AMD confirms its Ryzen CPU will launch in early March, followed by the Vega GPU

AMD’s eagerly-awaited Ryzen processor will launch in early March, according to AMD chief executive Lisa Su. Su specified the target date during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call Tuesday afternoon.AMD ryzen pcs

“There will be widespread system availability from day one,” Su said during the call. Channel vendors will receive the first Ryzen chips, along with system integrators. More traditional hardware vendors will come later, Su added.

That statement implies that vendors like Dell or HP (neither of which have been officially confirmed to be using the Ryzen chip) will be asked to wait, while AMD caters to boutique PC vendors. Ryzen will take on Intel’s highest-end Core chips, specifically the Core i5 and Core i7 processors, Su said.

 AMD has said previously that it believes Ryzen to be the most significant consumer product it will introduce in well over a decade, with its subsequent Naples chip helping to extend AMD and its Zen architecture into the higher-margin server business. For the last several years, AMD’s shipments into the console business have propped up the company’s revenues while Ryzen was developed, but as both the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 move into their fifth year of life, AMD isn’t depending on the console any more.

Unsurprisingly, Su also confirmed that AMD is already thinking about the follow-ons to Ryzen: Su referred to a “Zen 2” and a “Zen 3,” and confirmed that AMD is also developing with 7-nm technology in mind. That will help offset any concerns hardware partners have about competing with Intel, she said.

“Our top customers—they are investing in our roadmap, they are not just investing in a point product,” Su said.

ryzen new

Su’s comments seemingly back up what a Game Developers Conference presentation revealed earlier: that Ryzen would launch before March 3. (Su didn’t specifically confirm our report sourced from the GDC document, however.) Su also revealed that its Zen-based server product, Naples, will launch in the second quarter.

What’s new, though, is a Vega timetable: Su revealed that the Vega GPUs will ship during the second quarter as well. In the second half of 2017, AMD still plans to launch a Zen-based APU, codenamed “Raven Ridge,” primarily designed for notebooks but also some desktops.

Su added that the profit margins for both Ryzen and Vega will be well above AMD’s average. Those aren’t showing up in the current earnings, obviously. AMD reported a net loss of $51 million, though the company claimed $26 million in operating income when tossing out expenses. AMD reported a 7 percent increase in revenue from a year ago, to $1.1 billion. A year ago, AMD reported a net loss of $102 million.

Unlike prior quarters, AMD’s earnings were driven by its PC businesses, as opposed to the SoC chips that power gaming consoles and other products. AMD’s Computing and Graphics business generated $600 million in revenue, up 28 percent year-over-year. AMD said the growth was driven by GPU sales, specifically higher GPU prices. Put another way, GPU revenue was the highest in 11 quarters, Su said, and PC client revenue was the highest in the last seven quarters. Su offered no predictions for the success of Microsoft’s Project Scorpio and Sony’s next-generation console, however; “we’ll see how they do,” she said.

AMD predicted that revenue would drop by 11 percent (plus or minus 3 percent) in the current quarter, however, indicating that AMD won’t have as much to offer before Ryzen’s launch. That’s because AMD wanted to clear out its channel inventory, Su explained, before Ryzen officially ships.

‘Hawa Badlo’ App Will Let Delhi Residents Report Likely Pollutants

'Hawa Badlo' App Will Let Delhi Residents Report Likely Pollutants

The Indian capital, labouring under the label of being the world’s most polluted city, is trying something new to help clean up its air.

A smartphone application that allows citizens to report the presence of construction dust or the burning of leaves and garbage in public parks to authorities was launched Friday.

The “Hawa Badlo,” or “Change the Air,” app has two versions. One allows citizens to take pictures of likely pollutants. The other allows authorities to investigate and act on valid complaints.

Over the last few years, New Delhi has struggled with ways to handle the pollution, which becomes especially obvious during the colder winter months as the city’s air turns to a grey haze.

The newest measure, the phone app, was launched by the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, a monitoring group set up on the order of India’s Supreme Court in April.

Over the last decade or so, India, like neighboring China, has seen pollution spiral as its economy has boomed and it has continued to rely on burning coal to generate electricity. The number of vehicles on the road has skyrocketed, while hundreds of millions of impoverished people still use wood, kerosene or whatever they can grab at the garbage dump to build fires for cooking or keeping warm on winter nights.

