Original equipment manufacturer

SDR Sniffing Electric Gates

Most wireless OEM hardware traditionally use 433MHz OOK modules to exchange information. The encoding and encryption of this data stream is left as a task for the embedded software designer. In most cases, the system can be hacked using a replay attack where an RF packet is recorded and replayed to emulate a valid user. [Gilad Fride] hacked his parking gate using this technique but decided to go the extra mile of connecting it to the internet.

He used an RTL-SDR dongle and ook-decoder by [jimstudt] to sniff out…

How Nvidia’s Max-Q delivers 3 times the performance in a much thinner laptop

Last night, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced Max-Q, a new approach to designing gaming laptops to deliver three times the performance in a third of the size of previous laptops. In doing so, he held up a 10-pound gaming laptop from a few years ago and compared it to a lighter and thinner laptop from Asus.

And today, Nvidia’s Mark Aevermann, director of notebook product management, further explained how Max-Q makes that possible. He noted that five years ago, efficient mainstream gaming laptops were just a dream, and the total market was about 200,000 systems a year. It was a niche market. In 2016, more than 10 million gaming laptops shipped, or more than the number of Xbox One game consoles sold.

“Gaming notebooks are a force today, and they’re the fastest-growing platform out there,” Aevermann said.

But gaming notebooks could still be lighter and more affordable. So, in partnership with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Nvidia set about to redesign notebooks to be more efficient, without changing the graphics chips that ship with them.

Above: Nvidia’s Max-Q improvements.

Image Credit: Nvidia

In one of the biggest changes, Nvidia figured out the peak efficiency for its graphics processing units. It found that running chips at peak performance cost a huge amount in terms of power consumption. By throttling back just a little, the power efficiency became much more manageable.

“Peak performance is not peak efficiency,” Aevermann said. “The last little bits of performance cost a tremendous amount of power.”

Nvidia also looked at the optimal game settings, advanced thermal solutions and software drivers that make use of them, better acoustics, and efficient power regulation.

Max-Q is a term taken from NASA’s mission to launch man into space. It is defined as the point at which the aerodynamic stress on a rocket in atmospheric flight is maximized. Thus, the design of the rocket is precision-engineered around Max-Q.


Nvidia’s Max-Q tech can make gaming laptops as thin as a MacBook Air

Graphics chip maker Nvidia introduced Max-Q, a new design approach that will enable thinner, quieter, and faster gaming laptops.

Laptops using the new Max-Q designs will debut from all major computer makers starting June 27, according to an announcement by CEO Jen-Hsun Huang in a speech at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. Max-Q is a new approach to designing gaming laptops, and Nvidia is working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and system builders to make high-end gaming laptops thinner, faster, and quieter. With Max-Q, everything in the design is precision-engineered — including the laptop, the graphics processing unit (GPU), the drivers, and the thermal and electrical components — to ensure peak efficiency.

Max-Q is a term taken from NASA’s mission to launch man into space. It is defined as the point at which the aerodynamic stress on a rocket in atmospheric flight is maximized. Thus, the design of the rocket is precision-engineered around Max-Q. Nvidia said it has applied a similar philosophy to designing gaming laptops, enabling original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to build laptops that are three times thinner with up to three times more performance of previous generation products.

The results of Max-Q technology, as applied to existing chips, is a high-performance gaming platform…

Fragmentation Isn’t Android’s Fault, It’s the Manufacturers’

It’s 2017, and I still see people criticizing Android for “fragmentation”. This gives Android in general a bad name, and I want to make the facts clear: this isn’t Google or Android’s fault. It’s the fault of your manufacturer.

While this has been a talked about issue for some time, a recent piece from Boy Genius Report got me thinking about it—infuriatingly titled “No iPhone user can even imagine dealing with what Android users have to tolerate”. I want to set the record straight: this type of thinking isn’t just unfair to Android, it’s flat out wrong.

What Is Fragmentation?

Basically, when people talk about fragmentation, they’re referring to the spread of Android versions that are still running on devices “in the wild,” because the adoption rate of new version of Android is much slower than that of iOS. It makes sense, really—there are a handful of iPhones, but hundreds of different Android phones, from a variety of manufacturers, and they don’t all update to the latest version at the same time.

May 2017 Android Distribution numbers

So, when we talk about Android “fragmentation” as a downside compared to iOS, it suggests that there’s an issue with Android, software development, or the update schedule in general. Articles like the one from Boy Genius Report imply that the issue comes from Google, which isn’t the case. Ever since Google purchased Android, the company has been responsible for pushing updates to the platform. And while it was definitely hit and miss in its infancy, we’ve seen Google take a much more structured approach to OS updates for Android in recent years. In fact, it’s almost clockwork now.

But here we are, still acting like Android has an update issue, when that’s just not the case. The primary argument against Android when it comes to updates is the comparison to Apple and the iPhone. “But nearly 80 percent of iPhones are running the latest version of iOS!” I hear people say. But that’s not an argument at all—unless it’s done fairly. Allow me to explain.

iOS Distribution numbers as of Feb 20th 2017.

Comparing Apples to Apples

Basically, Apple produces the iPhone, as well as iOS. It sends updates directly to the iPhone. Apple is solely responsible for updating its own hardware using its own software. It doesn’t work the same way for Android. If you really want a fair comparison, it’s Google hardware/software versus Apple hardware/software. In other words, it’s Pixel/Nexus versus iPhone.

That’s the only real comparison that can be used fairly—it’s an apples to apples comparison, for lack of a better analogy. Google’s official stance on Nexus and Pixel updates is pretty straightforward: these phones get Android version updates for “at least 2 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store” and security updates “for at least 3 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store, or at least 18 months from when the Google Store last sold the device, whichever is longer.“ That’s straight from Google’s mouth.

Google Pixel update periods.

That means under the current rules, three generations of Nexus/Pixel devices are being supported by Google: the Nexus 6, 6P, and 5x, as well as the Pixel and Pixel XL. And yes, the Android ecosystem is bigger than that, but those devices are really just alternative options: Google has just as many phone options as Apple does, and they’re all kept up to date.

By contrast, Apple is actually less transparent with its update timelines and commitments. Five generations of Apple iPhones are running the latest software (iOS 10): iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, and 7 Plus. The writing is on the wall for the iPhone 5, but at the time of writing it’s still being supported so I’m listing it here and…