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Updated: 7 min 17 sec ago

Adblock Plus and other ad blockers have a worrying security hole

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 09:28

There’s a serious vulnerability which affects a few popular ad blockers and could potentially allow for all manner of nastiness to be inflicted.

According to Armin Sebastian, the flaw is present in Adblock, Adblock Plus and uBlock, and pertains to a new filter option introduced by Adblock Plus version 3.2 in July 2018, which was subsequently adopted by the other ad blocking extensions (uBlock is also owned by Adblock, in case you were wondering, and is unrelated to uBlock Origin).

The new filter option in question is for rewriting requests, and is essentially used to remove tracking data and prevent adverts from getting around being blocked. However, Sebastian notes that: “Under certain conditions the $rewrite filter option enables filter list maintainers to inject arbitrary code in web pages.”

What’s rather worrying is that this feature is described as “trivial” to exploit, and could have widespread impact given that the aforementioned ad blockers have in excess of 100 million active users.

Someone exploiting this hole in the filter system could engage in all sorts of malicious activity, such as pilfering your online logins, for example.

The security researcher further observed that the exploit can be leveraged across all major browsers, and with web services that fit certain criteria detailed in his blog post. That includes Google services such as Gmail, Maps, and Google Images.

Sebastian says: “Please note that the vulnerability is not limited to Google services, other web services could be affected as well.”

He has contacted Google regarding the vulnerability, but was told by the company that the flaw was ‘intended behavior’ when it comes to its services – in other words, this is an issue for the makers of the ad blockers to sort out, and nothing to do with Google.

Sebastian believes this is an unfortunate conclusion to reach, and points out that the problem isn’t just about flaws in the ad blocking browser extensions, but also web service vulnerabilities, all of which are chained together to allow the exploit.

Non-trivial pursuit

Adblock Plus, meanwhile, has acknowledged the issue, although the company couches the exploit in very different terms, describing it as “non-trivial” to exploit – in direct opposition to what the security researcher believes – and underlining that it will only work for some websites.

Still, Adblock Plus admits it’s a serious matter, and that “despite the actual risk being very low, we have decided to remove the rewrite option and will accordingly release an updated version of Adblock Plus as soon as technically possible.”

The company adds: “We are doing this as a measure of precaution. There has not been any attempt of abusing the rewrite option and we will do everything we can to ensure this won’t happen.”

While the risk may (or may not) be low, as Adblock Plus claims, the stakes have doubtless got a bit higher now that the exploit is public knowledge.

So, until a new updated version of Adblock Plus (and presumably the other ad blockers affected by the flaw) is released, what can you do in the meantime?

Sebastian advises that users might want to consider switching to uBlock Origin, which doesn’t have the $rewrite filter option, and so is in the clear – at least until the issue has been sorted with the affected ad blocking extensions.

Via ZDNet

Categories: Tech News

PS5 details confirmed: 8K, backwards compatibility, SSD, ray-tracing and more

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 09:24

You'll still be using discs to play games on Sony's next games console, and it won't be landing until at least 2020. That's according to Mark Cerny at Sony who is the lead system architect on the next-gen console.

In an interview with Wired, Cerny has confirmed the console won't be launching later this year but he refused to confirm whether it'll be called the PlayStation 5.

Running off a bespoke version of the third generation AMD Ryzen chipset (8 cores with the company's new Zen 2 microarchitecture), the forthcoming console will be capable of supporting ray tracing – a complex lighting technique that has so far been the reserve of incredibly high-end PC GPUs. The chipset will also be capable of delivering a new "gold standard" in immersive 3D audio, particularly for those that enjoy playing with a headphone headset attached.

One of the other major upgrades here will be the integration of a bespoke solid-state harddrive, which would work differently to how you can connect an SSD to your existing PS4.

Sony showed a demonstration of an early devkit to Wired in the interview. During a game of Spider-Man a fast travel loading screen took 15 seconds on a PlayStation 4 Pro, but the same task took under a second on the next-gen devkit. It's estimated to be some 19 times faster than a standard SSD in terms of read times.

Essentially, you should expect your games to load a lot faster on this next-gen console. That said, the integration of this technology may cost a lot so there may be a price hike.

All the big details

Cerny confirmed the console will still boast discs to play games, and it'll be backward compatible with PS4 titles too. It doesn't look like it'll support PS3, PS2 or original PlayStation titles though.

That doesn't mean the company will avoid the idea of cloud gaming entirely, or necessarily its vintage catalogue. Cerny also said, "we are cloud-gaming pioneers, and our vision should become clear as we head toward launch”.

Whether that means an extension to PS Now - Sony's current classic game streaming service - or an entirely different system remains to be clear.

Your existing PlayStation VR headset will work with the upcoming console, Cerny confirmed, but we'd also expect the company to release a next-gen version of its virtual reality headset in the future too.

The upcoming console will also support 8K to futureproof it for your next-gen TV too.

Cerny wasn't drawn on a release date for the console or a price, other than to deny rumors of a 2019 release date. But we'd hope to learn more of those details when the company officially unveils the full console. 

The Wired article says, "Sony recently accelerated its deployment of devkits so that game creators will have the time they need to adjust to its capabilities." 

That suggests game developers already have the technology to play with, meaning we may hear more about the new console sooner rather than later.

Categories: Tech News

5G: How will businesses benefit?

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 08:30

5G is the buzzword of the moment and it’s not surprising why. According to Qualcomm, it’s expected to create 22 million new jobs and contribute a $12.3 Trillion economic benefit across the globe by 2035.

As the name suggests, 5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks, promising more speed and lower latency. Beyond performance benefits, it’s also set to underpin Industry 4.0 where everything is connected, processed and digitised.

Yet, 5G is currently tricky to pin down and its full arrival is still a long way off, but one thing is for sure, it will impact your business. 

 5-who? 

While the UK was a disappointing 54th to launch 4G in the global race, it will be in the first wave of countries to adopt the new networking technology.

There are three bands of 5G: sub 1GHz (cheap and offers wide coverage, yet slower speeds); 3.4-3.8 GHz (the main frequency layer) and >6GHz (high bandwidth with low latency). Speeds in some bands will be well in excess of 1Gb/s.

The major networks, including EE, Three, Vodafone and O2 have all started initial roll outs of 5G in high traffic areas. Vodafone recently completed a live test after winning the largest block of spectrum in Ofcom’s 5G auction at Birmingham New Street Station, creating the UK’s first 5G train station.

At this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, every smartphone manufacturer showed off a new 5G device. However, it won’t be until 2020 at least until the 5G revolution really kicks off here and its likely urban centers – where all trials have been held so far - will benefit first.

Having said that, the race to 5G is at risk of slowing as it requires extensive government approval. Not to mention the fact the U.S is still trying to ban Huawei, the Chinese supplier of high-speed telecoms systems over fears this would help China conduct espionage or cyber sabotage. It seems the UK believes this risk can be mitigated without banning Huawei from the 5G network, according to recent headlines.