Over the last two years, the government has tried a slew of measures to control the air pollution. These include stricter emission norms for cars and a tax on diesel-fueled trucks that enter the city.

The city has also attempted to limit the number of cars on the roads during the winter months, when the air quality is at its worst. The city authorities twice ordered cars with odd and even numbered license plates to ply on alternate days for a period of two weeks each.

 

Google Cast App Will Be Renamed Google Home in the Next Few Weeks

Google Cast App Will Be Renamed Google Home in the Next Few WeeksAs expected, Google Cast app is being renamed Google Home. The app users are receiving notifications that the tech giant is rebranding the app to Google Home in the next few weeks. The Google Cast app is informing its users that the icon, logo, and name will change to Google Home.

This change ushers in as Google looks to give control of the new Google Home speaker, and all Chromecast devices through just one app – Google Home. The death of the Cast app was leaked earlier already, and the change was only impending.

(Also see: Google Pixel Price in India, Release Date, Specifications, and More)

A Google Plus user named Dipti Ranjan Biswal shared a screenshot of the notification, revealing the new Google Home app logo, and confirming the change. According to the screenshot, the change will occur in the next few weeks, so don’t expect it to show up immediately. For now, the Google Cast app is still available to download on Google Play and App Store.

 

After unveiling it at I/O earlier this year, Google officially launched the Google Home speaker in US. Powered by Google Assistant, the Wi-Fi enabled speaker responds to voice commands and manages tasks of users. It answers queries; books hotels, flights, dinner reservations; and even plays music on request. The device has been priced at $129 (roughly Rs. 8,500) in the US. Google Home is up for pre-orders currently, and the tech giant looks to start shipping it by November 4. There is no word on when the smart speaker will arrive in India, however the company looks to release them in the UK soon.

Swiggy Ropes in Myntra Co-Founder Mukesh Bansal as Strategic Advisor

Swiggy Ropes in Myntra Co-Founder Mukesh Bansal as Strategic AdvisorFood delivery platform Swiggy has appointed Myntra co-founder and former CEO Mukesh Bansal on its advisory board.

“Backed by two decades of experience in the startup ecosystem, including a decade in the Silicon Valley, Mukesh Bansal brings immense expertise in establishing strong leadership teams and scaling up an organisation through rapid growth,” Swiggy said in a statement.

His strong customer focus and business fundamentals will be crucial pillars for Swiggy as they continue to build India’s most efficient food ordering platform, it added.

Bansal, who sold Myntra to Flipkart in one of the largest e-commerce M&A deals in 2014, held a key leadership role in Flipkart.

He, however, quit Flipkart early this year to start his own venture Curefit, a healthcare startup that is set to launch in early 2017.
Bansal, as an strategic advisor in Swiggy, will add significant value to its growth and strengthen capabilities, Swiggy co-founder Sriharsha Majety said.

Founded in 2014, Swiggy is one of the country’s largest food-tech company. It has raised $75.5 million from Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, SAIF Partners and Accel Partners in four rounds of funding.

The Bengaluru-based company picks up food from neighbourhood restaurants and delivers them to customers. It has its own delivery fleet which enables it to offer features like faster deliveries, no minimum order and live tracking of their delivery.

Swiggy delivers in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai with over 9,000 restaurants listed on its platform. It competes with companies like Zomato and FoodPanda.

Download Amazon App for Exclusive Offers and Bigger Deals During Great Indian Sale

Download Amazon App for Exclusive Offers and Bigger Deals During Great Indian SaleAmazon is holding the Great Indian Sale 2016 from Saturday, and if you download the Amazon app, you can get additional benefits during the sale. Amazon India is offering HDFC bank customers 15 percent additional cashback – on top of the existing discounts – if you shop via the app, with 10 percent additional cashback if purchases are made via the Amazon website during the Great Indian Sale.

