Toshiba Posts $318 Million Loss in Wake of Accounting Scandal

Crisis-hit Toshiba said Monday it would book a $318 million loss for its latest fiscal year in the wake of a billion dollar profit-padding scandal.

The vast 140-year-old conglomerate said that its annual loss for the year to March 2015 would be JPY 37.8 billion (roughly Rs. 2,121 crores), reversing a previously expected JPY 120 billion annual profit.

Toshiba left unchanged its previously announced JPY170 billion operating profit on sales of JPY 6.65 trillion for its latest fiscal year.

But it said it could not supply forecasts for the current year to March 2016.

Investors appeared to cheer the finalised figures as bringing a sense of closure to the saga, with Toshiba’s Tokyo-listed shares jumping 3.17 percent to JPY 357.6 in morning trade even as the broader market turned lower.

The revised results come after months of delay as an outside panel probed the firm’s finances amidrevelations that top executives pressured underlings to systematically inflate profits by about $1.2 billion (roughly Rs. 8,007 crores) since the 2008 global financial crisis.

One of the most damaging accounting scandals to hit Japan in recent years, the case prompted an incumbent president and seven other top executives to resign after the company-hired panel found top management complicit in a years-long scheme to pad profits.

The embarrassing findings came just months after Japan adopted a long-awaited corporate governance code aimed at improving firms’ transparency

Best known for its televisions and electronics, including the world’s first laptop personal computer and DVD player, Toshiba has more than 200,000 employees globally and also operates in power transmission and medical equipment.

The company has asked a host of renowned Japanese business leaders to act as outside directors in a management overhaul to improve its corporate culture.

Toshiba is to hold a shareholders meeting at the end of this month.

Last month, Toshiba was booted from a stock index launched to highlight firms with the best return on equity and other shareholder friendly criteria.

Toshiba’s business was dented by the financial crisis, while the 2011 Fukushima disaster squashed demand for atomic power at home in a big blow to the firm’s key nuclear division.

Top executives complained of “shameful results” that could not be made public.

Intel Launches 48 6th-Gen ‘Skylake’ CPUs for Desktops, Notebooks, and 2-in-1s

Intel has formally announced its entire lineup of sixth-generation Core processors, more commonly known by the codename “Skylake”, at a press conference at the annual IFA trade show in Berlin. The company is calling this generation its most scalable ever, enabling the broadest yet range of devices including desktop PCs, all-in-ones, mobile workstations, laptops, 2-in-1s, tablets, small-form-factor boxes and even a new version of the tiny Intel Compute Stick. The company also claims that its new processors are optimized for Windows 10 and enable experiences and features that no other hardware can offer.

Intel is targeting potential upgraders, promising up to 2.5x better performance, 3x battery life, and 30x better integrated graphics than comparable processors from five years ago. The company is also promoting immersive experiences such as faster wake from sleep, effortless HD and 4K video playback, and always-on voice command response. The Skylake architecture includes several enhancements specifically targeted at mobile devices, such as support for sensors and cameras, wireless display output and docking, natural user interfaces, hardware-level security, and the DirectX 12 framework for gaming.

The company also says that its new processors can enable even thinner and lighter designs than before. PC and device manufacturers including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus are expected to have systems featuring sixth-generation Core processors out in markets very soon.

intel_skylake_family_scalable2_idf2015_ndtv.jpgThe range includes 48 processors, including the gamer-focused Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K desktop models introduced at last month’s Gamescom show. The new offerings scale for 4.5W TDP ratings to 91W, allowing for designs ranging from ultralight fanless tablets to desktop workstations. All are fabricated on the company’s 14nm process.

Intel has also introduced new brand tiers in the Core M range for ultraportable devices. The new Core m3, Core m5, and Core m7 processors will allow manufacturers to differentiate their offerings based on power and performance parameters. All Core M processors run at 4.5W and have two cores with Hyper-Threading. Maximum speed ranges from 2GHz for the Core m3-6Y30 to 2.9GHz for the Core m7-6Y75. The processors should throttle intelligently to reduce power consumption and heat output. There will also be a 6W 1.5GHz Pentium 4405Y based on the Core M (Skylake-Y) architecture.

intel_skylake_family_mobilexeon2_idf2015_ndtv.jpgThe Skylake-U series of 15W and 28W processors for laptops are also all dual-core parts with Hyper-Threading. While lower wattage models come with Intel’s HD 510, HD 520 or Iris 540 graphics, the higher ones come with Iris 550. Speeds range from 2.1GHz to 3.4GHz, and DDR4 memory is supported. Quad-core models start making an appearance in the 45W H-series, which includes two mobile Xeonprocessors for the first time. These two, the Xeon E3-1535Mv5 and the E3-1505Mv5 will enable a new class of portable workstations. Also new is the Core i7-6820HK, Intel’s first unlocked and overclockable mobile processor.

