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Jon Peddie Research: 20 Million Shift from PC Gaming to Console Gaming by 2022

Jon Peddie Research has released a new report on the state of gaming and its future, with the research firm estimating a total of 20 million PC gamers will make the shift to console gaming by 2022. It does make sense, as the no-frills architecture of consoles and highly specialized hardware and development - alongside the lower cost of entry) have been calling gamers from all ages and budgets. Add to this the fact that IQ considerations are becoming smaller and smaller between a high-end gaming PC and their console counterparts - at least when it comes to global, base IQ of settings - and it does make sense that makers make the shift.

Adding to this is the expectation of increased doubling-down on exclusives from games consoles, with the exception of Microsoft, which will be bringing all of its exclusives to the PC market as well. The increased attention to game streaming, with Google's Stadia and Microsoft's own xCloud will prompt change in the way gamers consume content - no dedicated hardware may mean no consoles, but it will also mean no need to purchase expensive, high-end PC gaming hardware to run the latest games with the latest graphics technologies - that will all be run in the cloud. Smart TVs, for instance, may be all the investment required for a premium, lag-free gaming experience with maximum details, should worldwide internet access improve as it has been. Of course, the ratio of high-end PC gamers making their way to consoles is lower than that of gamers with basic or entry-level PCs that are capable of gaming - those will make up the vast majority of the quoted 20 million shift.

Intel Partners with Netflix to Deploy AV1 CODEC as its 4K Backbone

At The National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB Show) today, Intel and Netflix announced a new high-performance video codec that is available as open source and royalty-free to content creators, developers and service providers. Scalable Video Technology for AV1 (SVT-AV1) offers performance and scalability in video processing.

"The SVT-AV1 codec offers both high performance and efficiency. And compared to today's most popular codec (H.264 AVC), SVT-AV1 can help service providers save up to half their bandwidth, delivering leading-edge user experiences that can be quickly and cost-effectively delivered at a global scale. This codec makes it possible for services ranging from video on demand to live broadcast of 4Kp60/10-bit content on Intel Xeon Scalable processors, including the recently launched 2nd-Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor," said Lynn Comp, Intel vice president of the Network Platforms Group and general manager of the Visual Cloud Division.

Google Announces Stadia Cloud Gaming Service at GDC 2019

We knew this was coming, especially after Google's teaser from earlier this month. Project Stream was a proof-of-concept in collaboration with Ubisoft, to see whether AAA gaming was possible over the internet. Things were smooth most of the time in our own experience, but there remained questions over how the concept would translate over to a finished product, especially with infrastructure challenges on the client side of things. Google's keynote at GDC just wrapped up, and the main focus was Stadia- the now named cloud gaming service borne out of Project Stream.

Stadia is built with instant access in mind. An example demo came in the form of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Odyssey, which was used in the public test before. It is integrated with partner YouTube channels such that a trailer for a supported game would have an option to play said game, which would then launch immediately. Stadia is built with support from a wide partner network including AMD, Unity, id Software, and more, with details seen past the break.

IBM To Acquire Red Hat, Completely Changing The Cloud Landscape

IBM and Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source cloud software, announced today that the companies have reached a definitive agreement under which IBM will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for $190.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $34 billion.

"The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market," said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "IBM will become the world's #1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses.

AMD and Oracle Collaborate to Provide AMD EPYC Processor-Based Offering in the Cloud

Today at Oracle OpenWorld 2018, AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) announced the availability of the first AMD EPYCTM processor-based instance on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. With this announcement, Oracle becomes the largest public cloud provider to have a Bare Metal version on AMD EPYCTM processors1. The AMD EPYC processor-based "E" series will lead with the bare metal, Standard "E2", available immediately as the first instance type within the Series. At $0.03/Core hour, the AMD EPYC instance is up to 66 percent less on average per core than general purpose instances offered by the competition2 and is the most cost-effective instance available on any public cloud.

"With the launch of the AMD instance, Oracle has once again demonstrated that we are focused on getting the best value and performance to our customers," said Clay Magouyrk, senior vice president, software development, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. "At greater than 269 GB/Sec, the AMD EPYC platform3, offers the highest memory bandwidth of any public cloud instance. Combined with increased performance, these cost advantages help customers maximize their IT dollars as they make the move to the cloud."