 

What’s more, if you shop for Rs. 6,000 or more during the first two days of the sale using a HDFC card, Amazon gift card, or if you are a ICICI customer, you will also get a free Amazon gift card worth Rs. 600. HDFC debit card customers will also get additional 5 percent cashback as reward points on all five days of the Amazon Great Indian Sale. These offers are valid of both the app and the website.

How to download Amazon app
If you are wondering how to download the Amazon app, simply point your browser to http://ww.amazon.in/app and choose your platform – Android or iOS. Or you can give a missed call to 1800 267 7777 and receive a link to the app. Amazon India is currently also running a contest where you can win prizes by simply downloading the app. Refer the Amazon India website for details.
The Amazon Great Indian Sale is offering discounts on popular phones like the Moto G4 Plus, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, LeEco Le Max 2, and other electronics like PlayStation 4, as well as host of other deals on consumer electronics, PC and accessories, and a whole lot more.

You Can Now Use Siri to Make Skype Calls on iOS 10

Skype 6.25 for iOS Now Available; Brings Siri Integration and CallKit Support on iOS 10If you are an iOS 10 user, the Skype v6.25 update will let you use its features more seamlessly on your iPhone or iPad. Skype on Wednesday announced a significant update to its app that brings new calling features and Siri integration. The update is now available and you can head to the App Store to get it.

Users can now utilise the Siri voice-based virtual assistant to make calls and send messages on the Skype app. It is worth mentioning that Apple opened Siri for developers at WWDC this year, and the improvements became available to users and developers with iOS 10. Coming back to the Siri support for Skype, calling someone on Skype will become simpler as Siri will understand the same voice commands you’re already using to call someone. To give an example, let’s say you want to call ‘ABC’ on Skype. If you have their Skype contact information fed in your iOS device, simply say “Call ABC on Skype”. To confirm if it’s the same person, Siri will ask before initiating the call. The SiriKit employed in the Skype makes it easier for users to place VoIP calls and send messages.

Another important feature is the introduction of the CallKit in Skype. This means your Skype contacts will be integrated with the default contact information of the person, so that you can perform Skype actions right away without opening the app separately. With CallKit, incoming Skype calls will now appear just like regular cellular calls on your iOS 10 device. This in turn will ease out the functionality to switch between a Skype and a regular call. User will also be able to invite friends to join Skype directly from their contact list. While the features are available for personal users starting Wednesday, these are said to roll out on its Skype for Business app starting October.
Detailing on the CallKit, it will also let you receive alerts and respond to the Skype calls on CarPlay. Earlier, Skype notifications didn’t ping the CarPlay user, a limitation faced by other third party apps as well.

Harnessing the CallKit capabilities, Truecaller earlier introduced the real-time spam protection on iPhones running iOS 10 to detect spam calls more efficiently. Alongside, Truecaller was also said to bring a new ‘My Block List’ feature, which will allow users to block and manage calls they want to receive on their iPhones.

Facebook Ordered to Delete WhatsApp User Data by German Regulator

Facebook Ordered to Delete WhatsApp User Data by German Regulator
German regulator said Facebook was infringing data protection law
Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion two years ago
Facebook said that it complied with EU data protection law
A German privacy regulator ordered Facebook on Tuesday to stop collecting and storing data of German users of its messaging app WhatsApp and to delete all data that has already been forwarded to it.

The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information said Facebook was infringing data protection law and had not obtained effective approval from WhatsApp’s 35 million users in Germany.

 

“After the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook two years ago, both parties have publicly assured that data will not be shared between them,” commissioner Johannes Caspar said in a statement.

Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock in an effort to reach a younger audience.

“The fact that this is now happening is not only a misleading of their users and the public, but also constitutes an infringement of national data protection law,” Caspar added.

Facebook, which has its German headquarters in Hamburg and therefore falls under Caspar’s jurisdiction, said in a statement that it complied with EU data protection law.
“We are open to working with the Hamburg DPA in an effort to address their questions and resolve any concerns,” it said.

 

The data watchdog said Facebook and WhatsApp were independent companies that should process their users’ data based on their own terms and conditions and data privacy policies.

The Hamburg commissioner’s move comes after EU and US regulators said they would scrutinise changes to privacy settings that WhatsApp made in August.

