Asus Vivo Tab Smart coming to the UK

Autore: Welcome to Fudzilla

January 31, under a new name


Asus has announced that the Vivo Tab Smart will be available in the UK as of January 31st with a £399 price tag and a slightly different name – Vivo Tab ME400.

In case you missed it, the Vivo Tab Smart runs on Intel’s dual-core Atom Z2760 CPU, clocked at 1.8GHz, and it ships with Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS. It is built around a 10.1-inch 1366×768 IPS panel, has 2GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage (plus 3 years of Asus WebStorage), 8-megapixel main camera with LED and 2-megapixel front camera, 802.11bgn WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, microSD, micro HDMI and micro USB ports and a 25Whr battery cable of keeping the tablet live for up to 8.5 hours.

It should be available as of the 31st of January from Argos and Carphone Warehouse retail/e-tail shops with a suggested retail price of £399. The Asus TranSleeve Keyboard will be, of course, sold seperately at £89.99, while the simple cover will go for £39.99.

asus vivotabsmart 1

asus vivotabsmart 2

Montare immagini ISO in Windows con ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver

Autore: IlSoftware.it

Windows (fatta eccezione per Windows 8) non integra alcuna funzionalità che consenta di montare immagini ISO od in altro formato. Ciò significa che non è possibile interagire con il contenuto di un file d’immagine senza rivolgersi a software sviluppati da terzi.

ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver è un software libero, distribuito sotto licenza GNU GPL, che provvede ad installare un driver di periferica virtuale in ambiente Windows consentendo di montare immagini ISO e IMG. Sì, di software che consentono di arrivare ad un analogo risultato ve ne sono a bizzeffe (molti sono stati presentati, in passato nelle pagine de IlSoftware.it; vedere, ad esempio, questi articoli) ma ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver spicca per efficacia e compattezza. L’applicazione si compone infatti, complessivamente, di soli tre file: imdisk.sys, imdisk.exe e imdisk.cpl della dimensione complessiva di circa 160 KB. Il primo file, durante la procedura d’installazione del programma, viene automaticamente salvato nella cartella %systemroot%\System32\Drivers mentre gli altri due in %systemroot%\System32. Il primo file è il driver di periferica virtuale che consente di montare immagini ISO o IMG facendole apparire “agli occhi” di Windows come se fossero unità CD/DVD, hard disk o memorie rimovibili.
Il file con estensione .cpl aggiunge invece una nuova icona al Pannello di controllo di Windows: da qui, facendo clic sulla voce ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver, si otterrà la lista del file d’immagine correntemente “montati” insieme con le corrispondenti lettere identificative di unità.

Il driver %systemroot%\System32\Drivers\imdisk.sys contiene anche una firma digitale: il funzionamento di ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver è così garantito anche sui sistemi Windows a 64 bit. Come già illustrato nell’articolo 32 bit vs. 64 bit: le differenze tra le due architetture, tutti i driver concepiti per le versioni a 64 bit del sistema operativo Microsoft, debbono essere obbligatoriamente dotati di una firma digitale rilasciato da un’autorità di certificazione riconosciuta. Nel caso in cui di provvedesse a firmare un driver “kernel mode” a 64 bit in modo non corretto, il driver stesso non verrà caricato o comunque non andrà in esecuzione (se il driver è richiesto per l’avvio del personal computer, questo potrebbe non avviarsi).

Facendo doppio clic sul file d’installazione di ImDisk (prelevabile gratuitamente cliccando qui), apparirà il seguente avviso:

Cliccando sul pulsante , i file sopra citati saranno automaticamente copiati nelle locazioni d’interesse. Al termine dell’installazione (è pressoché istantanea), verrà visualizzato il seguente messaggio:

Facendo clic, con il tasto destro del mouse, su qualunque file in formato ISO o IMG, si potrà montarlo semplicemente selezionando la voce Mount as ImDisk Virtual Disk:

Non si utilizzi lo stesso comando su altre tipologie di file, differenti da ISO e IMG.

Alla comparsa della finestra in figura, suggeriamo di premere semplicemente il pulsante OK per montare l’immagine ISO o IMG. In corrispondenza della casella Drive letter viene indicata la prima lettera identificativa di unità disponibile sul sistema in uso; è ovviamente possibile specificarne una differente a seconda delle proprie preferenze.

La finestra principale di ImDisk è accessibile dal Pannello di controllo di Windows facendo clic sull’icona ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver:

Qui, si otterrà l’elenco delle immagini correntemente “montate” sul sistema: il contenuto di ciascuna di esse è immediatamente accessibile dalla finestra Computer o Risorse del computer selezionando la lettera identificativa di unità corrispondente.