Google Cloud Introduces NVIDIA Tesla P4 GPUs, for $430 per Month

Today, we are excited to announce a new addition to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) GPU family that's optimized for graphics-intensive applications and machine learning inference: the NVIDIA Tesla P4 GPU.

We've come a long way since we introduced our first-generation compute accelerator, the K80 GPU, adding along the way P100 and V100 GPUs that are optimized for machine learning and HPC workloads. The new P4 accelerators, now in beta, provide a good balance of price/performance for remote display applications and real-time machine learning inference.

Amber is the World's First Hybrid Cloud Storage Platform

Latticework, Inc. today introduced Amber: the world's first personal hybrid cloud storage platform. Amber is a multimedia storage and streaming device that gives users complete control over their digital assets, offering the convenience of the cloud in the privacy of their own homes. With Amber, users' life memories and digital files are always secure, while Amber's companion app ensures that they are always within reach to access, relive and share. Amber is the debut product from Latticework, Inc., a company founded by storage pioneer and Marvell co-founder, Dr. Pantas Sutardja, to tackle escalating consumer storage and bandwidth use. Watch this video to learn more about Amber.

Amber offers security and convenience without compromising digital data, privacy or peace of mind. "Your personal data and memories are just that - yours. Why would you want to give complete strangers or cloud providers access to your data?" said Dr. Pantas Sutardja, founder & CEO, Latticework, Inc. "Amber makes storage personal, enabling you to protect, control and secure your digital life, while seamlessly allowing you to relive and share life's memories with only the people you choose."

HP Thin Client Innovation Fuels the Future of Cloud-Based Computing

HP Inc. today introduced a new class of thin clients that will enable the next generation of virtualized computing and cloud-first application adoption across industries. The latest HP Thin Client innovations set new standards for customers seeking modern design, robust security, ease of management and attractive value. Spending on Cloud IT infrastructure is expected to have double digit growth and surpass spending on non-cloud IT infrastructure by 2022, according to IDC.

"As the cloud continues to reshape the way information is created, maintained and shared, HP Thin Client devices are delivering modern workflows with superior security and low-touch maintenance," said Joanne Bugos, vice president and general manager, Thin Clients, HP Inc. "Our newest thin client solutions provide customers with a convenient and secure option to deploy both virtual and cloud-based computing environments while delivering a great user experience, stylish design, and the versatility needed to support today's workforce both in and out of the office."

ASUS Announces the Lyra Trio Mesh Wi-Fi System

ASUS has announced Lyra Trio, a dual-band, three-hub mesh Wi-Fi system designed to deliver fast, secure and easy Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the home. Featuring high-bandwidth 3x3 MIMO technology for faster hub-to-hub communication and a unique pyramid antenna design that transmits the Wi-Fi signal vertically as well as horizontally for better reception across floors, Lyra Trio delivers ultrafast AC1750 Wi-Fi speeds in single and multi-story homes of up to 5400 square feet.

Lyra Trio provides always up-to-date protection with one-click firmware updates and AiProtection Classic cloud-based security powered by Trend Micro . These comprehensive security features safeguard online privacy and protect against internet threats for all devices connected to the network, even devices that do not have or are unable to run antivirus software - such as connected smart home devices. It also includes parental controls that can be configured with a smartphone to let parents easily manage the amount of time their children spend online.

HyperX Releases Cloud Revolver Gunmetal

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today announced the addition of HyperX Cloud Revolver Gunmetal gaming headset to its Cloud Revolver family. Featuring the same award-winning sound, comfort and durability inherent in Cloud Revolver, the new gunmetal edition offers the immersive audio profiles engineered in the Cloud Revolver family, creating a larger sound stage for FPS and open-environment gameplay, as well as concert hall-like audio experience when listening to music.

HyperX Cloud Revolver Gunmetal uses 50mm drivers that directs sound into the ear for precise audio positioning and a clean, crisp sound with enhanced bass. The headset is versatile with its detachable noise-canceling microphone that is certified by TeamSpeak and Discord. The headset is designed to deliver ultimate comfort during long hours of gameplay with HyperX signature memory foam and premium leatherette on the ear cups and head band.

