Facebook offers the dummy’s guide to mobile advertising

Facebook Inc’s mobile advertising success offers a ray of hope for Internet companies trying to make money within the confines of the smartphone’s small screen.

The social network’s 75 percent surge in mobile ad revenue in a span of just three months not only doused skepticism on Wall Street and Madison Avenue about Facebook’s business prospects, some say it could serve as a how-to guide for other Web companies navigating a world where the phone and tablet have fast become the screens of choice.

Facebook’s “Newsfeed” ads, which inject marketing messages straight into a user’s content stream and are tailored for mobile devices, were the stars behind the social network’s stunning numbers on Wednesday.

“You’re going to see a lot of companies transitioning and trying to emulate this model because it’s working so well. That’s why last night was a true watershed moment,” said Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie Research.

Internet company executives have long been concerned that mobile advertising is inherently less lucrative than traditional desktop PC advertising, due to the smartphone’s limited screen size and possible consumer resistance to a flood of ads on their devices.

Companies from Google Inc and Yahoo Inc to upstarts such as Snapchat are searching for the right formula to monetize mobile services. While Google has developed a mobile ad business generating an estimated $10 billion a year in revenue, it remains much smaller and less lucrative than Google’s desktop search advertising. Analysts expect Google to generate $60 billion in annual revenue this year.

That wholesale exploration of “native ads” – or marketing messages intended to blend with a users’ personal content, rather than stand out as an ad – has met with varying success.

Twitter, which pioneered the concept of the in-stream ad even before Facebook, may also be well-positioned to benefit from mobile ads. “Sponsored” messages now pop up abruptly in the middle of streams of tweets, but analysts say the frequency is much lower on Facebook newsfeeds.

More than half of the privately held company’s revenue will come from mobile ads this year, reckons Clark Fredricksen, at industry research firm eMarketer.

Some are just getting into the game. This week, LinkedIn Corp, the network for business professionals, rolled out in-stream ads on mobile and PC versions of its service. Yahoo has experimented with similar types of ads, and acquired blogging hub Tumblr for $1.1 billion in May, in part to jumpstart efforts at developing new formats.

But it’s Facebook, which a year ago had zero mobile revenue, that has most aggressively promoted its mobile advertising business to Madison Avenue – with seeming success.

“Compared to other companies, nobody has come right out and said mobile is our sole focus now,” said Angela Steele, CEO of Ansible, part of advertising holding company IPG. “Facebook put all their eggs in one basket.”

FOLLOWING SUIT

One longstanding question has been how much tolerance consumers have for ads that disrupt their stream of content. Facebook said it has steadily increased the number of ads in the news stream without noticing a drop in user satisfaction.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday that, on average, ads now account for 5 percent or one in 20 “stories” in the newsfeed. That ratio could now provide a baseline for calculating success, prompting other Web companies to raise the frequency of ads in their streams.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if other companies would look at that and follow suit,” said Ansible’s Steele.

Hussein Fazal, the CEO of AdParlor, which manages advertising campaigns on Facebook, guesses that the social network must have gradually opened the spigot, gauging user reaction and adjusting the stream all the while.

They seemed to have hit on the right formula, but it’s one that differs across platforms, he said.

“The reason Facebook can do it is, the rest of the content that’s there is so engaging that you don’t mind one out of every 20 ads,” he said. “If you have a newsfeed that’s not so engaging, and you keep seeing ads, then it doesn’t work.”

Plus, the more ads in the stream, the less users will click on them, which can dampen ad prices, he added.

Facebook’s seeming success on mobile devices contrasts with Google’s more gradual improvement in that area. The No. 1 Internet search engine has gradually managed to narrow declines in its overall ad rates from the mobile effect, but last quarter they reversed and went down again, disappointing investors.

Google has avoided news stream ads entirely in its Google+ social network. Instead, its mix of mobile search ads, video ads and innovative formats such as “click-to-call” have delivered what RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney estimates is a $10 billion annualized run rate for its mobile business, about four times as much as Facebook.

But mobile has driven down the average cost of Google ads, and some industry watchers consider the transition a long-term threat to the search giant. But other analysts say recent changes to the way it sells ads to marketers, blurring the distinction between the mobile and PC, could help bolster rates.

MIcrosoft Launches Hardware Certification Requirements for Windows 8.1

Microsoft corporation some time ago has been providing Windows 8.1 Preview can be downloaded for free. And later in August, Microsoft also plans to begin delivering the OS to the notebook and tablet manufacturers.

Now before the second step is done, the Redmond-based company that was recently launched hardware certification requirements for Windows 8.1. The certification was announced by Microsoft at the Worldwide Partner Conference and includes some hardware such as Bluetooth, WiFi, 720p webcam and audio equipment.

The certification also allows for features such as Windows 8.1 Wireless Miracast display, internet sharing, NFC, WiFi Direct print and biometric authentication. However sertfikasi is intended for existing devices in 2014 and 2015. So we’re not going to find it in the near future.

