Jeff Bezos on space, free speech and creating shows to sell more shoes

Jeff Bezos on space, free speech and creating shows to sell more shoes

When it came to discussing Peter Thiel’s involvement in the ongoing Gawker trial that’s raised questions surrounding free speech, Jeff Bezos quoted Confucius: “Seek revenge and you should dig two graves, one for yourself.”

Bezos, naturally, should have strong opinions when it comes to free speech: he’s the owner of The Washington Post. With Gawker locked in a legal battle that’s a sort of proxy duel between the company and Peter Thiel, Bezos effectively has a duty to come out in favor of protecting free speech in order to, at the very least, protect his investment. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s saying these things entirely to protect The Washington Post — the whole case has become a centerpiece for a discussion around a potential test of free speech rights.

So he came out swinging on stage at Vox Media’s Code Conference on Tuesday. In fact, there were so many quotes that we’re just going to go ahead and list them below:

  • “If you can’t tolerate critics, don’t do anything new or interesting”
  • “As a public figure, the best defense to speech you don’t like about yourself as a public figure is to develop a thick skin. You can’t stop it.”
  • “My advice is, if you came to me, I would say go stand on a street corner and watch all the people walk by, and think about what they’re thinking about. I bet you none of those people are thinking about you.”
  • “Beautiful speech doesn’t need protection, it’s ugly speech that needs protection. We have these cultural norms that allow people to say really ugly things. You don’t have to invite them to your dinner party, but you should let them say it.”
  • “One thing I think is not appropriate that Donald Trump is doing, is working to freeze or chill the media that are examining him. It’s just a fact that we live in a world where half the population on this planet, if you criticize your leader, there’s a good chance you’ll go to jail or worse. We live in this amazing democracy with amazing freedom of speech, and a presidential candidate should embrace that. They should say, I’m running for president of the most important country of the world, I expect to be scrutinized.”
  • “I guess the only thing I would say, with Kay Graham as my role model, I’m ready to let any of my body parts go through a big fat ringer if need be.”

Bezos also has a pet project in Blue Origin, his foray into space travel. It’s seen by most as a competitor to Elon Musk’s SpaceX — and Bezos wasn’t really denying that on stage. The two have been kind of passively sparring over building rockets that can land and be re-used. Bezos says he is taking a wider view of the potential of a vibrant space exploration industry — rather than just going to Mars.

Here are a few choice quotes from the discussion surrounding space travel:

  • “When it comes to space, I see it as my job, I’m building infrastructure the hard way. I’m using my resources to put in place heavy lifting infrastructure so the next generation of people can have a dynamic, entrepreneurial explosion into space.”
  • “I know Elon, we’re very like minded in many ways. We’re not conceptual twins. One thing I want us to do is go to Mars, but for me it’s one thing. He’s singularly focused on that. I think motivation wise, for me I don’t find that Plan B idea motivating. I don’t want a plan B for Barth, I want Plan B to make sure Plan A works.”
  • “All our heavy industry will be moved off planet and earth will be zoned residential and light industrial.”
  • “People will visit Mars, they will settle mars, and we should because it’s cool.”

The interview was a doozy. But of course that wasn’t all he talked about. Bezos dropped gem after gem throughout the hour-plus he was peppered with questions. Again, there are almost too many to choose from — but here are a few favorites from the interview:

  • On producing better artificial intelligence: “Humans are unbelievably data efficient. You don’t have to drive 1 million miles to drive a car, but the way we teach a self-driving car is have it drive a million miles.”
  • On protecting privacy: “You know you’re not anonymous on our site. We’re greeting you by name, showing you past purchases, to the degree that you can arrange to have transparency combined with an explanation of what the consumer benefit is.”
  • On building a physical book store: “If you know what you want to buy, we already have this thing called Amazon.com. This is about satisfying a different need, it’s about browsing, discovery, having a fun space to wander around in.”
  • On buying The Washington Post: “I bought the post because, tactically, I’ve been friends with Don Graham for 15 years. If I hadn’t been friends with Don Graham it wouldn’t have happened. When he proposed it to me I was nervous I don’t know about the news business. The reason I finally bought it is because I think it’s an important institution. I would not have bought it if it had been an upside down salty snack food company.”
  • On producing original content: “From a business point of view for us, we get to monetize that content in a very unusual way. When we win a golden globe, it helps us sell more shoes. They look across more categories, they shop more”

