TIME the big picture

How Intel’s Future Goes Way Beyond the PC

Intel Reports Quarterly Earnings
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images The Intel logo is displayed outside of the Intel headquarters on January 16, 2014 in Santa Clara, California.

The company is looking to diversify as the personal computer market shrinks

I spent most of last week alongside thousands of engineers at Intel’s annual Developer Forum, also known as IDF. The company used the San Francisco event to teach techies about its next-generation processors and other new technologies as it strives to move away from just making chips for personal computers and towards a more diverse set of industries.

Intel’s newest Core processors, codenamed Skylake, will be the most powerful and scaleable Intel has ever made. While the details remain under wraps for now, look for more information in early September when the annual IFA trade show begins in Berlin.

Meanwhile, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s IDF15 keynote focused on three areas:

  1. Beyond the Keyboard and Mouse Computing of the past relied on hardware devices like the keyboard and mouse. Intel believes computer interaction in the future will involve more of our voice, gestures, touch, sight control and beyond. Intel is designing its processors to take full advantage of these sense-based ways to communicate with and manipulate any device.
  2. Everything Will Be Smarter This is the Internet of Things — the idea that billions more devices will be connected to the Internet very soon. Intel’s designers use this concept as their mantra when creating any new processor. The company is working with partners and developers across industries to create connected devices for use in retail, transportation, medicine, defense and more.
  3. Computing As An Extension of Us Intel is increasingly focused on wearables, including fitness trackers, smartwatches, security bracelets and even fashion accessories. Some of Intel’s newest chips are designed for use in all types of wearables and other similar devices.

But in an interesting twist, Krzanich didn’t use his keynote to talk at length about Intel’s top-of-the-line processors. Instead, he focused primarily on Intel’s new products aimed at the burgeoning Internet of Things market. While Intel is best known for its PC chips, it also has a new processor called Quark that can power all types of non-PC gadgets. While the Quark CPU can be bought as a standalone chip, its real value comes when it’s at the center of a system-on-a-chip package called Edison. According to Intel, Edison features:

• A high-performance, dual-core CPU and single-core microcontroller
• Integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 support, 1GB DDR and 4 GB Flash memory
• 40 multiplexed GPIO interfaces with expansion board options

That’s all techie speak for a complete computing solution that can be packed into more complex non-PC devices, like robots, drones, and Internet of Things inventions. Indeed, Edison has become a big hit with the DIY “Maker Movement” crowd, as it lets inventors quickly prototype, test and tweak their creations. Intel’s move to support the Internet of Things and broader Maker Movement is critical to the company’s future. Demand for PCs is down, and while the company will continue making powerful processors for them as well as high-end servers, Intel needs to diversify to stay relevant and competitive.

To further bolster the company’s ties to DIYers, the company is teaming up with Shark Tank producer Mark Burnett to create a new show set to debut in 2016 called America’s Greatest Makers. Similar to Shark Tank, the show will feature makers and inventors putting their tech head to head for a $1 million prize.

Intel clearly wants people to see it as more than a PC company, and this year’s IDF reinforced the idea that Intel wants to play a bigger role in the next generation of maker innovations and connected devices. From what I saw at this year’s Developer Forum, Intel seems well on its way to a more diverse future.

Tim Bajarin is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists, covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc and has been with the company since 1981 where he has served as a consultant providing analysis to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry.

TIME Crime

CEO of Largest Online Male Escort Service Arrested on Prostitution Charges

rentboy male prostitution arrest
Brendan McDermid—Reuters A federal law enforcement officer carries a computer labeled as evidence from the Manhattan offices of Rentboy.com in New York City on Aug. 25, 2015.

"[T]his internet brothel made millions of dollars from...illegal prostitution"

Authorities arrested the CEO of Rentboy.com, which prosecutors called the largest online male escort service, on Tuesday on prostitution charges.

CEO Jeffrey Hurant, arrested at the company’s Manhattan headquarters along with six other employees, was charged with conspiring to violate the Travel Act by promoting prostitution, Reuters reported. The seven were expected to appear in court later Tuesday.

Rentboy.com, whose slogan is “the world’s destination to meet the perfect male escort or masseur,” has been operating since 1997 and boasts a clientele of 10,500 men in 2,100 cities around the world. But prosecutors argue that while Rentboy peppered the site with disclaimers that its escorts were for companionship and not paid for sex, its intentions were to advertise for prostitutes.

“As alleged, Rentboy.com attempted to present a veneer of legality, when in fact this internet brothel made millions of dollars from the promotion of illegal prostitution,” Kelly Currie, acting Brooklyn U.S. attorney, said in a statement.