Per “smontare” un file ISO/IMG, basterà accedere alla finestra principale di ImDisk, quindi utilizzare il pulsante Unmount. In alternativa, da Risorse del computer o Computer, basta – ancora una volta – cliccare con il tasto destro del mouse sull’unità virtuale da smontare e selezionare Unmount ImDisk Virtual Disk.

Ad installazione avvenuta, ImDisk non richiede l’effettuazione del reboot e non richiede alcuna operazione aggiuntiva per il suo utilizzo, sia sui sistemi Windows a 32 bit che su quelli a 64 bit.

ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver
Download: ltr-data.se
Compatibile con: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 (compatibile con le versioni di Windows a 32 o 64 bit)
Licenza: GNU GPLv2

A beneficio di chi volesse sapere come montare un file ISO che risiede fisicamente su un server remoto, suggeriamo la lettura dell’articolo Un’utilità per “montare” il contenuto di un intero file ISO senza scaricarlo. Grazie al software HTTPDisk si potrà consultare il contenuto di file ISO mentre ancora risiedono su server remoti ed estrarre solo gli elementi che interessano. Il driver di periferica virtuale usato da HTTPDisk non è firmato digitalmente quindi, per utilizzarlo, sui sistemi Windows a 64 bit si dovrà riavviare il sistema, premere il tasto F8 in fase di boot (prima della comparsa del logo di Windows) e selezionare la voce Disabilita imposizione firma driver. Si tratta ovviamente di un intervento temporaneo che dovrà essere disattivato riavviando il sistema non appena si sarà terminata la sessione di lavoro con HTTPDisk.

San Francisco Bay Bridge + 25,000 algorithmically controlled LEDs = The largest light show on earth

Autore: ExtremeTech

The Bay Lights, LED art installation in San Francisco

Now this is some extreme tech. Starting March 5, the San Francisco Bay Bridge will sport an absolutely mind-boggling light show. The bridge’s west span will feature LED lighting that is just under two miles wide and upwards of 500 feet (152m) high. For the next two years, over fifty million people will experience these LEDs flashing on the bridge. The craziest part is that the lighting pattern is algorithmically generated from weather, wildlife, and traffic, so the patterns never repeat.

After seeing Leo Villareal’s previous light sculptures at the San Jose Museum of Art, Ben Davis (founder of the creative agency Words Pictures Ideas) approached the artist about The Bay Lights concept, and this insane and beautiful project was born. Back in September, six months of wiring work began. From 8am to 5pm, the team is attaching the LED-studded wires to the 300 cables along the bridge — a combined total of 25,000 LED lights. Leo Villareal, the madman and genius behind this endeavor, developed his own software so that each individual light can be triggered independently by the algorithm to create a truly unique masterpiece.

The project will require $ 8 million to design, make, install, and break down. Thanks to the low power overhead of LEDs, only $ 11,000 will be needed to power the display per year. That might sound like a lot of money, but an estimated increase of $ 97 million dollars in local business will probably change your mind. Besides, it’s being funded by donations. As it stands, $ 5.7 million has been funded, but the remaining $ 2.3 million needs to be generated to fund the project through to 2015.

The best part is that people interested in donating to the project can actually become part of the display. The “Gift of Light” allows patrons to customize one or more of the lights in the display. A tax deductible donation will allow interested parties to influence one of the largest (and most nerdy) art projects in the world.

If you’re interested in seeing this for yourself, just head to the west span of the bay bridge after March 5 between dusk and midnight. With over 100,000 linear feet of power, fiberoptic, and Ethernet cables being used, this is a technical achievement you won’t want to miss. Art, engineering, and programming are all being used to outstanding effect with this display. Even if you’ll never see the bay lights in person, the sheer audacity of scale is inspiring. Let’s hope that this catalyzes even more large scale mashups of art and technology.

Now read: Scientists harness firefly technology to make LEDs more efficient

Crysis 3: open beta multiplayer imminente

Autore: Hardware Upgrade RSS

Electronic Arts e Crytek annunciano che il beta test multiplayer di Crysis 3, aperto a tutti, inizierà il 29 gennaio sui formati per cui è prevista la versione definitiva del gioco, ovvero PC, PlayStation 3 e Xbox 360. La beta multiplayer di Crysis 3 sarà disponibile per due settimane e darà ai giocatori la possibilità di ricevere un aiuto nella competizione prima del lancio previsto per il 21 febbraio in Europa.

Crysis 3

La beta multiplayer di Crysis 3 avrà inizio il 29 gennaio, si concluderà il 12 febbraio e consentirà di provare due delle otto modalità che saranno poi presenti nella versione definitiva del gioco, ovvero Crash Site e Hunter.