So, looking forward, it’s unclear when exactly UK businesses will benefit from the 5G network, but rest assured it’s coming.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Understanding the business benefits

There’s a lot of talk about 5G as a consumer technology but less about how it’s set to benefit businesses.

The start with, it will certainly improve the experience of remote working and collaboration. Today, over 50 percent of staff work away from their main office at least 2.5 days a week which while giving businesses agility, improved scheduling and lower staff turnover, can make connecting, sharing and engaging teams difficult. 

Enter 5G. Network-related tasks, such as online sales or sharing large files in the cloud will become faster and more efficient, even on mobile devices without the need to connect to WiFi, giving businesses huge productivity gains and boosting staff morale. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than a slow internet connection.

As well as connecting people, 5G will connect things, vastly expanding the capabilities and application of IoT which demands better and faster connectivity. In fact, 5G will enable device-to-device communications for up to a million devices per square kilometer.

This opens-up huge opportunities for IoT innovation and commercial use - from driverless cars, drones, Artificial Intelligence, robotics and remote-controlled machinery, and virtual and augmented reality - giving businesses at the forefront of creating and using such technologies a competitive edge.

A very clever example of what’s possible is provided by Vodafone’s 5G connected crane, allowing an operator hundreds of miles away to have full remote control of the crane (or indeed multiple cranes in different locations). This 5G-enabled teleoperation solution could transform the construction industry and many others, increasing site safety and reducing idle time.

Plotting your 5G road map

As with any new technology, it pays to be fully prepared and those who are will gain first mover advantage. Every business, no matter its size or sector, should be thinking about how 5G could benefit them and their customers.

Before jumping in, it’s important to clearly lay out the key investment areas to prepare your business for 5G’s arrival. Knowing how you want to use 5G is much more valuable than being an early adopter who doesn’t. 

Consider appointing an internal person or team to spearhead the project, working with the support of external experts where needed. Senior representatives from different departments should also be encouraged to feed in to help identify current road blocks and possible areas for innovation.

Future-proofing your network infrastructure is also a must for any adopter of 5G. If the access network attached to 5G is poor, you will just move the bottleneck. If you haven’t already, consider transitioning to a virtual network – the process of consolidating the physical hardware into a single software-based entity – which will be more fluid, dynamic and flexible.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The evolving threat landscape

The very attributes which make 5G so valuable create new cybersecurity risks. A wider attack surface with more devices connected to the network and files being transferred across it, opens-up vulnerabilities.

As the evolving threat landscape becomes clearer as the full deployment of 5G edges closer, it’s important security protocols do not cancel out the productivity gains businesses are looking forward to by slowing or preventing authorised access.

With the growth of BYOD and remote working, business leaders are well versed in the risks associated with a blurred security perimeter. However, 5G brings new security concerns as hybrid computing becomes the norm, combining the risks of endpoint computing with those of cloud computing.

In response to these concern, the UK Government’s 5G Testbeds are focusing on the principle of “security by design”, whereby 5G networks, software and apps are designed with security at the core with the flexibility to adapt in the face of evolving threats. 

A zero-trust security model is considered to be the safest way to mitigate the risk factors associated with 5G networks. Security on a zero-trust basis centers on the data, with every access request being verified, validated and authenticated.

For example, 5G devices could recognise sensitive documents being accessed on the move during an employee’s commute and the virtual network could provisionally block access until the user is in a suitable place to access such documents. 

While many people will be taking advantage of 5G in the correct way, others will be focused on undermining it. Businesses need to bear this in mind when adopting 5G, or in fact any new technology, and adapt their security protocols accordingly to stay protected.

Craig Lodzinski, Chief Technologist for Data and Emerging Technologies at Softcat

Categories: Tech News

Avast's new Secure Browser will shield you from prying eyes

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 07:46

Avast has released an updated version of its security-focused web browser, with new features to help you protect your privacy and cover your tracks online.

The new Avast Secure Browser, codenamed Aspen, includes a tool called Webcam Guard that prevents sites from accessing your computer's camera, and lets you save preferences for certain websites that you want to grant permission to – a much more convenient and less sticky alternative to tape over the lens.

Aspen also includes anti-fingerprinting, which makes it impossible to build up a unique picture of your PC using its hardware and device configurations. This feature appeared in the Beta and Nightly builds of Firefox last week, and we expect to see it in more mainstream browsers soon.

There's email hack checking as well, which searches for your address in a list of ones released in recent data breaches, and suggests what you should do if your details have been published. Avast also offers an online hack checker, but it's more convenient having one built right into your browser.

These are in addition to the browser's existing security tools, including anti-phishing, a dedicated bank mode for sensitive transactions, and Extension Guard, which protects against unwanted plugins.

Private matters

Avast Secure Browser is based on Chromium, and is available to download now for Windows 7, 8 and 10. 

“In a recent Avast survey of 8,000 people globally, 67% said they felt their privacy and security were threatened by information gathered about their online behavior from websites they visited,“ said William Drewett, senior product manager for Avast Secure Browser.

“With our newest version of Avast Secure Browser, we’ve focused on making it simple and quick for people to protect their privacy online.”

Categories: Tech News

Realme 3 Pro features teased on Twitter, may launch with Realme C2 on April 22

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 07:37

Realme Mobiles will unveil its mid-range phone, the Realme 3 Pro in India on April 22 and has started teasing the upcoming product in a series of tweets. The company's CEO, Madhav Sheth was also a part of a YouTube video where he provided some hints about the Realme 3 Pro.

The Realme 3 Pro will take the fight straight to Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 Pro when it launches in India next week. Sheth also hinted that Realme 3 Pro will come with a fast charger in the box unlike its competitor, the Redmi Note 7 Pro which supports Quick Charge 4 but does not come with a supported adapter. We know that the phone will come with a VOOC fast charger which makes the Realme 3 Pro the first phone of its kind to support OPPO's fast charging technology.

In addition to the Realme 3 Pro, Sheth also disclosed that the company will unveil a second phone. On Monday, a report on 91Mobiles states that the second phone to launch alongside is in fact the Realme C2. The report cites industry sources who have provided the publication with some of the key specifications of the phone.

Image Source: 91Mobiles

According to the report, the Realme C2 will be priced close to Rs 8,000 which puts it in the domain of entry-level smartphones. While there is no information on the size of the display, the report states it will feature a waterdrop notch and will be powered by MediaTek Helio P22 chipset. The front camera seems to have been upgraded from 5MP to an 8MP snapper. It is also rumored to have a 4,230mAh battery to boot.

Coming back to the Realme 3 Pro, the official Twitter handle of Realme Mobiles is actively teasing features of the upcoming phone and here is everything we know about it.

