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The iPhone 5 comes with a brand new Apple-designed A6 chip for a twofold jump in CPU/GPU performance. In fact, the iPhone 5 could easily be the first ARM Cortex-A15 smartphone on the market. The A6 is likely manufactured on Samsung’s 32-nanometer process, but probably not for long as Apple has been looking to take its chip contract elsewhere.
There ain’t many places to go: Intel sucks at power management and Samsung is #2 chip vendor in the world. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), however, is the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry and Apple could be closer than previously thought to shifting production contracts away from Samsung and towards TSMC.
Can you say “stock plunge”?
According to the somewhat reliable DigiTimes (they’re good at semiconductor and supply chain news), back chatter in Asia suggests that Apple and TSMC are “about ready to enter the design-in phase”.
The report also goes on to note that Apple is believed to have “reduced its orders with Samsung and raised the proportion of purchases from other suppliers including SK Hynix, Toshiba and Elpida Memory”.
The claimed iPhone 5 logic board that leaked 24 hours ahead of Apple’s keynote shows NAND flash chips by SK Hynix, a long-time Apple supplier. And back in May, Samsung denied rumors asserting Apple had secured half the manufacturing output from Elpida, the third-largest maker of dynamic random access memory chips.
“Apple is definitely using our chips”, an unnamed Samsung executive allegedly said.
And why is this important?
Because the $1 billion in damages a U.S. judge awarded to Cupertino in the high-profile Apple v. Samsung case could be a drop in the bucket compared to billions in lost orders should Apple take its chip contracts elsewhere.
Samsung is safe so far and even dropped $4 billion towards renovating its Austin, Texas plant in order to boost production of ARM-based chips, mainly for Apple, its biggest client.
DigiTimes wrote back in May that TSMC has a “good chance” of winning Apple’s chip biz in 2014. Apple is thought to be moving chip production to TSMC’s 28-nanometer process, but the semiconductor foundry is currently struggling to provide sufficient capacity to its existing 28nm customers.
Today’s report states that TSMC’s 16-nanometer double-gate FinFET process could be Apple’s most likely choice.
Note that TSMC already makes Qualcomm’s 4G LTE baseband package used inside the iPhone 5, generating an estimated ten bucks in per-device revenue for TSMC (see the full iPhone 5 bill of material estimate here).
TSMC also provides foundry services for other iPhone component suppliers such as Broadcom, STMicroelectronics, NXP and OmniVision.
Qualcomm and Apple both offered $1 billion for exclusive access to TSMC’s production output, but the company turned down the offers to “retain control of its plants”, its finance chief adding that TSMC “doesn’t want to sell part of itself and doesn’t need cash for investments”.
The way I read this: Samsung will build one more iteration of the iPhone and iPad processor (perhaps the A6X) and TSMC gets to build the A7 chip that should go into 2014 iOS devices.
Or, Apple could be simply looking to diversify its supplier base.
Either way, it will be Samsung’s loss.
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A new Apple TV could be supercharged Siri’s attack on Alexa
Apple’s answer to Amazon’s Echo and Google Home may come in the form of an updated Apple TV, insiders claim, packaging a supercharged Siri in the set-top box. The project to upgrade Siri and turn the virtual assistant into a helper for the whole home had previously been tipped to come in an all-new piece of hardware, but new rumors say Apple has discounted that idea.
Earlier this week, in fact, sources suggested that Siri would be given a new home in a dedicated device, complete with Echo-style microphones and speakers. Although currently accessible on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV through the latter’s Siri Remote, the standalone device – which has, it was said, been in development since before Amazon revealed Echo – would allow playlists to be loaded by voice, standalone music playback, and more.
Not quite so, according to VentureBeat’s source, however. Their unnamed insider claims that, while Apple did consider a new product, the idea was eventually discarded out of deference to the amount of investment already made into the company’s existing home product, the Apple TV.
“They want Apple TV to be just the hub of everything,” the source argues.