On the desktop front, Intel will offer a range of 35W and 65W models, the S-series. While all are socketed, not all will be available as boxed retail units. Processors will have either Intel HD 510 or HD 530 graphics. More launches, including Pentium and Celeron branded units as well as some with more powerful Intel Iris Pro graphics, are expected through the rest of 2015 and into 2016.

LG Unveils Foldable, Wireless ‘Rolly Keyboard’

LG on Thursday showcased its new foldable full-sized keyboard named Rolly Keyboard, which it plans to launch during the IFA 2015 trade show next month in Berlin, Germany. The accessory, which LG is calling a ‘full-size keyboard for pockets’ will debut in the US in September, followed by Europe, Latin America, and Asia in the fourth quarter. The price would be announced locally.

The wireless keyboard, carrying the model number KBB-700, folds up along the four rows making itself an easy-to-carry roll (seen below). The keyboard features high-contrast keys and a fold-out mobile device stand. LG said that typing on the new Rolly Keyboard is “extremely simple” because of its 17-mm key pitch, which is nearly the same as the 18-mm key pitch found on regular desktop keyboards.

lg_rolly_keyboard_table_folded.jpgThe LG Rolly Keyboard is said to sport an impact-resistant durable polycarbonate and ABS plastic build. It features two foldable arms to hold smartphones as well as tablets. Users can pair the keyboard with the device using Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, which is activated by simply unfolding it. The keyboard can pair with two different devices together and gives users the ability to toggle between the devices with single key press. LG has stated that in case of tablets, the keyboard will only pair with those which sport displays up to 10-inch. It is backed by a single AAA battery, which is rated to deliver up to three months of average use.

“LG Rolly Keyboard is just one of the many premium input devices we’ll be unveiling in the coming months as we expand our accessories offerings,” said Seo Young-jae, Vice President in charge of Innovative Personal Devices at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, adding, “The goal was to create a product that could add more value to LG smartphones and tablets at the same time offering a unique design proposition that hadn’t been explored before.”

Acer Founder Says Open to Takeover Amid Stock Price Slide

Acer Inc founder Stan Shih said he would welcome a takeover of the struggling Taiwanese computer maker after a steep fall in its share price, while warning any potential buyer would pay a heavy price.

“Welcome,” Shih told reporters in response to a question about whether Acer would be open to a takeover. He added however that any buyer would get an “empty shell” and would pay dearly.

“U.S. and European management teams usually are concerned about money, their CEOs only work for money. But Taiwanese are more concerned about a sense of mission and emotional factors,” he said.

His remarks were first reported by Taiwanese media on Thursday and were confirmed by a company spokesman.

Acer has reported steep on-year sales falls in recent months, including a 33 percent drop in July.

It suffered a TWD 2.89 billion (roughly Rs. 593 crores) loss in the first six months of 2015, versus a slight profit in the same period last year. It booked losses for all of 2011, 2012 and 2013 amid cratering PC sales.

Its stock price has fallen by nearly half since early April.

LG Rolly Is A Rollable Keyboard For Your Tablet

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LG has announced the launch of a new portable keyboard for tablet, the LG Rolly and as the name suggests, the keyboard can be rolled away to make it easy to carry.

The video below shows how the LG Rolly works, as well as been a wireless keyboard it can also be used to dock your tablet when you are typing with the device.

lg rolly

“LG Rolly Keyboard is just one of the many premium input devices we’ll be unveiling in the coming months as we expand our accessories offerings,” said Seo Young-jae, vice president in charge of Innovative Personal Devices at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company.  “The goal was to create a product that could add more value to LG smartphones and tablets at the same time offering a unique design proposition that hadn’t been explored before.”

Windows 10 Spreads to Over 75 Million Devices in Less Than a Month

Microsoft said Wednesday that Windows 10 has spread to more than 75 million devices since the new operating system was released less than a month ago.

The US software colossus is intent on seeing the new-generation operating system aimed at computers, mobile and other devices running on a billion gadgets.

Windows 10 is powering more than 90,000 different computer and tablet models, including some thatdate back to the year 2007, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of marketing for Windows and devices, Yusuf Mehdi, said in a series of tweets.

More than 75 million devices now run the software, with the number “growing every day,” he said.