Everything we know about Realme 3 Pro

Just last week, Realme Mobiles CEO, Madhav Sheth posted a picture on Twitter revealing that the Realme 3 Pro will support Fortnite at the time of its launch. Lying adjacent on the table is the Redmi Note 7 Pro which doesn't support Fortnite yet.

The apparent jab by Sheth is an indication that the Realme 3 Pro could be powered by either Qualcomm's Snapdragon 710 or Snapdragon 670 as both these chipsets were launched in late 2018, are backed by Adreno 616 GPU and support Fortnite.

On the other hand, the Realme 3 Pro visited Geekbench recently and its listing revealed that it features a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display, is powered by Snapdragon 710 with 6GB of RAM and runs on Android 9.0 Pie under the company's ColorOS 6.0.

Realme 3 Pro will have a hyper boost mode which will optimize gaming experience, speed shot mode in the camera to get that perfect frame and a super slow-motion video recording option. On the design front, the Realme 3 Pro picks up some elements from the previous phones in this series and builds upon them with a new pattern on the rear panel.

Realme 3 Pro launches on April 22 in India at 12:30 PM at an event in New Delhi.

Categories: Tech News

What can businesses expect now the Making Tax Digital scheme has kicked in?

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 07:30

The government-driven Making Tax Digital initiative aims to make it easier for individuals and businesses to keep on top of their taxes. In part motivated by the UK’s huge VAT gap – an estimated €22bn (approx. £19m) is currently owed to HMRC – the scheme will also aim to bring the country’s tax administration into the 21st century, making it much more efficient and effective.

As of April, VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are required to use the Making Tax Digital service to submit their VAT returns and keep records digitally.

The British Government is not the first to utilise digital technologies for tax reasons, however. All across the world, politicians have acted decisively to address burgeoning tax gaps and implement digital reform. In fact, some countries have taken this further than the UK’s current initiative and introduced a centrally managed clearance model, in which all invoices must be issued via a government official platform.  

How long have clearance models been around? 

Historically, many countries have operated a post audit model, allowing businesses and their suppliers to exchange invoices freely but requiring them to prove their accuracy for up to a decade later. As such, companies are required to keep an accessible archive as well as being subject to periodic reporting. In contrast, a clearance model requires each invoice to be reported and authorised electronically, before or during the exchange process. This allows governments to monitor tax in real time, with closer scrutiny helping to limit the loss of revenue arising from tax leakage. 

Chile was an early adopter of the clearance model, introducing it in 2003. Since then, other countries such as Brazil and Mexico have overtaken Chile in terms of uptake, with Mexico leading the way and sending more than 10 billion e-invoices on an annual basis. In 2017, it came close to its objective of digitalising all processes relevant for taxation, consequently increasing tax collection by an impressive 34 per cent. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Europe begins to mandate e-invoicing

In Europe, change is also afoot, partly due to the e-Invoicing Directive 2014/55/EU which must be implemented by the 18th April this year. Five years ago, the European Commission voted to introduce a European e-invoicing standard for public procurement because there were so many different invoice formats in existence. These varied formats were causing unnecessary complexity, high costs for businesses and public entities and were a barrier to frictionless trade. 

Once the Directive comes into force, all European authorities will have to accept electronic invoices that comply with the requirements laid out by the EU. However, the directive only sets out a rough framework for countries to follow and only applies to public sector invoices. 

The Italian adventure

Italy, however, has taken this one step further by making e-invoicing mandatory for all companies, not just business-to-government (B2G) transactions. Since January this year, all invoices must be transmitted via the Italian government’s interchange system, Sistema di Interscambio (SDI), and issued in a specific format. This was again motivated by the size of the country’s VAT gap – in 2015, it was a staggering €35bn, the largest amongst all the EU Member States. 

While it has only been a few months since the mandate kicked in, the early signs are promising and it’s likely that other European countries will follow suit.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Lack of harmonisation

The biggest issue is that there is no European-wide standard when it comes to digitising tax, meaning that any business trading internationally is faced with a labyrinth of rules and regulations to comply with. This is resulting in a huge amount of friction. In 2017, Tungsten Network conducted research into the causes of friction within global supply chains and discovered that businesses already spend an average of five hours a week sorting out compliance issues, including handling international taxes. The figure is probably higher now, especially for businesses not processing invoices on global networks. This will inevitably get more complex for UK and European businesses post Brexit. 

With this in mind, companies that trade globally will need to ensure they stay on top of the changes and their invoices remain compliant. Without support, this can be an extremely time-consuming process and the rate of change can be overwhelming. There are, however, global, digital networks that can remove much of the headache. Instead of having to invest inordinate time and resource monitoring tax legislation worldwide, companies can have peace of mind knowing that someone else is checking and guaranteeing that all invoices are compliant. 

Making Tax Digital is likely to be the first step in a much bigger journey. One day, the UK government may copy its Italian counterparts in mandating e-invoicing. If they do, businesses should be looking at it as an opportunity rather than a burden. E-invoicing increases the efficiency and accuracy of a company’s accounts payable team, eliminates error and fraud and reduces the cost of handling invoices by more than 50 per cent. Most of all, it removes friction from the supply chain and brings down barriers to global trade. All eyes will be on Westminster as it learns from the Italian adventure and potentially follows suit.

Ruud van Hilten, Senior Vice President at Tungsten Network 

Categories: Tech News

OnePlus 7 looks a lot like the OnePlus 6T in new leaked pictures

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 07:04

Most OnePlus 7 leaks so far have pointed to a phone with an all-screen design and a pop-up selfie camera. But it seems those shots might actually be showing the OnePlus 7 Pro, with the standard OnePlus 7 instead looking a lot like the OnePlus 6T

At least, that seems to be the case if the latest leaked renders are to be believed.

Shared by Pricebaba in collaboration with reputable leaker @OnLeaks, these renders show a phone with a small teardrop notch above the screen and a design that overall is virtually identical to the OnePlus 6T, other than the LED flash being inside the oblong camera unit, rather than on the outside.

Another difference is said to be the screen, which is apparently 6.2 inches, compared to the 6.41-inch one on the OnePlus 6T. But dimensions are seemingly very similar, with the OnePlus 7 said to be 157.7 x 74.8 x 8.1mm (rising to 9.5mm at the camera bump), compared to 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm for the OnePlus 6T.

That would suggest the OnePlus 7 would have slightly larger bezels around a smaller screen, but that doesn't seem to add up in the renders where bezels appear slim. Otherwise though the two look very similar, right down to the port and button placement.

We would of course take these images with a pinch of salt, but they are believable, as while most previous shots show the aforementioned pop-up camera along with a triple rather than dual-lens rear camera, we have seen some that match these.

We have also heard mention of a OnePlus 7 Pro previously – a name which wouldn’t be required if only one version of the OnePlus 7 was launching.