Featured Image: Linda Davidson/Getty Images
Source: TechCrunch

Crunch Report | Marketo Bought For $1.8 Billion

Crunch Report | Marketo Bought For .8 Billion

Today’s Stories 

  1. Vista Equity Partners buys marketing automation giant Marketo for $1.8B in cash
  2. PayPal to halt operations in Turkey after losing license, impacts ‘hundreds of thousands’
  3. The $599 ASUS Zenbo robot is just trying to help out around the house
  4. Iran forces messaging apps to move data to Iranian servers
  5. Sirin Labs shows off $14K, super private Solarin smartphone, on sale June 1

Credits

Written by: Tito Hamze, Jason Kopek
Hosted and edited by: Tito Hamze
Filmed by: Yashad Kulkarni
Teleprompter: Joe Zolnoski

Source: TechCrunch

This Facebook bot will pick your next movie for you

This Facebook bot will pick your next movie for you

As we’ve discussed, Facebook’s bot platform is still in its early stages, and most apps aren’t ready yet to become part of your everyday life. This is mainly due to shortfalls in natural language processing and the trial-and-error process of developers actually figuring out how users are going to use bots.

But one company, the slightly inappropriately named And Chill, has figured out how to build a bot that is actually well suited for Facebook’s chat-based interface.

And Chill is a movie recommendation engine that is eschewing the traditional “like/dislike” model of recommendation, instead pledging to dig deeper into the reasons a viewer would want to watch a certain movie.

Here’s how it works:

The bot can be accessed via Facebook Messenger or SMS. After the superfluous pleasantries standard with all bots these days, And Chill asks you to tell it a movie you liked and why.

For example, I’d say “I liked Concussion because it was a true story about sports that also seemed like a medical mystery film”.

And Chill then analyzes these components and uses them to recommend similar films. The startup isn’t ready to give specific examples on how exactly its algorithm works, besides that it “uses a few different frameworks to detect patterns, attributes, and other factors” to pull movie options for viewers.

While I was at first skeptical of the startup’s lack of transparency around the recommendation process (mainly just because I like knowing how things work) most of that disappeared once I actually received some valuable suggestions.

  1. IMG_3262

  2. IMG_3261-1

  3. IMG_3260-1

All three (decently complicated) questions I posed were answered with movies that I either had already seen and loved, or more frequently hadn’t heard of but looked great. Since I usually tend to watch most movies that are similar to ones I like (i.e all Wes Anderson films) I suspect the algorithm specifically tries to recommend films you are likely to not have seen yet.

Currently, requests take a few minutes to process (so don’t give up if you haven’t heard back yet), which may be because the startup noted that that some requests involve human input “to confirm what their data crunching gives them”.

Overall, the service is a huge leap forward from the traditional way of scrolling through a list of hundreds of movies at a time. That being said, there could still be some improvements that would enhance the experience even more.

For example, each response currently includes a link to a YouTube trailer so you can quickly check out the preview. But it would also be nice to see a rotten tomato score and brief synopsis, so you don’t gave to go searching for any additional information online.

You can try And Chill by messaging them on Facebook here, or texting them at this number: 213-297-3673

Source: TechCrunch

Xiaomi inks Microsoft patent deal and agrees to pre-install Office apps on its phones

Xiaomi inks Microsoft patent deal and agrees to pre-install Office apps on its phones

Xiaomi is moving closer to launching its smartphones in the U.S. market. Today the Chinese company announced a partnership with Microsoft that includes a cross-license and patent transfer agreement and the pre-installation of Skype and Microsoft Office products on Xiaomi devices.

The companies said that, starting this September, Xiaomi’s Mi 5, Mi Max and Mi 4s, as well as cheaper Redmi Note 3 and Redmi 3 smartphones will be sold with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype applications pre-loaded.

The partnership builds on the two companies’ previous collaborations: which have included a Windows 10 build for Android, and the use of Microsoft Azure to power Xiaomi’s Mi Cloud service.

