Tantalising line-up of speakers at NVIDIA AI Conference

More than 1,000 participants attending the NVIDIA AI Conference in Singapore next week are in for a treat as the organisers are bringing in a tantalising line-up of speakers.

The two keynote speakers are Dr David B Kirk, NVIDIA Fellow and inventor of more than 60 patents and patent applications relating to graphics design; and Dr Wanli Min, AI scientist of Alibaba Cloud, who will touch on A Revolutionary Road to Data Intelligence.

Besides these two, there are special guest-of-honour Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, and a panel discussion on AI for the Future of Singapore Economy.

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E-commerce to account for a quarter of retail sales by 2025

Greater internet and mobile device accessibility are driving e-commerce growth in Southeast Asia.

According to ABI Research, Smart Retail has gone through revolutionary changes in the past 10 years and will exponentially continue to do so going forward.  Brick and mortar stores are no longer the only option for consumers across the globe to make their everyday purchases, due to significant advancements in technology, both in-store and online.

Key players include Senion, who implements some of the world’s largest Indoor Positioning System (IPS) solutions to enhance in-store experiences, and AisleLabs who provides shopper traffic behavior analytics to help retailers optimise store layouts.  Leading POS software vendors, Shopkeep and Square are allowing retailers to sell across multi-channels from a single platform. These and other key vendors are paving paths to making the offline and online worlds seamless experiences.

Continue reading “E-commerce to account for a quarter of retail sales by 2025”

Robotaxis on the way

No steering wheels, pedals or mirrors. Sounds like science fiction but the fully autonomous robotaxi is on its way with the launch of a new system that NVIDIA has codenamed Pegasus.

Pegasus extends the NVIDIA Drive PX AI computing platform to handle Level 5 driverless vehicles. NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus delivers over 320 trillion operations per second — more than 10 times the performance of its predecessor, NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2, announced Jensen Huang, Founder and CEO of NVIDIA at his keynote address at GTC Europe in Munich.

Robotaxis powered by NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus will have interiors that feel like a living room and arrive on demand to safely whisk passengers to their destinations, bringing mobility to everyone, including the elderly and disabled.

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Google sets up online Singapore store

Hurray, Google has finally set up an online store for Singapore! Amid the flurry of announcements made yesterday, this is probably the most significant for those in Singapore. After all, what’s the point of reading and hearing about all the launches in recent years without being able to buy the products anywhere in the country.

The bad news, however, is that only three products were listed on the Google Wifi, Google Chromecast and the newly-launched Google Pixel 2 XL.

Google’s latest smartphone sports front-facing stereo speakers, and front and rear cameras capable of producing amazing shots using fused image stabilisation of optical and digital zoom. Though the headphone jack is gone, Google has introduced Pixel Buds that can translate up to 40 languages on the fly. Continue reading “Google sets up online Singapore store”

All 3b Yahoo accounts breached in 2013

This. Is. Serious. Yahoo has revealed that ALL of its three billion user accounts were affected by the August 2013 data theft.

The number is three times the one billion accounts that Yahoo said were impacted last year. The data stolen included names, birth dates, phone numbers, passwords, and the security questions and backup email addresses used to reset lost passwords.

In a press statement, Yahoo pointed out that it has taken “action to protect all accounts, including directly notifying impacted users identified at the time, requiring password changes and invalidating unencrypted security questions and answers so that they could not be used to access an account.” The company also notified users via a notice on its website.

Changing role of CIO

The role of the CIO is changing, according to a Gartner survey of 3,160 CIO respondents in 98 countries.

The findings revealed that the CIO role is transitioning from delivery executive to business executive, from controlling cost and engineering processes, to driving revenue and exploiting data.

Ninety-five percent of CIOs expect their jobs to change or be remixed due to digitalisation. While world-class IT delivery management is a given, it will take up less and less of the CIO’s time.

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Nokia 3310 makes comeback at under S$100

Nokia’s announcement at Mobile World Congress in February that it was resurrecting the iconic Nokia 3310 was met with enthusiasm, which was quickly dampened when the phone was said to run on 2.5G.