In any case, we should know what OnePlus is cooking up soon, as the OnePlus 7 is rumored to land on May 14.

In fact, we might hear about it even sooner than that, as the company’s CEO has teased that details about an upcoming device will be revealed on April 17 – though he could be talking about the OnePlus TV or something else altogether.

Categories: Tech News

Google partners with Marvel Studios for exclusive Avengers Endgame Playmoji on Pixel 3

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 06:36

Google and Marvel Studios have collaborated for the studio's upcoming blockbuster Avengers Endgame with exclusive Playmoji pack on Pixel 3 phones. Google will be sending help to the Avengers in their battle against Thanos and has revealed that "something big is coming to the Pixel universe" on May 8.

With Google's ARCore at the helm of affairs, Pixel 3 users will be able to manifest five new Playmoji character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe which includes Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Thor, Rocket and War Machine. The characters can be added to different scenes when creating a picture or video from Pixel 3 and ARCore optimizes the augmented reality elements.

Accessing these characters is easy, just head to the Playground tab in Pixel Camera which is already home to Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Nebula and Okoye Playmoji. In addition, the Avengers Endgame Playmoji pack can be installed via Play Store by heading to this link.

Google has also released a promotional video which showcases the different features of the Pixel 3 like Google Maps navigation, Google Assistant, Pixel Camera Top Shot and the new AR Playmoji pack.

Google I/O to commence on May 7

Google's annual developer's conference, Google I/O is scheduled to begin on May 7 and it is rumoured that the company will be unveiling their new Pixel 3a series during the event. We already know that Google has teased something for the Pixel universe that indicates a possibility that we might see the mid-range Pixel phones after all. 

Categories: Tech News

Pepsi isn't ready to start advertising in space just yet

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 06:30

Russian company StartRocket plans to make a name for itself (and its customers) by launching glowing billboards into the night sky, and a recent report in Futurism claimed that PepsiCo would be the first brand to appear among the stars.

The two companies joined forces for a test launch to advertise gamer-targeted energy drink Adrenaline Rush, but PepsiCo has now announced that it was just an experiment, and it doesn't plan to buy an artificial constellation to promote pop just yet.

“We can confirm StartRocket performed an exploratory test for stratosphere advertisements using the Adrenaline GameChangers logo,” a PepsiCo spokesperson told Gizmodo. "This was a one-time event; we have no further plans to test or commercially use this technology at this time.”

The ad-space race continues

When it finds a client that's in for a the long-haul, StartRocket plans to launch a collection of small, light-emitting satellites called CubeSats, which can be precisely controlled and connected together in low orbit to spell out names and create shapes (a little like Intel's Shooting Star display drones).

The company intends to start putting ads into orbit in 2021, so although PepsiCo might have pulled out, there's still time for it to find another brand with deep pockets and extraterrestrial ambitions.

Categories: Tech News

Driving improved delivery standards in the age of instant gratification

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 06:30

In today’s increasingly competitive retail landscape, delivery times are becoming a crucial differentiator between brands and often a key factor for consumers when selecting a retailer to purchase a product from. Consumers continue to seek instant gratification when making online purchases and ecommerce giants such as Amazon are driving increased expectations in terms of delivery times. 

According to research by Deloitte, the wide majority (83%) of shoppers consider fast shipping to mean delivery within two days or less . As a result, people are no longer happy to wait days or weeks for their goods and next day delivery is now considered a standard, rather than a luxury. 

With major disruptions to the UK’s roads, including adverse weather conditions, roadworks and even pesky potholes, logistics companies are now under more pressure to ensure customer demands are met. Last year the Beast from the East, which was deemed the most testing weather experienced in the UK for years, threw the country into complete chaos. Poor driving conditions prompted online supermarkets to cancel tens of thousands of orders and saw profits slump as a result. 

It is safe to say that the British weather is getting harder to predict. This February saw temperatures peak at 21 degrees Celsius in London, England sparking a rush in for goods usually associated with summer. In fact, Asda saw sales of swimwear by its clothing brand, George, were up 19%, sunglasses up 27% and shorts up 150% year-on-year . Conversely periods of freak weather may prompt consumers to postpone certain purchases until later in the year. 

Transportation and logistics businesses must ensure that they have an effective business mobility strategy in place across their entire supply chain in order to keep up with these increasingly challenging peaks and troughs in consumer demand. 

Delivering visibility across the supply chain

Mobile devices and apps, when used in transportation and logistics, hold the key to visibility across the supply chain and help businesses keep up with peak demand. They achieve this by providing access to real-time asset visibility on everything from drivers, to vehicles and their cargo. Improved visibility from pickup to delivery is crucial for effective supply chain management and essential for reacting quickly to changing road and weather conditions. 

By integrating an effective business mobility strategy across all devices and backend systems, organisations can improve efficiency, accuracy and timeliness across the delivery process. An effective mobile device strategy will provide insight, from confirmation scans of material being received at the hub or arriving at the depot, through to the state of mobile devices out in the field.

The ability to monitor and gain insight into devices used by drivers can also help companies protect their workers by locking down and limiting functionality of mobile devices based on vehicle speed. This could effectively limit the risk of distracted drivers and reduce potential accidents as a result. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Driving better customer experience 

With customer expectations continuing to grow at a rapid pace, it is important to ensure that items are delivered on time, without delay. Real-time data enables accurate delivery times and provides a comprehensive overview of delays. Having access to these real-time updates and accurate information makes everyone happier: the shipper, the carrier and, most importantly, the customer, who now demands online tracking access to see their parcel’s whereabouts in real-time. 

If organisations do not leverage an integrated mobile approach to improve the visibility, management, and support of their business-critical mobility, they run the risk of limiting their ability to swiftly respond to issues, which could directly lead to losses in revenue. By implementing an effective mobility strategy, transportation and logistics businesses can ensure consumer needs are met by having end-to-end supply chain visibility. With access to real-time insights, brands can minimise driver downtime and improve overall customer service as a result. Failure to do so could have a serious impact across the entire supply chain, and customers will be quick to turn their back.

Leigh Moody, UK Managing Director at SOTI

Categories: Tech News

Free-to-play racer Forza Street out now on Windows 10, also coming to mobile

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 22:15

Microsoft's exclusive Forza racing series has alternated between its track-based Motorsport and open-world Horizon entries each year with great success, but now the publisher is ready to take the brand into the free-to-play arena with Forza Street, available from today (April 16) on Windows 10. 

It will make its way to iOS and Android devices later in the year. 

Although Forza Street was announced by Turn 10 Studios today, the game is actually a rebranding of the existing title Miami Street, which was released by Microsoft almost a year ago and has now been significantly updated to include a refreshed narrative, upgraded car parts, faster boot-ups, new animations, languages and an audio polishing.

