Nvidia Details Legacy Support Plans for DirectX 10 Generation Graphics Cards

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Just as Microsoft is getting ready to end support for Windows XP next month, Nvidia also has an end in sight for its own legacy products, though it's not coming up quite as quickly. When Nvidia gets around to releasing its GeForce 343 drivers, support will officially end for all DirectX 10 generation graphics cards, freeing the GPU maker to focus soley on Fermi, Kepler, and Maxwell products.

This doesn't mean you have to rush out and buy a new graphics card, as Nvidia will continue to support your old hardware up through its upcoming GeForce 340 drivers. However, that will be the end of the line for such products.

"The Release 340 drivers will continue to support these products until April 1, 2016, and the Nvidia support team will continue to address driver issues for these products in driver branches up to and including Release 340. However, future driver enhancements and optimizations in driver releases after Release 340 will not support these products," Nvidia states on a new support page.

Lots of GPUs will be affected by this, including all GeForce 8 and 9 Series desktop parts, and GeForce 7, 8, and 9 Series notebook GPUs, to name just a few. This also affects Nvidia's professional line, such as the Quadro FX 5800 and others.

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Apple Launches 8 GB iPhone 5c, Relaunches 16 GB iPad 4

Tuesday March 18, 2014 1:55 am PDT by Richard PadillaAs indicated by multiple reports yesterday, Apple has officially launched an 8 GB version of the iPhone 5c and relaunched a 16 GB version of the previously-discontinued fourth-generation iPad. The 8 GB iPhone 5c is currently being sold in Apple's European Online Stores for £429 unlocked in all of the existing color options, where it is £40 cheaper than the 16 GB model and is expected to become available in the U.S. later today. The 16 GB iPad 4 is available worldwide and retails in Apple's U.S. Online Store for $399, while customers may also purchase a cellular version for $130 more at $529.

iphone5c8gb_ipad4
The relaunch of the 16 GB iPad 4 has resulted in Apple discontinuing the three-year-old iPad 2, although the company's European stores still currently show the iPhone 4S being sold alongside the new 8 GB iPhone 5c.

Apple's iPhone 5c has seen lower-than-expected sales since its debut last September due to high demand for the flagship iPhone 5s. The move also comes amid a renewed push by Apple to promote the iPhone 5c, as the company has debuted a new set of playful dot-centric for the phone on popular blogging platform Tumblr as well as the front page of Yahoo.com and in recent issues of The New York Times.

Meanwhile, the iPad 4 has been brought back into Apple's lineup after being removed in favor of the iPad Air last October. However, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in February that the company would shift from the iPad 2 to the iPad 4, as the latter sports Apple's A6X chip and 1GB memory compared to the former's A5 processor and 512 MB of memory.

Both devices are available to order from Apple's Online Store or through the company's retail locations.


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Former Apple Marketing VP Reflects on Steve Jobs and Marketing [Mac Blog]

Former Apple Marketing VP Reflects on Steve Jobs and Marketing - Mac Rumors window.fbAsyncInit = function() { FB.init({ appId : '263507923666566', status : true, // check login status cookie : true, // enable cookies to allow the server to access the session xfbml : true // parse XFBML }); }; (function() { var e = document.createElement('script'); e.src = document.location.protocol + '//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js'; e.async = true; document.getElementById('fb-root').appendChild(e); }()); Mac Rumors Front Page Mac Blog iOS BlogRoundups AirPortApple TViMaciOS 7iOS 8iPad AiriPad miniiPhone 5ciPhone 5siPhone 6iPod classiciPod nanoiPod shuffleiPod touchiWatchMac miniMac ProMacBook AirMacBook ProOS X MavericksThunderbolt Display Buyer's Guide ForumsGot a tip for us? Share it... Push RSS a. Send us an emailb. Anonymous formclose (x)Former Apple Marketing VP Reflects on Steve Jobs and MarketingMonday March 17, 2014 3:26 pm PDT by Jordan GolsonIn a new video, former Apple marketing vice president Allison Johnson talked about marketing at Apple and what it was like to work under Steve Jobs. The interview, which took place at the 99U Pop-Up School last September (via Cult of Mac), covers words that were verboten at Apple -- "brand" and "marketing" among them -- as well as anecdotes about Steve Jobs, and some advice on marketing.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 3.22.00 PM
Johnson gave one example from the launch of the iPhone on AT&T in 2007. The carrier had written an email explaining to its internal sales team on how to properly sell the iPhone. Jobs asked to see the email and edited the email so the iPhone would be positioned correctly.