Authorities served warrants to seize more than $1.4 million from six bank accounts and sought to restrain the site’s domain name, which was still functional as of press time.

Subscriptions to Rentboy start at $59.95 per month and advertisements can cost hundreds of dollars. In total, Rentboy.com was able to generate more than $10 million in revenue between 2010 and 2015.


Google Is Developing a System to Map Potholes Using a Car’s GPS

Google Pothole GPS Map Patent
Boston Globe/Getty Images Boston Public Works uses a Smartphone app to report potholes. Google has a new solution in the works.

It filed a patent for "systems and methods for monitoring and reporting road quality" last week.

Everyone hates potholes. They can spill your coffee, tax your suspension, and if you’re a cyclist, they can easily leave you with a broken collarbone.

Last week, Google filed a patent to help solve pothole problems, describing a system that uses the GPS from cars’ navigation systems in conjunction with another bump sensor that detects vertical movement to map out potholes. Then, the system uploads the data to the cloud.

Fixing potholes is simple—municipalities and states simply fill them in—but locating them is inefficient, usually relying on people to fill out a form and report them individually. If Google puts this technology into cars, an entire database of road condition would be available to the Department of Transportation, enabling it easily identify and prioritize problem areas.

As Autoblog notes, a patent isn’t a guarantee Google will actually develop this into a reality, but judging from Google’s forays into self-driving cars it seems likely.

TIME recycling

Got a Great Recycling Idea? H&M Wants To Give You 1 Million Euros

Shoppers And Retail Economy As German Investor Confidence Jumps
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

H&M's chief exec: 'No company, fast-fashion or not, can continue exactly like today'

The world’s second largest fashion retailer, H&M, is offering an annual 1 million euro prize — about $1.15 million — to those who come up with new recycling techniques, Reuters reports.

The move is part of a larger effort by the retailer to reduce its impact on the environment, operate more ethically, and address raw material shortages.

The fast-fashion model that H&M follows, providing good quality products at inexpensive prices, encourages people to buy more clothes than they probably need, likely leading them to throw away a lot of what they’ve purchased. Consumers are starting to become aware of the huge negative impact this has on the environment.

Karl-Johan Persson, Chief Executive of H&M, told Reuters: “No company, fast-fashion or not, can continue exactly like today. The (prize’s) largest potential lies with finding new technology that means we can recycle the fibers with unchanged quality.”

Existing methods of recycling cotton produce low quality material.

The prize is funded by H&M and the Persson family, the retailer’s main owners.

TIME Companies

Amazon’s Newest Feature Is Great If You Need a Drink Right Now

Amazon Prime Summer Soiree Hosted By Erin And Sara Foster
Rachel Murray—Getty Images A general view of atmosphere during the Amazon Prime Summer Soiree hosted by Erin Foster and Sara Foster at Sunset Towers on July 16, 2015 in West Hollywood, California.

Well, an hour from now

Running out of beer or wine for that barbecue you are hosting? If you are in Seattle, and are a member of Amazon.com’s Prime program, you are in luck.

Starting Tuesday, Prime members in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle can get one- and two-hour delivery of beer, wine and hard liquor like whiskey, rum, and vodka with the launch of Prime Now there, making Seattle the first U.S. city to include alcohol in the assortment of products eligible for the quick-delivery service.

Prime Now, which operates via a stand-alone app on iOS and Android devices, already operates in a number of major U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, and New York, where it launched last year.

The program is available to member of the $99 a year Prime membership but offers a more limited assortment than Prime. Still, eligible products can be delivered within two hours at no charge, and in one hour for $7.99. The selection tends to be focused on last-minute needs such as party supplies, cleaning products, electronics and some food.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Gadgets

Here’s How Apple Is Saving Best Buy

Paul J. Richards—AFP/Getty Images A salesperson scans an iPod Touch at the Best Buy store in Fairfax, Virginia on Nov. 27, 2014.

The two companies are getting even closer

Best Buy continued its remarkable turnaround last quarter, with a big assist from Apple.

The largest U.S. electronics retailer reported a rise in domestic comparable sales of 3.8% for the second quarter, well ahead of Wall Street’s expectations, and posted a better than expected profit. While Best Buy has helped its cause by cutting costs and adding floor space to growing categories like smart homes, home theaters, and shops-within-a-shop for top brands, it has also been getting a lot of help from Apple and its roster of red-hot products.

“Demand for Apple Watch has been so strong in the stores and online,” Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly told Wall Street analysts on a conference call. The retailer expects to be selling the device, which hit the market in June, at all of its 1,050 big-box stores by the end of September, he added. Initially, Best Buy had planned to have watches in 300 stores by the holiday season. (It started selling the watches in early August.) Apple did not provide specific sales numbers for the watch in its second-quarter earnings last month, but Best Buy’s comments provide more evidence of the device’s success.