With more than 70 million devices sold last year, the bulk of which were in China, Xiaomi is potentially a significant distribution partner for Microsoft. But, more interesting that the pre-install deal, is the fact that Xiaomi has added more patents.

“Microsoft has sold Xiaomi nearly 1,500 high quality patents that read on a variety of technologies including wireless communications, video, cloud and multimedia,” a Xiaomi spokesperson clarified to TechCrunch, adding that Xiaomi has “been applying for, acquiring and licensing patents” in recent years.

Combine that with Xiaomi’s upcoming Android set-top box, which the company developed closely with Google, and a patent deal with Qualcomm last year, and it is clear that China’s largest smartphone maker is building key allies in preparation to expand its affordably priced devices into new markets: most notably North America.

Right now, Xiaomi’s devices are sold in six countries in Asia and Brazil, but the company has never shied away from the fact that it wants to be more global. That expansion plan is critical since Xiaomi has struggled to reach its own sales targets and justify its lofty $46 billion, largely off the back of slowing mobile growth in China, so new market expansions means more potential to grow.

Source: TechCrunch

SeedPlus is an early-stage fund focused on finding global startups in Southeast Asia

SeedPlus is an early-stage fund focused on finding global startups in Southeast Asia

There’s a new early-stage fund in town — town being Southeast Asia. Singapore-based Jungle Ventures, the VC firm that launched a $100 million fund last year, has a new initiative focused on seed stage investments in the region, which is forecast to see major growth in its internet economy.

Jungle Ventures started out as an angel investment firm in 2012, but it moved into Series A and Series B financing with its new fund last year. SeedPlus, as the newest fund is called, takes it back to its early-stage roots with a hands-on approach to working with its portfolio.

SeedPlus will be run by three new recruits that we recently reported to have joined Jungle Ventures: Michael Smith, who was CTO at streaming service HOOQ, ex-Spotify product manager Gabriel Lundberg, and Tiang Lim Foo, formerly of Evernote. Together the trio — who are listed as ‘operating partners’ at Jungle — will invest in companies in Southeast Asia and work closely with them to scale their business.

How closely? SeedPlus is providing office space in Singapore to house its portfolio to enable its partners to work face-to-face with them. In the case of companies based outside of Singapore — which principally means elsewhere in Southeast Asia — it will move them to the city-state and incorporate their businesses there to make Singapore their headquarters.

In an interview with TechCrunch on the sidelines of the Rise event in Hong Kong, Foo said the fund size is not disclosed — nor has it closed yet — but that it is above $20 million right now. The team is looking to make around half of dozen investments per year, he said, with a check size of SG$500,00 to SG$1 million (US$360,000-$725,000) per deal. Roughly, that means the fund is likely to last for three to four years.

“We’ll be slightly larger than your typical seed round but I think that speaks to how involved we want to get. We want to go hands on, work with founders to get products and businesses launched,” Foo said. “In all cases we’ll be the lead investor or first institutional rounds.”

Southeast Asia is awash with early-stage capital, but SeedPlus is specifically looking for companies with the ambition and capabilities to be global.

“The sweet spot will be if you have a product market fit and traction but are just shy of raising a proper Series A,” Foo, who managed Evernote’s presence in Asia prior to the U.S. company downsizing its international footprint, explained.

“We’ve spent a lot of time looking at deep product and technology, so it could blockchain, AI or machine learning, or Saas or security — that speaks to our background and things we understand. We want global stuff, strong technology teams and disruptive technology.”

There’s no guarantee that a SeedPlus backed company would then raise from Jungle Ventures, but Foo suggested that the parent fund would have “first dibs” on promising startups thanks to the close relationship.

SeedPlus is backed by a range of partners. The LPs include Jungle Ventures itself, Singapore’s Infocomm Investments, Accel Partners and RNT Associates, a fund from Indian business magnate Ratan Tata, who is also an LP in Jungle Ventures’ fund. Beyond that collection of LPs, SeedPlus also “strategic” relationships with Google Southeast Asia and PwC Singapore who have pledged to help with resources and assistance for portfolio companies.