Nella modalità Crash Site, i giocatori dovranno conquistare e difendere determinati punti della mappa, guadagnando punti a seconda dei nemici uccisi e dell’abilità nel proteggere il luogo designato. Hunter, invece, è una modalità completamente nuova per Crysis. Due Hunter, che dispongono delle potenzialità concesse dalla Nanotuta, devono affrontare un intero team di soldati Cell, precisamente 14. I due cacciatori dispongono dell’arco futuristico di Crysis 3 e sono sempre invisibili ai soldati del team Cell. Per ogni cattura, gli Hunter sono in grado di portare una delle prede nella propria squadra. Per queste ultime, quindi, lo scopo del match è di sopravvivere il più a lungo possibile, coordinandosi ed evitando di cadere nelle imboscate dei cacciatori.

Incluso nella beta multiplayer di Crysis 3 vi è anche il New York Feed, un aggiornamento social in-game che mostrerà i risultati dei giocatori e dei loro amici e proporrà sfide da completare. Sarà possibile anche provare alcune feature secondarie del nuovo shooter come Rip & Throw, che dà ai giocatori la possibilità di interagire con gli elementi dell’ambiente circostante per utilizzarli come armi o scudi e la possibilità di controllare il Pinger, un’arma da guerra aliena treppiede dagli effetti devastanti.

AMD Q4’12 and FY 2012 Earnings: Closing Out a Rough Year, Looking Towards the Next

Autore: AnandTech


Continuing the spate of earnings announcements this week we have both AMD’s Q4’12 and fiscal year 2012 earnings. The 4th quarter presents something of a culmination of several events for most companies; not only is it the final quarter of the year and the time when they release both quarterly and yearly results, but it also encompasses the holiday shopping season that is most tech companies’ strongest quarter. For AMD in particular it also marks the end of what has been a rough year for the company, as they continue to work on a gradual reorganization that will see the company’s focus shift to ultra low power client devices, semi-custom SoCs and dense servers through 2014.


For the quarter ending on December 29th, 2012, on a GAAP basis AMD booked $ 1.16B in revenue, with a net loss of $ 473M. With the exception of Q2’12, AMD has been losing money for the last few quarters, and Q4 was expected to be much the same. Compared to both Q3’12 and Q4’11, this marks both a drop in revenue and net income, making this one of the roughest quarters yet for the company. The overall gross margin for AMD was a mere 15%, far below the break-even point as they currently operate.






AMD Q4 2012 Financial Results (GAAP)

 

Q4’2012

Q3’2012

Q3’2011

Revenue

$ 1.16B

$ 1.27B

$ 1.69B

Net Income

-$ 473M

-$ 157M

-$ 177M


Yet despite these initially bleak numbers, it’s interesting to note that these numbers are considered to be relatively good for AMD. Wall Street analysts were actually expecting AMD to lose more than this for Q4, so AMD essentially lost less money than was expected. Which isn’t to say that this was a good quarter for AMD – losing money is losing money – but for what AMD has been going through the last few quarters, merely beating the street is an important accomplishment for AMD as they need to keep investors satiated if they’re to complete their product transition.


So what’s dragging down AMD at this point in time? First and foremost of course is the continuing weakness in the PC market, which will remain AMD’s core market for at least the next year until they’re farther along with their shift. This is the same weakness that finally drove Intel’s gross margins below 60% for the first time in years, and unfortunately for AMD when Intel’s being pressed upon, Intel in turn begins pressing upon AMD. Unfortunately for both companies, Windows 8 did not generate a significant increase in PC sales or margins, so while other computing markets like tablets are still seeing growth, some of that growth is coming at the expense of PCs, where AMD suffers significant exposure.


Along with weak PC sales, AMD has also once again had to take a number of one-time charges for various aspects of their business. As announced back at the start of the quarter, AMD is cutting 15% of their workforce and taking a restructuring charge on that. Meanwhile due to those weak PC sales, AMD had to amend their wafer share agreement with fab partner Global Foundries, as AMD was contracted to many more wafers from GloFo than the company ended up needing. The amendment saves AMD money in the long-run by reducing the number of wafers the company needs to buy to a more realistic level given AMD’s situation, but in the short-term AMD has to pay a significant penalty to GloFo which is being reflected in their results. Altogether AMD paid $ 363M in various one-time charges in Q4, making it the single biggest factor driving the company into the red.


In fact if we look at AMD’s non-GAAP results, which effectively exclude one-time charges, we can see that AMD had a better quarter; not great, but better. Even without those charges AMD still lost $ 102M for the quarter, which is actually a smaller non-GAAP loss than the previous quarter and hence the reason this quarter is being considered relatively good for AMD. Non-GAAP gross margin reflects the much smaller loss at 39%, which is better but again lower than where AMD needs to be.