"He would dive in at a level of detail that most human beings would never consider," Johnson explained. "So, a CEO looking at a sales memo to an internal sales group at AT&T. He cared that much."


Johnson goes on to explain that Apple's product and marketing teams work closely together from early on in the design process. As a result, the Product Marketing team "understood deeply what was important about the product, what the team's motivations were on the product, what they hoped that product would achieve, what role they wanted it to play in people's lives". Because of this, Apple's marketing was greatly improved and on-target.

For external marketing and PR agencies that aren't involved as deeply in the development process, Johnson said, it's more difficult for them to position products well.

After Johnson left Apple, she founded West, a creative agency that works with tech companies like Anki and Jawbone. [ 7 comments ] Top Rated Comments(View all)

Avatarosaga9 hours ago at 08:49 pmWhen there was negativity in the press about antennagate, I think it was born out of a perceived arrogance on Apple's part. They made a phone with an external antenna, and that could easily be perceived as frivolous or vain. In 2013 in the early days of the iPhone 5, media hatred was high. Even Wozniak said publicly that Apple was arrogant by not increasing screen size more. And there was a lot of talk about a "lack of innovation" at Apple (which I think also had to do with size). The stock price suffered. Recently, it seems opinions of Apple are high again, for a couple reasons- rumors of new products on the way, and because I think most people have come to understand that the iphone as a "whole is greater than the sum of it's parts." In other words, people are finally realizing that android's ecosystem flaws, weight heavily against whatever pricing, or size advantages it has. So the future is looking good for Apple, and their ethos of "product first" etc. has been validated.Rating: 4 PositivesAvatarafsnyder14 hours ago at 03:52 pmIf you watched through, you would have seen Allison talk about Steve Jobs and the problem with the iPhone 4.

Steve Jobs sobbed because of it... hope everyone that uses that against Apple feels bad. You made a grown - now passed - man cry!Rating: 2 PositivesAvatarsailmac11 hours ago at 06:30 pmAppreciated her candid remarks.

Be yourself. She was sincere about that.

Liked her perspective that "marketing" is too often just a "filter word" for selling or pitching something that doesn't offer real value.Rating: 2 PositivesAvatarSJism2313 hours ago at 04:33 pmIf you watched through, you would have seen Allison talk about Steve Jobs and the problem with the iPhone 4.

Steve Jobs sobbed because of it... hope everyone that uses that against Apple feels bad. You made a grown - now passed - man cry!


And he made many people cry :)Rating: 1 Positives
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Meet Highspot, a service to find all the knowledge that slips through the cracks

Every company suffers from the same problem: Key documents are emailed, buried, and then forgotten about—until they’re needed. Then the cycle repeats again. But a pair of ex-Microsoft execs say they have the solution.

Their new startup, Highspot, actually looks very Google-y: Users can sign up to follow and funnel their own data into “spots,” but can also search for what they want using natural language via a search box. And the service also “bubbles up” relevant information, so that if a co-worker finds a relevant news story, for example, Highspot will push that to your attention.

Highspot CEO Robert Wahbe, formerly the corporate vice president of product management for the Server and Tools Division at Microsoft, says that too much time is already spent hunting down information that simply gets misplaced, using cobbled-together systems that don’t necessarily work. At Parallels Inc., for example, the company used a system of folders within Dropbox to store marketing documentation, John Zanni, the company’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview.

highspot

A snapshot of the Highspot home page.

“People are spending time looking for content they’re not going to find,” Wahbe told PCWorld. “They’re also spending time recreating content that already exists, and on the other side they’re creating content that’s not going to be found.”