New Release, New Nexus 7 Already Earn 2 Update Software

Having announced a few days ago, 7 of the Google Nexus tablet could have ordered via the Play Store. Opening the pre-order was first announced via Twitter. Google Play Store opened bookings for the new Nexus 7 16GB and 32GB. Both are offered at a price of USD 229 and USD 269.
Almost simultaneously with the opening of pre-orders, it also gives Google Nexus 7, this new software update. There are 2 updates are given, with the first update will be automatically downloaded to the tablet when connected to the Internet for the first time during initial setup.
As for the second update will be downloaded automatically when the tablet is used several times. The update notification will appear when it’s finished downloading and is ready to be installed. So make sure that the type of connection used unlimited when activating new Nexus 7 so as not to run out of quota.

Facebook rallies 30%, logs best day ever

Facebook shares rallied an impressive 30% Thursday, allowing the stock to book its best one-day gain ever. And while shares remain about 10% below the May 2012 IPO price of $38, analysts are predicting that Facebook is finally on its way to reaching, and even crossing, that threshold.

“Facebook delivered its strongest quarter yet as a public company — results that we think could be thesis-changing for many,” said Doug Anmuth, a JPMorgan analyst who boosted his price target to $44 a share from $35.

Investors and analysts are most impressed by Facebook’s growing strength in mobile advertising — a part of the business they were initially most concerned about since Facebook lacked a clear strategy for mobile advertising despite the rapidly growing number of people using Facebook on their mobile phones and tablets.

“One year into Facebook’s mobile advertising efforts, mobile has increased from zero to 41% of total ad revenue,” Anmuth highlighted in a note to clients.

While the improvements have been gradual, Facebook blew everyone away this past quarter by generating 50% more in mobile ad revenue than what Wall Street was expecting.

Even after that stellar quarter, analysts say growth should remain strong as Facebook continues to shift toward more social ads that will become increasingly valuable to advertisers.

Analysts at JMP Securities, who increased their share price target to $38, said that social media giant’s second-quarter results suggest that “Facebook is increasingly becoming a ‘must buy’ for advertisers.”

Goldman Sachs analysts were also excited by Facebook’s significant improvement in mobile advertising. They put a bullish price target of $46 on Facebook shares.

“We continue to believe Facebook is at the center of the mobile ad revolution and see considerable opportunity for it to drive higher pricing on its ad units as brand and direct marketers alike take advantage of its broad reach and precise targeting,” said Goldman analyst Heather Bellini.

As Facebook (FB) shares surged, a number of investors were getting in on the action. Over 360 million shares of Facebook had exchanged hands Thursday, more than seven times the stock’s average daily trading volume.

The day’s surge pushed the value of Facebook to more than $80 billion, up from just over $60 billion as of Wednesday’s closing bell.

Facebook’s advance was also getting plenty of attention on Twitter.

How Apollo 11′s 1.024MHz guidance computer did a lot with very little

 

early 44 years ago computer hardware was in an entirely different place than it is now. The levels of performance don’t even fit on the same scale. The anniversary of the Apollo 11moon landing is upon us, and those brave space pioneers got by without a 3GHz multi-core CPU. The guidance computer used on the Apollo 11 mission ran at only 1.024 MHz.

The moon landing was the height of technological achievement at the time, and some of the rocket technology is still relevant today. That computer, though, has been left in the dust. In fact, it was well and truly obsolete a few years after the landing.

The Intel 8086 came about roughly ten years after the Apollo landing, marking the beginning of x86. Apollo 11’s computer had 4 registers — essentially slots for holding numeric values. The 8086 boosted that to eight 16-bit registers.

The IBM PC XT ran the next version of that chip, the famous 8088. This computer ran at 4.077MHz, which sounds incredibly slow by today’s standards, but is still four times faster than the Apollo 11computer. The XT also packed in eight times the memory used on Apollo 11.

The Apollo 11 guidance computer actually had some impressive software features for a system that didn’t even run a graphical interface. It could multitask up to 8 different operations, but it didn’t work the way we think of multitasking. Today’s operations use preemptive multitasking that allows the OS to distribute computing resources as needed. On Apollo 11, programs were in charge and had to give control back to the OS periodically. A kind of virtual machine was used to allow developers to mix hardware-level instructions with virtual machine commands within the same assembler code.

Inputting commands required translating the English words into “verb noun pairs,” which could be input as numbers. There was a handy sign in the cabin as a reminder. To top it all off, none of the computer’s systems were software upgradeable. All the code was stored in read-only memory. Several years after Apollo 11, Apollo 14 was forced to manually input the code to patch a system malfunction — it took 90 minutes just to type it in.

Maybe your computer is a little sluggish, and your smartphone is a couple years old, but you have it better than those astronauts

The Evolution of Direct3D

* UPDATE: Be sure to read the comment thread at the end of this blog, the discussion got interesting.