Unlike previous Forza titles, Forza Street does not require you to steer your car to victory. Instead, gameplay is timing-based and involves clicking the left mouse button or pressing the space bar to accelerate, and letting go to slow down around corners. 

Boosts can be earned depending on how well you time your gas-pressing, and winning races earns you a constant stream or credits and car unlocks. Of course, being a F2P title there are also microtransactions if you just can't wait to unlock your dream car. 

While the game's mechanics are incredibly simple, it must be said that Forza Street's bite-sized gameplay is quite addictive, making it ideal for mobile play. You can grab Forza Street now from the Microsoft Store.

Categories: Tech News

Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL launch date and pricing seemingly revealed

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 21:00

Google’s upcoming mid-range Pixel 3a and 3a XL handsets have been some of the tech giant’s worst-kept secrets over the last few months, with leaks flooding in left, right and centre, but the latest influx of info gives us what appears to be our most concrete launch details yet.

A teaser poster displayed on Google’s own store page has revealed that “on May 7, something big is coming to the Pixel universe”, which happens to coincide with the first day of the Google I/O conference. It also states that “help is on the way” and “the power is in your hands”.

[Image credit: Google]

The teaser was found shortly after 9to5Google editor Stephen Hall tweeted his prediction that the Pixel 3a range will hit stores on May 7 – with a “confidence score of ~7/10”.

As the teaser page’s URL and superhero-esque text may imply, the announcement coincides with Google’s promotion for Avengers: Endgame, which sees the release of five new Marvel character AR stickers for Playmoji – War Machine, Thor, Black Widow, Rocket and Captain Marvel.

While it’s worth noting that Google’s messaging doesn’t explicitly mention that it will be its Pixel 3a and 3a XL devices launching on the May 7 date, it does state that it will be something in the “Pixel universe”, and the details seem to coincide with other leaks and tidbits we’ve recently learnt.

Pricing

As Google is attempting to introduce a more affordable option into its lineup with this pair of handsets, their pricing is a significantly important detail in their success. So far, we haven’t had any official word on what they’ll cost, but another leak seems to give them a ballpark.

Discovered by Phandroid, a new leak shows off what seems to be the Pixel 3a and 3a XL (albeit, with their codenames Sargo and Bonito) and their cost in Canadian dollars – $649.99 and $799.99 respectively.

This would translate to roughly $500 (£380, AU$700) for the regular Pixel 3a and $600 (£460, AU$840) for the larger Pixel 3a XL, although an earlier leak that listed the smaller mid-range Pixel in Euro would pitch it at $420 (£320, AU$590).

Regardless, it’s looking like a safe bet to expect the Google Pixel 3a to launch on May 7 for around $450-500 with its larger Pixel 3a XL counterpart to sell for roughly $100 more. Stay tuned to TechRadar for more news, leaks and rumors as the mid-range Google handsets approach launch.

Categories: Tech News

Facebook Messenger app unlocks dark mode for everyone

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 20:03

Facebook introduced a dark mode feature to its Messenger app in 2018 but, at the time, it was only being tested by select users in a few countries. In March this year, that feature was opened up to all users, however it was technically still an Easter egg – it had to be sneakily activated by sending a message containing a crescent moon emoji.

From today, though, you can say goodnight to the moon as Facebook has announced it’s rolling the feature out to all users.

How to get it

Anyone using the Messenger app will be able to darken their chats by heading to the settings pane (by tapping on the profile picture on the app) where a ‘dark mode’ toggle switch is available right up top.

Not only is a dark theme good for your eyes, Google says it also helps conserve battery on Android devices, as it takes less power for the screen to display black.

If you don’t see the toggle switch right away, try updating the app or waiting a day or two – the feature is rolling out to iOS and Android devices starting from today. 

Categories: Tech News

Google Pixel 3 might come to T-Mobile, ending Verizon exclusivity

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 18:33

While Verizon has had exclusive rights to carry Google Pixel phones in the US, that might change, and soon. T-Mobile may start selling the Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL, per a report released today.

A source originally tipped off 9to5Google, but Android Police have independently confirmed the rumor. Per those outlets, T-Mobile will have those phones soon, though it’s unclear if they will be unlocked.

If true, this could give the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL a broader life beyond Verizon customers or those who have bought it unlocked. 

  • We got our hands on the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the first mass-market foldable
  • How good is the Google Pixel 3 stacked against the top Android phones?
  • Speaking of foldables, here's all we know about the phone-tablet hybrids coming this year
 Exclusive no more..? 

Neither publication’s source revealed whether the upcoming Pixel 3a might be coming to T-Mobile as well, though the other carrier is testing the 3a on its networks, per 9to5Google; in that case, users could bring unlocked versions over to work on T-Mobile. 

Nor did either site indicate whether T-Mobile would be getting the Pixel 4, though that phone isn’t expected until November, the same month previous iterations came out in prior years. 

Neither Verizon nor T-Mobile responded to requests for comment as of time of publishing; we’ll update the story if we hear back.

  • The Google Pixel 3 ranks high on our best phones list - see how it compares here
Categories: Tech News

Huawei's P30 series are on sale directly in US, and at great prices

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 17:03

The US government and Huawei have a shaky relationship right now, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Huawei's smartphones have become truly impressive. The Huawei P30 Pro's camera is particularly exciting, yet for US shoppers it's been hard to buy this Huawei phone or any flagship handset. 

The good news today is that B&H is offering pre-orders for all three phones in the Huawei P30 line: Huawei P30, Huawei P30 Pro, and Huawei P30 Lite. Prices for the unlocked phones range from $319 for the P30 Lite up to $899 for the P30 Pro. 

Considering Huawei's phones aren't always easy to buy in the US without going through often-unverified resellers, these are good prices to see and actually considerably lower than the UK and Australian costs converted to US dollars. At $599, the standard P30 could give the OnePlus 6T some serious competition.

The P30 Lite positions itself as a mid-range phone with some toned down features and a lower-end chipset compared to the other versions, but it still has some premiums, like a 6.1-inch OLED display and dual wide-angle cameras on the rear paired with a 32MP selfie camera.

The P30 and P30 Pro, meanwhile, are full flagship phones. The P30 Pro is a larger version of the P30, with slight upgrades to the camera, battery, display size, and internal storage, though the standard P30 offers a 3.5mm headphone jack that's missing on the Pro version.

Both phones run on Huawei's top-end Kirin 980 chipset with an octacore chipset and 8GB of RAM. The P30 has 128GB of storage while the P30 Pro doubles that to 256GB. The P30 has a 6.1-inch OLED display while the P30 Pro has a 6.47-inch OLED display, though both have the same 1,080 x 2,340 resolution.

The 32MP selfie camera on each phone is the same, but there are slight differences to the triple camera system on the rear. Both phones have a 40MP wide-angle camera and an 8MP telephoto camera, but the Pro offers 5X zoom versus the P30's 3X zoom. They each have ultra-wide cameras on the back as well, but the P30 Pro's is 20MP, topping the P30's 16MP sensor.