Highspot doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Microsoft might argue, for example, that Yammer serves the same purpose by allowing employees to “follow” one another, share documents, and collaborate on projects. But Wahbe said the Highspot technology goes a step further, mining documents for their internal content and better assessing whether they’ll in fact be relevant to the user. That, in turn, eliminates the need to “tag” documents with user-created metadata, which can grow stale and out of date the longer a document lives within a system.

So how does it work? When users sign up for Highspot, their companies have one of two options: a free service that allows unlimited Web links, five “spots,” 500 files, and five downloads per month; and a $20 user/month business option, which allows unlimited use of the service plus spot editors, administration tools, help getting started, and premier support.

A user then updates his information and elects to create “spots,” which on the surface feel a lot like a Google+ circles. These spots can be collections of content: people or documents, either created by the user himself, the company, or by others. Users can also elect to “follow” other people, such as a team leader. A particular document can also be “re-spotted,” or liked.

highspot 2

Searches autofill with relevant data.

Basically, corporate knowledge floats to the user in one of three ways: automatically, via the machine learning algorithm; via spots; or through a dynamic search. Not surprisingly perhaps for Microsoft veterans, the system appears to work best when documents are maintained and updated rather than constantly being revised and discarded. But an out-of-date marketing document can be marked as such or it will also trickle down out of sight as co-workers continue to migrate to newer versions. 

Highspot mines Office documents, all image formats, PDF documents, and Web links, including Web links to video, Wahbe said.

Highspot doesn’t hope to replace existing systems and workflows like Office 365, but supplement them, Wahbe said. In fact, Highspot created its own Knowledge Graph, similar to the Office Graph Microsoft recently announced. And the similarities don’t end there: the Highspot Knowledge Graph was architected by Paul Viola, the company’s chief scientist and former distinguished engineer and general manager of the group that monetized Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

Microsoft recently released “Oslo,” a prototype app that in concept looks a lot like Highspot. But Highspot executives say that they two are different—but not mutually incompatible.

highspot platforms

Highspot will be available on phones, tablets, and the Web.

“We’re not attempting to compete with the Office Graph... as they [Microsoft] take their Yammer asset and they try to create this uber feed across all of their assets. We’re trying to make a very easy-to-use—taking a page from Pinterest, Amazon, Spotify and others—an easy-to-use knowledge sharing service that uses machine learning to surface that. And we will in fact use the Office Graph as they put that into that into their platform.”

Does the Highspot technology work? Parallels’ John Zanni said that it does. The virtualization company has been using it for four or five months, with a total of about 150 users, and Zanni said he saw it as an answer to the problem of quickly searching for and providing access to marketing collateral. Neither the CMS system the company used nor its Dropbox methodology proved effective, he said. And in certain cases, Highspot has pushed relevant, valuable content he wouldn’t have othewise seen. “I’m a big believer,” Zanni said.

Spots can be shared outside of the company, but the next step is to move from sharing knowledge inside the company to sharing it with partners, Wahbe said. 

“From the vendors’ point of view and the resellers’ point of view, it would be great if you could easily publish a spot, and then have the reseller find the materials they want. One of the challenges a reseller has [is] they might support 5,000 products, and they get flooded with all this vendor information and they can’t find a thing. On the other side, the vendor feels really bad because they keep publishing new versions and they never get to the right people.”

Likewise, partner communities would naturally benefit from similar information sharing, Wahbe said.

In 2004, a study by TalentKeepers found that the most catastrophic effect of a worker departing the company was lost knowledge, an argument for mining and storing that knowledge for future use. But such knowledge is useless if it can't be found again. Highspot sounds like a solution to solve that problem.


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Review: MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

The emergence of efficient components, tiny SSDs and Intel's Ultrabook brand has seen the laptop market shift towards lithe, light machines, but they're still no good if you're a keen gamer. If you want to play new titles at high settings, you still need a chunkier gaming machine – and the MSI GT70 could be one of the most powerful we've ever seen.

That's down to one component: the GeForce GTX 870M. It's the first mobile GPU to emerge from Nvidia's new range, and it supercharges the firm's high-end hardware to return some of the best results we have ever seen from a laptop.