However, Nokia has responded remarkably by upgrading the 3310 to 3G and making it available at “below S$100”.

“Our fans around the world have been asking for this iconic phone to support 3G. Fans asked, we listened, and today welcome the Nokia 3310 3G,” said Mr Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer of HMD Global, maker of the Nokia phone.

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Appier appoints Sean Chu as CSO

Appier has appointed Sean Chu as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) to lead its operations in Japan and Korea. Chu will help drive the company’s growth as it moves to create new AI platforms to help enterprises solve their business challenges.

Chu brings over two decades of experience in enterprise technology and media. Before joining Appier, Chu served as Senior Director, Central Marketing Group, at Microsoft Japan. He has also held leadership positions in a variety of companies including Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Motorola. He has worked in the US and supported operations in Europe and Asia.

Appier believes AI can help enterprises deal with today’s rapidly changing business environment, helping them process enormous amounts of data to identify patterns and make intelligent decisions. Appier’s first product, the CrossX Programmatic Platform, brought AI into digital marketing. Its second, Aixon, is a data intelligence platform that allows business users at a variety of enterprises to discover new customers, enrich their understanding of their customer base, and make predictions using AI.

Enterprise wearables to hit 118m units in 2022

Royole flexible display.
Royole flexible display.

Enterprise wearable shipment will reach over 118 million in 2022, increasing from just over 38 million in 2017, a CAGR of 25 percent, according to ABI Research.

The enterprise wearables market is continuing to see stronger growth than the consumer market, which has shipment numbers increasing at a lower CAGR of 13 percent.

Healthcare devices, wearable cameras, and wearable scanners will account for 73 percent of enterprise wearable shipments in 2022. Innovative companies are leading the charge, such as Royole with flexible components, Waverly with real-time translation, and Axon (previously Taser) with wearable cameras.

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China’s tech giants bet on NVIDIA Volta

China’s top technology companies are betting big on the NVIDIA Volta platform.

Alibaba Cloud, Baidu, and Tencent are incorporating NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU accelerators into their data centres and cloud-service infrastructures to accelerate AI for a broad range of enterprise and consumer applications.

At the heart of the new Volta-based systems is the NVIDIA V100 data centre GPU. Built with 21 billion transistors, it provides a 5x improvement over the preceding NVIDIA Pascal architecture P100 GPU accelerators, while delivering the equivalent performance of 100 CPUs for deep learning. This performance surpasses by 4x the improvements that Moore’s law would have predicted over the same period of time.

Inspur, Lenovo and Huawei are using the NVIDIA HGX reference architecture to offer Volta-based accelerated systems for hyperscale data centres. Using HGX as a starter “recipe,” original equipment manufacturer and original design manufacturer partners can work with NVIDIA to more quickly design and bring to market a wide range of qualified GPU-accelerated AI systems for hyperscale data centres to meet the industry’s growing demand for AI cloud computing.

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Dell boosts new SCV3000 series entry storage arrays with enterprise-class features

Dell has extended a full range of enterprise-grade capabilities to its entry-level SC Series offering, providing access to advanced storage technology for businesses of all sizes and budgets. The affordable new Dell SCv3000 arrays complete an end-to-end refresh of the overall SC portfolio, offering greater automation, integration and more shared capabilities with the larger SC Series products.

The new Series includes many of the key SC operating system features, including data progression, intelligent compression, full replication/federation with other SC Series arrays, live migrate, live volume, and PS Series integration. The platform has been significantly upgraded compared to the previous-generation SCv2000 with new 6-core Intel processors, twice the memory and thrice greater bandwidth result in a 50 percent performance boost.

Dell SCv3000 Series storage arrays will be available in early October.

More NVIDIA GPU offerings on Google Cloud Platform

Google has expanded its NVIDIA GPU offerings on the Google Cloud Platform. These include:

  1. Performance boost with the public launch of NVIDIA P100 GPUs in beta
  2. NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPUs available on Google Compute Engine
  3. Introduction of sustained use discounts on both the Tesla K80 and P100 GPUs

According to a Google Cloud Platform blog, cloud GPUs can accelerate  workloads including machine learning training and inference, geophysical data processing, simulation, seismic analysis, molecular modeling, genomics and many more high performance compute use cases.