The current plan, as the report describes it, is to develop new hardware that would work with Apple TV, rather than independently from it. That would effectively amount to a microphone and speaker, moving them away from any background noise around the TV, as well as avoiding issues with recharging.
One point where the two reports coincide is the suggestion that Apple is working on building out its backend, in preparation for more Siri capabilities.
Siri was one of the first examples of a virtual assistant to make an impact on the mass market, but the AI’s abilities have paled in comparison to more recent rivals. Amazon’s Alexa, the voice control system that powers Echo, has been rapidly gaining third-party integration with a range of devices and services spanning the gamut from streaming music providers like Spotify, through smart home tech like Philips’ hue bulbs and Nest’s thermostats.
Meanwhile, Google Home made its debut at I/O earlier in the month, a standalone speaker and microphone array to embody Google’s assistant, the voice-controlled technology that promises contextual search and more.
Like Alexa, Google Home will embrace third-party partnerships, something earlier reports suggest Apple is finally looking to do with Siri. That’ll involve a new SDK and Siri being available through and for other services, it’s said.
NOW READ: Apple TV Review (4th-gen)
Apple had already positioned Apple TV as the hub for HomeKit, its smart home and Internet of Things platform, though that’s more about ensuring perpetual connectivity between devices than direct control.
With WWDC 2023, Apple’s annual developer event, just a few weeks out, we’re likely to hear some chatter of the direction HomeKit, Siri, and other platforms will take, though it’s unclear whether that will be where this new version of the assistant – and any accompanying Apple TV hardware – will be shown off first.
In a Google SEO Office Hours Hangout, Google’s John Mueller revealed that Google has “moved away from the 200 ranking signals number.” He said that having a number like that is misleading.Google Ranking Signals
In the distant past various HTML elements were used by Google’s algorithms for identifying what a web page is about. HTML elements like the page title, headings and font sizes were given extra importance, as well as the location of keywords on a web page (top of the page more important) and links and the anchor text associated with those links.
These were collectively known as ranking factors.
In the distant past, a web page literally needed to have the known ranking factors addressed with keywords in order to rank properly.
Many of those ranking factors were described in Google’s first Stanford University research paper from 1998, The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.
It’s been over twenty years and while many still cling to the idea of ranking factors, Google itself has evolved beyond ranking factors and incorporates things like Natural Language Processing, BERT, Neural Matching and AI spam fighting, and many other algorithms.
Not only that but by 2005 Google was already incorporating statistical analysis to identify normal sites and sites that were outliers and tended to be spam.
Statistical analysis is not a ranking factor in the traditional sense but it played a role in ranking.
A case can arguably be made that the paradigm of 200+ ranking factors was breaking down as early as 2005.
While in the past the idea of scoring points against a list of ranking factors made sense, in 2023 the idea of a list of ranking factors to focus on for better rankings has somewhat lost relevance because of how search rankings are calculated in modern search engines today.
Related: 11 Things You Must Know About Google’s 200+ Ranking FactorsWhich Ranking Factors are Most Important?
Someone from the search community asked John Mueller which of the ranking factors was most important.
Ordinarily Googlers have in the past mentioned that the content is the most important ranking factor. But not today.
The person asked which ranking factors are most important:
“Among all of the 200 ranking signals, which are the most important?”
“I don’t like to rank ranking signals. So I can’t give you an answer there.
And that’s definitely not the case.
Like… a lot of these things just take into account so many different things, you can’t just isolate them out.”
Related: Google Ranking FactorsNo More Top Ranking Factors?
Mueller said that it’s not the case that ranking signals could be listed and sorted by importance and that the factors cannot be isolated out.
Mueller didn’t elaborate beyond that. But it’s easy to understand how complicated Google’s search engine is today.
For example, the MUM algorithm can take images as an input (no keywords!) and provide an answer sorted from web pages around the world, regardless of language.
How would a general ranking factor like links or keywords in title even work in a scenario like that?