NETGEAR Insight 28-Port Smart Cloud Switches Now Available

NETGEAR, Inc., the leading provider of networking devices that power today's smart home and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), has begun shipping two new 28-port Smart Cloud Switches introduced last month during CES 2018. Offering even more capacity for growing businesses, the switches fall under the umbrella of the award-winning NETGEAR Insight management solution. With its unified, single pane-of-glass view, Insight provides the convenience of setup, monitoring and management features from anywhere, at anytime, via the Insight mobile app or new Insight cloud web portal. With the addition of these latest switches the Insight ecosystem is now made up of six managed switches, the entire line up of ReadyNAS storage and the WAC500 series of wireless access points providing a complete managed network solution.

Seagate Shows Off New Mobile Data Storage Solutions at CES 2018

Seagate Technology plc, a world leader in data storage solutions, today announced a range of new products at the CES 2018 conference designed to equip the world's increasingly mobile population with solutions that solve key challenges they face when creating, processing and accessing their data on-the-go.

"Our world is becoming more data-centric, connected and mobile. This means creating, transferring, storing and accessing data quickly and reliably is critical to unlocking the potential of everything - from data created in the field, to data powering self-driving cars, AI personal assistants or virtual and mixed reality experiences," said Tim Bucher, senior vice president of Seagate consumer solutions. "At Seagate, we're constantly pursuing innovative ways to address our customer needs so they can gain a competitive edge in whichever field they play."

Kingston HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Gaming Headset Pictured

Kingston showed off its new HyperX Cloud Flight wireless gaming headset. This is the company's first wireless gaming headset, and has a design focus on light weight, so your neck can cope with extended periods of gaming with a headset that has batteries. It has a slightly chiseled design compared to the original HyperX Cloud, and loses unnecessary bulk unless it serves a function. The company assures 30 hours of usage on a full battery charge. Kingston speaks of audio performance rivaling its wired siblings, thanks to its 50 mm drivers. Slated for mid-January, the HyperX Cloud Flight is priced at USD $159.99.

Western Digital Ships "Someone's Backdoor" With My Cloud Drives

Western Digital has seemingly been shipping their My Cloud personal network attached storage solutions with an integrated backdoor. It's not really that complicated a backdoor either - a malicious user should always be able to use it. That stems from the fact that it's a hard coded backdoor with unchangeable credentials - logging in to someone's My Cloud is as simple as inputing "mydlinkBRionyg" as the Administrator username and "abc12345cba" as the respective password. Once logged in, shell access is unlocked, which allows for easy injection of commands.

The backdoor has been published by James Bercegay, with GulfTech Research and Development, and was disclosed to Western Digital on June 12th 2017. However, since more than 6 months have passed with no patch or solution having been deployed, the researchers disclosed and published the vulnerability, which should (should) finally prompt WD to action on fixing the issue. Making things even worse, no user action is required to enable attackers to take advantage of the exploit - simply visiting malicious websites can leave the drives wide open for exploit - and the outing of a Metasploit module for this very vulnerability means that the code is now out there, and Western Digital has a race in its hands. The thing is, it needn't have.

SolidRun's MACCHIATObin ClearCloud 8K Comes with Google Cloud IoT Core Support

SolidRun, a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance embedded solutions, and edge computing platforms, today announced support for the public beta of Google Cloud IoT Core, a fully managed service on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to securely connect and manage IoT devices at scale. Cloud IoT Core is now publicly available to all users in beta, including new features and pricing plan. With Cloud IoT Core, businesses can easily connect and centrally manage millions of globally dispersed IoT devices. When used as part of the broader Google Cloud IoT solution, it can ingest all IoT data and connect to Google Cloud's state of the art analytics services including Cloud Pub/Sub, Dataflow, Bigtable, BigQuery, and Machine Learning.