All of the phones come in multiple colors and include a SIM card for Mint Mobile with 3 months of prepaid service and 8GB of monthly data.

Via: Liliputing

Categories: Tech News

DC Universe: DC's new TV and comic book streaming service explained

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 16:07

DC Universe has arrived – but what is it, and why should fans of DC comics, TV shows, and films be excited?

We've seen a wave of streaming services based on individual channels or network families, from HBO Now to CBS All Access and even ESPN+, but soon we'll be seeing more content and company-centric offerings – Disney's long-teased streaming service that will arrive on November 12, 2019, packing exclusive Star Wars shows and more, is a prime example.

DC has now officially launched its own subscription-based service for fans of the legendary comic book company, and this one has a twist: it's not only a streaming video service for movies and TV shows based on their comics, but also a comic-reading app along the lines of Marvel Unlimited or comiXology Unlimited. Here's what you need to know about it. 

[Updated: DC Universe will be available on the Xbox One family of devices starting in April 2019. The service will roll out starting on April 15, around the same time as the premier of  Justice League vs. The Fatal Five. Like other platforms, DC Universe on Xbox One will cost you $7.99 per month or $74.99 per year, and includes all 20,000 of the comics available on the service.]

What content will DC Universe have? 

DC Universe will debut five brand new, exclusive TV shows during its first year of existence, beginning with Titans. The first trailer was revealed at Comic-Con, and depicts an intensely dark and gritty adaptation, complete with rampant gore and a shot of Robin saying "F--- Batman" while laying into a gang of street thugs.

Later in that first year, we'll see live-action shows Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing (not the 1990-93 version), as well as exclusive animated series Young Justice: Outsiders and Harley Quinn.

The service will also house new HD versions of Batman: The Animated Series and the Wonder Woman TV series, along with animated movies like Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter, and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Live-action films like Batman, Superman: The Movie, Batman Returns, and Batman Forever have also been spotted on the website and in the first trailer.

Unfortunately, there's no sight of newer flicks like Wonder Woman and Justice League, let alone The Dark Knight Trilogy, while TV series like the current Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow seem to be MIA. Those ongoing series are all on Netflix, however.

As far as comic books go, The Verge reports that DC Universe will include some 2,000-3,000 digital comics, with images suggesting a scattered mix of books old and new highlighting well-known characters. The site's report claims that you'll be able to zoom into a single panel on a 4K TV set to view the artwork with incredible clarity. 

Where can I access DC Universe?

DC Universe hopefuls can access the streaming service on a variety of different devices and media players. There's a simple online browser, for one – as well as corresponding apps to watch DC content on Roku streaming devices, Android TV, Apple TV, Android and iOS mobile devices, and now Amazon Fire TV devices too. You can also add Xbox One to that list starting in April 2019.

You'll only be able to access the service in the US, though. There's no word on when DC Universe could roll out to other territories – it's only a few months old, to be fair – though with the live-action TV show Titans coming to Netflix UK, we hope DC are keeping an eye on the potential audiences they could find worldwide.

How much does DC Universe cost? 

When DC Universe goes live this fall, the service will set you back $7.99 per month. If you choose to go big and commit to a full year, you'll save a solid chunk of change: the annual fee is $74.99, which saves you 20% over the month-to-month approach.

Already sold on the service? If you pre-order an annual subscription now, they'll toss on three free months to sweeten the deal, plus you'll be entered into a contest to win two tickets to the Aquaman movie premiere later this year.

And if you'd rather wait, DC Universe will offer a free 7-day trial once it's live.

How does DC Universe differ from other streaming services? 

The hybrid nature makes it distinct from other services. There are plenty of streaming video services, of course, but Netflix and CBS All Access don't feature comic books. Likewise, there are all-you-can-read comic book services like Marvel Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited, but those apps don't have a lick of video on them.

It always seemed surprising that DC didn't launch its own take on Marvel Unlimited and open up the vault for a monthly fee, but now we know why. That said, the comics selection in DC Universe is much, much smaller: its expected haul of 2,000-3,000 books is a fraction of Marvel Unlimited's 20,000+ comics.

But you're getting half of one service and half of another, essentially. Netflix starts at $7.99 and Marvel Unlimited goes for $9.99 a month, whereas DC Universe sort of splits the difference.

Ultimately, we suspect that DC Universe won't be viewed primarily as a streaming video app or a comics app. Instead, it's the quintessential, all-in DC experience app for serious fans, offering movies, TV shows, comics, conversation, info, and merch on demand.

Should I subscribe to DC Universe? 

Do you absolutely love Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and the rest of DC's top-tier heroes and villains? Do you follow the myriad DC TV series airing these days and still wish there was more to watch each week? Are you eager to loop back on old-school DC animated and live-action series?

If you answered "yes" to any of those points, then you will most likely want to subscribe to DC Universe. Granted, we haven't used the app yet and we don't know how well it'll perform as a streaming service or comic-reading experience, but assuming the technical benchmarks are cleared and it delivers the amount of content that's been promised so far, then we have to imagine that DC fans are going to eat it up.

Of course, the downside with such a focused service is the possibility of running out of compelling content at some point. Is DC prepared to to continue these original shows for multiple seasons? Will the company bring the more recent films to the service as well? And will the curated comics selection grow, or at least see frequent turnover?

It's too early to know for sure, but with five potentially compelling shows anchoring the service and plenty of other past content alongside, DC Universe looks like the real deal for the DC faithful.

Categories: Tech News

Microsoft may have Surface-branded AirPods killers in the works

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 15:49

A new report indicates that Microsoft is hard at work developing a pair of true wireless earbuds under the Surface lineup to rival the latest Apple AirPods

The true wireless earbuds are codenamed Morrisson (likely after The Doors’ famous frontman) and are tipped to include both noise-cancellation and Microsoft’s voice assistant, Cortana.

The source of these new rumors is Thurrott’s Brad Sams who spoke to multiple people familiar with Microsoft’s plans who say the primary motivation is to expand the Surface lineup of headphones from the over-ear Surface Headphones to a new in-ear model that could, in all likelihood, be called the Surface Buds.

Thurrott's sources weren't able to provide a release date for the headphones, but say that 2019 is definitely a possibility if the project isn't delayed.

The AirPod adversaries keep on coming

While Microsoft is the latest tech company in the spotlight for aping Apple's true wireless earbuds, others like Amazon and Libratone are also rumored to be working on a similar style of headphones.

In its defense, however, the transition from the over-ear Surface Headphones to an in-ear model makes more sense for Microsoft than it does for Amazon – a company that really hasn't done much work in the headphone space despite its recent investment in smart speakers like the Amazon Echo

The counterpoint is that Microsoft's earlier audio hardware projects, like the Zune, have crashed and burned. So it may want to be careful before it dives headfirst back into the world of bitrates and Bluetooth codecs.