Joly also announced steps that will deepen Best Buy’s relationship with Apple. It is currently updating its Apple shop-in-shops at 740 stores, including new fixtures and more display tables for phones, computers, and tablets. The work is already complete at 350 stores, and will be finished at another 170 in time for the key holiday season. He also said that Best Buy will begin selling AppleCare product service and support this quarter, and will start testing out being an authorized service provider at 50 stores.

Beyond Apple, there was a lot for investors to cheer: e-commerce sales grew by 17%, showing that Best Buy can hold its own against Walmart, Target, and Amazon.com, and suggests it has licked the “show rooming” phenomenon, where shoppers go to a store to browse and try products out, then buy them on Amazon, behavior that a few years ago led many to question Best Buy’s long term viability.

“The company continues to gain meaningful traction online and therefore enhance its formidable competitive position,” said Moody’s analyst Charlie O’Shea in a research note. Moody’s raised its credit rating on Best Buy to Baa1 on Monday.

And in a development that should worry Sears, Best Buy reported strong appliance sales, a key driver of its comparable sales jump.

Still, Best Buy sounded a note of caution about the current quarter, forecasting U.S. sales to be flat or grow by a low single-digit percentage rate.

As for all the stock market drama of late? The jury is still out on whether consumers will pull back.

“It is difficult to know, though, if the recent volatility in the financial markets will affect overall consumer spending,” Chief Financial Officer Sharon McCollam said in a statement. “To date, however, we have not seen a measurable impact versus our original expectations.”

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME russia

Russia Reverses Ban on Russian Wikipedia After Only a Few Hours

The entry on hashish contained banned information

Russia’s ban on Russian-language Wikipedia lasted only a few hours, ending on Tuesday.

A Russian communications watchdog agency told Internet providers to block access to the popular site’s Russian language material on Monday, after a provincial court ruled Wikipedia’s entry on hashish contained banned information, the Associated Press reports. Recent legislation in Russia has banned sites from carrying information about drugs, suicide and hate, leading critics to accuse authorities of censorship.

The communications agency lifted the ban on Russian language Wikipedia after saying the entry had been edited to comply with the court decision. But users noted that the entry for hashish had only adjusted its title.

TIME cybersecurity

The Guy Who Hacked Jeep’s Truck Just Quit Twitter

Chrysler Issues Recall On 850,000 Sport Utility Vehicles
Joe Raedle—Getty Images

He used to work for the NSA

Last month, Wired magazine filed a report in which two hackers detailed how they were able to take control of a Jeep Cherokee SUV over the Internet. One of the hackers, Charlie Miller, was also an engineer at Twitter.

Not anymore.

Miller, who used to work at the National Security Agency and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on cybersecurity, has left the social media company, according to Reuters. He didn’t comment on what he is planning to do next.

The hack on the Cherokee caused a recall of 1.4 million vehicles. Cybersecurity for connected cars is quickly becoming one of the most important issues facing automakers.

TIME wireless charging

These New Kits Let You Build Your Own Wireless-charging Stations

IDT's wireless-charging kit.

Give your table wireless-charging superpowers in hours

Samsung, Ikea, and LG have recently introduced wireless charging into their line of products. Now, the company who helped them build that technology is giving everyone a chance to cut the cord.

Integrated Device Technology, also known as IDT, has come up with a wireless power kit that allows engineers and hobbyists to install wireless charging capabilities into their product designs in mere hours. It’s believed to be the first DIY, plug-and-play wireless charging solution in a box that comes with an instructional video, layout guides, and semiconductors and reference boards that can be embedded in applications such as medical devices and electronic accessories, and allows them to be charged wirelessly.

“By offering a pre-configured, comprehensive, out-of-the-box solution, we make it possible for customers to design a wireless power solution with very little to no engineering support required,” said Greg Waters, president and CEO at IDT, in a company statement.

IDT have been developing wireless charging solutions for companies like Samsung—manufacturing the magnetic induction transmitter in the Samsung Galaxy charging pad and Samsung SE370 monitor—and Ikea’s new line of wireless charging-tables and lamps. Since the end of April, however, IDT engineers have worked on a kit that they hope could help small to medium-sized companies expand the use of their products into the wireless charging market, one that is estimated to grow to $13.8 billion by 2020.

It could mean a headphone stand could wirelessly charge your headphones after installation—something IDT engineers tested out themselves: “We turned it into a wireless charging stand in about three hours,” said Laurence McGarry, director of product marketing for wireless power at IDT.