To date, SeedPlus has made three undisclosed investments, Foo said, details of which will be revealed soon.

Jungle Ventures is arguably one of the stand-out investors in Southeast Asia, but SeedPlus is an interesting challenge since — to date, at least — there are few examples of companies with global reach emerging from Southeast Asia. The startups that have scaled the most in the region have provided services very specific to Southeast Asia — Grab is an Uber rival, Lazada is an Amazon equivalent, to name but two — but Jungle is investing significant funds, resources and attention to SeedPlus, which suggests that the team sees the potential for Southeast Asian startups to break that mold and be relevant globally. That makes this is a project worth watching.

Featured Image: amenic181/Shutterstock (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)
Source: TechCrunch

The app to nowhere

The app to nowhere

Smartphone apps have improved convenience for public transportation in many urban centers. In Washington, DC, riders can download apps to help them figure out where to go, when to show up and how long to wait for a bus or train. However, the problem with public transport in DC is not the lack of modern, helpful and timely information. The problem is that the Metro subway system is on fire. 

Critical infrastructure refers to the vital systems that connect us. Like the water catastrophe in Flint, Michigan and our crumbling roads, bridges and airports, the Metro system in DC is experiencing a systems failure. The Metro’s problems arise from typical public challenges like  poor management and deferred maintenance.

Upgrades of physical infrastructure are not easy and nimble like a software patch or an agile design process. They are slow, expensive and subject to deliberation and scrutiny. In other words, they are the fundamental substance of democratic decision-making: big decisions with long-term implications that require thoughtful strategy, significant investment, political leadership and public buy-in.

A killer app is an application you love so much you buy into a whole new way of doing things. Email and social media are good examples of killer apps. The killer app for Metro would have to get political leaders to look beyond their narrow, short-term interests and be willing to invest in modern public transportation for our national capital region.

The same is true for fixing our critical infrastructure throughout the nation. The killer apps for the systems on which we rely daily won’t be technical, they will be human. It will be Americans working together to a build a technology-enabled resilient democracy — one that is inclusive, responsive and successful in the Information Age.

In 2007, the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi river. During his presidential bid, Senator John McCain used this event as an example of the failure of our leaders to make trade-offs for common national purpose. Case in point, an extravagantly expensive congressionally funded Alaskan “bridge to nowhere” that served just a handful of people on an island. But how many apps to nowhere are we building?

Let’s look at government as a subscription service for the provision and preservation of common goods.

— Sean McDonald

Identifying and scrutinizing apps to nowhere is an awkward challenge because it requires that we, as a democratic society, interrupt the cork-popping IPO parties and continually ask the bigger questions about long-term consequences, trade-offs and who exactly information technology is helping. There are many apps to nowhere, like that platform to match donors with needy classrooms that fails to address the underlying issue of why taxes aren’t paying for science books. Or that fitness app on your wrist that tells you how many calories you just consumed, but not whether the food is safe or if the locations in its supply chain respect human rights.

In DC, commuters who can afford alternatives will leave Metro. They’ll walk, drive, order a car service or locate a bikeshare. The people who suffer from the public service risk and imbalance of the current Metro system are those who have no choice.

So here’s the challenge: Modern technology needs to create an inclusive society. Our current technical approach too often means that we’re prioritizing progress or profit for the few over the many. This pattern defeats the purpose of both the technology revolution and American democracy. Government and infrastructure are supposed to serve everyone, but technology thus far has made it so that public failures affect some Americans more than others. 

DC public transportation is an emblem of today’s American town square, where rights and responsibilities are out of balance. We all want safe and clean communities with well-functioning critical infrastructure, but we don’t feel obligated to pay for them, especially when they benefit people who live elsewhere. Data and technology can help close this perception gap.

If far-flung citizens understood their mutual interests and the cost and efficiency advantages of coordinated efforts in the formative stages of policy decision-making, they would likely be more supportive of critical infrastructure projects. Done right, data will give us a chance to figure out a modern version of federalism — shared responsibilities among states and DC. Fortunately, a Nobel-prize-winning model for this kind of governance already exists.