Hangouts 13.0 for Android Released With Chrome Custom Tabs Support

Hangouts 13.0 for Android Released With Chrome Custom Tabs Support

  • Support for Chrome Custom Tabs added with the update
  • Hangouts updated to version 13.0
  • You will get the ‘Browse in Hangouts’ option in settings

Google wants you to know that even though it has released text-messaging app Allo and video-calling app Duo, it has not forgotten Hangouts. This is why the search giant has released version 13.0 update for Hangouts, which brings support for Chrome Custom Tabs to the app on Android.

On the updated version of the app, you will find the option ‘Browse in Hangouts’ in the settings and by default it comes enabled. You also get the option to open the page in Chrome.

In the settings menu, at the top, there sits a warning to remind users that ‘Conversation merging is no longer available’, as pointed out by 9to5Google. Google removed ‘merged conversations’, which showed Hangouts messages and SMS messages from the same user in a single conversation, with its version 11.0 update of the Hangouts app on Android.

“Merged conversations used to let you see your Hangouts messages and text messages in the same conversation. We have decided to remove it, because it caused user confusion and had low usage,” Google said regarding the removal of merged conversations.

Google has clarified that it wants Hangouts to be focused on businesses and simpler apps Allo and Duo to be consumer-centric.

The search giant recently announced that Hangouts On Air will move from Google+ to YouTube Live. In its note, the company said, “Events cannot be scheduled on Google+ after September 12 and you will need to move existing events scheduled to happen after September 12 to YouTube Live.”

 

iPhone 7 Event: Pokemon Go for Apple Watch Announced

iPhone 7 Event: Pokemon Go for Apple Watch Announced
Pokemon Go will be coming to the Apple Watch by the end of the year
It will allow players to explore without being stuck to their screens
It utilises voice and vibration to keep players informed
If Mario coming to iOS devices as Super Mario Run wasn’t enough, Niantic took to the stage to announce Pokemon Go for the Apple Watch.

Since Pokemon Go’s release, it has clocked in 500 million downloads and trainers have collectively walked 4.6 billion kilometres while playing the game. However it isn’t just due to the game’s sheer popularity that it’s seeing a release on Apple Watch.

 
The idea, according to Niantic is to allow exploration and having fun outside with family and friends without being stuck to your phone.

It seamlessly integrates gameplay while you walk or run which is recorded as a workout. The distance needed to walk before an egg hatches is shown on the homescreen and a voice prompt tells you when a Pokemon is near while a vibration tells you when you’re approaching a PokeStop, ensuring you never miss one. Swiping lets you collect a Pokemon. Pokemon Go for the Apple Watch will ship before the year is up.

 

It will be interesting to see if Pokemon Go for the Apple Watch does enough to buoy a game that has lost a ton of users in the past few weeks. In our review we found Pokemon Go to be a well-designed app as far as interface is concerned, albeit one that crashed often. Throw in the fact that it hasn’t been made available officially in India yet makes us think that the Apple Watch variant may not make it either.

Ola Lays Off 250 Employees; Cites Non-Performance, Other Issues

Ola Lays Off 250 Employees; Cites Non-Performance, Other Issues

  • Ola shut down TaxiForSure operations last month
  • It acquired TaxiForSure for $200 million last year
  • Around 250 employees have been sacked

Within weeks of firing about 700 employees of its TaxiForSure operations, cab aggregator Ola has now sacked close to 250 people from its own workforce citing non-performance and other issues.

The move comes as the Bengaluru-based firm is locked in an intense battle with global rival Uber in the Indian market.

“An annual attrition of 3-4 percent is a natural churn that is witnessed in the current industry scenario. This includes performance driven exits, contract roles as well as a few surfacing from constant business realignment,” an Ola spokesperson said.

The spokesperson further added that these have been “well thought through” organisational decisions, keeping in mind the best interests of employees and business efficiencies.

The company, however, said it also intends to hire employees across various cities.

“At the same time, we continue to hire the best of talent from across the country with over 300 open positions currently, to strengthen our 6,000-plus strong team in 102 cities, pan-India,” he added.

The layoffs come within a month of Ola shutting down its TaxiForSure operations 18 months after it acquired the business for about $200 million. The closure of TaxiForSure had left about 700 jobless.