial cells. If E. coli is present in the sample, antibodies in the reagents will bind with it, stopping it from passing through the section of plastic strip.
An enzyme is then added that causes a change in colour that can be picked up by a smartphone camera, the researchers said. The system also measures the concentration of E. coli in the sample by analysing an image taken by the camera, researchers said.
The procedure is simple and could be manually operated or fully automated without any need for a mains power supply, they said. The next step for the process is clinical trials, which will require collaboration with clinical and commercial partners, the researchers said.

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Ryzen 5 3600 vs. R5 2600: GPU Scaling Benchmark Test – Blog – 10 minute

Last August after much demand I locked myself away for a few days to benchmark… Just to be clear, no one requested I had to be locked away, but that’s just what it took in order to get all 900 benchmark runs done. With the release of 3rd-gen Ryzen many gamers wanted a detailed GPU scaling benchmark. That’s what we set out to deliver, testing four GPUs with three different CPUs at two resolutions, three quality presets, and four games.
The goal was to see how the most affordable new Ryzen (R5 3600) and then most expensive 3rd-gen processor (R9 3900X) compared to the Core i9-9900K, the world’s best gaming CPU. In short, the Ryzen 5 3600 proved to be the best value option for gamers, more often than not matching the Ryzen 9 3900X. Using an RTX 2080 Ti with medium quality settings at 1080p, the affordable Ryzen was just 14% slower on average when compared to the 9900K.

However with a more reasonable GPU such as the $350 Radeon RX 5700 at 1440p with ultra quality settings, the Ryzen 5 processor was just 4% slower than the 9900K, while averaging over 120 fps.
Since then we’ve seen our fair share of new CPUs and other hardware that had to get reviewed and tested, but we’ve been sitting for weeks on similar scaling results and data comparing the excellent Ryzen 5 3600 against its predecessor, the Ryzen 5 2600 which is to this day a great value CPU option.
Gamers asking if they should spend ~$70 more on the R5 3600, or just get the 2600, this is the article for you. It was time to get these results out.

For testing, both AMD CPUs were paired with G.Skill DDR4-3200 CL14 memory and the Corsair H115i Pro cooler. Auto overclocking features such as MCE or PBO were disabled and the memory was not tuned, just XMP loaded. In other words, we’re looking at out of the box performance with a quality all-in-one cooler and low latency memory. Let’s get into the results.
Benchmarks
Starting with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at 1080p using medium quality settings, at the top of the graph we have the RTX 2080 Ti and here we see the 3600 is up to 28% faster than the 2600.
That’s a big performance jump and those with high refresh rate monitors will certainly notice this improvement. However, if you’re using a $500 graphics card with these $200 (or less) CPUs, then the margins are far less extreme. Here the 3600 was just 13% faster when comparing the average frame rate while the 1% low performance was almost identical.

With more mainstream GPUs, like the $350 Radeon RX 5700, the 3600 is just 8% faster. Finally for those using an RX 580 or a GPU of roughly equivalent performance, there’s virtually no difference between the 2600 and 3600 under these test conditions.
This will also of course be true of anyone using a GPU that’s slower than the RX 580.

Now if we change the quality preset from medium to ultra high, things change quite a bit and this is a more appropriate quality setting for those using an RTX 2080 Ti, especially at just 1080p. Here we see virtually no difference in performance between the 2600 and 3600 using the 2080 Ti, in fact the 2600 was just a few frames slower than the 9900K in this test scenario.
It’s a similar story with the RTX 2070 Super and RX 5700. At most the Ryzen R5 2600 was 3 fps slower than the 3600, delivering identical performance. Naturally we’ll see the same result with the RX 580 and with slower GPUs as well.

Jumping to 1440p using medium quality settings changes the picture from what we saw at 1080p. Previously, the 3600 was up to 28% faster than the 2600, here it’s just 7% faster with the 2080 Ti.
Similar margins are seen when testing with the RTX 2070 Super and RX 5700, while we see virtually no performance difference with the RX 580.

The final ACO test takes place at 1440p with the ultra high quality preset. Just as we found at 1080p using this preset, there’s virtually no difference in performance between the 2600 and 3600. Even with the 2080 Ti we’re heavily GPU limited under these test conditions.
Far Cry New Dawn
We’ve included this title deliberately as it represents the kind of performance you’re likely to see in older games. This is also a title that caused performance issues for Ryzen processors, at least performance limiting issues.
Overall performance was still quite good and certainly smooth and very playable as we see here with the Ryzen 5 2600.