In the near future, data science and new visualization techniques will make it easy for elected leaders to view and analyze both the parts and the whole of a complex system (of the Metro, of land useof disease, of climate change). Dynamic modeling will show context and trends and help forecast possible consequences — all within the workflow of lawmaking — so policy makers and interested citizens can better understand the impact of making, or failing to make, important policy decisions. Such course-correction tools for interrogating data or for assuring ethical statistical methods are already on display in journalism and civil society.

Is civic technology the killer app for democracy?

Because our systems generally run well, Americans have the luxury of taking them for granted. As a result, we woefully underestimate how connected we are. From fire hydrants to school teachers, our way of life is built on intricate dependence on one another. American success has always required long-term investment in public goods like health and parks, roads and electrical grids, science and education. We expect this mutual support so much that it is invisible to most of us. To civic technology, however, it must be visible and clearly understood, because the technology itself is built upon our civic interconnectedness.

Civic technology is the use of technology for the public good — reporting a broken street light, for example, or allocating a public budget — and it might give Americans the chance to renew public life by making democracy more visible and intentional. Hybrid platforms blend the convenience of open data with a strong commitment to the larger society. Civic technology inherently asks the tough questions about who is helped, who is harmed, how inclusive a system is and whether the app is ultimately good for democracy.

The civic disconnect between information convenience and failing public systems is a considerable challenge. Big data might be a huge boost to our economy, but will it help us build a better nation? Hackathons are terrific community-building events, but we can’t code ourselves out of our failing infrastructure. To build the killer civic app, we need to find an ethical framework that connects technology to political leadership, to power.

This is not about Left versus Right or public versus private. To address our critical needs as a nation we must transcend those tired divisions and move quickly. In the words of civic tech entrepreneur Sean McDonald, “Let’s look at government as a subscription service for the provision and preservation of common goods.” We are taxpayers, after all. It follows, then, that our collective goal should be a technology-enabled system that provides and preserves the common good.

For democracy to succeed in the Information Age, we’ll need some new rules of engagement with technology. The White House recently released its third report on data and its implications for society. The 2016 report pays special attention to the ethics of machine automation and algorithms. The authors stress the importance of ethical analytics and propose the principle of “equal opportunity by design.” It’s an excellent point of departure as we recalibrate old systems and build new bridges to a more resilient, inclusive and prosperous nation.

Featured Image: Misunseo/Shutterstock
Source: TechCrunch

Get fit for summer with these workout apps

Get fit for summer with these workout apps

Summer is almost here, which means…it’s time to download some workout apps! TechCrunch tested out dozens of the best fitness apps and we narrowed it down to our three favorites.

Sworkit

Sworkit is perfect for when you’re short on time and you don’t have any weights handy. From cardio to yoga, the app makes it easy to customize your workout by type of activity. To keep you on your toes, the app focuses on interval training, switching from one exercise to the next every 30 seconds.

Sworkit

Sworkit

Sworkit also lets you select the duration of your fitness routine, beginning at just five minutes. The app is free and available on both the iPhone and Android.

Couch to 5k

Couch to 5k is designed to get you out of bed and on the running trail. With detailed training plans, C25K promises to turn you from a couch potato into a runner in weeks.

The app starts you out easy with some power walks and quick jogs and then gradually progresses until you’re ready to run 3.1 miles. The app promises that it takes only 30 minutes per day, three days per week for nine weeks.

Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

They also have a half marathon version for those of you who really want a workout. There are both free and paid versions of the app.

ClassPass

ClassPass is no longer cheap, costing as much as $175 for unlimited workouts in San Francisco. But if you’re looking to find the best classes in your city, and pay less than the $30 per session that many of these boutique studios will charge you, then ClassPass is a great solution.

ClassPass

ClassPass

From barre to yoga to pilates to spinning, use the ClassPass app to find out which classes near you have openings. High-end studios like Flywheel Sports and Exhale allow you to book classes through ClassPass. The app is powered by Mindbody and available on the iPhone and Android.

So check out these abs…I mean, apps!