It’s been many years since I worked on Direct3D and over the years the technology has evolved Dramatically. Modern GPU hardware has changed tremendously over the years Achieving processing power and capabilities way beyond anything I dreamed of having access to in my lifetime. The evolution of the modern GPU is the result of many fascinating market forces but the one I know best and find most interesting was the influence that Direct3D had on the new generation GPU’s that support Welcome to Thunderbird processing cores, billions of transistors more than the host CPU and are many times faster at most applications. I’ve told a lot of funny stories about how political and Direct3D was created but I would like to document some of the history of how the Direct3D architecture came about and the architecture that had profound influence on modern consumer GPU’s.

Published here with this article is the original documentation for Direct3D DirectX 2 when it was first Introduced in 1995. Contained in this document is an architecture vision for 3D hardware acceleration that was largely responsible for shaping the modern GPU into the incredibly powerful, increasingly ubiquitous consumer general purpose supercomputers we see today.

D3DOVER
The reason I got into computer graphics was NOT an interest in gaming, it was an interest in computational simulation of physics. I Studied 3D at Siggraph conferences in the late 1980’s Because I wanted to understand how to approach simulating quantum mechanics, chemistry and biological systems computationally. Simulating light interactions with materials was all the rage at Siggraph back then so I learned 3D. Understanding light 3D mathematics and physics made me a graphics and color expert roomates got me a career in the publishing industry early on creating PostScript RIP’s (Raster Image Processors). I worked with a team of engineers in Cambridge England creating software solutions for printing color graphics screened before the invention of continuous tone printing. That expertise got me recruited by Microsoft in the early 1990’s to re-design the Windows 95 and Windows NT print architecture to be more competitive with Apple’s superior capabilities at that time. My career came full circle back to 3D when, an initiative I started with a few friends to re-design the Windows graphics and media architecture (DirectX) to support real-time gaming and video applications, resulted in gaming becoming hugely strategic to Microsoft. Sony Introduced in a consumer 3D game console (the Playstation 1) and being responsible for DirectX it was incumbent on us to find a 3D solution for Windows as well.

For me, the challenge in formulating a strategy for consumer 3D gaming for Microsoft was an economic one. What approach to consumer 3D Microsoft should take to create a vibrant competitive market for consumer 3D hardware that was both affordable to consumers AND future proof? The complexity of realistically simulating 3D graphics in real time was so far beyond our capabilities in that era that there was NO hope of choosing a solution that was anything short of an ugly hack that would produce “good enough” for 3D games while being very far removed from the ideal solutions mathematically we had implemented a little hope of seeing in the real-world during our careers.

Up until that point only commercial solutions for 3D hardware were for CAD (Computer Aided Design) applications. These solutions worked fine for people who could afford hundred thousand dollars work stations. Although the OpenGL API was the only “standard” for 3D API’s that the market had, it had not been designed with video game applications in mind. For example, texture mapping, an essential technique for producing realistic graphics was not a priority for CAD models roomates needed to be functional, not look cool. Rich dynamic lighting was also important to games but not as important to CAD applications. High precision was far more important to CAD applications than gaming. Most importantly OpenGL was not designed for highly interactive real-time graphics that used off-screen video page buffering to avoid tearing artifacts during rendering. It was not that the OpenGL API could not be adapted to handle these features for gaming, simply that it’s actual market implementation on expensive workstations did not suggest any elegant path to a $ 200 consumer gaming cards.

TRPS15In the early 1990’s computer RAM was very expensive, as such, early 3D consumer hardware designs optimized for minimal RAM requirements. The Sony Playstation 1 optimized for this problem by using a 3D hardware solution that did not rely on a memory intensive the data structure called a Z-buffer, instead they used a polygon level sorting algorithm that produced ugly intersections between moving joints. The “Painters Algorithm” approach to 3D was very fast and required little RAM. It was an ugly but pragmatic approach for gaming that would have been utterly unacceptable for CAD applications.

In formulating the architecture for Direct3D we were faced with difficult choices Similar enumerable. We wanted the Windows graphics leading vendors of the time; ATI, Cirrus, Trident, S3, Matrox and many others to be Able to Compete with one another for rapid innovation in 3D hardware market without creating utter chaos. The technical solution that Microsoft’s OpenGL team espoused via Michael Abrash was a driver called 3DDDI models (3D Device Driver Interface). 3DDDI was a very simple model of a flat driver that just supported the hardware acceleration of 3D rasterization. The complex mathematics associated with transforming and lighting a 3D scene were left to the CPU. 3DDDI used “capability bits” to specify additional hardware rendering features (like filtering) that consumer graphics card makers could optionally implement. The problem with 3DDDI was that it invited problems for game developers out of the gate. There were so many cap-bits every game that would either have to support an innumerable number of feature combinations unspecified hardware to take advantage of every possible way that hardware vendors might choose to design their chips producing an untestable number of possible hardware configurations and a consumer huge amount of redundant art assets that the games would not have to lug around to look good on any given device OR games would revert to using a simple set of common 3D features supported by everyone and there would be NO competitive advantage for companies to support new hardware 3D capabilities that did not have instant market penetration. The OpenGL crowd at Microsoft did not see this as a big problem in their world Because everyone just bought a $ 100,000 workstation that supported everything they needed.