When using the normal or medium quality preset we see that the R5 3600 is 15% faster at 1080p with the RTX 2080 Ti, 2070 Super and even the RX 5700.
Even with the RX 580 we see some performance improvement over the 2600 here.

Increasing the quality settings places additional load on the CPU, as well as the GPU, and as a result the margin between the 2600 and 3600 increases, now the 3rd-gen hexa-core processor is up to 29% faster with the 2080 Ti, and similar margins are also seen with the 2070 Super and RX 5700.
Again, it’s not until we drop down to the RX 580 that the margins are neutralized.

The margins at 1440p with the medium preset are slightly increased. Here the 3600 was 18% faster than the 2600 with the RTX 2080 Ti, previously we were seeing a 15% margin.
The 2070 Super and RX 5700 results are similar until we drop to the sub-$200 RX 580 that we become GPU bound and all CPUs are limited to the same level of performance.

Increasing the resolution widens the margins. At 1440p with the ultra quality preset enabled the 3600 was up to 27% faster than the 2600. This is seen with the 2080 Ti, 2070 Super and RX 5700.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
When testing Rainbow Six it should be noted that the “medium” quality setting is somewhat closer to ‘high’ as there’s also ‘very high’ and ‘ultra high’ above it. So using the high quality preset at 1080p with a manually adjusted render scale of 100%, the Ryzen 3600 was up to 26% faster than the 2600 with the RTX 2080 Ti.

That margin is reduced to just 12% with the 2070 Super, though more crucially, the 1% low is almost identical across the 2600, 3600 and even the 3900X.
By the time we get down to the RX 5700 the 3600 is only ~8% faster and even the 9900K is delivering a similar level of performance.
Unsurprisingly the RX 580 sees all four CPUs deliver the same level of performance.

Testing again at 1080p, but this time with the ultra quality settings, the R5 3600 is still a good bit faster when paired with the RTX 2080 Ti, delivering 24% more frames on average.
However as we saw with the medium quality preset, using the RTX 2070 S greatly reduces the margin to the point where they are almost on par. The margin with the RX 5700 is basically non-existent and is eliminated completely with the RX 580, which mind you is almost pushing 100fps on average.

Previously at 1080p with the medium quality preset the 3600 was up to 26% faster than the 2600 when paired with the RTX 2080 Ti. This time using the same quality preset but at 1440p, we find that the 3600 is just 6% faster when looking at average frame rates, while the 1% low performance is virtually identical.
We see the same performance with the RTX 2070 Super, though interestingly the 2600 does drop off the pace a little when paired with the RX 5700.

The last Rainbow Six Siege test takes place at 1440p with the ultra quality settings and here the Ryzen 5 2600 still allowed for over 160 fps on average with the RTX 2080 Ti. In short, the 3600 and 2600 delivered identical performance with all four tested graphics cards.
World War Z
Moving on to World War Z, first we have the medium quality results at 1080p. Using the RTX 2080 Ti the 3600 was 24% faster than the 2600 when comparing 1% low performance. That said, the 2nd-gen part was still pushing over 100 fps at all times.

Dropping down to the RTX 2070 Super reduced the margin to 19%, but the 2600 was still pushing well over 100 fps. Surprisingly with the RX 5700 installed, the R5 3600 was up to 22% faster, so a decent performance uplift.
Even with the RX 580 we see that the 3600 is up to 9% faster, something we’ve not seen in the other games tested, though none of the other titles saw frame rates exceed 150 fps.

Increasing the quality preset to ultra reduced the 3600’s lead over the 2600 with the RTX 2080 Ti down from 24% to 18%, not a massive change, but we are slightly more GPU limited here. Similar margins were also seen when testing with the RTX 2070 Super and RX 5700.
The trend is clear, it’s not until we drop to the budget RX 580 that the margins close up, but even here the 2600 lags a little behind the 3600.

Once again we see that increasing the resolution actually increases CPU load and as a result the 3600 is up to 29% faster than the 2600 with the 2080 Ti at 1440p. The margin is reduced to 19% with the RX 5700 and then just 3% with the RX 580.