John Mueller has given the search community a deep insight into ranking factors by stating that the signals cannot be listed and sorted by importance because the search community believes that ranking factors can be sorted and ranked.Citation Google’s Moved Away from 200 Ranking Signals Number
Watch John Mueller answer the question at the 49:47 minute mark:
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Pokémon Go is already a massive community of players enjoying the same smartphone game, and most of the experiences have been positive. Still, the app is not without flaws.
It’s only been a week since the launch, but we’ve already keyed in (along with the rest of the world) on some areas where Nintendo, The Pokémon Company and co-creator Niantic can make substantial improvements. Some of these things will take time but others are pretty quick fixes. Developers please take note, for humanity’s sake.Background Activity
The number one gripe with this game (though others might be more important) is that the app has to stay open to grant you credit for your steps taken, and to alert you of nearby Pokémon. It’s a serious battery drain to keep it open though. Other apps keep track of steps and distance traveled without needing to be open: why can’t this one? This is the biggest functionality problem with the game, and I think everyone will be more happy once they can go for a walk without checking to make sure the app is running every few yards.A Substantially Scaled-Back Permissions Policy for Google
We understand the need for basic account info and location services access with an app that’s location based. But access to email, search history and a dozen other things that this game shouldn’t be going near is too much. Pokémon Go doesn’t need to send emails from your Gmail account. Period.A Social Network of Some Kind
It doesn’t have to be a Facebook killer, but something to share/enjoy/experience the game with your friends would be nice. I appreciate the ability to meet new people while exploring new streets, but I want to brag to my friends when I find something truly special, and I want to be able to trade and battle with them too. More on that later.Battles Somewhere Besides Gyms
In keeping with the social network, we also want to be able to battle more. Unless you’re lucky enough to live or work near one of the hallowed gyms, you have to travel quite a distance to actually put your Pokémon to use. We don’t mind a lot of walking to collect them, but if you can’t enjoy using them from home, there’s only so much to enjoy.Trading
Having a bunch of Pokémon is great, but being able to trade candy, Pokémon themselves, and other items from the game would improve the game experience thoroughly. We want our land-locked friend who works a night shift to be able to trade those nocturnal Pokémon for our water-dwelling ones from the coast, and ideally without having to meet up in town.Reduced Battery Usage
I’m sure they’re hard at work on this already, but the app needs to use less battery life, especially for longer hunting excursions. Two hours of power (generously estimated) is not adequate for a game that wants you to spend the whole day exploring town. And while the screen saver feature might shave a few percentage points off, it’s still a fairly ravenous eater of power. Scale it back.
Genopets is the world’s first Move-to-Earn blockchain project announced in early 2023. It’s an NFT game built on top of the Solana network, and it features free-to-play mechanics that allow anyone to play the game and generate tokens. The game rewards players for staying on the move and competing in various physical activities. While the move-to-earn approach caters to athletes and sports fans, its targeted audience is relatively limited. However, another new crypto project called Tamadoge that also revolves around NFT pets chose a different approach. It uses the play-to-earn mechanism allowing players to compete for free tokens by playing various platformer games on their smartphones. Let’s compare the two projects and see why Tamadoge is a better investment option.Genopets – Move to Evolve Your Pets
Generally speaking, the idea behind Genopets is great. The move-to-earn formula is excellent for promoting a healthier lifestyle and motivating users to stay active. After creating an account, every player has to answer a few questions to acquire the right Genopet for their daily routines. The players have to install a GPS app on their phones, and as they move, they generate XP to evolve their Genopets. Every pet has a unique personality, and it keeps growing and developing as the game progresses. All pets work as NFTs, allowing players to buy, sell, and exchange them in the Genopet NFT store. The platform features two native tokens, $GENE, and $ki. The first is used for staking, voting rights, etc., while the latter is required for in-game purchases, Genopet upgrades, crafting, etc. The system works great, but since players have to move to upgrade their pets, it’s unlikely to attract a massive user base.Project Development Slowing Down