The realization that we could not get what we needed from the OpenGL team was one of the primary could be better we Decided to create a NEW 3D API just for gaming. It had nothing to do with the API, but with the driver architecture underneath Because we needed to create a competitive market that did not result in chaos. In this respect the Direct3D API was not an alternative to the OpenGL API, it was a driver API designed for the sole economic purpose of creating a competitive market for 3D consumer hardware. In other words, the Direct3D API was not shaped by “technical” requirements so much as economic ones. In this respect the Direct3D API was revolutionary in several interesting ways that had nothing to do with the API itself but rather the driver architecture it would rely on.

When we Decided to acquire a 3D team to build with Direct3D I was chartered surveying the market for candidate companies with the right expertise to help us build the API we needed. As I have previously recounted we looked at Epic Games (creators of the Unreal engine), Criterion (later acquired by EA), Argonaut and finally Rendermorphics. We chose Rendermorphics (based in London) Because of the large number of 3D quality engineers and the company employed Because The founder, Servan Kiondijian, had a very clear vision of how consumer 3D drivers should be designed for maximum future compatibility and innovation. The first implementation of the Direct3D API was rudimentary but quickly intervening evolved towards something with much greater future potential.

D3DOVER lhanded
Whoops!

My principal memory from that period was a meeting in roomates I, as the resident expert on the DirectX 3D team, was asked to choose a handedness for the Direct3D API. I chose a left handed coordinate system, in part out of personal preference. I remember it now Only because it was an arbitrary choice that by the caused no end of grief for years afterwards as all other graphics authoring tools Adopted the right handed coordinate system to the OpenGL standard. At the time nobody knew or believed that a CAD tool like Autodesk would evolve up to become the standard tool for authoring game graphics. Microsoft had acquired Softimage with the intention of displacing the Autodesk and Maya anyway. Whoops …

The early Direct3D HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) was designed in an interesting way. It was structured vertically into three stages.

DX 2 HAL

The highest was the most abstract layer transformation layer, the middle layer was dedicated to lighting calculations and the bottom layer was for rasterization of the finally transformed and lit polygons into depth sorted pixels. The idea behind this vertical structure driver was to provide a relatively rigid feature path for hardware vendors to innovate along. They could differentiate their products from one another by designing hardware that accelerated increasingly higher layers of the 3D pipeline resulting in greater performance and realism without incompatibilities or a sprawling matrix of configurations for games to test against art or requiring redundant assets. Since the Direct3D API created by Rendermorphics Provided a “pretty fast” implementation software for any functionality not accelerated by the hardware, game developers could focus on the Direct3D API without worrying about myriad permutations of incompatible hardware 3D capabilities. At least that was the theory. Unfortunately like the 3DDDI driver specification, Direct3D still included capability bits designed to enable hardware features that were not part of the vertical acceleration path. Although I actively objected to the tendency of Direct3D capability to accumulate bits, the team felt extraordinary competitive pressure from Microsoft’s own OpenGL group and from the hardware vendors to support them.

The hardware companies, seeking a competitive advantage for their own products, would threaten to support and promote OpenGL to game developers Because The OpenGL driver bits capability supported models that enabled them to create features for their hardware that nobody else supported. It was common (and still is) for the hardware OEM’s to pay game developers to adopt features of their hardware unique to their products but incompatible with the installed base of gaming hardware, forcing consumers to constantly upgrade their graphics card to play the latest PC games . Game developers alternately hated capability bits Because of their complexity and incompatibilities but wanted to take the marketing dollars from the hardware OEM’s to support “non-standard” 3D features.

Overall I viewed this dynamic as destructive to a healthy PC gaming economy and advocated resisting the trend OpenGL Regardless of what the people wanted or OEM’s. I believed that creating a consistent stable consumer market for PC games was more important than appeasing the hardware OEM’s. As such as I was a strong advocate of the relatively rigid vertical Direct3D pipeline and a proponent of introducing only API features that we expected up to become universal over time. I freely confess that this view implied significant constraints on innovation in other areas and a placed a high burden of market prescience on the Direct3D team.

The result, in my estimation, was pretty good. The Direct3D fixed function pipeline, as it was known, produced a very rich and growing PC gaming market with many healthy competitors through to DirectX 7.0 and the early 2000’s. The PC gaming market boomed and grew to be the largest gaming market on Earth. It also resulted in a very interesting change in the GPU hardware architecture over time.