Source: TechCrunch

Depth-sensing walker monitors and connects the elderly and mobility impaired

Depth-sensing walker monitors and connects the elderly and mobility impaired

friwalk 1

The so-called Internet of Things is often underwhelming — who really needs a tweeting oven? — but inspiring applications of embedded sensors and ubiquitous connectivity still appear, and sometimes from the most unexpected places. Take this smart walker, for instance: the same tech that goes into tacky toys and frivolous appliances could help an aging generation regain its mobility and independence.

We’ve all seen walkers, of course — terribly low-tech aluminum affairs with tennis balls skewered onto the front struts to act as brakes. And if you’ve been to the physical therapy and rehabilitation areas of hospitals, you’ll have seen the walkways on which patients with impaired mobility truck up and down as pressure sensors record and analyze their gait.

The Friendly Robot Walker, or FriWalk, is a high-tech mobility aid that not only props someone up while they walk, but uses depth-sensing cameras (an original Kinect, among other cameras) and hidden sensors to monitor their gait and mood — even watching in front for dicey terrain, obstacles, and other FriWalk users.

That may sound to some like overkill for a simple walker, but it addresses several failings in the medical and support systems on which these people rely.

Perhaps most importantly, it vastly improves the data on a person’s mobility and recovery. Observations of a person’s movements in everyday life are potentially far more valuable than lab data, and what comes out of the FriWalk is also richer and more voluminous: the depth cameras capture a great deal of detail about how the legs and feet are getting along.

“We process 15 to 20 frames per second, which produces a virtual walkway on which we can see the footprints on the floor together with the corresponding pressure distribution as well as the path of motion of the feet in the air,” said Siemens technologist Josef Birchbauer, who works on the project, in a post at the company’s blog.

Facial expression analysis, heart rate, and more are added to the pile as well. That kind of soft data may not mean much over a single session, but aggregated can provide unique insights into recovery progress.

friwalk tablet

The outward-facing sensors help address problems that arise when a person also has impaired sight or awareness — a break in the sidewalk might not be obvious, but a big yellow caution sign on the screen in front of your face sure is.

FriWalks will also be personalized with the user’s interests and networked with those being employed by others. A nearby art exhibition could then be recommended to a senior who otherwise might never have heard of it, encouraging both exercise and social contact, things people who are hospitalized or at a nursing home tend to lack. On the other hand, if a space is found to be too crowded or unpleasant by another FriWalk, a user could be warned away before entering an unpleasant situation.

The project is being pursued by an international consortium of researchers under a €4.3 million grant from the European Commission; plans are in place to test it with 100 seniors in Spain, Italy, and England over the next year or so.

Source: TechCrunch

7 of the internet’s best animated 404 pages

7 of the internet’s best animated 404 pages

Gone are the days where a humorous picture or phrase will get your site’s 404 page noticed. In a version of the internet where GIFs are the new text and videos are the new photos, it’s going to take a lot more than a witty phrase to stand out amongst the crowd.

But, we were surprised to see that most sites still aren’t taking advantage of that valuable real estate. Regardless, we searched and found found 7 of the best animated 404 pages from across the web, and turned them into GIFs (surprise!) so you can check them out without even leaving this gallery.

Did we forget any great animated 404 pages, or did you decide to bring your site into 2016 and add something interesting on your own 404 page? Tell us in the comments!

Source: TechCrunch

Nvidia’s new GTX 1070 freezes out Fury, trashes Titan X

Nvidia’s new GTX 1070 freezes out Fury, trashes Titan X

When Nvidia launched the GTX 1080 earlier this month, it established its new Pascal-derived GPUs as leaders in the top of the market. Now, as expected, the GTX 1070 has dropped, piledriving both Nvidia’s previous cards and every top-end GPU AMD has to offer.

First, let’s hit the technical specifications. The GTX 1070 packs 1,920 CUDA cores, 120 texture units, and 64 ROPS. That works out to 75% the cores and texture units of the larger GTX 1080, but the pixel fill rate is theoretically the same between the two cards, since they have the same number of ROPS. Base clock is 1.5GHz with boost clocks up to 1.68GHz and 8GB of 8Gbps GDDR5 memory (the GeForce GTX 1080 uses 8GB of 10Gbps GDDR5X memory). Memory bandwidth is 256GB/s, which puts the new GTX 1070 in between the older GTX 980 (224GB/s) and the 980 Ti (336GB/s).