Some 14 million people installed the Windows 10 operating system in the first 24 hours following its release on July 29 in what Microsoft touted as an “overwhelmingly positive” debut.

The stakes are high for Microsoft as it pushes out the new operating system for both traditional computers and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

The company is hoping the new system can help it gain traction in the mobile sector, where it lags behind Google Android and Apple iOS, and in emerging technologies for computing.

Windows 10 to which Microsoft skipped directly from Windows 8 which got a lackluster response is being offered as a free upgrade for most devices, making it possible to be available quickly on billions of devices.

It will allow for voice, pen and gesture input, and in some cases biometric identification for improved security.

Word of the spread of Windows 10 to devices in 192 countries came as market tracker International Data Corporation forecast that worldwide personal computer shipments will fall by 8.7 percent this year and continue to slide through next year.

“Although the shortcomings of the PC business are obvious, a silver lining is that the industry has continued to refine the more mobile aspects of personal computers – contributing to higher growth in Convertible and Ultraslim Notebooks,” said IDC senior research analyst Jay Chou.

“The de-emphasis of touch on Windows 10 also paves the way for a more familiar experience and continuing unit growth on large-screen systems, particularly All-in-One PCs.”

How to find out if your PC is compatible with Linux

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Linux’s hardware support is better than ever, but you still can’t take it for granted. Not every laptop and desktop you see at your local computer store (or, more realistically, on Amazon) will work perfectly with Linux. Whether you’re buying a PC for Linux or just want to ensure you can dual-boot at some point in the future, thinking about this ahead of time will pay off.

Give Linux a spin if you already have the hardware

If you already have the PC available to you, you probably shouldn’t spend much time researching how compatible it is with Linux. Instead, just give Linux a test run on that PCand see for yourself.

ubuntudisplaced3 primary new cropMICHAEL HOMNICK
Live CDs or flash drives are a great way to quickly determine whether or not a Linux distro will run on your PC.

This is quick, easy, and safe. You can download a Linux ISO in a few minutes, flash it to a USB drive, reboot your computer, and boot into a live Linux environment running off the USB drive. If it doesn’t work well enough, you can just reboot your computer, go straight back into Windows, and forget about Linux on that hardware.

Closed-source graphics and Wi-Fi drivers may sometimes be necessary, and may not be running out of the box. If you don’t have 3D graphics support, that’s normal. If Wi-Fi doesn’t work automatically, it may do so after you install Linux on your PC and install the appropriate Wi-Fi support.

Check hardware compatibility databases

There’s a lot of information out there about whether specific computers are compatible with Linux. Much of this is in dedicated hardware compatibility databases. Canonical provides a Ubuntu desktop certified hardware database that lists hardware guaranteed to work with Ubuntu, for example. If you’re looking for a list of individual components instead of full laptop and desktop PCs, try the Ubuntu component catalog. These aren’t exhaustive lists—in fact, they’re very minimal lists of only hardware manufacturers have gone out of their way to certify.

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A simple Google search like “GeForce GTX 980 Ti Linux support” can often let you know if specific PC components work with Linux.

Linux-Drivers lists a wider variety of individual databases. For example, many Linux distributions provide their own hardware compatibility database websites, including openSUSE, Debian, and Linux Mint.

You could also just perform a web search for a model number of laptop—or a specific hardware component, if you’re building your own PC—and “Linux support” to see how well it works on Linux. A simple web search can often pull up a wealth of information.

Want to stay up to date on Linux, BSD, Chrome OS, and the rest of the World Beyond Windows? Bookmark the World Beyond Windows column page or follow our RSS feed.

Just buy a PC designed for Linux

But let’s back up. You don’t need to dig through hardware compatibility databases to buy a PC you know will be compatible with Linux anymore. Many PC manufacturers offer laptops and desktops with Linux preinstalled. This means that those PCs are guaranteed to work properly with Linux. You can often even save some money when buying these—a Windows license isn’t included, so you’re avoiding the “Microsoft tax” you usually have to pay when buying a PC for Linux.

dellxps13
Dell’s slick, powerful XPS 13 is one of the best laptops available today, and you can get it with Linux preinstalled.

Dell offers a line of Linux PCs, from affordable sub-$300 Inspiron laptops all the way up to the XPS 13 ultrabook and Precision M3800 MacBook Pro-competitor. Dell’s Linux laptops are nothing to sneeze at, either; the XPS 13 is one of the best lightweight laptops you can buy.