Finally at 1440p/Ultra we see that the 3600 is up to 23% faster than the 2600 when using the RTX 2080 Ti. That margin is reduced to 17% with the 2070 Super and then back up to 20% with the RX 5700. With the RX 580 we’re looking at GPU limited frame rates and thus identical performance across all four tested CPUs.
Performance Summary
As we mentioned in the feature preceeding this, we realize four games is not a lot, but it took almost 300 benchmarks runs just to add the Ryzen 5 2600 into this comparison. The games used should also cover most performance scenarios. That being the case, what does the average performance look like?

For those gaming at 1080p, using medium quality settings, with an RTX 2080 Ti… you’re insane. But seriously, in this worst-case scenario for the Ryzen 5 2600 we see that the newer Ryzen 3600 was on average 21% faster.
For those using a $500 GPU under these conditions, you’re still a little nutty, but in any case the 3600 was 16% faster on average with the 2070 Super.
We feel a more realistic pairing would be the Radeon RX 5700 and here the 3600 was just 12% faster on average, or 15% if we look at the 1% lows. Finally, if you’re using an RX 580 or slower, the 3600 is really no faster than the 2600.

Now if we increase the resolution to 1440p which I feel is a more realistic choice with medium quality settings, even for RX 580 owners, we see that the 3600 is just 13% faster on average with the mighty RTX 2080 Ti, so not exactly a big gain over the 2600.
Similar margins are seen when testing with the 2070 Super and RX 5700, so you’re looking at less than 20% performance improvement with the Ryzen 5 3600 over the 2600.

Using ultra quality settings, the 3600 was 19% faster on average with the 2080 Ti. That margin is reduced to just 13% with the 2070 Super and 16% with the RX 5700. Then for RX 580 owners you’re looking at a 7% increase on average for the 1% low performance.

On a more demanding setting, gaming at 1440p, the Ryzen 3600 was on average 14% faster with the RTX 2080 Ti, 12% faster with the 2070 Super and 15% faster with the RX 5700. We see virtually no performance difference with the RX 580.
What We Learned
In our original Ryzen 5 3600 review which in addition to workstation and productivity tests included a 9-game benchmark covering 1080p and 1440p performance, we found when looking at just the 1080p numbers that on average the 3600 was 14% faster than the 2600. At the time the 2600 was retailing for $150 and the R5 3600 debuted at $200, meaning the older 2nd-gen part came in at a 15% discount per frame.
Looking at the best case average performance for the Ryzen 3600 in today’s test, it was 21% faster with medium quality settings at 1080p. Worst case the 3600 was 12% faster at 1440p with ultra quality settings.

What has changed more dramatically perhaps is pricing. Today the Ryzen 5 2600 can be purchased new for just $120, while the 3600 costs $195, making the newer part 63% more expensive. In other regions this margin will vary, but in Australia for example, the pricing remains very similar.
If you’re after maximum value and the best possible cost per frame, get the Ryzen 5 2600 or perhaps the new 12nm Ryzen 5 1600, which we plan to test soon. If you’re after maximum fps for $200 or less, then get the Ryzen 5 3600, there are instances where it’s almost 30% faster.
Do note that looking at this strictly from a cost per frame perspective doesn’t factor in the cost of a motherboard, memory, or the rest of the system. An additional $75 expense on the CPU is a massive 63% increase, but if we’re talking about a $1,000 system, it’s less than 10%.

Granted, if you applied the same mentality to all the components in your system you’d end up well over budget… $70 more for the CPU, a tad more for the graphics card, more memory, better motherboard, more storage, and before you know it that $1,000 build is looking more like $1,500. In any case, the point of this kind of test is to learn the actual differences in performance, so you only spend on a more expensive component that will net you a noticeable increase in performance. Otherwise, save the $75 and put it towards an upgrade in a few years’ time, at which point you should be able to buy a noticeable performance improvement.
Bottom line, the Ryzen 5 3600 is clearly the faster processor and we love it for the solid performance it offers for gaming and productivity tasks. But if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, the discounted 2nd-gen parts are the way to go.
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Intel is prototyping PCIe 4.0 SSDs, but needs AMD CPUs to test them – Blog – 10 minute