The MACCHIATObin ClearCloud 8K, is based on a Marvell ARMADA A8040 SoC, and features a quad core Arm Cortex A-72 1.6GHz processor, including 4GB DDR4 DIMM memory (16GB optional), dual 10GbE, microSD connectors, 3 x SATA 3.0, USB 3.0 and PCIe x4 3.0 slot. SolidRun's MACCHIATObin ClearCloud 8K with Google's Cloud IoT Core allows users to easily and securely connect to GCP. The solution has been developed in collaboration with Sartura Ltd., a leading specialized open source developer and integrator for embedded applications, in conjunction with Marvell.

Broadcom Now Shipping Their 12.8 Tbps Tomahawk 3 Ethernet Switch Chip

Broadcom Limited, today announced that it has delivered the StrataXGS Tomahawk 3 switch series, demonstrating an unprecedented 12.8 Terabits/sec of Ethernet switching performance in a single device -- double the bandwidth of any other switch silicon available in the market today. The Tomahawk 3 series represents the industry's first shipping product that supports high-density, standards based 400GbE, 200GbE, and 100GbE switching and routing for hyperscale cloud networks, fortifying Broadcom's position as the market leader in raw Ethernet performance, silicon execution, and switch product velocity. Remarkably, the Tomahawk 3 switch series was developed, manufactured, and shipped to customers a mere 14 months following the introduction of the previous 6.4Tbps product generation, while delivering 40% lower power consumption per 100GbE switch port and up to 75% lower cost per 100GbE switch port.

Oracle Buys Aconex for $1.2 Billion

Oracle today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Aconex Limited, a leading cloud-based solution that manages team collaboration for construction projects, for A$7.80 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately US$1.2 billion, net of Aconex cash. The Aconex project collaboration solution digitally connects owners, builders and other teams, providing complete visibility and management of data, documents and costs across all stages of a construction project lifecycle. Aconex has been used in over $1 trillion in projects across 70,000 user organizations in over 70 countries.

The Oracle Construction and Engineering Cloud already offers customers the industry's most advanced solutions for planning, scheduling and delivering large-scale projects. Together, Oracle and Aconex will provide an end-to-end offering for project management and delivery that enables customers to effectively plan, build, and operate construction projects.

Fujitsu's WAN Acceleration Technology Delivers Transfer Speeds Up to 40 Gbps

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the development of WAN acceleration technology that can deliver transfer speeds up to 40Gbps for migration of large volumes of data between clouds, using servers equipped with field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

Connections in wide area networks (WANs) between clouds are moving from 1Gbps lines to 10Gbps lines, but with the recent advance of digital technology, including IoT and AI, there is an even greater demand for faster high-speed data transfers as huge volumes of data are collected in the cloud. Until now the effective transfer speed of WAN connections has been raised using techniques to reduce the volume of data, such as compression and deduplication. However, with WAN lines of 10Gbps there are enormous volumes of data to be processed, and existing WAN acceleration technologies usable in cloud servers have not been able to sufficiently raise the effective transfer rate.

Microsoft Azure Becomes First Global Cloud Provider to Deploy AMD EPYC

AMD today announced the first public cloud instances powered by the AMD EPYC processor. Microsoft Azure has deployed AMD EPYC processors in its datacenters in advance of preview for its latest L-Series of Virtual Machines (VM) for storage optimized workloads. The Lv2 VM family will take advantage of the high-core count and connectivity support of the AMD EPYC processor.

"We are extremely excited to be partnering with Microsoft Azure to bring the power of AMD EPYC processors into their datacenter," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager of Enterprise Solutions. "There is tremendous opportunity for users to tap into the capabilities we can deliver across storage and other workloads through the combination of AMD EPYC processors on Azure. We look forward to the continued close collaboration with Microsoft Azure on future instances throughout 2018."

NVIDIA, Microsoft Launch Industry-Standard Hyperscale GPU Accelerator

NVIDIA with Microsoft today unveiled blueprints for a new hyperscale GPU accelerator to drive AI cloud computing. Providing hyperscale data centers with a fast, flexible path for AI, the new HGX-1 hyperscale GPU accelerator is an open-source design released in conjunction with Microsoft's Project Olympus.