Categories: Tech News

Best cloud logging services of 2019

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 13:46

While most servers maintain detailed logs of system events, connection attempts and application errors, it takes a lot of time and skill to go through each one manually.  

Cloud logging services try to make life easier for network admins by automatically monitoring your chosen servers and displaying log alerts via a dedicated dashboard or API.

In this guide, you’ll discover some of the very best cloud logging services online today. We've specifically chosen platforms which emphasis easy setup and consolidated information, so even moderately IT literate users can get started immediately.

  • Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line. 

Image Credit: Splunk

Splunk produces software for searching, monitoring and analyzing machine-generated big data. They were founded in 2007.

The software offers a wide range of log management tools such as log consolidation, retention, IT operations troubleshooting, application troubleshooting and compliance reporting.

Users can collect, store, index, search, correlate, visualize and report on any machine-generated data. Subscribers can then resolve operational and security issues.

Searches are turned into real-time alerts, reports or dashboards in an easy to use manner.

The software is truly cross-platform and operates on the cloud. It can also operate as a hybrid, integrating on-premise and cloud software.

All data collated is presented on the interface. Users can view data analysis easier, export and import faster for charting purposes.

Splunk is geared towards businesses of any size. It can be adjusted according to a variety of configurations evolving as your organization grows.

The ‘Cloud’ plan offers users a 15-day free trial to search, analyze and visualize 5GB of data. Subscribers need to contact the sales team directly to receive a quote.

The ‘Free’ package includes one users, scale up to 500MB per day, index any machine data, real-time search and analysis.

'Splunk Lite’ starts at $87 per ingested GB per month and is billed annually. This includes up to 5 users, scale up to 20GB of data per day, unlimited searches, deployment on-premises or in your cloud and base support. 

The ‘Enterprise’ package starts at $175 per ingested GB per month and is also billed annually. This includes unlimited users, unlimited data scaling, mission critical performance, scale and reliability.

Online reviewers have noted that the free trial is minimal and the paid price plans being expensive compared to other products.

Image Credit: Rapid7

InsightOps from Rapid7 (formerly Logentries) aim to make cloud logging management easy by centralizing data, allowing easy visualization of metrics for monitoring, and using natural-language questions to identify problems for troubleshooting.

InsightOps collects logs across all cloud services, as well as directly from servers, not least for applications, DNS requests, VPNs, databases, and firewalls. It then normalizes even unstructured data into a consistent format. You can then monitor how much CPU and memory each asset is using to ensure smooth performance. Auditing logs makes it easier to ensure compliance, and InsightOps can easily integrate into your DevOps stack for automation.

There are visualization options for drilling down through data, and the Endpoint Interrogator allows the user to ask specific questions about what resources each asset is using. There are also alerts available, and the dashboard refreshes automatically in real-time.

Overall, InsightOps is easy to deploy across any network, and because it monitors the entire system, it's easy to spot malicious activity on any part of the network, even at file level.

InsightOps is available with a free trial.

Image Credit: Papertrail

Solarwinds is a company that develops software for businesses to help manage their networks, systems and information technology infrastructure. They acquired the log management service ‘Papertrail’ in 2014.  

Papertrail allows users to log all apps, text log files and Syslog from one location. Searches and reports are done in real-time. Users can use a command line, browser or API.  

Alerts are sent instantly to users which can then be used to detect trends.  

Papertrail is easy to setup and implement. Users can gain visibility across all their systems quickly. Users can aggregate MySQL, cloud hosting, Apache, Tomcat, Heroku apps, routers and firewalls.

The lowest pricing tier starts at $7 for 1GB per month. This includes 1-week search and 1-year archive.

The mid-range tier starts at $75 for 8GB per month including 8 weeks search and 1-year archive.

The top tier weighs in at $230 for 25GB data per month and includes an additional 16GB for the first month, 2 weeks search and 1-year archive.

Papertrail forces users to save all searches.

Image Credit: Sumologic

Sumologic is a cloud-based log management and analytics service. It was founded in 2010.

The platform provides real time dashboards. Users can manage and monitor all data logs, metrics, assess graphs and generate reports from here. Dashboards can be customized with pie, bar, map and line charts.  

Sumologic’s machine learning uses algorithmic support to arrange the patterns in data and establish any inconsistencies. Users can quickly establish and eliminate any issues that are identified. There is no need to set predefined rules or policies.

The platform allows users to build, run and secure their AWS, Google Cloud Platform or any hybrid applications.

Users can monitor key security metrics and indicators of compromise in real-time. Problems can be resolved faster as a result of this.

‘Sumo Free’ is geared towards individual users and teams undergoing smaller projects. This includes log storage of 4GB and max 500MB of log ingest.

The ‘Professional’ plan is $99 per GB per month for an annual commitment. This includes free metrics, 30GB storage and min 3GB log ingest. It also offers a 30-day free trial.

The ‘Enterprise’ package offers a 30-day free trial. It is $165 per GB per month for an annual commitment.  

Users have noted that Sumo is slow compared to other logging programs.

Image Credit: Sematext

Sematext builds cloud and on-premises systems for application performance monitoring, log management and analytics. They were founded in 2007.

The platform uses Elasticsearch API and integrated Kibana. It claims to be the first true Hosted ELK (Elastic Stack) Stack.

Log can be inspected via the user interface or Elasticsearch API. They are also kept in one centralized location. ELK maintains and scales everything.

Alerts can be sent via email, ChatOps or WebHooks. Logsense has built-in integrations for PagerDuty, Slack and HipChat amongst others.

Users can save all queries as a ‘Saved Search’ or an ‘Alert Query’.  Saved searches can be custom tagged with labels or colours.

Sematext Logsense offers users a 30-day free trial. Prices are metered and based on plan, daily volume and data retention. Your plan is chosen based on the features you need. The higher volume you choose the lower the cost per GB. All prices are based on a monthly rate. Users need to contact Logsense directly for more information.

Users have complained of some issues when trying to contact support.

Categories: Tech News

Leaks show Intel Coffee Lake Refresh CPUs have T-Series models incoming

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 13:43

It's been just over a year since Intel's 8th-generation Coffee Lake processors (CPU) got low-powered T-Series variants. Now, with the Coffee Lake Refresh in full swing, it makes sense to expect low-power versions. It appears that may be exactly what is coming, according to leaks compiled by Hexus.

A series of leaks detailed the names, specs and thermal design power (TDP) levels of various T-Series processors. An important aspect for low-power builds is that TDP, which all of the new T-Series processors appear to share at a low 35W.

This is identical to what the 8th-gen T-Series processors offered, allowing for smaller desktop builds with lower-wattage power supplies and less robust cooling.