Facepalm: An errant tweet has revealed that Intel’s second generation Optane 3D XPoint SSDs are being sampled to developers, with a new flagship feature: PCIe 4.0 support. The only problem? Intel doesn’t have any CPUs that support PCIe 4.0. Maybe AMD can lend them some.
Oh, the irony.
AMD became the first to support PCIe 4.0 with third-generation Ryzen. While at launch the upgrade over Intel’s PCIe 3.0 was mostly academic, a slew of PCIe 4.0 SSDs have since been released with speeds almost twice as fast as previous generations. Intel’s CPU department might not have seen that as a big deal but apparently, their storage division does.
Intel’s technical marketing performance engineer Frank Ober tweeted that Intel is willing to send out PCIe 4.0 SSDs to developers. But the developers will need PCIe 4.0 CPUs to take full advantage of them.

@glcst would you like to test on gen2 pcie 4 capable optane ssd to see your code’s potential? Then I can set that up for you. Send me a private email when you are ready… @axboe has his own…
— Frank Ober (@fxober) December 24, 2019

In September, Intel confirmed the development of Alder Stream SSDs, an update to their Optane drives that will use second generation 3D XPoint technology. 3D XPoint is often marketed as a middle ground for RAM and solid storage. It’s much cheaper per gigabyte than system memory with similar latency, but its SSD-like speeds mean it can’t really replace RAM.
The next generation of XPoint focuses on enhancing speeds, according to Intel. But if they want to double speeds, or, like Micron, triple them then they’ll need either twice as many PCIe lanes (which no one would want) or to upgrade to PCIe 4.0, which has twice PCIe 3.0’s bandwidth.
Intel wanted to build PCIe 4.0 support into a new architecture based on 10nm, but they’ve been forced to delay that for years. It’s now scheduled to enter production in late 2020, so if we cross our fingers and pray, we might just see PCIe 4.0-supporting CPUs from Intel in early 2021. Meanwhile, they’ll be buying from AMD.

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In the US? Help us test our new browser concept.





Today we are piloting a new take on mobile browsers, with a strong emphasis on news discovery, social media and search.

This new version of Opera is an experiment where we focus on delivering you a personalized newsfeed based on your interests and social media connections. Our concept browser also has a new look and feel, with Android design elements and new navigation.

Blog Post ImageWe are looking to get real-life users to test this product. Wanna give it a try? You can find it in the  U.S. Google Play store. We encourage you to try it out and tell us what you think, and great if you can report any bugs you might find.

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Mozilla launches a VPN, brings back the Firefox Test Pilot program – gpgmail


Mozilla today announced that it is bringing back the Firefox Test Pilot program to allow users to try out new features before they are ready for mainstream usage. While the name is familiar, though, the overall goals of the new program are a bit different from the last iteration and the focus is less on crazy experiments and more on beta testing products that are almost ready for public consumption.

The first new project in the Test Pilot program is the beta of the Firefox Private Network VPN service, which is now available in the U.S. for Firefox desktop users.

The Firefox Test Pilot program has gone through its share of iterations. First launched three years ago, it quickly became the incubation ground for a number of new features. In January of this year, though, the organization decided to shut it down.

Why bring it back now? Clearly, Mozilla was getting valuable feedback from the Test Pilot users, who were surely among the most dedicated Firefox fans.

The organization says that it wanted to take time to evolve the program and this new version is indeed somewhat different. “The difference with the newly relaunched Test Pilot program is that these products and services may be outside the Firefox browser, and we will be far more polished, and just one step shy of general public release,” the team explains.

The new Test Pilot program then is less about giving users the opportunity to test some of the Firefox team’s more eccentric ideas and more like a traditional public beta test program.

The new VPN project, the team writes, is a good example of this approach. It’s a Test Pilot project because the team wants to fine-tune it a bit more before its public release.

The Firefox Private Network isn’t so much about trying to circumvent geo-restrictions and instead mostly focuses on giving users access to a private network when they are on public WiFi and helping them hide their locations from website and ad trackers (and indeed, a lot of the new Test Pilot projects will focus on privacy). That’s probably why Mozilla doesn’t refer to it as a VPN either, though that’s obviously what it is.

“One of the key learnings from recent events is that there is growing demand for privacy features,” Mozilla’s Marissa Wood writes today. “The Firefox Private Network is an extension which provides a secure, encrypted path to the web to protect your connection and your personal information anywhere and everywhere you use your Firefox browser.”