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HPE to cut 5,000 jobs

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) plans to shed 10 percent of  its workforce, accounting for at least 5,000 workers globally, according to a Bloomberg report.

Expected to start before the year end, the move is in line with reducing expenses in the midst of global competition.

 

HPE Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman has been pushing to delayer the organisation in a bid to become more efficient.

Google snares HTC hardware talents

Google is flexing its muscles in the hardware business with the acquisition of a team of hardware talents from HTC.

The move marks another milestone in a decade-long relationship between the two companies.

“These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we’re excited to see what we can do together as one team. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property,” blogged Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google.

 

Dell and Asus posts solid growth in monitor market in Q2

Dell and Asus are the leading lights in an overall weak PC monitor market in Q2.

Total shipment was 28.5 million units in Q2, a 6.4 percent decline from the corresponding period last year, according to IDC. Some of the market softness can be attributed to a strong Q2 last year.

IDC currently forecasts 117 million PC monitor units will be shipped for the full year of 2017 and expects to see a 2.2 percent decline year-over-year in worldwide shipment to 27.8 million units in Q2 2018. By 2020, worldwide shipment is expected to be less than 112 million units as the adoption of mobile devices at lower price points is expected to continue.

NVIDIA to hold first AI-focused conference in Singapore in October

With artificial intelligence (AI) being a hot topic this year, NVIDIA is organising its first AI-focused regional conference in Singapore on October 23 and 24.

The event will be held in two parts with the first day focusing on Deep Learning Institute (DLI) workshop where participants will received hands-on training on deep learningl and the second day filled with keynote addresses, panel discussion and three tracks. It is targeted at data scientists and senior decision makers in the field of AI in both public and private sectors.

“Singapore is aiming to be the world’s first smart nation and AI is playing a critical role. NVIDIA is well positioned to help drive the government’s Smart Nation initiative with the development of solutions based on AI. Our GPUs are making headlines across the world by enabling many breakthroughs in various industries using deep learning,” said Raymond Teh, Vice President of APAC sales and marketing at NVIDIA.

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New Apple iPhone is real X — for eXpensive!

Even though the X in the newly announced iPhone X is supposed to be pronounced as “10”, it can be interpreted as eXpensive. At S$1,648 for the 64GB version and S$1,888 for the 256GB iteration, the new iPhone X is a costly device, bringing it right into the price range of notebook computers.

Apple seems to be pushing the price ceiling on how much consumers are willing to pay for a high-end smartphone. It may even cause some die-hard fans to consider if it’s really worthwhile upgrading to this new rendition. The iPhone X comes with a six-core A11 Bionic processor, GPU, a bezelless super retina display, wireless charging, dual 12-megapixel rear cameras with optical image stabilisation, and Face ID. Most of these are already available in other high-end smartphones without such a hefty price tag.

Face ID, which lets users unlock and pay with the device, is probably the most unique value proposition but is this enough to justify the high price?

Guess the answer will be known when the iPhone X becomes available in Singapore on November 3.

Australia PC market bucks global trend by inching up 3.3%

Consumer and enterprise PC purchases are driving growth in the Australia PC market, which includes desktop, notebook and workstation.

The consumer segment grew 8.6 percent year over year (YoY) in Q2, according to IDC.

“The retail channel was negatively impacted by Dick Smith’s exit last year. This year however, promotional events such as Modern PC program run by Harvey Norman spiked growth in the consumer space. AMD’s new Ryzen series launch and EOFY sales further fuelled growth in this segment,” said Sagar Raghavendra, Client Devices Analyst of IDC Australia.

Continue reading “Australia PC market bucks global trend by inching up 3.3%”

March ending for Google Drive

Google Drive on the PC and Mac will cease to exist in its current form from March 2018. According to a blog post by Google, the app will no longer be supported starting on December 11, 2017, and it will shut down completely on March 12, 2018.

