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AccelerComm Announces 5G IP with O-RAN Acceleration Abstraction Layer (AAL) Interface

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Product allows swift integration into any 5G Distributed Unit (DU) that supports the O-RAN AAL, enabling operators to select the most appropriate 5G physical layer accelerator cards to maximize flexibility and ease of deployment

Southampton, UK – 26th October 2021 – AccelerComm, the company supercharging 5G with physical layer IP which increases spectral efficiency and reduces latency, today announced that it has successfully demonstrated a fully compliant O-RAN AAL (Acceleration Abstraction Layer) Forward Error Correction (FEC) product for the Xilinx Telco Accelerator cards. This carrier-grade product enables AccelerComm’s high performance 5G NR LDPC encoding and decoding IP solutions to be rapidly and efficiently used as hardware accelerators in industry standard servers across a PCIe bus using the O-RAN AAL interface. AccelerComm joined the O-RAN ALLIANCE in December 2020 and has been an active participant in the technical development of the organisation’s physical layer standards.

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Following the work in O-RAN Working Group 6 to finalize a standard which defines the hardware accelerator interface functions and protocols, known as the AAL interface, (see O-RAN ALLIANCE press release) AccelerComm has successfully demonstrated compliance to this standard. Using a Xilinx Telco card incorporating AccelerComm 5G physical layer IP and drivers, the company demonstrated Block Error Rate (BLER) and throughput tests of their high performance LDPC IP, as well as basic compliance with interface test vectors.

“Central to the success of O-RAN 5G networks is operators being able to minimize their operational costs and maximize the flexibility of their RAN deployments,” said Eric Dowek, Segment Marketing Director at AccelerComm. “This interface enables MNOs with AAL-compliant DUs to use accelerator cards from different vendors which, as well as easing their operational costs, means that operators can select the accelerator card that performs best in a particular use case scenario, thereby helping them to get the best return on investment out of their network.”

AccelerComm’s portfolio of advanced channel coding solutions contain unique cutting-edge technology to maximize spectral efficiency and reduce latency for truly high-performance Open RAN 5G communications systems. This enables the next generation of services requiring ultra-reliable, low latency communications, such as VR/AR, industrial IoT, autonomous vehicles and drone control.

To organize a demo, or to test interoperability with a specific DU, please email eric.dowek@accelercomm.com

Further details of AccelerComm products can be found at www.accelercomm.com

About AccelerComm
AccelerComm is the company supercharging 5G with IP which increases spectrum efficiency and reduces latency. It provides LDPC, polar and turbo FEC solutions which enable optimal performance of communication systems and solves the challenges that would otherwise limit the speed of 5G, namely the error correction decoding that is required to overcome the effects of noise, interference, and poor signal strength .

AccelerComm’s portfolio of advanced channel coding solutions contain unique cutting-edge technology to maximize spectral efficiency and reduce latency for truly high-performance Open RAN 5G communications systems. This enables the next generation of services requiring ultra-reliable, low latency communications, such as VR/AR and industrial IoT. The company is active in a number of industry associations including through its membership of the O-RAN ALLIANCE. For further information visit www.accelercomm.com or follow @AccelerComm on Twitter.

Media Contacts
Ed Howson
Temono for AccelerComm
ed.howson@temono.com
+44 (0) 7740 173051




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Zoom’s live captioning feature is now available to all users, know how it works. Technology News

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New Delhi: Video conferencing app Zoom has announced that it is adding live closed captioning service from the paid version of its video conferencing software to all of its free users.

This feature, which provides automatic captioning during a Zoom video call, is also available for paid Zoom Meetings and Zoom Video Webinars accounts.

“It is important to us that everyone can successfully connect, communicate, and participate using Zoom. Without the proper accessibility tools, people with disabilities face tremendous barriers when using video communication solutions. That is why we are focused on building out a platform that is accessible to everyone,” the company said in a statement.

Auto-generated captions are currently available in English, and the firm is planning to expand them to other languages ​​in the future.

How does Zoom’s live captioning feature work?

In order to enable closed captioning, one just needs to sign into the Zoom web portal, navigate to the Settings option and click the Meeting tab. Under In Meeting (Advanced), one can click on the Closed captioning toggle to enable or disable it.

The company has also announced a few other major changes including the whiteboard feature.

The enhanced Zoom Whiteboard, anticipated later this year, will enable seamless, asynchronous collaboration across a wide range of devices while providing a more engaging and streamlined meeting experience.

Users will be able to interact with a virtual whiteboard just as you would in person.

The company will also extend its new end-to-end encryption offering to Zoom Phone, enabling users to upgrade to end-to-end encryption during one-on-one phone calls that occur via the Zoom client.