The idea now is to start small, and dream big: “We’ll launch the kit and look at feedback, and maybe we’ll start to do target sub-sections of the market,” said McGarry.

While the company will provide as much help as possible to clients, McGarry hopes that the kit will be self-explanatory: “The idea was to create something so easy to install, that they won’t need support.”

TIME Media

This Is Facebook’s Biggest Problem With Video Right Now

Video creators say it's costing them big bucks

Every year, YouTube creator Devin Graham makes his own version of a summer blockbuster: a live-action recreation of the high-flying parkour jumps in the video game series Assassin’s Creed. The elaborate short films regularly garner tens of millions of views for Graham’s production company, Devin Super Tramp, and can cost upwards of $50,000 each to produce.

This year’s version, set in London and published in July, has only received 2.5 million views on YouTube to date. But that’s not because people have suddenly grown tired of watching acrobats perform heart-stopping leaps across buildings. It’s because many people are seeing Graham’s videos on Facebook first, where they’re often posted without his consent. That’s a big problem for Graham, because unlike the official YouTube clips, the unlicensed Facebook uploads don’t put any money in his pocket.

“It does dramatically affect us as filmmakers, people doing what they love to do and as a full-on film production company,” says Graham.

This practice, which online video creators are calling “freebooting,” is taking off on Facebook, helping spur the site’s massive video growth. The social network is now attracting more than 4 billion video views per day, up from just one billion in September. It’s unclear how many of these views are coming from copyright-infringing content, but a recent study by ad agency Ogilvy and video analytics firm Tubular Labs found that about 72.5% of the top 1,000 Facebook videos in May were re-uploaded from other sources, an easy task with freely-available software.

Online video creators, who make money by selling advertising against their content, are increasingly frustrated with the problem. In June, George Strompolos, CEO of the multichannel network Fullscreen, said on Twitter that pirated versions of Fullscreen creators’ videos were racking up more than 50 million views on Facebook. This month, Hank Green, longtime YouTube vlogger and co-founder of the online video conference VidCon, penned a diatribe against Facebook’s video policies, arguing that the social network’s preference for Facebook-native videos in its News Feed algorithm encourages theft of creators’ YouTube videos.

It’s a little inexcusable that Facebook, a company with a market cap of $260 BILLION [sic], launched their video platform with no system to protect independent rights holders,” Green wrote.

YouTube itself faced similar issues in its earliest days, with users easily able to upload and search for pirated versions of television shows to the site for free. Viacom sued YouTube for more than $1 billion in 2007 for copyright infringement, shorty after the video site had been bought by Google. The case was eventually settled out of court, but it helped spur YouTube to create Content ID, a copyright-flagging system that lets rights holders either remove unlicensed copies of their content or monetize those unauthorized videos by selling ads against them. YouTube has made more than $1 billion in payments to more than 8,000 rights holders using the Content ID system so far.

Green and other YouTube creators are now calling on Facebook to create a similar copyright-flagging system. It’s been the online video natives adept at making viral content who have been most hurt by freebooting, as Facebook Page owners lift videos of adorable animals, extreme sports and other highly-shareable content to boost their own social media audiences. Collectively, these creators helped YouTube generate an estimated $5.6 billion in advertising revenue in 2013, and the biggest stars now rake in millions of dollars per year. But they still lack the clout of the traditional media giants who initially compelled YouTube to clean up its act.

“Facebook pages aren’t stealing content that advertisers would even think of as copyrighted because it’s not made by legacy media,” Green told TIME in an interview. “That’s part of why this has been such an easy thing for Facebook to get away with for so long. It doesn’t feel like copyrighted content. But it is, and it’s a big deal for the creators who do this professionally and have their content being stolen every day and getting tens of millions of views.”

In an emailed statement, a Facebook spokesperson said the company uses a system called Audible Magic to identify copyright-infringing videos. The social network also has a system whereby users can flag individual freebooted videos, though by the time a video has been removed it has often already garnered millions of views. Users who make repeated IP violations may also see their accounts suspended. Facebook also says it’s working on new features “to help [intellectual property] owners identify and manage potential infringing content.” Details could be announced later this summer.

The pressure to create a more comprehensive system is likely to increase as Facebook courts more video creators and begins sharing ad revenue with them. In July the social network announced that it’s launching a revenue-sharing program with select video partners including the NBA, Funny or Die and Hearst. “Media companies don’t create content to have it ripped by somebody else and not receive their rightful share of revenue or data from that,” says Rich Raddon, co-founder of the digital media rights management company ZEFR.

For now, creators are simply waiting for a better solution to arrive as they continue to depend on their fans to help them spot unlicensed copies of their videos. “All of a sudden we’re competing against our own video for views,” says Graham. “It’s a real struggle.”

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