Lower power is lower power

The trade-off that's made for a lower TDP is readily apparent when considering the other key specs. According to the leaks, the T-Series will have core counts and cache equal to the non-T-series CPUs, but will have largely reduced base and boost clock speeds.

The leak shows the following CPUs with details on specs: Core i9-9900T, Core i7-9700T, Core i5-9600T, Core i5-9500T, Core i5-9400T, Core i3-9300T and Core i3-9100T. For a comparison between the standard variety and T-Series, we'll put the Core i9-9900T next to the Core i9-9900K.

The Core i9-9900T is suggested to have a base clock of 2.1GHz and boost clock of 4.4GHz. That compares to the Core i9-9900K's 3.6GHz base clock and 5.0GHz boost clock. So, while the T-series in this case has a TDP of about 36% that of the K-Series, its base performance will be significantly lower.

Still, these processors can be a strong pick for computer builders looking to create compact machines with power and cooling requirements closer to laptops than traditional desktops. All of the new T-Series processors are listed as coming with Intel UHD Graphics 630 included, so desktops built using these CPUs won't need dedicated graphics cards.

Of course, computer builders looking for efficient CPUs may also consider waiting for Intel's long-anticipated 10nm CPUs, which could come in the form of Cannon Lake or Ice Lake this year.

Categories: Tech News

Computex 2019: what to expect from the world’s biggest computer show

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 12:32

Each year, Computex is the place to go for all the year’s biggest computing announcements. From svelte Ultrabooks to all the juiciest PC components, Computex 2019 is going to be a must-watch for any computing enthusiast out there. However, because it’s such a daunting event, it can be hard to know what to look out for. 

Luckily, we here at TechRadar have applied our tech and computing expertise to try and forecast what the biggest computing manufacturers will have to offer at Computex 2019. So, sit back, relax and we’ll dive into some educated speculation, informed by the latest industry rumors. 

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? The biggest computing event of the year
  • When is it? May 28 – June 1 2019

AMD

At CES 2019, AMD announced its 7-nanometer (nm) Zen 2 architecture, which will be behind its Ryzen 3rd Generation, Threadripper 3rd Generation and even its upcoming Epyc processors for servers. AMD didn’t announce any specific processors at that event, however, instead showing off an 8-core, 16-thread processor. However, rumors suggest we may get as many as 16 cores and 32 threads in a new Ryzen processor – we expect that beefy piece of silicon to make an appearance at Computex 2019 (assuming it’s real.) 

But, AMD doesn’t just make processors. There has also been speculation that AMD Navi 10 graphics will show up at Computex 2019. This is a little less certain, as AMD’s next graphics cards have seen all kinds of rumors that point to an October release. We could see AMD show Navi off – it will be 7nm, too – but wait to release it until a later date. This would be similar to what Team Red did with AMD Vega at CES 2017, as well as Zen 2 earlier this year. 

No matter how you slice it, Computex 2019 is going to be big for AMD. The underdog chip maker has risen to the top of the processor world, more than doubling Intel’s sales, so we expect a celebratory Computex.

Asus

Asus is hands-down one of the biggest computing companies in the world. From gaming laptops to Ultrabooks; from motherboards to the best graphics cards, Asus does it all. 

However, Asus has been relatively quiet for the last couple months, after announcing a slew of Ultrabooks and gaming laptops at CES 2019. We expect Asus to deliver the goods. Last year, Asus announced its ZenBook Pro 15, a unique mobile workstation with a touchscreen built into its touchpad – something that’s been present in many of its subsequent products.

We always expect Asus to deliver something unique, and we have no reason to expect anything different this time around. We might even get some hands-on time with the Asus ROG Mothership

Gigabyte and Aorus

Gigabyte’s Aorus brand is behind some of the best gaming laptops and components on the market. So, at Computex 2019 we could see anything from new motherboards to new gaming laptops. For example, Gigabyte refreshed its Sabre gaming laptops with Intel Optane drives – the first gaming laptops to do so. All we know is that Gigabyte will be there. Beyond that, your guess is as good as ours. 

Intel

Ever since AMD Ryzen first hit the market, Intel has been in a rough spot. It is still manufacturing some of the fastest processors in the world, like the Core i9-9900K, but the value just isn’t there. That’s why we think Intel is going to come out of the gate swinging at Computex 2019. 

Last year, Intel made a huge show out of a 28-core, 56-thread monster of a processor, clocked at 5GHz. We learned later that it was both a $2,999 Xeon chip, and it was overclocked. But, that’s still impressive. We don’t think something like that will be enough this time, though. 

Intel has been making a lot of headlines over the last few years for pushing back its 10nm silicon. Cannon Lake was supposed to come out five years ago, after Skylake. Intel has announced both Sunny Cove and Ice Lake at CES 2019, so we expect these 10nm processors to take center stage. These 10nm processors need to take center stage. 

MSI

At CES 2019, MSI launched some juicy gaming laptops, including the new GS75 Stealth. We expect MSI to continue this trend at Computex 2019. Last year, it revealed the MSI GF63, a budget-minded gaming laptop. But, there were plenty of high-end products, like the MSI Trident A and the insane MSI Pro 24X all-in-one.

We’re not sure what MSI is planning, but PC gamers should pay attention, MSI consistently brings the most flamboyant PC hardware on the market. Computex 2019 will be no different. 

Nvidia

We know Nvidia is going to be at Computex 2019, but we’re not sure what the focus is going to be. Team Green has been pumping out Turing graphics cards at a rapid pace since September 2018. With so many new consumer graphics cards at every price point, we think Nvidia’s Computex 2019 presence will focus on the professionals this time. 

We’ve seen some rumors for a while that Nvidia might reveal 7nm Ampere graphics cards. These graphics cards could be consumer models, but that would be a little too quick, considering Nvidia’s problems with sales earlier this year. Instead, Nvidia Ampere may end up being the follow-up to Nvidia Volta, powering the next line of workstation-class GPUs. 

Or, Nvidia could spend Computex 2019 focusing on artificial intelligence (AI), like it did at GTC 2019. 

What else?

Computex 2019 is still weeks away at this point, and we’re sure we’ll see more manufacturers show up. Microsoft, HP, Dell and Samsung aren’t on the list of exhibitors at the time of writing, and all of these manufacturers are Computex mainstays. We’re sure all of these companies will be there to show off some new hardware and software. 

That’s not to mention all of the smaller manufacturers that will be there. Lian Li will surely be delivering some beautiful PC cases, G.Skill will probably show off some new RGB memory sticks and BenQ will show off some new monitors for professionals and gamers. There are more than 100 exhibitors this year, so get ready for a smorgasbord of new hardware.

Be sure to keep this page bookmarked until the conference begins, as we’ll update it with any new rumors and exhibitors. Not to mention all the news from the show floor. 

Images Credit: TechRadar

Categories: Tech News

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