The official release date has not yet been set, but the current estimations say that Genopets should go live in late 2023 or early 2024. The recent crypto crash resulted in trillions in losses, pushing millions of crypto investors into other, less volatile markets. The lack of investors has increased competition in the blockchain ecosystem, and projects like Genopets are now struggling to follow their roadmaps.Tamadoge – An Emerging NFT Pet Metaverse Platform With Massive Gain Potential
On the other hand, Tamadoge, another project built around virtual NFT pets, is about to go live in the next few months. Instead of the move-to-earn formula, Tamadoge uses the Play-to-Earn (P2E) mechanism to reward players with native TAMA tokens. The game is loosely based on a popular hand-held game platform from the early 90s called Tamagochi. Like the original game, Tamadoge puts you in the role of a pet trainer whose job is to ensure that the pets are healthy and happy as they grow. So, instead of moving to evolve your pets, you have to play exciting platformer games to win Dogepoints. The players with the most points at the end of the month will get TAMA tokens as rewards. However, even though that might sound like any other metaverse project at the moment, Tamadoge has excellent tokenomics, and TAMA tokens have a zero transaction protocol.Tamadoge Tokenomics
There are 2 billion TAMA tokens in total, half of which are available in presale. Another 45% is locked to increase liquidity, while the remaining 5% will be burned to diminish supply. Furthermore, once the platform goes live and players start using TAMA tokens in the game, 65% of all tokens used within a month will be sent to the monthly prize pool and distributed back to players. Another 5% of the amount used will be burned monthly, resulting in steady price growth.TAMA Token Presale
The Tamadoge token presale is open right now, so you still have time to buy TAMA tokens at a discount and secure a place among the early investors. The tokens are available for $0.01 until early September, or if all 1 billion tokens are sold out. Judging from the massive influx of investors, you probably have only a few days left to buy the tokens at the lowest price. Moreover, if you invest at least $100, you can enter the $100,000 TAMA token giveaway to reward the luckiest new investor with the total amount.Genopets VS Tamadoge – Which one is Better?
While the two projects may look similar at a glance, Tamadoge is a much better investment at the moment. It’s about to go live in the next few months, and it’s already KYC’d on CoinSniper. The project has also passed a SolidProof audit with flying colors and is likely to become the next big thing in the meme coin ecosystem. Genopets, on the other hand, have to compete with numerous NFT move-to-earn projects in the works. Even if it turns out to be the best game in the move-to-earn ecosystem, it’s still far from an official launch. Therefore, if you want to invest in cryptos with the highest gain potential – Tamadoge is the only real option.How to Buy TAMA?
Although the Tamadoge presale started only recently, investors worldwide have already done their part to capitalize on this incredible investment opportunity. Check out this guide if you want to become a Tamadoge community member and potentially get rich by investing in Tamadoge. The step-by-step guide will explain each process in great detail, so make sure to read it carefully. Once you complete all the steps, you’ll be a proud owner of your first Tamadoge token. Step 1 – Create a Crypto Wallet If you don’t already have one, you first need to create a crypto wallet to buy Tamadoge. Most wallets are simple to create and are completely free. With that said, we recommend that you go with MetaMask since it includes multi-chain support. Go to MetaMask’s official website, press “Download,” and follow the instructions to set it up. Step 2 – Buy ETH/USDT You can buy TAMA coins only through Ethereum (ETH) or Tether (USDT). Both of these cryptos can be acquired through the major crypto exchange platform. However, you also have the option to purchase ETH directly via credit/debit card on Tamadoge’s official presale platform. After you buy ETH/USDT, transfer the tokens into your crypto wallet. Step 3 – Connect the Crypto Wallet with Tamadoge’s Presale Platform Go to the official Tamadoge website and press ‘Buy.’ Step 4 – Purchase Tamadoge Type in the exact amount of TAMA coins that you want to buy (the minimum is 10,000) and press ‘Convert ETH’ or ‘Convert USDT.’ Double-check the information you entered and confirm the transaction if everything is correct. Step 5 – Claim the Tokens Lastly, all that’s left for you to do is claim the Tamadoge tokens. But, you should know that the ‘Claim’ option will be available only once the presale ends.