GTX1070

The GTX 1070, sans cooler

As expected, this positions the GTX 1070 as a cut-down version of the GTX 1080, though hopefully without any of the issues that dogged the GTX 970’s memory configuration. The GTX 1070 has a few changes compared with the 1080 as a result — it uses an aluminum finned heatsink rather than the vapor-chamber cooler that the GTX 1080 fielded, and it has a four-phase power supply rather than the GTX 1080’s five phases.

Overall performance, meanwhile, is simply excellent. Over at Tom’s, Chris Angelini shows the GTX 1070 taking second only to the 1080 in Battlefield 4, Project Cars, Rise of the Tomb Raider, the Division, Witcher 3, and Grand Theft Auto V. AMD fights back in games like Ashes of the Singularity and Hitman, but the GTX 1070’s base price is $379 while the Founder’s Edition is $449. The Fury X, Fury, and Radeon Nano are all substantially above this, at $500+.

GTA V performance

Image by Tom’s Hardware

Hot Hardware presents similar results in somewhat different titles. The GTX 1070 is faster than the Fury X in Shadows of Mordor and Thief. HH also posted some power consumption data on these cards, which is where the 1070 really shines:

1070-power

The 1070 draws over 100W less power than the Titan X while outperforming it in the majority of titles. That’s a stellar achievement for Nvidia and a huge win for gamers.

The 1070 is the new card to beat

This is the part of the review where we normally cover what’s likely coming from AMD to counter the new 1070/1080 challengers. In this case, however, I don’t expect AMD to launch a card that goes head-to-head with Nvidia because the firm has made it clear that Polaris 10 and 11, which launch in the not-so-distant future, are targeting different price points. With that said, however, these new GPUs are a line in the sand that AMD will have to contend with — and it better have brought its A game when Vega launches at the end of 2016. AMD can stake out a profitable position in the midrange and budget spaces with a new Polaris and probably win some market share in mobile, but the halo effect from the 1070 and 1080 could be significant.

The uglier and inconvenient truth for AMD, however, is that until it launches Vega, it’s going to be stuck with the Fury X, Fury, and Fury Nano to anchor its high end — and the GTX 1070 has just blown those cards out of the water. With the GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition coming in at $449 and the base card at $379, AMD needs to slash the price on Fury X to between $350 and $400 in order to compete. That would make the Fury a $300 – $350 card, and likely push the Nano into similar territory.

Now, a Fury X at $350 would still be an extremely potent graphics card, but it’s not clear if that kind of pricing is feasible given the difficulty of building HBM cards and the overall interposer price. While AMD has argued that HBM is more cost-effective than GDDR5 at the highest performance levels, there’s a reason why the company is using GDDR5 for its Polaris hardware — there’s a point at which HBM simply doesn’t make financial sense. Given Fiji’s large die size, there’s also a minimum point at which AMD can sell the card and still break even. This could limit how much AMD cuts prices, but price cuts for the Fury family are almost certainly inbound. One way or the other, this is going to put deep pressure on AMD’s entire GPU product line — if the Fury X is slashed to $350-$400 to hold its value against the 1070, that means the R9 390X needs its own price cut as well. Presumably AMD will cut cost on the Fury family, launch Polaris, and then retire all the GPU models obviated by this two-tier approach.

Final note: When the Oculus Rift and Vive launched, we recommended taking a wait-and-see approach before investing in current hardware for the purposes of gaming in VR. That approach has been thoroughly vindicated by the performance of both the GTX 1080 and 1070. The 1070 in particular beats the Titan X, can leverage the same VR-improving technologies as the 1080, and yet costs less than half as much as Titan X (and significantly less than the GTX 980 Ti). In games that support Nvidia’s GameWorks VR, the gap between Titan X and 1080/1070 should be even larger, and anyone who bought a VR-ready system with a GTX 970 or 980 class card in it is likely kicking themselves now. Yes, faster GPU tech is always under development, but sometimes the leaps between product generations are larger than others. The 1080 / 1070 improvements are quite significant — now is a much better time to buy into VR than just a few months ago.

Source: ExtremeTech