CES 2018, Augmented Reality and Much More


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Overall, VR has become a valuable and serious tool for numerous industries with better devices, lower cost, improvements in ease of use and applications that are growing exponentially. Unlike 3D TV, I do not expect this segment to go away. It is a topic that I will continue to follow.

There were so many other things to see at CES, including new TV products, the light speed advances in autonomous driving, new computer components, 3D printing, and the literally hundreds of IoT (Internet of Things) offerings. Let me briefly discuss a few topics and items of interest and leave a deeper discussion on these for the next few articles.

SF1meltdown.jpgOne topic of discussion amongst those of us with a passion for computer tech is the recent announcement of a number of the last generation of Intel chips, as well as some ARM and AMD CPUs potentially affected by the Specter and Meltdown vulnerabilities. PC, Mac or another OS are all apparently vulnerable to this bug. Intel CPUs seem to be at the greater risk from Spectre and Meltdown, as the bug is reported to affect its processors most of all. While there is no known malware yet taking advantage of this bug, that will only be a matter of time. Needless to say, all involved companies are releasing patches to negate this bug, but so far the patches seem to be slowing down computers and users have to decide whether they want to sacrifice some performance for security against malware that has not been noted as yet or wait for better patches.

SF1Intel.jpgAt CES, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich opened his comments with an explanation and a "kind of apology." He stated, “Our primary goal has been to keep our customers safe.” He emphasized, “We have not received any information that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data.” He then said he wanted to thank the industry for working together to quickly address the bugs, adding that the response was a “collaboration” among many different companies. He also asked people to patch their systems as soon as patches become available. “We’ll continue working with the industry to minimize the impact on those workloads,” He added in response to concerns that the patches hurt the performance of some machines and computing workloads.

Each of us will have to decide for ourselves. My main workstation is a very powerful high-end DIY computer, so I will not be concerned about reducing its effective power by 15% or so, but I have decided to wait and not install any of the patches on that beast, for now. On the other hand, my notebook (a Surface Book) will get the patches, as will our other less powerful computers as the data in them is more work-related and thus confidential. I would suggest that you do the same.

Intel then discussed their major breakthrough in quantum computing, a 49-qubit quantum chip with CEO Krzanich calling it a major breakthrough in quantum computing and the next step to "quantum supremacy." This is a future product that we will probably be watching closely in the next few years.

In my next installment, I'll have more on 3D printing, some neat PC components and peripherals, a promise from NASA, and wearable and connected devices. Stay tuned!

Additional Reads:
Preview: CES 2018 Unveiled
CES 2018 Showstoppers: Launchit and Press Event

 

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