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Is the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion pack worth it?

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Nintendo

It was March 1997. I was 15 years old. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I collected my pocket money, hard earned savings from a grueling paper run and some change I scooped up between the cushions of my parents sofa. I walked nervously to the counter at a Comet retail store in Glasgow, Scotland and laid down a ludicrous £350+ on a brand new Nintendo 64 and two games, Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64.

The Nintendo 64 had just launched and it cost me everything I owned on this earth. It sent me to the cleaners.

Hilariously, just two months later in May, Nintendo announced a £100 price cut. I was heartbroken.

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It takes you back!

Yvonne Hemsey, Getty Images

If you’d told me then that 25 years later it would be possible to play Super Mario 64, alongside a library of classics for the piddling price of $5 per month, I have no idea how I would have reacted. Violently? possibly. Most likely I’d have collapsed into a pathetic foetal ball, shedding real, visceral tears for the exorbitant amount of money I’d just poured down the drain.

What a time to be alive. On Tuesday in the glorious year 2021, Nintendo fans can easily access the glorious past for next to nothing.

In September 2018, Nintendo launched Nintendo Switch Online, a service that, like Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus, allowed users to play games like Fortnite or Mario Kart 8 online. In addition to the ability to play current games online it provided access to a host of retro NES and SNES games, all for the fairly low price of $20 per year.

As of Tuesday, Nintendo has expanded that offering. Now you can subscribe to an Online Expansion Pack to the online service which gives you additional access to a selection of Nintendo 64 and Sega Mega Drive games (alongside — bizarrely — new DLC for Animal Crossing). The catch? The service costs more. A significant amount more. Instead of $20 for an annual subscription to the service, the expanded package costs $50 collectively per year.

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The initial offering of Nintendo 64 games.

Nintendo

Is it “worth it”? That’s a loaded question and I don’t even know where to start. If you’d have asked 15 year old me, in line at Comet to lay down his life savings for a Nintendo 64 and two — just two — video games, he’d have snatched that deal with all the power his spindly adolescent arms could muster. But when I asked on Twitter if the Expansion Pack was unfairly priced, people went buckwild.

The broad consensus, in my Twitter mentions at least, was an additional $30 for access to a rotating cast of N64 and Mega Drive games was much too much. Many about the additional cost, or compared it to the value of competing services like Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus. Some took issue with the quality of the games available and wondered how regularly Nintendo would add new titles. All fair points. For me, the ability to easily access a broad library of games I love, across multiple retro platforms, for what amounts to less than $5 a month makes total financial sense. The ability to play online on games like Splatoon 3 when it finally arrives is a bonus.

But value is subjective. One reply stood out to me.

Particularly this point: “the way people perceive the value of entertainment products is fundamentally broken”.

I’d go one layer deeper. I’d argue the way people perceive video games specifically is completely and utterly broken. Beyond repair.

Right now we’re all over the shop. On Xbox Game Pass we have access to the entire library of cutting edge video games for $15 a month. Yet one single video game not available on Game Pass could potentially set you back $60. Then we have the question of the games themselves. Smaller scale indie games like, say, the newly released Inscryption on PC, are expected to be cheaper by default than AAA productions like Deathloop on PS5. Why?

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All the Mega Drive games available on Nintendo Online at launch.

Nintendo

Should video games really cost more because they cost more to produce? Nobody pays more money to see the latest Marvel movie at the cinema because it has a bigger budget than an Oscar-winning indie flick like Nomadland, so why do the same with video games? Consider major titles like Fortnite and Apex Legends that you can literally play for free and you have a smorgasbord of confusion. In this wild environment where anything goes, who’s to say what individual video games are worth?

It’s complete chaos.

By most measures, $50 for 12 months of access to dozens of rotating classic video games should represent value for money. Is this package not valuable because the games are old?

The Nintendo Online Expansion pack is a weird, messy package dropped into a rapidly evolving marketplace where the rules and concepts of “value” are constantly in shift or — worse — contradicting one another.

Is the Nintendo Online Expansion unfairly priced? If you think so, then yes. Is it also an incredible deal that gives you access to a host of classic video games? Also yes. It exists at every point of the value spectrum because in video games the rules of value don’t make sense.

The same people who balk at paying an extra $30 dollars for classic video games might easily fork out the same amount on Fortnite skins. And that’s okay. Your mileage will vary. Are you the type of person who’ll play Mario 64 for 10 minutes then never use the service again? Maybe this isn’t for you. Maybe you’ll spend the next month replaying Ocarina of Time in its entirety. If so, this is the best money you’ll ever spend.