Had the Direct3D HAL has been a flat driver with just the model for rasterization capability bits as the OpenGL team at Microsoft had advocated, 3D hardware makers would have competed by accelerating just the bottom layer of the 3D rendering pipeline and adding differentiating features to their hardware capability via bits that were incompatible with their competitors. The result of introducing the vertical layered architecture THING that was 3D hardware vendors were all encouraged to add features to their GPU’s more consistent with the general purpose CPU architectures, namely very fast floating point operations, in a consistent way. Thus consumer GPU’s evolved over the years to increasingly resemble general purpose CPU’s … with one major difference. Because the 3D fixed function pipeline was rigid, the Direct3D architecture afforded very little opportunity for code branching frequent as CPU’s are designed to optimize for. Achieved their GPU’s amazing performance and parallelism in part by being free to assume that little or no branching code would ever occur inside a Direct3D graphics pipeline. Thus instead of evolving one giant monolithic core CPU that has massive numbers of transistors dedicated to efficient branch prediction has as an Intel CPU, GPU has a Direct3D Hundreds to Welcome to Thunderbird simple CPU cores like that have no branch prediction. They can chew through a calculation at incredible speed confident in the knowledge that they will not be interrupted by code branching or random memory accesses to slow them down.

DirectX 7.0 up through the underlying parallelism of the GPU was hidden from the game. As far as the game was concerned some hardware was just faster than other hardware but the game should not have to worry about how or why. The early DirectX fixed function pipeline architecture had done a brilliant job of enabling dozens of Disparate competing hardware vendors to all take different approaches to Achieving superior cost and performance in consumer 3D without making a total mess of the PC gaming market for the game developers and consumers . It was not pretty and was not entirely executed with flawless precision but it worked well enough to create an extremely vibrant PC gaming market through to the early 2000’s.

Before I move on to discussing more modern evolution Direct3D, I would like to highlight a few other important ideas that influenced architecture in early modern Direct3D GPU’s. Recalling that in the early to mid 1990’s was relatively expensive RAM there was a lot of emphasis on consumer 3D techniques that conserved on RAM usage. The Talisman architecture roomates I have told many (well-deserved) derogatory stories about was highly influenced by this observation.

Talsiman
Search this blog for tags “Talisman” and “OpenGL” for many stories about the internal political battles over these technologies within Microsoft

Talisman relied on a grab bag of graphics “tricks” to minimize GPU RAM usage that were not very generalized. The Direct3D team, Rendermorphics Heavily influenced by the founders had made a difficult choice in philosophical approach to creating a mass market for consumer 3D graphics. We had Decided to go with a more general purpose Simpler approach to 3D that relied on a very memory intensive a data structure called a Z-buffer to Achieve great looking results. Rendermorphics had managed to Achieve very good 3D performance in pure software with a software Z-buffer in the engine Rendermorphics roomates had given us the confidence to take the bet to go with a more general purpose 3D Simpler API and driver models and trust that the hardware RAM market and prices would eventually catch up. Note however that at the time we were designing Direct3D that we did not know about the Microsoft Research Groups “secret” Talisman project, nor did they expect that a small group of evangelists would cook up a new 3D API standard for gaming and launch it before their own wacky initiative could be deployed. In short one of the big bets that Direct3D made was that the simplicity and elegance of Z-buffers to game development were worth the risk that consumer 3D hardware would struggle to affordably support them early on.

Despite the big bet on Z-buffer support we were intimately aware of two major limitations of the consumer PC architecture that needed to be addressed. The first was that the PC bus was generally very slow and second it was much slower to copy the data from a graphics card than it was to copy the data to a graphics card. What that generally meant was that our API design had to growing niche to send the data in the largest most compact packages possible up to the GPU for processing and absolutely minimize any need to copy the data back from the GPU for further processing on the CPU. This generally meant that the Direct3D API was optimized to package the data up and send it on a one-way trip. This was of course an unfortunate constraint Because there were many brilliant 3D effects that could be best accomplished by mixing the CPU’s branch prediction efficient and robust floating point support with the GPU’s parallel rendering incredible performance.

One of the fascinating Consequences of that constraint was that it forced the GPU’s up to become even more general purpose to compensate for the inability to share the data with the CPU efficiently. This was possibly the opposite of what Intel intended to happen with its limited bus performance, Because Intel was threatened by the idea that the auxiliary would offload more processing cards from their work thereby reducing the CPU’s Intel CPU’s value and central role to PC computing. It was reasonably believed at that time that Intel Deliberately dragged their feet on improving PC performance to deterministic bus a market for alternatives to their CPU’s for consumer media processing applications. Earlier Blogs from my recall that the main REASON for creating DirectX was to Prevent Intel from trying to virtualize all the Windows Media support on the CPU. Intel had Adopted a PC bus architecture that enabled extremely fast access to system RAM shared by auxiliary devices, it is less Likely GPU’s that would have evolved the relatively rich set of branching and floating point operations they support today.