AMD Q4 2012 Financial Results (Non-GAAP)

 

Q4’2012

Q3’2012

Q3’2011

Revenue

$ 1.16B

$ 1.27B

$ 1.69B

Net Income

-$ 102M

-$ 150M

$ 138M


Moving on to AMD’s yearly results, with AMD having lost money most quarters of 2012, it comes as no surprise then that their FY 2012 results are equally dour. Again on a GAAP basis AMD booked $ 5.42B in revenue, with a staggering net loss of $ 1.18B. The vast majority of these losses were in the form of payments to GloFo as part of AMD’s wafer share agreement amendment and AMD’s earlier limited waiver of exclusivity, adding up to just shy of a billion dollars at $ 976M. This means that much like AMD’s Q4, their non-GAAP yearly results are far better with AMD having only lost $ 114M, but again this is still a loss and comes amid a $ 1.3B drop in revenue compared to 2011.






AMD FY 2012 Financial Results (GAAP)

 

2012

2011

2010

Revenue

$ 5.42B

$ 6.57B

$ 6.49B

Net Income

-$ 1.18B

$ 491M

$ 471M


Diving into the results for AMD’s various divisions, once again AMD’s CPU/APU division (Computing Solutions) has taken a significant hit. Revenue for Q4’12 was $ 829M, down some $ 480M from Q4’11. This translates into an operating loss of $ 323M for the division for the quarter, with a loss for the year of $ 231M. Meanwhile CPU/APU average sales prices were also down compared to Q4’11, exacerbating the situation further by reducing the amount of revenue AMD pulled in on the smaller number of parts they were able to sell.






AMD Q4 2012 Computing Solutions Division Financial Results

 

Q4’2012

Q3’2012

Q4’2011

Revenue

$ 829M

$ 927M

$ 1309M

Operating Income

-$ 323M

-$ 114M

$ 165M


AMD’s Graphics division on the other hand continues to truck along. Graphics has never been AMD’s primary business and consequently nowhere near their largest business, but the division has continued to turn out a small operating profit each and every quarter, including Q4. For the quarter Graphics booked $ 326M in revenue with an operating income of $ 22M, while for the year they booked $ 1.41B revenue with $ 105M in operating income. Graphics has been affected by the slowdown in PC sales just like AMD’s CPU/APU business has, but it hasn’t been hit nearly as hard overall, with revenue falling less than $ 150M while operating income has actually more than doubled. This is thanks in part to the fact that Graphics ASPs were up on a yearly basis, helping to offset the decline in units shipped.






AMD Q4 2012 Graphics Division Financial Results

 

Q4’2012

Q3’2012

Q4’2011

Revenue

$ 326M

$ 342M

$ 382M

Operating Income

$ 22M

$ 18M

$ 27M


Wrapping things up, with 2012 ending on a sour note AMD is looking towards what it can do in 2013 to make sure the company makes it through their planned reorganization. With AMD having taken the brunt of their recent one-time charges in Q4, there should be few (if any) charges in 2013 so long as something new doesn’t come up. AMD’s operating situation has been rough, but it’s the one-time charges that have really hurt the company in the last year, so avoiding further costs like restructuring charges or contract amendments will go a long way to keeping the company going. 2014 is when most of AMD’s major initiatives come to fruition, making the next year extremely important to the company.


The biggest factor over the next year will be to conserve cash. As of the end of Q4 AMD had just over a billion dollars of cash and cash equivalents in the bank. This is actually quite a bit of cash given AMD’s declining revenues, however due to the nature of the semiconductor business AMD needs to keep quite a bit of cash on-hand for day-to-day operations. It’s not clear just how much is enough right now – AMD’s post-transition goal is $ 700M-$ 800M – but it has been getting low enough to take more drastic actions such as selling their Lone Star campus in Texas.





AMD Cash, Cash Equiv, & Short-Term Securities

Q4’2012

Q3’2012

Q4’2011

$ 1B

$ 1.3B

$ 1.76B


To that end, due to operating losses and various one-time charges AMD’s cash reserve has shrunk by nearly $ 300M in the last quarter. AMD’s turnaround will take several quarters, so until that completes AMD may need to raise additional cash and to otherwise control their cash flow if they are to make it through 2013.



Looking forward, while AMD’s ultimate goal is to get to 2014, 2013 will still see the launch of several products. AMD has stated that their Trinity-derived Richland APU is already shipping to OEMs, meanwhile APUs based on their forthcoming low-power Jaguar core are due in H1. Also shipping this year will be AMD’s Sea Islands GPU family, and AMD’s first HSA capable APU, Kaveri, is still scheduled for this year. It’s too early to tell how any of those product families will do, but of everything AMD will be launching this year it’s their Jaguar products that stand to shake up the market the most. Jaguar and its successors are also a major part of AMD’s post-restructuring plans, so early success there would bode well for AMD’s long term plans.


Source:
AMD Investor Relations