Me? I’ll happily fork out some extra cash. The 15 year old that once queued up at Comet to drop his life savings on a Nintendo 64 is happy — and furious — at the exact same time.




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Inside The Big Facebook Leak

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Frances Haugen first met Jeff Horwitz, a tech-industry reporter for The Wall Street Journal, in early December on a hiking trail near the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California.

She liked that he seemed thoughtful, and she liked that he had written about Facebook’s role in transmitting violent Hindu nationalism in India, a particular interest of hers. She also got the impression that he would support her as a person, rather than as a mere source who could supply him with the inside information she had picked up during her nearly two years as a product manager at Facebook.

“I auditioned Jeff for a while,” Haugen told me in a phone interview from her home in Puerto Rico, “and one of the reasons I went with him is that he was less sensationalistic than other choices I could have made.”

She became one of the greatest sources of the century, turning over the tens of thousands of pages of internal documents she had collected. Starting September 13, the Journal justified her confidence with a meticulous rollout that included 11 major articles by Horwitz and other reporters cleverly packaged under a catchy rubric, The Facebook Files.

Key revelations included how Facebook executives handled politicized lies, including Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud. Often, the company chose to let misinformation spread widely, to keep more people logging on. The series also noted the lengths that Facebook went to in its desperation to hang on to its audience as young people drifted away from its platforms.

The Journal also produced a podcast episode introducing Haugen as poised, incisive, and intensely moral, a depiction that Horwitz told me he agrees with after much reporting, but which also amounted to white-glove treatment of a treasured source.

So there was an uncomfortable moment October 7, when a communications firm working with Haugen invited Horwitz and two of his editors to a Zoom call with a group that would grow to include journalists from 17 other US media outlets.

On the call, Haugen offered to share redacted versions of the trove of Facebook documents under an embargo to be set by the group. The firm, founded by former Barack Obama aid Bill Burton, would help manage the process. After she made her pitch, Horwitz and his colleagues found themselves in a strange position: The source who had provided them with the stuff of so many exclusive scoops now seemed to be going rogue.

“This is a little awkward,” Jason Dean, an editor at the Journal, said on the call, according to three participants.

The Journal team left before the call was over. Since then, journalists at The Atlantic, The Associated Press, CNN, NBC News, Fox Business and other outlets, including The New York Times, have been poring over the first tranche of Haugen’s documents, along with a parallel group in Europe, with a plan to publish their findings Monday (although the stories began trickling out Friday night).

We live in a time of megaleaks, enabled by the same digital technology that allows us to surveil one another and document our lives as never before. These leaks have given the leakers and their brokers a new kind of power over the news media, raising tricky questions about how their revelations should enter the public sphere. There are questions, in particular, on the balance of power between the sources of vital information and the reporters who benefit from them.

Some leaks, including US military and State Department files, emerged on WikiLeaks or nameless servers in the form of massive data dumps; others, including Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency files and The Intercept’s revelations of America’s drone wars, came about after journalists had gained sources’ trusts.

Reports on the Panama Papers, based on the leaking of more than 11 million documents, and other examinations of global tax evasion that followed it were brokered through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which managed a collaboration among hundreds of journalists around the world. They read the documents, as well as one another’s stories, on a secure server before coordinating the rollout of their articles on social media.

In some cases, the leaker or hacker seems to be the one who controls how and when information is released. That’s how it went in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, when a Kremlin-directed cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee led to the devastatingly timed publication of the committee’s private documents on WikiLeaks.

In other instances, a key source may yield to a unified group of journalists — at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists or elsewhere — who add layers of reporting and analysis to the raw material.

“You can’t afford to have the source dictate the story,” Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, said in an interview.

Haugen chose a middle path, one that appears to have captured the best of both arrangements, from her perspective, while also foiling Facebook’s attempts to contain the story.

First, she handed her documents to the Journal for a boutique rollout. Then she opened the journalistic equivalent of an outlet store, allowing reporters on two continents to root through everything the Journal had left behind in search of overlooked informational gems. Her intention was to broaden the circle, she said. She added that she plans to share the documents with academic writers and publications from parts of the world where she sees the greatest peril, including India and parts of the Middle East.

“The reason I wanted to do this project is because I think the global South is in danger,” she said.

With this model, Haugen and her advisers have created a new kind of journalistic network, one that has stirred mixed feelings among the journalists involved. In the past two weeks, they have gathered on the messaging app Slack to coordinate their plans — and the name of their Slack group, chosen by Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor of The Atlantic, suggests their ambivalence: “Apparently We’re a Consortium Now “

Inside the Slack group, whose messages were shared with me by a participant, members have reflected on the strangeness of working, however tangentially, with competitors. (I didn’t speak to any Times participants about the Slack messages.)

