In addition to AMD’s new Ryzen 5 processors, the company has announced a new lineup of graphic cards called Radeon RX 500-series. In accordance to Radeon RX 400-series which was released by AMD 2016, RX 500-series comprises a new low-end GPU which focuses essentially on e-sports as well as home theater PCs, aspiring to justify the tagline, “Polaris refined and evolved.”
Refresh Issues Addressed
Refresh rate has been a cause of concern for enthusiasts since long, and AMD made striking progress with RX 400-series, and has made further improvements with RX 500-series, which is a reflection of combat issues addressed by the original cards. Radeon RX 480 was very well received by the enthusiasts, but its limitation was reached at a maximum of 1,266MHz boost speed. RX 400-series and now RX 500-series are two steps in positive direction, overcoming power-draw controversy that emerged during the launch, which was later readily fixed by AMD.
AMD has powered the Radeon RX 500-series with its third generation 14nm process, capable of achieving much higher clock speeds managed by its predecessors. Besides a 1,340MHz boost clock in addition to 1,257MHz base clock, AMD has included a new power state in the Radeon RX 500-series, which allows it run at significantly reduced power when idle, using multi-monitor setups, and while watching video. With Radeon, AMD aspire considerable temperature and power gains in games that support the Radeon Chill.
While Radeon RX 580 can crank up clocks from 150W to 185W, Radeon RX 560 provides notable increment over the RX 460, reaching 1,175MHz base and 1,275MHz boost speeds. On the other hand, Radeon RX 550 is an entirely fresh model targeting home theater PC aficionados and e-sports gamers, with 2GB memory, running over a 128-bit bus. A limited number of models are also expected to offer 4GB capacity.
Contactless payment is such a relief in countries such as India where strategic government moves such as demonetization are in the run. And for developed nations, this not-so-new but hot payments concept is an escalation in the world of commerce that tellingly widens up the customer service portfolio. Falling on similar lines, Samsung Pay is currently making the news columns with its “revolutionary way to pay” mobile payment setup. However, tech newbies might find it surprising to know that contactless payment has always been around, since two to three years.
Contactless payment is just what it reads, meaning you can complete cashless payments without even swiping or inserting your card into a point of sales (PoS) device. All you need to do is wave your smartphone at a PoS machine.
Contactless Payment Works on Three Types of Technology Platforms
Magnetic secure transmission (MST) is a cost-effective technology that allows merchants to process contactless payments without the need to make a new hardware investment. It simply emits a magnetic signal from customer’s smartphone which can be read by a conventional PoS terminal magnetic strip card reader.
Contactless payment on ICICI’s Pockets app is a perfect instance of the host card emulation (HCE) technology. You need an Android operating system on your mobile phone to use HCE at any near-field communication (NFC)-enabled terminal. It converts physical debit or credit cards into virtual cards.
The NFC technology is the most average of all as it mandates both merchant’s PoS terminal and customer’s card to be NFC compliant. However, transactions can be completed even using stickers and tags besides cards. The Tap & Go Debit Card of the State Bank of India is a practical example of the NFC technology.
Every innovation primarily makes the World a better place, but also brings about the end to certain aspects in things as we know them. Autonomous or driverless car or robotic driving is coming, and promises to revolutionize the concept of transportation with exceptional safety, added comfort, and reduced travel-time. All prominent automotive brands are currently developing their prototype of autonomous cars but will this innovation also mean an end to sports cars? The human element to driving is at the backbone of sports cars, exploring the sheer abilities of an individual behind the steering wheel, something autonomous driving is challenging head-on. Two brands, Porsche and Mazda, have decided not to indulge in the driverless car frenzy just yet, foreseeing a different future.
Mazda Remains Focused on Driving and Racing
Mazda is aiming to apply the driverless technology uniquely, reiterating its tagline “Driving Matters.” According to the CEO of Mazda, Masahiro Moro, the company remains completely focused on niche consumers who love driving and promises to maintain a human-centric approach. The technology being developed by Mazda aspires to override the controls in case of a misshapen or human error, and bring the car to a safe place.
Porsche Asserts Autonomous Driving Not a New Concept
Porsche’s CEO, Klaus Zellmer, agrees with the bandwagon but refuses to jump on it, asserting that autonomous driving began decades ago with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. Though the engineers at Porsche are also working toward a press-the-button-and-reach-home concept, customers will always be able to choose between autonomy and manual shifting. Zellmer insists that autonomous driving is more of a feature of stability management, like brake assist, and the frenzy behind it is mostly overhyped!
As Microsoft sends out the invitation for its Spring Event on May 2 in New York, rumors suggest that CloudBook with Windows 10 Cloud could be unveiled. Since the company’s invitation was supported by a hashtag “#MicrosoftEDU”, it’s likely that the event will be focused on the education sector, which has long been a Google stronghold.
Windows 10 Cloud is expected to be Microsoft’s answer to Google’s Chromebook, which is earning credits with its low cost. Industrial experts believe that Microsoft may have learned a good lesson from the old Windows RT OS, which was a grand failure a few years back. With Windows 10 Cloud, users will only be able to download apps from the Windows Online Store, both Universal Windows Platform apps and Win32 apps.
The story behind the name “CloudBook”?
Recently, Microsoft released a collection of educational apps in its store under the ID of “cloudbook”, which made ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley first speculate that the new device might be called “CloudBook”. Rumors also suggest that the new device will utilize an ARM processor, possibly the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. The processor will reduce costs and offer a machine that will be long-lasting and complement the working environment in a classroom.
These are all just conjectures, of course. However, numerous questions have started popping up from all directions regarding battery life, storage, and cost. Another prominent question is whether this device will be as advanced as Surface Book. We’ll have to wait for the answers to such questions until the event to see what Microsoft actually has to offer us from its bag of tricks.