“We encourage you to use Drive File Stream. As an alternative to or in addition to installing Drive File Stream, you can upgrade to the new version of Drive for Mac/PC, called Backup and Sync,” wrote the blog.

Drive File Stream is for business users while Backup and Sync, which combines Google Drive and Google Photos functionalities, is for consumers. However, the Google Drive service will still work on the web and smartphone apps.

Amazon searches for 2nd HQ

Red alert, North America cities. It’s time to dust your red carpet. Amazon is on the hunt for a city to host its second headquarters.

The e-commerce giant’s new campus will take up about eight million square feet — that’s a lot of space and a great boost to the local economy.

Seattle Times has reported that the selected city will get US$5 billion in investments. According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the second HQ will be “full equal”to its Seattle campus.

Sun slips into history

Some may have already forgotten about Sun Microsystems, the company that introduced the SPARC processor and developed Java. The once mighty workstation maker was bought by Oracle in 2010.

It seems that the last of Sun will be disappearing as Oracle is laying off staff in its hardware division, which contained remnants of the former Sun team.

For those who have followed the rise of Sun in the 1980s, it’s an eventuality that is really sad. Based in Santa Clara, the company once competed against the likes of IBM and HP for a slice of the workstation market. However, by the time it was acquired by Oracle, Sun had outsourced its manufacturing operations.

New Android devices boost Australia smartphone market in Q2

New Android mobile phone launches spurred growth in Australia, leading to year-on-year growth of 18.4 percent to 2.16 million units, exceeding expectations in Q2, according to IDC.

Smartphones accounted for nearly all of the shipped phones — totalling 2.06 million.

Android returned to being the most popular smartphone OS in Australia. Recently, iOS had overtaken Android as the most popular smartphone OS in Q4 2016 as it held over 54 percent of the market compared to 47 percent for Android.

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NVIDIA and Indonesia university set up first AI R&D centre in Jakarta

Launch completed (from left): Raymond Teh of NVIDIA, Sanny Hadinata of Tech Data, Bernard Gunawan of BINUS Nusantara, Hengkie Kastono of HPE, Bens Pardamean of BINUS, and Bahtiar Saleh Abbas of BINUS.

NVIDIA has teamed up with BINUS University and Kinetica to establish the first artificial intelligence (AI) research and development (R&D) centre in Indonesia.

Located at the university’s Anggrek Campus, the centre will support BINUS University’s aim to be the premier R&D hub for Al in Indonesia. Leveraging the power of NVIDIA’s GPUs, it will be a showcase of the commercial potential of GPU-accelerated deep learning applications.

“Today, we stand at the beginning of the AI computing era, ignited by a new computing model, GPU deep learning. This new model — where deep neural networks are trained to recognise patterns from massive amounts of data — has proven to be ‘unreasonably’ effective at solving some of the most complex problems in computer science. In this era, software writes itself and machines learn. Soon, hundreds of billions of devices will be infused with intelligence. AI will revolutionise every industry. NVIDIA provides the products and solutions to power this revolution,” said Raymond Teh, Vice President of APAC Sales and Marketing of NVIDIA.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 available in Singapore from Sep 15

After missing a beat with the Galaxy Note 7, which resulted in a massive recall and lots of bad press, Samsung has launched the Galaxy Note 8 with availability in Singapore from September 15.

Sporting a similar look to the Galaxy S8, the new smartphone’s key differentiator is the S Pen, which is designed to communicate in more personal ways. It has a finer tip, improved pressure sensitivity, and features such as Live Messaging that enable users to better express themselves.

The always on display allows users to stay on top of notifications without unlocking their phone. Screen off memo lets them take up to one hundred pages of notes as soon as they remove the S Pen. Users can also pin notes to the always on display and make edits directly.

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AMD Vega price hike irks reviewers

When AMD launched the RX Vega 64 and 56 last month, reviewers were impressed by its price-performance and thought that the new GPUs could give NVIDIA a run for its money.