To Overcome the fairly stringent performance limitations of the PC bus a great deal of thought was put into techniques for compressing and streamlining DirectX assets being sent to the GPU performance to minimize bus bandwidth limitations and the need for round trips from the GPU back to the CPU . The early need for the rigid 3D pipeline had Consequences interesting later on when we Began to explore assets streaming 3D over the Internet via modems.

We Recognized early on that support for compressed texture maps would Dramatically improve bus performance and reduce the amount of onboard RAM consumer GPU’s needed, the problem was that no standards Existed for 3D texture formats at the time and knowing how fast image compression technologies were evolving at the time I was loathe to impose a Microsoft specified one “prematurely” on the industry. To Overcome this problem we came up with the idea of ​​”blind compression formats”. The idea, roomates I believe was captured in one of the many DirectX patents that we filed, had the idea that a GPU could encode and decode image textures in an unspecified format but that the DirectX API’s would allow the application to read and write from them as though they were always raw bitmaps. The Direct3D driver would encode and decode the image data is as Necessary under the hood without the application needing to know about how it was actually being encoded on the hardware.

By 1998 3D chip makers had begun to devise good quality 3D texture formats by DirectX 6.0 such that we were Able to license one of them (from S3) for inclusion with Direct3D.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/1998/mar98/s3pr.aspx

DirectX 6.0 was actually the first version of DirectX that was included in a consumer OS release (Windows 98). Until that time, DirectX was actually just a family of libraries that were shipped by the Windows games that used them. DirectX was not actually a Windows API until five generations after its first release.

DirectX 7.0 was the last generation of DirectX that relied on the fixed function pipeline we had laid out in DirectX 2.0 with the first introduction of the Direct3D API. This was a very interesting transition period for Direct3D for several could be better;

1) The original founders DirectX team had all moved on,

2) Microsoft’s internal Talisman and could be better for supporting OpenGL had all passed

3) Microsoft had brought the game industry veterans like Seamus Blackley, Kevin Bacchus, Stuart Moulder and others into the company in senior roles.

4) Become a Gaming had a strategic focus for the company

DirectX 8.0 marked a fascinating transition for Direct3D Because with the death of Talisman and the loss of strategic interest in OpenGL 3D support many of the people from these groups came to work on Direct3D. Talisman, OpenGL and game industry veterans all came together to work on Direct3D 8.0. The result was very interesting. Looking back I freely concede that I would not have made the same set of choices that this group made for DirectX 8.0 in chi but it seems to me that everything worked out for the best anyway.

Direct3D 8.0 was influenced in several interesting ways by the market forces of the late 20th century. Microsoft largely unified against OpenGL and found itself competing with the Kronos Group standards committee to advance faster than OpenGL Direct3D. With the death of SGI, control of the OpenGL standard fell into the hands of the 3D hardware OEM’s who of course wanted to use the standard to enable them to create differentiating hardware features from their competitors and to force Microsoft to support 3D features they wanted to promote. The result was the Direct3D and OpenGL Became much more complex and they tended to converge during this period. There was a stagnation in 3D feature adoption by game developers from DirectX 8.0 to DirectX 11.0 through as a result of these changes. Became creating game engines so complex that the market also converged around a few leading search providers Including Epic’s Unreal Engine and the Quake engine from id software.

Had I been working on Direct3D at the time I would have stridently resisted letting the 3D chip lead Microsoft OEM’s around by the nose chasing OpenGL features instead of focusing on enabling game developers and a consistent quality consumer experience. I would have opposed introducing shader support in favor of trying to keep the Direct3D driver layer as vertically integrated as possible to Ensure conformity among hardware vendors feature. I also would have strongly opposed abandoning DirectDraw support as was done in Direct3D 8.0. The 3D guys got out of control and Decided that nobody should need pure 2D API’s once developers Adopted 3D, failing to recognize that simple 2D API’s enabled a tremendous range of features and ease of programming that the majority of developers who were not 3D geniuses could Easily understand and use. Forcing the market to learn 3D Dramatically constrained the set of people with the expertise to adopt it. Microsoft later discovered the error in this decision and re-Introduced DirectDraw as the Direct2D API. Basically letting the Direct3D 8.0 3D design geniuses made it brilliant, powerful and useless to average developers.

At the time that the DirectX 8.0 was being made I was starting my first company WildTangent Inc.. and Ceased to be closely INVOLVED with what was going on with DirectX features, however years later I was Able to get back to my roots and 3D took the time to learn Direct3D programming in DirectX 11.1. Looking back it’s interesting to see how the major architectural changes that were made in DirectX 8 resulted in the massively convoluted and nearly incomprehensible Direct3D API we see today. Remember the 3 stage pipeline DirectX 2 that separated Transformation, lighting and rendering pipeline into three basic stages? Here is a diagram of the modern DirectX 11.1 3D pipeline.