System76 is well-known in the Ubuntu community and sells a variety of laptops and desktop PCs with Ubuntu pre-installed. (The laptop at the top of this page comes from System76.) ZaReason offers a similar line of Linux PCs with a choice of Linux distribution—or none at all. Linux Mint is partnering with a hardware manufacturer to sell a “MintBox Mini” PC. You can install your favorite Linux distribution afterwards, of course.

LinuxPreloaded.com provides a more comprehensive list of other manufacturers offering Linux PCs and where they ship to around the world. In the past, Linux geeks could only dream of having so many options.

How to stop Windows 10’s annoying Microsoft Office ads

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Windows 10 is awesome. Its Action Center notifications are awesome, too. But shortly after you upgrade to Microsoft’s new operating system, you’ll find it doing something that’s not very awesome at all: spitting out notifications—ads, really—cajoling you to buy or upgrade Office. That’s one of them above.

Yuck.

Fortunately, disabling the ads is incredibly simple. The only tricky part is identifying where they’re coming from, but we’ve got you covered. The culprit is the new Get Office app that comes preinstalled on Windows 10.

uninstall get office
Sayonara, Get Office.

There are a few different ways you can disable the Get Office notifications. If you never plan to take advantage of the Office discounts available in the app, the scorched-earth approach gets the job done quickly. Simply open the Start menu’s All Apps list, right-click on the Get Office app, and select Uninstall. You’ll be asked to confirm the deletion; do so. Boom! Done.

disable get office notifications

But there’s another way to silence those annoying ads without wiping Get Office from your operating system. Open the Start menu and head to Settings > System > Notifications & actions. Scroll down to the “Show notifications from these apps” section and slide the Get Office app’s slider to off. Again: done!

While you’re busy basking in all the sweet, sweet silence, considering checking out PCWorld’s guides to Windows 10 best tips and tricks and 12 obscure new Windows 10 features that eliminate everyday hassles. Things only get better once you’ve muffled Get Office.

New Lenovo Yoga 900 Intel Skylake Powered Hardware Expected To Launch Soon

Lenovo Yoga 900 Intel Skylake

Lenovo will soon be launching new additions to its range of Yoga convertible laptop tablet offerings, when it launches the new Lenovo Yoga 900 system it has created and equipped with an Intel Skylake processor.

Apparently there will be two systems made available at launch equipped with either an Intel Core i7-6500U or Core i5-6200U processor both of which will be supplied running Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 operating system.

Lenovo has yet to announce the duo of new convertible devices but the systems will be equipped with 8GB of RAM together with 512GB of solid state disk (SSD) and 13.3 inch displays offering a realisation of 3200 x 1800 pixels. The new systems are expected to replace the Yoga 3 Pro systems.

Unfortunately no official information on pricing or worldwide availability has been released as yet, but as soon as information is announced by Lenovo we will keep you updated as always.

SanDisk Extreme 900 and Extreme 500 Portable SSDs Launched in India

SanDisk has entered the portable SSD market with two new offerings; the SanDisk Extreme 900 and Extreme 500 ranges. The Extreme 900 range is touted by SanDisk as the world’s fastest line of USB 3.1 Type-C based portable SSDs, while the Extreme 500 are pocket-sized rugged drives for outdoor and rough usage. SanDisk aims to reach out to photographers, videographers, tech enthusiasts, and other creative professionals who need to transfer and store large files at quick speeds regularly.

The SanDisk Extreme 900 series is available in capacities of 480GB (Rs. 35,990), 960GB (Rs. 53,990), and 1.92TB (Rs. 89,990), and is capable of transfer speeds of up to 850MB/s. The Extreme 500 series with USB 3.0 support (no USB Type-C) is available in capacities of 120GB (Rs. 8,490), 240GB (Rs. 12,990), and 480GB (Rs. 22,990), and can achieve transfer speeds of up to 415MB/s. Both lines feature a three-year warranty and feature SanDisk Secure Access – an application that offers 128-bit encryption to secure data.

sandisk_extreme900_main.jpg“As a recognised leader in developing solutions for professional photographers and videographers, we designed this game-changing family of offerings to provide our customers with even greater speeds and capacities to keep up with rapidly increasing demands for high-quality content,” said Rajesh Gupta, Country Manager – India & Saarc, SanDisk. “Whether a professional or amateur, this level of portability, speed and capacity is exceptional, and we believe it will transform the way people create and produce high quality video content – ultimately saving them time and money.”

SanDisk also announced a new entry-level 2.5-inch internal SSD drive, the SanDisk SSD Plus. The new drive promises to inject new life into old PCs by offering quicker boot-up times and considerable performance boosts. The SSD Plus will be available in 120GB and 240GB capacities, but SanDisk has yet to reveal India pricing.