The GTX 870M has 1,344 stream processors, which is one of the largest amounts ever included in an Nvidia mobile GPU, and they're clocked to 941MHz – higher than every enthusiast GPU in the firm's last mobile range. There's GPU Boost, too, so this chip hits a peak of 967MHz.

Press shot

Nvidia's new Maxwell architecture is currently reserved for the mid-range, so the GTX 870M has Kepler silicon instead. Nvidia specifies this GPU with 3GB of GDDR5 memory, but that's not enough for MSI – it's soldered 6GB of 1,250MHz silicon to this GPU, which is the most we've seen on any gaming notebook.

The Core i7-4800MQ is one of Intel's best mobile parts. It's got four Hyper-Threaded cores clocked to 2.7GHz, and it uses Turbo Boost to tweak all four to 3.5GHz – and one can hit 3.7GHz. In this machine it's paired with 8GB of RAM. Storage is handled by a 128GB Toshiba SSD and a 1GB hard disk.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

Dual-band 802.11n wireless is provided by a Killer Wireless-N 1202 chip designed to improve speed and reduce interference, and Gigabit Ethernet comes from the same game-friendly brand. There's Bluetooth 4.0, and a DVD writer – but no Blu-ray.

On the outside, the MSI GT70 is a throwback – and proud of it. It's a huge system that harks back to older gaming laptops, and it's got the sort of loud touches that just aren't found on Ultrabooks these days: a light-up logo on the lid, big metallic speakers, a colourful backlit keyboard and plenty of flashing lights, glossy plastic and brushed metal.

The high-end components mean that the MSI isn't exactly a lightweight. It's 59mm thick when its rubber feet are included, and 428mm wide – and its 3.9kg weight rises by several hundred grams with its power brick. It's a significant piece of hardware.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

Thankfully, the heavyweight design is matched with good build quality. The moderate price means this machine is made from a mix of plastic and aluminium, but it's robust, with barely any give in the wrist-rest, base and screen. It's a machine that'll survive life on the road. It's also got plenty of ports: three USB 3 connectors, a pair of USB 2 ports, and three display outputs.

Scandinavian keyboard specialists SteelSeries supply this MSI's Scrabble-tile unit – the same arrangement as on MSI's own slimmer MS70 – and it's a high-quality bit of kit: little give in the base, with light keys, and a consistent action. There's a numberpad, too, and the whole unit is up to the task of strenuous gameplay.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

The trackpad's two buttons are large and snappy, so easy to hit during gameplay, and the pad itself is smooth, but we wish it was larger – it's irritating to suddenly hit its edges during intense moments. As usual, with gaming laptops, we'd be using a separate mouse whenever possible.

Only one gaming laptop is larger than the MSI, and it's the 4.6kg Asus G750JX – a monster gaming machine with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M GPU.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

The Asus isn't the only gaming machine that squares up to the MSI. Gigabyte's best effort is the stunning Aorus X7: a mighty gaming laptop that crams two high-end GPUs inside a surprisingly slim chassis.

The MSI GS70 Stealth is a home-grown machine that tries to offer gaming power inside an Ultrabook-style exterior, and the Toshiba Qosmio X70 is a traditional gaming system – which means it's one of the most extravagant-looking laptops we've ever laid eyes on.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

3DMark:
Ice Storm: 63,839
Cloud Gate: 17,151
Fire Strike: 4,286

Cinebench 11.5:
CPU: 7.51
GPU: 57.78fps

Cinebench R15:
CPU: 660cd
GPU: 84.82fps

PCMark 8:
Home battery test, high performance: 1hr 56mins
Home battery test, balanced: 2hr 38mins
Home battery test, power saver, 40% screen: 3hrs 42mins

Unigine Heaving:
Looping, Extreme, 1080p, simulated gaming battery life: 1hr 7mins

Bioshock Infinite:
Ultra, 1,920 x 1,080: 86fps

Battlefield 4:
Ultra, 1,920 x 1,080: 34fps

Batman: Arkham Origins
Very High, 1,920 x 1,080: 52fps

SSD:
AS SSD sequential read: 497MB/s
AS SSD sequential write: 271MB/s

The GT70 backs up its impressive specification with stupendous performance. The MSI scored 4,286 in 3Dmark's toughest Fire Strike test. The MSI's closest rival, the Gigabyte Aorus, scored 4,220, but every other laptop here was around 1,000 points behind – or worse.