HGX-1 does for cloud-based AI workloads what ATX -- Advanced Technology eXtended -- did for PC motherboards when it was introduced more than two decades ago. It establishes an industry standard that can be rapidly and efficiently embraced to help meet surging market demand. The new architecture is designed to meet the exploding demand for AI computing in the cloud -- in fields such as autonomous driving, personalized healthcare, superhuman voice recognition, data and video analytics, and molecular simulations.

Microsoft Announces Q2 2017 (Fiscal Year) Results - Beating Expectations

This afternoon, Microsoft had its earnings announcement for the second quarter of their 2017 fiscal year, beating Wall Street expectations with revenue of $26.1 billion (beating estimates of $25.3 billion), net income of $6.5 billion, and earnings per share of $0.83 (predicted at $0.79).

Microsoft has shuffled their product groups around a bit for reporting, and they now have three groups: Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. LinkedIn results, when aggregated to Microsoft's subsequent earnings reports (which have been included separately due to the acquisition having been completed on December 8th 2016), will fall in the first group.

Intel to Acquire 15 Percent Ownership of HERE

Intel has agreed to purchase a 15 percent ownership stake in HERE, a global provider of digital maps and location-based services, from HERE's current indirect shareholders: AUDI AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG. In conjunction with Intel's acquisition of a stake in HERE, the two companies also signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving. Additionally, the two companies plan to jointly explore strategic opportunities that result from enriching edge-computing devices with location data.

"Cars are rapidly becoming some of the world's most intelligent, connected devices," said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. "We look forward to working with HERE and its automotive partners to deliver an important technology foundation for smart and connected cars of the future." "A real-time, self-healing and high-definition representation of the physical world is critical for autonomous driving, and achieving this will require significantly more powerful and capable in-vehicle compute platforms," said Edzard Overbeek, HERE CEO. "As a premier silicon provider, Intel can help accelerate HERE's ambitions in this area by supporting the creation of a universal, always up-to-date digital location platform that spans the vehicle, the cloud and everything else connected."

HyperX Announces the New Cloud Revolver S 7.1 Flagship Headphones

After the spin-off from Kingston, HyperX has only been releasing gaming hardware for a few years, expanding its lineup throughout all kinds of gaming peripherals, from keyboards to headphones and mice. The Cloud Revolver S, announced at CES 2017, are the biggest, baddest headphones in HyperX's range of offerings, attaining flagship status.

HyperX is aiming for comfort first and sound second, driving 50mm drivers and plug-and-play Dolby 7.1-channel surround sound through a setup with memory foam cups and a wider steel headband.

Micron Technology Announces World's Highest-Capacity Enterprise SATA SSD

Micron Technology, Inc. today introduced the Micron Enterprise 5100 Series SATA solid state drive (SSD) family, enabling future-focused data storage platforms to meet the combined demands of performance, capacity and enterprise-class reliability. Micron's 5100 Series Enterprise SATA SSDs provide IT with an easy migration to bridge the infrastructure divide to tomorrow's all flash data center. With an industry-leading 8-terabyte (TB) capacity, the 5100 Series helps you manage the data deluge created by today's diverse digital universe with performance characteristics perfectly tailored to manage the data tsunami.

"Micron is uniquely positioned to help IT embrace modernization and agility, and leading enterprise and cloud data centers look to Micron for breadth and depth in solid state storage solutions to tame a diverse digital universe," Darren Thomas, vice president of storage at Micron. "Our Micron 5100 Series SATA SSDs featuring FlexPro architecture offer a seamless migration path with enterprise class reliability and proven ROI, ensuring flexibility, continuity and agility for data management today and tomorrow."

Seagate Duet Announced: Amazon Cloud-Syncing Portable HDD

Seagate has announced that the company is launching its Duet external hard drive, which would be, in all regards, a run-of-the-mill external hard drive (based on the company's Backup Plus Portable Drive), were it not for the fact that it runs tailored software that syncs its contents with the Amazon Drive service. The drive automatically downloads and uploads content from (and to) Amazon Drive to enable instant and offline access to data stored in the cloud - allowing you to not only store your data on the Cloud, but also keep a physical copy of it with you.
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