“This is the weirdest thing I have ever been part of, reporting-wise,” wrote Alex Heath, a tech reporter for The Verge.

In an interview, Brian Carovillano, head of investigations for The Associated Press, said, “It’s remarkable to see these news organizations, large and small, set aside some of their competitive impulses and work together to report out a story that is unquestionably in the public interest.”

The Slack group has also discussed news outlets that are not part of the consortium, including The Information. (In an article published Friday about Haugen’s media strategy, The Information reported that it had asked to join the group, “but was told by one participant that it was not accepting new members.”) The Guardian, which won a Pulitzer Prize in public service in 2014 for its reports on secret surveillance by the National Security Agency — a series made possible by Snowden’s leaks — was another publication that got left out.

Haugen told the participants that she felt the Journal could have published more articles on the documents she provided, especially on Facebook’s effect on nations where English is not the main language.

The polished rollout, including Haugen’s Oct. 3 appearance on “60 Minutes” and congressional testimony days later, has led to dark hints from Facebook and its allies that there is something a little too good to be true about her. The Journal’s right-wing editorial page accused her of seeking to censor political speech, writing that it was “notable that her appearance seems to have been midwifed by Bill Burton, a prominent Democratic communications executive.” A Facebook executive tweeted preemptively to suggest that the embargo could amount to an “orchestrated ‘gotcha’ campaign.”

I haven’t found anything to suggest that there is more, or less, than meets the eye to Haugen, a high school debater who had worked at Google and Pinterest before joining Facebook in 2019.

“There is zero evidence whatsoever in my mind of any other entity being involved,” Horwitz told me.

Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, who volunteered as her lawyer, said he had brought in Burton, the former Obama aid, in September, after the Journal’s reporting was underway.

Haugen, in our phone interview, also resolved a minor mystery: whether she’s quietly relying on the financial support of Pierre Omidyar, an eBay co-founder whose groups started working with her in October, as Politico first reported.

The reality, she said, is that she has her own financial resources, and has accepted help from nonprofit groups backed by Omidyar only for travel and similar expenses.

“For the foreseeable future, I’m fine, because I did buy crypto at the right time,” she told me.

She noted that she had moved to Puerto Rico to cope with a health condition — but also to join her “crypto friends” on the island, whose capital-gains tax exemptions have made it a hub for that novel financial system.

(Burton said he was initially working without pay but is now being paid by donors, including the nonprofit groups backed by Omidyar.)

When I began reporting this column, I thought the central question would be whether Haugen’s tactics had allowed her to control the story, and whether journalistic collaboration had bled into groupthink. But although a glance at Twitter shows that journalists on any beat can slip into a herd mentality, there’s little evidence that this leak, with its trove of documentary detail, had deepened that tendency.

Competitive pressures have remained close to the surface. The Journal would have preferred other outlets stick with its “Facebook Files” branding, but the Times’ Mike Isaac wrote in the Slack group that using that phrase would be “free advertising for the Journal series,” prompting Casey Newton of the newsletter Platformer to suggest going with “The Leftovers.” Most outlets settled on “The Facebook Papers.”

By Friday night — Black Friday at the information mall, so to speak — the Slack group was falling apart. Another Times reporter, Ryan Mac, had dropped in late that afternoon with a “heads-up”: The Times would be publishing an article on Facebook’s conduct in the run-up to the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol based — he assured his rivals — on “documents we got before the formation of the consortium.”

It seemed to many others to be within the letter of their agreement, but also an attempt by the Times to get ahead of competitors who hadn’t obtained the documents separately.

“My thought is, if you are a reporter who had these docs, maybe it would have been cooler to not be part of the consortium, rather than run down the clock,” NBC News’ Brandy Zadrozny fumed in the Slack group.

After NBC News responded to the Times’ move by breaking the embargo with its own Facebook article, Zadrozny apologized to her rival reporters in a Slack message: “My editor says if the nytimes doesn’t have to abide by the rules then we are out . I’m really sorry. This sucks. And now it’s a media story.”

A Times spokesperson, Danielle Rhoades Ha, said the publication is playing by the “consortium’s ground rules,” under which “documents obtained by outlets prior to the consortium’s creation are not subject to the embargo time.”

Haugen, for her part, has watched the Journal’s rollout and its rivals’ subsequent scramble to catch up with equanimity. “Now that I’ve met so many journalists, and I’ve seen how hard Jeff works, I feel more grateful for the media than when I started,” she said.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Ben Smith x c.2021 The New York Times Company

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