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What to expect from Facebook’s big Oculus Connect 5 keynote

The Oculus Connect 5 conference kicks off tomorrow in San Jose where FB and company will let their latest virtual reality efforts loose and attempt to prove to the world at last that VR is coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Tomorrow is going to be a big day for hardware, though there might not be all that many surprises, as Oculus has already been pretty vocal about some of its future plans. We’ll see. Here’s some of the stuff that we’re expecting to go down tomorrow. Release date, price for Oculus “Santa Cruz” standalone The still unnamed standalone, 6DoF headset with tracked controllers is more than likely coming early next year; the big question is really going to be its price. While Oculus has been very aggressive with their $199 starting price for Oculus Go, it will be interesting to see where the pricing moves for whatever “Santa Cruz” ends up being called. The headset is still running a mobile chipset, though it will more than likely be a current-generation Snapdragon 845 as opposed to the much older 821, which is on the Oculus Go. The headset most notably will also sport positional tracking and hand controllers (which we’ll probably see an updated design for) at launch, features that will also surely add to the price. I’m expecting pricing to sit around $349-$399; anything less would probably cannibalize Oculus Go sales and anything more would be a tough sell to consumers that have already proven a little reluctant to buy into VR right now. A look at the next-gen Oculus Rift We got a peek at the Oculus “Half Dome” prototype at F8; my guess is we’ll see a lot more about it tomorrow and perhaps get some press demos of a feature prototype. Facebook teases major VR display upgrades with Oculus ‘Half Dome’ prototype The company’s Rift headset is more than a couple of years old at this point so it’s probably time to start thinking about the next generation of the PC-powered headset.

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The new era in mobile

Joe Apprendi Contributor Joe Apprendi is a general partner at Revel Partners . More posts by this contributor Big data’s humble beginnings A future dominated by autonomous vehicles (AVs) is, for many experts, a foregone conclusion. Declarations that the automobile will become the next living room are almost as common — but, they are imprecise. In our inevitable driverless future, the more apt comparison is to the mobile device. As with smartphones, operating systems will go a long way toward determining what autonomous vehicles  are  and what they  could be . For mobile app companies trying to seize on the coming AV opportunity, their future depends on how the OS landscape shapes up. By most measures, the mobile app economy is still growing, yet the time people spend using their apps is actually starting to dip. A  recent study  reported that overall app session activity grew only 6 percent in 2017, down from the 11 percent growth it reported in 2016. This trend suggests users are reaching a saturation point in terms of how much time they can devote to apps. The AV industry could reverse that. But just  how mobile apps will penetrate this market and  who  will hold the keys in this new era of mobility is still very much in doubt. When it comes to a driverless future, multiple factors are now converging. Over the last few years, while app usage showed signs of stagnation, the push for driverless vehicles has only intensified.  More cities  are live-testing driverless  software  than ever , and investments in autonomous vehicle technology and software by tech giants like Google and Uber ( measured  in the  billions ) are starting to mature. And, after some reluctance, automakers have now  embraced  this idea of a driverless future

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Qualcomm doubles down on claims that Apple stole chip secrets for Intel

If you happen to crack open that fancy little iPhone XS casing on your new phone, you’ll notice there’s a dwindling amount of Qualcomm chips in there and that they’re increasingly being replaced by Intel hardware. The swap is representative of the cooling state of affairs between the two as the companies’ legal teams battle over Apple’s refusal to pay royalties that Qualcomm claims it is owed. Today, Qualcomm doubled down on its claims that Apple was stealing chip secrets from Qualcomm tech and feeding it to Intel engineers. CNBC reports: Qualcomm has unveiled explosive charges against Apple for stealing “vast swaths” of its confidential information and trade secrets for the purpose of improving the performance of chip sets provided by Qualcomm competitor Intel, according to a filing with the Superior Court of California. The allegations are contained in a complaint that Qualcomm hopes the court will amend to its existing lawsuit against Apple for breaching the so called master software agreement that Apple signed when it became a customer of Qualcomm’s earlier this decade. The newly filed documents amend an earlier suit by the company, claiming that Intel engineers working with Apple have been using Qualcomm source code. Qualcomm sues Apple, alleging it shared chip code with Intel

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LinkedIn launches Talent Insights, which provides business intelligence reports on companies, talent pools, skills, and more (Ingrid…

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch : LinkedIn launches Talent Insights, which provides business intelligence reports on companies, talent pools, skills, and more   —  LinkedIn may be best known as a place where people and organizations keep public pages of their professional profiles, using that as a starting point for networking …

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Salesforce, AWS expand partnership with secure data sharing between platforms

Salesforce and Amazon’s cloud arm, AWS , have had a pretty close relationship for some time, signing a $400 million deal for infrastructure cloud services in 2016, but today at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s massive customer conference taking place this week in San Francisco, they took it to another level. The two companies announced they were offering a new set of data integration services between the two cloud platforms for common customers. Matt Garman, vice president of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, says customers looking to transform digitally are still primarily concerned about security when moving data between cloud vendors, More specifically, they were asking for a way to move data more securely between the Salesforce and Amazon platforms. “Customers talked to us about sensitive data in Salesforce and using deep analytics and data processing on AWS and moving them back and forth in secure way,” he said. Today’s announcements let them do that. In practice, Salesforce customers can set up a direct connection using AWS Private Link to connect directly to private Salesforce APIs and move data from Salesforce to an Amazon service such as Redshift, the company’s data warehouse product, without ever exposing the data to the open internet. Further, Salesforce customers can set up Lambda functions so that when certain conditions are met in Salesforce, it triggers an action such as moving data (or vice versa). This is commonly known as serverless computing  and developers are increasingly using event triggers to drive business processes. Finally, the two companies are integrating more directly with Amazon Connect, the Amazon contact center software it launched in 2017 . This is where it gets more interesting because of course Salesforce offers its own contact center services with Salesforce Service Cloud. The two companies found a way to help common customers work together here to build what they are calling AI-driven self-service applications using Amazon Connect on the Salesforce mobile Lightning development platform

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