Mozilla is partnering with Cloudflare for this launch and Cloudflare is providing the proxy server for it. It’s available as a Firefox extension, but only in the U.S. and fore Firefox desktop users. For now, it’s available for free, though there have been some hints that Mozilla will at some point start charging for the service. Since it’s not a full VPN service, it remains to be seen how much the organization will be able to charge for it. Last year, Mozilla partnered with ProtonVPN and offered that service for $10 per month.

It’s worth noting that Opera, too, includes a free built-in VPN service, which includes the ability to set your location to either the Americas, Europe or Asia.

If you want to give the new service a try, you only need a Firefox account and sign up here.

 

 


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Watch the Porsche Taycan make a 0-90-0 test run on the USS Hornet flight deck – gpgmail


Porsche is squeezing in one more teaser ahead of the global debut of the all-electric Porsche Taycan. And this time, the German automaker didn’t hold back.

Professional racer Shea Holbrook drove a prototype Taycan from a standstill up to 90.58 miles per hour (145 km/h), then slammed on the brakes back to zero all within 10.7 seconds. Shea accelerated the Taycan to 90.58 mph in just 422 feet before braking hard.

If that wasn’t splashy enough, Porsche took it up a level and conducted the demonstration on the flight deck of the USS Hornet, the 27,500-ton aircraft carrier used to recover astronauts from the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 missions to the moon. You can watch the entire test run in the video below.

Yes, this is gratuitous automotive theater and a marketing ploy. It’s also a spectacularly fun way to show off the stability and performance of Porsche’s big bet on electric vehicles.

Now, the 0-90-0 run falls short of the traditional 0-100-0 tests. It’s not clear why Porsche didn’t make a 0-100-0 run, although available space might have been a factor.porsche taycan uss hornet 001

Stefan Weckbach, vice president of the Taycan product line, admitted that the demonstration was “some kind of fun testing than a completely serious one.” But he added that it was a fitting way to demonstrate the power of the car as it nears the end of its development.

On a tough, changeable surface the Taycan’s composure, its incredible acceleration and stopping power were absolutely impressive – though we decided not to take it to the max, just to reach the 0-100 mph margin.” Weckbach said. While I was completely sure both Shea and the car could achieve something special, I’m really relieved no one went for a swim.”

 

Holbrook said that despite appearances, the deck was quite bumpy.

“Deliberately accelerating towards thin air and the ocean is a new experience for me, but the Taycan gave me a huge amount of confidence — it was really stable but under acceleration and, more importantly, under braking,” she added.

porsche taycan uss hornet 021

 


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September’s Mate 30 launch could be a major test for Huawei – gpgmail


Apple isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer planning a big September launch. Huawei’s got a big event on the books as well, set for September 18 in Munich, just over a week after the new iPhones are unveiled. For Huawei, however, the Mate 30 announcement is about more than just smartphones.

The event is effectively the first big handset launch since the embattled Chinese manufacturer was added to the U.S. trade blacklist. The move had seemingly been a long time coming, after years of allegations ranging from spying to sanctions violations, but with the ban in place, the move will mark a key moment of truth for a company that has so far been dependent on offerings from U.S. companies like Google.

The Mate 30, which also marks a push into 5G, could potentially launch without Google apps. The recent U.S. government reprieve only applied to already announced products, according to a statement Google gave to Reuters. Trump has suggested that ban on Huawei products could be lifted with a new U.S.-China trade deal, further clouding the suggestion that the move made purely out of concerns for security.

The smartphone maker gave its own comment to Reuters, noting, “Huawei will continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the U.S. government allows us to do so. Otherwise, we will continue to develop our own operating system and ecosystem.”

That last bit is a clear allusion to HarmonyOS. The recently unveiled operating is largely limited to low end handsets and IoT device, but Huawei is also certainly readying itself for a longterm life after Google.

Meanwhile, CNBC is citing a source that suggests the phone will launch with or without Google apps, depending on how things shake out over the next few weeks. That would likely amount to a minor nuisance, requiring users to download them after purchase, while a full out Android brand would prove far more harmful to its bottom line.

It seems quite unlikely at the moment, however, that the company would attempt to launch such a high end device with its own partially baked operation system.


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