DX 11 Pipeline

Yes, it grew to 9 stages and 13 stages when arguably some of the optional sub-stages, like the compute shader, are included. Speaking as somebody with an extremely lengthy background in very low-level 3D graphics programming and I’m Embarrassed to confess that I struggled mightily to learn programming Direct3D 11.1. Become The API had very nearly incomprehensible and unlearnable. I have no idea how somebody without my extensive background in 3D and graphics could ever begin to learn how to program a modern 3D pipeline. As amazingly powerful and featureful as this pipeline is, it is also damn near unusable by any but a handful of the most antiquated brightest minds in 3D graphics. In the course of catching up on my Direct3D I found myself simultaneously in awe of the astounding power of modern GPU’s and where they were going and in shocked disgust at the absolute mess the 3D pipeline had Become. It was as though the Direct3D API had Become a dumping ground for 3D features that every OEM DEMANDED had over the years.

Had I not enjoyed the benefit of the decade long break from Direct3D involvement Undoubtedly I would have a long history of bitter blogs written about what a mess my predecessors had made of a great and elegant vision for the consumer 3D graphics. Weirdly, however, leaping forward in time to the present day, I am forced to admit that I’m not sure it was such a bad thing after all. The result of stagnation gaming on the PC as a result of the mess Microsoft and the OEMs made of the Direct3D API was a successful XBOX. Having a massively fragmented 3D API is not such a problem if there is only one hardware configuration to support game developers have, as is the case with a game console. Direct3D shader 8.0 support with early primitive was the basis for the first Xbox’s graphics API. For the first selected Microsoft’s XBOX NVIDIA NVIDIA chip giving a huge advantage in the 3D PC chip market. DirectX 9.0, with more advanced shader support, was the basis for the XBOX 360, Microsoft roomates selected for ATI to provide the 3D chip, AMD this time handing a huge advantage in the PC graphics market. In a sense the OEM’s had screwed Themselves. By successfully Influencing Microsoft and the OpenGL standards groups to adopt highly convoluted graphics pipelines to support all of their feature sets, they had forced Themselves to generalize their GPU architectures and the 3D chip market consolidated around a 3D chip architecture … whatever Microsoft selected for its consoles.

The net result was that the retail PC game market largely died. It was simply too costly, too insecure and too unstable a platform for publishing high production value games on any longer, with the partial exception of MMOG’s. Microsoft and the OEM’s had conspired together to kill the proverbial golden goose. No biggie for Microsoft as they were happy to gain complete control of the former PC gaming business by virtue of controlling the XBOX.

From the standpoint of the early DirectX vision, I would have said that this outcome was a foolish, shortsighted disaster. Microsoft had maintained a little discipline and strategic focus on the Direct3D API they could have ensured that there were NO other consoles in existence in a single generation by using the XBOX XBOX to Strengthen the PC gaming market rather than inadvertently destroying it. While Microsoft congratulates itself for the first successful U.S. launch of the console, I would count all the gaming dollars collected by Sony, Nintendo and mobile gaming platforms over the years that might have remained on Microsoft platforms controlled Microsoft had maintained a cohesive strategy across media platforms. I say all of this from a past tense perspective Because, today, I’m not so sure that I’m really all that unhappy with the result.

The new generation of consoles from Sony AND Microsoft have Reverted to a PC architecture! The next generation GPU’s are massively parallel, general-purpose processors with intimate access to the shared memory with the CPU. In fact, the GPU architecture Became so generalized that a new pipeline stage was added in DirectX 11 DirectCompute called that simply allowed the CPU to bypass the entire convoluted Direct3D graphics pipeline in favor of programming the GPU directly. With the introduction of DirectCompute the promise of simple 3D programming returned in an unexpected form. Modern GPU’s have Become so powerful and flexible that the possibility of writing cross 3D GPU engines directly for the GPU without making any use of the traditional 3D pipeline is an increasingly practical and appealing programming option. From my perspective here in the present day, I would anticipate that within a few short generations the need for the traditional Direct3D and OpenGL APIs will vanish in favor of new game engines with much richer and more diverse feature sets that are written entirely in device independent shader languages ​​like Nvidia’s CUDA and Microsoft’s AMP API’s.

Today, as a 3D physics engine and developer I have never been so excited about GPU programming Because of the sheer power and relative ease of programming directly to the modern GPU without needing to master the enormously convoluted 3D pipelines associated with Direct3D and OpenGL API’s. If I were responsible for Direct3D strategy today I would be advocating dumping the investment in traditional 3D pipeline in favor of Rapidly opening direct access to a rich GPU programming environment. I personally never imagined that my early work on Direct3D, would, within a couple decades, Contribute to the evolution of a new kind of ubiquitous processor that enabled the kind of incredibly realistic and general modeling of light and physics that I had learned in the 1980 ‘s but never believed I would see computers powerful enough to models in real-time during my active career.

