HP buys Bromium to apply virtualization security to its PCs

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HP acquired security company Bromium, announcing the purchase on Thursday afternoon. Much as Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Microsoft, and other major vendors hoard key pieces of computer technology, HP may be trying to corner the market on a unique piece of browser technology it already uses. 

Bromium technology already underlies HP’s Sure Click feature, which locks every individual browser tab inside of its own virtual machine. Theoretically, any piece of malware on the tab can’t “see” anything more than the tab upon which it resides, protecting the browser as well as the PC host.

Bromium also supplies what it calls Secure File technology, which does the same for each individual download—Office documents, PDFs, and the works. If the file isn’t marked as trusted, it will be opened in what Bromium calls a micro virtual machine.

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Intel launches 10th-gen ‘Ice Lake’ chips, pushing hard on graphics for notebook PCs

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Intel’s eleven new Ice Lake chips are betting big on graphics. Intel claims that its new 10th-gen Core family, launched Thursday, will offer the best integrated graphics experience of any thin-and-light notebook PC—about equaling what some discrete chips offer in PCWorld tests.

Intel began setting up Ice Lake expectations in May, positioning its first mass-market 10nm parts as improvements for the notebook PC as a whole, including AI, communications, and I/O. The overarching message is “new:” a new process technology, a new CPU core, and a new graphics engine, along with “new” advancements in communications and I/O. 

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Nvidia models the Apollo 11 moon landing using RTX technology

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In time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, Nvidia has recreated the moment using its RTX ray tracing technnology.

Technically, the company recreated the moment five years ago, when Nvidia calculated the visual aspects of the landing, modelling the individual rivets on the lander and modelling the reflectivity of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit and the lunar dust. Nvidia took that model and applied its RTX technology, modeling light as it bounced off the lunar surface, Armstong’s helmet, and various other visual elements.

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Intel takes the chiplet concept to the next level with co-EMIB, ODI connections

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Intel’s EMIB was the foundation of the Kaby Lake-G partnership with AMD. Intel’s Foveros stacked-die technology produced the upcoming Lakefield chip. Now Intel is combining EMIB and Foveros into what it’s calling “co-EMIB,” alongside a more advanced ODI interface. 

Both technologies will “improve product-level performance, power and area while enabling a complete rethinking of system architecture,” Intel said in a blog post. Both represent advances in how the chips are packaged and connected, rather than changes in the underlying silicon or the overall microarchitecture.

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Tobii lands former Intel PC chip VP to push eye tracking mainstream

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Eye-tracking tech provider Tobii said Monday that it has named Anand Srivatsa, the former vice president of Intel’s Client Computing Group, as Tobii Technology’s new chief executive. 

Tobii Technology is the consumer-oriented division of the larger Tobii Group, which also has two other divisions. Srivatsa’s role will be to bring Tobii’s eye-tracking technology to new PCs and consumer devices. Henrik Eskilsson, CEO of the Tobii Group, took over the duties of chief executive of Tobii Technology temporarily and will hand the reins to Srivatsa on August 12, and return to running the Tobii Group.

Tobii said that they hired Srivatsa because he essentially performed the same role at Intel: leading the Client Computing Group, Srivatsa worked with PC markers to ensure design wins with Intel chipsets and processors. Srivatsa will be responsible for working with those same customers to build in Tobii’s eye tracking, too.

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DisplayPort 2.0 launches, promising 8K video support by late 2020

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While U.S. broadcasters are still mired in 1080p, foreign markets are already looking at 8K video—and that’s exactly what the new generation of DisplayPort technology, DisplayPort 2.0, is designed to address.

In late 2020, the first products incorporating the new DP 2.0 standard are expected to be made available, according to the Video Electronics Standards Association, or VESA. DP 2.0 can use the existing DP connector that appears on many high-end desktop PCs, or be carried over cabling that uses the standard USB-C connector—though you’ll still need a PC with DP 2.0 silicon to support it. 

DP 2.0 offers three times as much bandwidth as DP 1.4a, the current standard. While DP 2.0 keeps the four available data lanes as its predecessor, the available link rate has been increased up to 20Gbps per lane with 128-bit/132-bit channel coding. That translates into a maximum of 77Gbps, with support for 8K video: 7680×4320 at 60Hz, with full color 4:4:4 resolution at 30 bits per pixel for HDR.

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Trump tariffs on Chinese goods could cost you $120 more for notebook PCs, say Dell, HP and CTA

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Dell, HP, Intel, and Microsoft warned that Trump Administration tariffs levied on Chinese imports would raise laptop prices by as much as 19 percent or $120, no matter which manufacturer made them. 

In a public comment attached to the proposed action filed Wednesday, the four companies cited a Consumer Technology Association report issued this week that said the tariffs would add about $120 to the average price of a laptop, beginning in the popular back-to-school and holiday seasons. Laptops purchased from Chinese manufacturers like Lenovo would cost 21 percent more, the CTA found. 

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These four ‘Eyes First’ Windows games could do for eye tracking what Solitaire did for the PC’s mouse

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Microsoft Research has published four “Eyes First” games, designed to help make eye tracking more of a mainstream technology for Windows 10 users.

The Eyes First games—Tile Slide, Match Two, Double Up, and Maze—aren’t much in terms of actual games, as they’re just twists on existing apps. The difference, though, is that they can be played with eye tracking, using hardware from Tobii and others that tracks your gaze as you look at the screen. You’ll obviously need an eye tracker, but also a PC running the Windows 10 April 2018 Update or newer. 

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IOGear’s wireless HDMI extender embeds 60GHz technology in a USB-C dongle

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IOGear’s new Share Pro wireless HDMI transmitter/receiver kit offers something rather interesting: 60GHz transmissions, connected using either a dongle form factor or a USB-C connector slot.

IOGear began selling the Share Pro USB-C Wireless HD Video Transmitter/Receiver Kit (GWHDKIT11C) on Wednesday for $169.99, somewhat more than existing wireless HDMI kits already on the market. Typically, however, those wireless setups have either used bulky transmitter and receiver units, like IOGear’s 4K setupRemove non-product link, or plugged into (and required) at least one HDMI port, like the Nyrius Aries ProRemove non-product link

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Microsoft’s Cortana AI gives programmable bots listening and decisionmaking skills

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Cortana used to represent Microsoft’s user-facing AI and reside largely in Windows. But times have changed, and she’s now evolved from one persona into the technology powering hundreds of automated bots, architected by Microsoft’s customers—meaning you could meet a Cortana-like intelligence in a lot more places. 

In advance of its Microsoft Build developer conference May 6-8 in Seattle, Microsoft has announced new cloud-based cognitive services that will benefit business users, such as transcribing meetings and extracting text from forms.

Remember Microsoft’s ”conference room of the future” demo from last year’s Build? A Cortana-powered device (housed within a tabletop device similar to an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant hub) recognized, assisted, and recorded a meeting. To do that, Cortana (or another agent) needed to be able to sense the world around it.

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