Western Digital to Use RISC-V for Controllers, Processors, Purpose-Built Platforms

From AnandTech: Western Digital recently announced plans to use the RISC-V ISA across its existing product stack as well as for future products that will combine processing and storage. The company plans to develop RISC-V cores internally and license them from third parties to use in its own controllers and SoCs, along with using third-party RISC-V based controllers. To develop the RISC-V ecosystem, Western Digital has already engaged in partnerships and investments in various companies working on RISC-V projects.

Norway becomes the first country to end nationwide FM radio

From CNET: Norway completed its transition to digital radio this week, making it the first country to shut down national FM radio broadcasts. The move began in January to allow for better sound quality and more channels. The digital system known as digital audio broadcasting (DAB) also reportedly functions at an eighth of the cost of traditional FM radio. The transition only involves national radio channels, and most local stations will still broadcast on FM.

MediaTek Claims First Health Biosensor for Smartphones

From EETimes: Claiming an industry first, MediaTek announced a biosensor that monitors six types of health functions — including tracking heart-rate information, blood-pressure trends, peripheral oxygen-saturation levels and more — from a smartphone.

The MediaTek Sensio MT6381 is a software and module package designed to deliver health data via optical, electrical and processing components. The customizable device will allow smartphone manufacturers to make handsets with health-monitoring functions while eliminating the need for multiple sensors, according to MediaTek.

Synaptics Unveils Clear ID In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for 18:9, 20:9 Smartphones

From AnandTech: Synaptics this week introduced its first Clear ID FS9500 in-display optical sensor that can be installed under the surface of an OLED screen. The fingerprint reader works faster than facial recognition and can be used in any environments, including dark rooms and sunny beaches, Synaptics says. The first smartphones featuring the technology are due in Q1 2018.

Facebook releases Snooze feature to mute certain friends

From CNET: Sometimes there are people on your Facebook feed you just don't want to see for a while. The social network says it wants to help.

Facebook on Friday globally released a feature called Snooze that lets users hide certain people, groups or brand pages for up to 30 days, without permanently unfriending or unfollowing them. When the snooze window is about to end, you'll get an alert to let you know or renew the snooze. The tool was previously only in testing.

Disney to buy Fox as Hollywood girds for digital showdown

From CNET: If "Avengers vs. X-Men: The Synergy Wars" ends up at a theater near you, here's why the movie was made.

The Walt Disney Co. signed a deal on Thursday to buy major parts of 21st Century Fox in a $52.4 billion all-stock deal. It's a dramatic example of Hollywood companies joining forces amid growing competition from digital powerhouses like Netflix and Amazon.

Apple Awards $390 Million to Optical Components Supplier Finisar

From EETimes: Optical communications components provider Finisar will get $390 million from customer Apple to open a manufacturing facility for vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), a technology used in key features of Apple products, including iPhone X.

Snapchat wants you to build its next dancing hotdog

From Recode: Snap is opening up its augmented reality platform to everyone on Thursday. That means anyone with some graphic design and Photoshop skills can now create AR features for Snapchat’s camera.

It could be something as basic as a photo frame that users can add around their photos, or something as complicated as a hotdog that’s break dancing on your kitchen table. (Remember the dancing hotdog?)

Apple May Reduce iPhone SoC Performance as Battery Degrades

From ExtremeTech: Over on Reddit, user Tekfire describes a dramatically different before-and-after scenario on his iPhone 6s. With his original battery, which apparently was at ~80 percent health, his iPhone 6s scored a 1456 in Geekbench 4.2 single-core, and a 2512 multi-core. After he replaced his battery, his score jumped to 2526 single-core and 4456 multi-core. The second set of results appear to be in-line with what the phone should be delivering.

Target is acquiring Instacart competitor Shipt for $550 million to fight back against Amazon

From Recode: Another domino just fell in the wake of the Amazon-Whole Foods acquisition.

Target announced on Wednesday morning that it plans to make one of its biggest acquisitions in recent history by purchasing Shipt, a startup that delivers groceries on the same day customers place an order, for $550 million in cash.

Like its chief rival, Instacart, Shipt partners with a network of brick-and-mortar grocery chains to pick orders off of their shelves and deliver them to customer’s doors on the same day they are ordered.

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