Microsoft Denies Spying Issues Skype

CALIFORNIA – Microsoft has denied allegations that the government says it gave the United States (U.S.) direct access to a number of Microsoft products, including SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype, for the U.S. government (U.S.).

Reported by Read Write, Tuesday (16/07/2013), the software giant’s rebuttal to respond to a report in The Guardian, which has channeled suspect Skype user data into the monitoring program PRISM National Security Agency (NSA) since 2011.

Microsoft confirmed the company has clear principles in responding to government demands for user information related to law enforcement and national security issues. Perusahana consumers insist only provide data in response to legal process and only permitaan adhere to certain accounts or identification.

“We appreciate our commitment to the user and in accordance with applicable law very seriously, so we provide only to respond to consumer data due process. To be clear, Microsoft does not give the government direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype, or Microsoft products the other, “explains Microsoft.

In the end, Microsoft said, when companies update product liability law, may in some circumstances have to retain the ability to provide information in response to requests by law enforcement or national security.

“That’s why, we argue that additional transparency will help everyone understand and debate the important issues,” said Microsoft.

Prepare Middle Acer Tablet screen Resolution WQHD With Tegra 4 CPU?

After a long time no hear, Acer reportedly serious secretly working on a new tablet model featuring support for NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor and high resolution screen.

Based on reports published by Notebook Italia on benchmark results for the latest Acer tablet with the model number of this TA272HUL reportedly has the support of NVIDIA Tegra 4 1.8GHz processor. Not only that, the new Acer tablet based on the Android 4.2.2 will also be equipped with a high screen resolution support WQHD (2560 × 1440 pixels) and 2GB of RAM.

The use of quad-core processor ARM Cortex-A15 will supposedly make the most of existing devices may have reliability and high-performance fast. Yes, that’s the least that has been disclosed in a relevant benchmark results support the processor models in Nenamark and Passmark recently.

And regardless of whether or not the existence of these rumors, unfortunately still unknown specific info from related parties so far.

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Announces Underwriters’ Exercise of Over-Allotment Option to Purchase $37.5 Million of Company’s Notes

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (TTWO) (the “Company”) announced today that the underwriters for the recently completed public offering of the Company’s 1.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2018 (the “Notes”) exercised in full their option to purchase an additional $37.5 million principal amount of the Company’s Notes on July 12, 2013. The sale of these additional Notes closed today, which increases the total principal amount of the Notes sold by the Company in this offering to $287.5 million.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Barclays Capital Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC were the underwriters for the offering.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities described herein, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

About Take-Two Interactive Software

Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a leading developer, marketer and publisher of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. The Company develops and publishes products through its two wholly-owned labels Rockstar Games and 2K. Our products are designed for console systems, handheld gaming systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets, and are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services. The Company’s common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information please visit our website athttp://www.take2games.com.

All trademarks and copyrights contained herein are the property of their respective holders.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The statements contained herein which are not historical facts are considered forward-looking statements under federal securities laws and may be identified by words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “projects,” “seeks,” “will,” or words of similar meaning and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the outlook for the Company’s future business and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to them, which are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may vary materially from these forward-looking statements based on a variety of risks and uncertainties including: our dependence on key management and product development personnel, our dependence on our Grand Theft Auto products and our ability to develop other hit titles for current and next-generation platforms, the timely release and significant market acceptance of our games, the ability to maintain acceptable pricing levels on our games, our ability to raise capital if needed and risks associated with international operations. Other important factors and information are contained in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, in the section entitled “Risk Factors,” the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed with the SEC on June 12, 2013 and the Company’s other periodic filings with the SEC, which can be accessed at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements are qualified by these cautionary statements and apply only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Twitter Will Evolve Like the TV?

CALIFORNIA – A recent study reveals social networking site Twitter will turn into a place where people sell products and fame. Two researchers from Columbia Business School and the University of Pittsburgh said, later Twitter is like a TV ad featuring the artists and activities.

Olivier Toubia, professor from Columbia Business School, and Andrew T. Stephen, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, who conducted the study believe Twitter users who only use it for personal purposes will decrease.

Instead, Twitter activity are used for product promotion or promotion of a company of a celebrity will continue. “So be prepared to welcome Twitter with content such as TV,” said professor Toubia.

The study was conducted by examining at least 2500 non-commercial Twitter account. The study was conducted by randomly selecting accounts to identify the use of Twitter and find out about the follower.

The study found that the results in some groups follower accounts increased meaning of each rating also increased his tweet. In other words, a tweet from a follower who increased his can be used for promotion.

Toubia and Stephen predicts post Twitter for regular users will decrease, while the activity of the celebrities and commercial products will continue to increase.

“Communication between one’s personal will be reduced on Twitter. Twitter and activity will be mainly dominated by commercial content, “says Toubia.

Yet he denies Twitter will lose his fame in the future. “With 500 million Twitter users around the world will not be destroyed, but rather to be a tool for the promotion activities of celebrities, companies or anything like that,” he concluded.