However, it has turned out that the prices were promotional rates with the actual prices around US$100 more. This has drawn the ire of several influential reviewers who felt misled and are considering updating their reviews.

This looks like a PR disaster for a company trying to rise again to compete in the high-end GPU market.

 

Security spending to hit US$86.4billion in 2017

With prominent ransomware attacks that affected many organisations, it is unsurprising that many are investing more in security products and services. According to Gartner, worldwide spending on information security products and services is expected to reach US$86.4 billion in 2017, an increase of 7 percent over 2016. This is expected to grow to US$93 billion in 2018.

Within the infrastructure protection segment, Gartner forecasts fast growth in the security testing market (albeit from a small base) due to continued data breaches and growing demands for application security testing as part of DevOps. Spending on emerging application security testing tools, particularly interactive application security testing, will contribute to the growth of this segment through 2021.

Security services will continue to be the fastest growing segment, especially IT outsourcing, consulting and implementation services. However, hardware support services will see growth slowing, due to the adoption of virtual appliances, public cloud and software as a service editions of security solutions, which reduces the need for attached hardware support overall.

Continue reading “Security spending to hit US$86.4billion in 2017”

NVIDIA invests in Chinese auto startup

NVIDIA is among a group of investors led by Chinese social media company Sina investing more than US$20 million in Chinese startup TuSimple.

Formed in 2015, TuSimple has more than 100 employees in R&D centres in Beijing and San Diego developing technology for autonomous long-distance freight delivery. It uses NVIDIA GPUs, NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2Jetson TX2CUDATensorRT, and cuDNN to develop its autonomous driving solution.

In June, the company successfully completed a 200-mile Level 4 test drive from San Diego to Yuma, Arizona, using NVIDIA GPUs and cameras as the primary sensor.

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Singapore to trial on-demand bus service

Bus commuters are currently using apps such as MyTransport to plan their journey.

Bus commuters have always been dependent on fixed bus routes and timings. What if you can customise your own time and route? That’d be a bus commuter’s dream come true.

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) is calling for a tender to seek proposals to trial on-demand, dynamically-routed public bus services.

According to the LTA press release, the trial will enable LTA to evaluate the feasibility of operating public bus services based on real-time commuter demand and along dynamic routes, instead of plying on the basis of pre-determined and fixed timetables and routes. Through a mobile application, commuters will be able to request pick-ups and drop-offs at any bus stop within a defined operating area.

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China to dominate APAC robotics spending

Spurred by growing interest in artificial intelligence (AI), the Asia-Pacific (APAC) robotics market is expected to growth to US$162 billion in 2021, accounting for 70 percent of the world’s total robotics market in 2021, according to IDC. China is expected to dominate with 45.7 percent market share over the next five years.

From a technology perspective, APAC spending on robotic systems is expected to grow to US$92 billion in 2021.This includes industrial, service and consumer robots and after-market robotic hardware. Meanwhile, services-related spending, which encompasses application management, education and training, hardware deployment, system integration, and consulting, will grow to more than US$44 billion in 2021.

“The convergence of robotics and artificial intelligence technologies are accelerating the development of the next generation of intelligent robots for industrial, commercial, and consumer applications. Intelligent robots with innovative capabilities such as cognitive interaction, self-diagnosis, and learning are emerging and driving wider adoption of robotics in many industries including manufacturing, resources, healthcare, retail, and so on,” said Dr Jing Bing Zhang, Research Director of Robotics at IDC Manufacturing Insights.

ICML: Gathering of the brightest in AI

“I’m amazed at the quality of the papers presented. The project teams’ line of thinking and breakthrough concepts are refreshing,” exclaimed a leading artificial intelligence (AI) scientist at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) in Sydney.

International Convention Centre Sydney was a massive hive of activities as 3,000 of the world’s top researchers, developers and students in AI gathered for ICML. The participants moved rapidly from one workshop to another and took great interest in the exhibition booths of top deep learning proponents such as NVIDIA, Google and Facebook.

With so many bright young talents. the event proved to be a good fishing ground for vendors as they held recruitment interviews at their booths, as well as posted openings on the board.

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