This system's theoretical prowess transferred to real-world tests. We ran BioShock Infinite at its highest settings and Full HD, and the MSI averaged 86fps, more than 30 frames faster than the dual-GPU Gigabyte. The MSI went on to average 34fps in Battlefield 4's top settings, and then 52fps in Batman: Arkham Origins. This machine has the power to run today's top games without breaking a sweat – and, suffice to say, no other laptop got close.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

The processor was no less impressive. The MSI's Cinebench score of 7.51 points is similarly dominant; the GT70's nearest challenger is the Asus, which scored exactly 7 – and few other machines could get beyond 6 points.

Gaming laptops aren't known for their longevity, and the MSI lived up to this stereotype. It lasted for just 1hr 56mins in PC Mark's Home battery test, with this figure improving to just north of three and a half hours with Power Saver mode activated, and with the screen dimmed. We looped the Unigine Heaven benchmark to simulated gameplay, and the MSI ran out of juice after barely an hour – a deeply mediocre result.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

The Toshiba SSD rattled through the AS SSD sequential read test at 497MB/s, which is an excellent result – only the best drives hit 500MB/s. The drive's sequential write pace of 271MB/s was less impressive though: three times as quick as many hard disks, but average for an SSD. The 1TB hard disk in this laptop is generous, but we still wish the SSD was larger – after a couple of game installs it began to feel cramped.

The MSI's major components are chilled by chunky heatsinks and a sizeable fan, but that cooling is clearly required: both CPU and GPU almost hit 90°C in stress-tests, which is around ten degrees short of the level where chips will start to throttle – or worse. The heat is ejected from two vents at the back-left corner, so they don't interfere with a user's lap or his hand if they're using an external mouse – and the keyboard doesn't heat up, either.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

The high temperatures were accompanied by high noise. When demanding games were played, the single fan inside the GT70 churned out an obvious low rumble – it'll be drowned out by games played with the MSI's speakers, but we'd still deploy headphones.

Gaming laptops need good audio, so we're pleased that MSI's collaboration with Danish specialists Dynaudio didn't disappoint. The volume level is higher than most other gaming notebooks, and the balance is right: a snappy high-end, a chunky, powerful mid-range, and decent bass underpinning the lot. The bass doesn't overpower the rest of the audio – if anything, we wish there was a little more.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

The 17in TN screen has the right resolution for gaming – 1,920x1,080 – and its test results look good. The brightness level of 343 nits is excellent, level with the Toshiba Qosmio and better than the other MSI, and the black level of 0.29 nits is equally impressive – anything below 0.3 nits is good, and it results in deep, inky black levels.

The contrast ratio of 1,191:1 is better than MSI's own GS70 and almost twice as good as the Toshiba, and the MSI's screen has rich colours throughout. There's nothing to worry about when it comes to colour coverage – an 83.3% sRGB level is fine, especially for a machine not designed for work.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator

It's not a clean bill of health. The deepest black levels are crushed, so it's difficult to distinguish between different shades – potentially problematic in atmospheric games. The Delta E of 7.2 is average, too, and the MSI's panel isn't a touchscreen. It's matte, but the low-reflectivity layer adds a little grain. Nevertheless, the high contrast, punchy colours and deep blacks still mean the GT70 has one of the best screens for gaming on any laptop.

Most of the underside is made of one removable panel, and underneath there's a wealth of space: two full-size mini-PCI Express sockets – a third is used for the SSD – and two empty DIMM slots that can accept an extra 24GB of memory. The hard disk is in a removable caddy, and the two large heatsinks and single fan can be easily removed for cleaning.

MSI GT70 2PC Dominator


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