With an abundance of gas pumps in any given town, drivers have seemingly endless places to fuel up when out and about. And should a car run out of gas on the go, refueling is as simple as finding a jerrycan, filling it up with a few gallons of gas, and pouring it in the tank. But electric car owners aren’t so lucky, especially since chargers aren’t as abundant as gas stations.
That’s where electric vehicle (EV) accessory startup ZipCharge comes in. The British newcomer is offering EV owners a partial solution for range anxiety by offering peace of mind between chargers, should they wind up in a situation that calls for a few extra miles of juice to make it to a charger, or live in a place where overnight charging simply isn’t possible.
Called the ZipCharge Go, the suitcase-sized battery pack on wheels is designed to hold a sizable amount of electricity that can be used to charge an electric car in a wide range of scenarios. Most notable is when an EV might need to top-off its range in order to drive to a public charging station; a car’s owner can carry the Go in the trunk of the car and use it to recharge the battery should the car run low in a traffic jam, or just about in any other scenario like that one. It’s similar to carrying around a spare can of gasoline, just without the smell and risk of spillage.
[Related: What to know before you buy an electric vehicle]
ZipCharge says there are other uses too. For example, one of its target customers are EV owners who park their electric vehicle on the street without access to curbside charging. The standard Go can be charged up in the home in around an hour, wheeled out to the vehicle, and then transfer its full charge to the idle EV within about 20 to 30 minutes. This allows access to charging for people who would otherwise not consider an electric car because of their lack of at-home access to charging infrastructure.
The large power pack can also charge just about anything that plugs into it thanks to a handy power plug built-in. ZipCharge co-founder Jonathan Carrier says that eScooters, power tools, and even small appliances in the home can make use of the charger.
[Related: Hyundai’s new Ioniq 5 doubles as a giant backup battery for your gadgets]
ZipCharge will produce two versions of the Go: a 4-kilowatt-hour version that can deliver up to 20 miles of range in an average EV, and an 8-kWh version that can provide up to 40 miles. The smaller pack, which weighs in at around 55 pounds and is smaller than a typical bag that can be carried onto an airplane, will launch in the United Kingdom. Carrier, the co-founder, says it will provide enough charge to cover most workers’ daily commute in the UK, whereas the 8-kWh variant will cover the US, where the average commute is 25 miles. Both variants will feature GPS tracking and cellular connectivity to protect against theft and provide in-depth information about the pack’s state of charge, or current charging session.
And while range anxiety is a very real thing today, the EV drivers of tomorrow will hopefully have to worry about it a bit less, at least in the United States.
The new infrastructure bill, which is expected to be signed into law on Monday, will look to solve the EV charging conundrum by allocating $7.5 billion to expanding the number of charging stations across the country. Public charging providers will then use that money to help increase the number of chargers around the United States. More specifically, these companies are expected to increase the density of publicly-accessible Level 2 charging, which typically delivers around 20 miles of range per hour that the vehicle is plugged in, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Currently, there are 40,714 Level 2 charging stations across the nation, but that means there’s a total charging capacity for 89,811 cars at any given time due to the number of plugs at each station. That number, along with the number of Level 3 Fast Charging stations, is expected to increase considerably over the next few years thanks to the infrastructure bill, but exactly how much depends on the way funding is allocated by each individual state.
That’s still a bit forward-looking, however, and there’s always going to be a situation where someone, somewhere, is going to run out of charge—just like people today run out of gasoline. And if owners of the Go choose to carry it along in the trunk, it should have a negligible impact on range, and could even result in a net-positive impact by not requiring a user to drive out of their way to a charger should they need to top-off in an emergency.
The ZipCharge Go launches next year in the U.K., and will follow shortly after in the global market. The one caveat? The peace of mind needed to put range anxiety to sleep won’t be cheap. ZipCharge says it plans to lease the Go for $67 per month (£49), or offer an outright purchase option for owners around the time that it launches.
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