Business, Politics & Money
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IBM Australia is progressing through a first round of job cuts

With morale being apparently "extremely low" among employees, The Australian has reported on the upcoming job cuts involving IBM Australian workers, with their "one person close to IBM, who declined to be identified" further commenting that "workers say anyone could be next and that's the thinking they go into work with everyday."

 

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Without going into specifics, an IBM spokes woman stated that her company "continues to re-balance its workforce to meet the changing requirements of its ­clients," further mentioning that "we continue to hire for key skills in Australia and around the globe." She went on to comment "IBM's total workforce has remained stable over the past three years, and IBM employs more than 430,000 people worldwide." We're told that IBM has a policy of not divulging local headcount numbers.

 

Furthering to company woes, IBM is set to go head to head with the Queensland government following an impending botched payroll implementation case.

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A former CIA big wig joins the Oracle board of directors

Leon Panetta previously served as the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and also the country's Secretary of Defense. According to a recent announcement, he's just made the move over to Oracle, joining their board of directors.

 

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Set to be the 12th member on this board, he begun work as of yesterday - marking the beginning of his one-year term, before standing for re-election in November at Oracle's annual shareholder meeting.

 

Previously listed as the Secretary of Defense under the Barack Obama's leadership throughout 2011 to 2013, Panetta also saw a two-year employment through the CIA following his work as a presidential Professor at the Santa Clara University.

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AMD culls top executives - three have seen the axe

In their latest 8-k filing form, AMD have listed their top executives and some major changes have been noted. Three of the 'top dogs' have missed the grade, seeing John Bryne, GM of Computing and Graphics Business Group; Colette LaForce, Chief Marketing Officer; and Raj Naik, Chief Strategy Officer no longer on the list.

 

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Some are calling this the "biggest corporate shakeup in the ailing company's history," with AMD now no longer having some of their biggest brainpower members listed, with Bryne being one of the most notable - seeing his promotion from Chief Sales Officer to the GM of Computing and Graphics Business Group position just a mere seven months prior.

 

With the changing of the guard, AMD have announced that "these changes, including the additions of Forrest Norrod and James Clifford to our management team last quarter, collectively are part of implementing an optimal organization design and leadership team to further sharpen our execution and position AMD for growth."

ISIS rebranded as 'Daesh', as countries adopt name terrorists despise

In a report from Australian broadcaster SBS, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has decided to take the lead of United States, French and Arabic Governments in refusing to refer to ISIS or 'Islamic State' but 'Daesh'.

 

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In explaining his decision, the Prime Minister noted that "Daesh hates being referred to by this term and what they don't like has an instinctive ­appeal to me... I absolutely refuse to refer to it by the title that it claims for itself [Islamic State], because I think this is a perversion of religion and a travesty of governance... I would strongly counsel people against ever using the presumptuous title that they have given themselves.'

 

Mr Abbott's decision follows a the similar adoption of the acronym from the United States and French Governments, which attempts to remove the Islamic religion from the equation, whilst de-legitimising the terrorist organisation who despise the title and have even promised to remove the tongues of those who speak it. At a Pentagon news conference last month, Lieutenant General James Terry explained the meaning further:

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Intel's CEO outlines the future of computing at CES 2015

Intel is certainly no chump when it comes to innovation, profits and company value - so generally when the CEO talks, people listen. Alongside announcing their Curie module, Intel have provided new applications for RealSense cameras in regards to robots, flying drones and 3-D immersive experiences; which also includes an investment of $300 million to encourage more diversity at Intel and within the technology industry as large.

 

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Brian Kzranich, Intel's CEO commented in their recently issued press release that "the rise of new personal computing experiences, intelligent and connected devices, and the wearable revolution are redefining the relationship between consumers and technology. Our goal with Intel technology is to help solve real problems and enable experiences that are truly desired by people and businesses. In order to do this, we must also do more to lead the growth of diversity and inclusion within the technology industry. Women and under-represented minorities will continue to play a greater role as consumers, influencers, creators and leaders."

 

This statement was made during a keynote presentation at CES 2015, where he also used the time to announce their new wearable partnership with Oakley, a 3-D collaboration with HP and more. Intel have been busy when it comes to behind-the-scenes advancements and company partnerships, it seems.

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Updated lie detector technology involves a full-body suit

You've seen it time and time again in reality TV shows and certain movies - the main character is hooked up to a lie detector in a stressful environment and asked specific questions to determine if they're telling the truth. However in the real-world, whether they're telling the truth or not, an experienced examiner only has a 60 percent chance to successful deduce a lie.

 

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Current technology is said to be only slightly better that using nothing at all, with reports claiming that the average person can tell if someone is telling the truth or not 55 percent of the time anyway. To help raise the odds for technology, scientists from the University of Cambridge and Lancaster University in the U.K., and the universities of Utrecht and Enschede in the Netherlands have used a full-body suit.

 

This suit records the position, velocity and orientation of the wearer through 23 different places on their body. As traditional polygraph lie detectors are only connected to minimal spots on your person, the placement of 23 total nodes is said to help improve accuracy by fetching more data.

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Tesla are working on robotic snake-like chargers for their cars

Tesla Motors' CEO, Elon Musk, has just unleashed a Tweet to his awaiting fans, hinting that his company is working on a robotic charging system that will automatically connect and charge your car.

 

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Instantly it makes you picture something out of a sci-fi film and that's exactly what it seems like is going to happen. Recent reports have shown that robot snake type products are actually a very real thing - OC Robotics has just shown off their Series II - X125 system snake bot, said to be used for 'a number of practical purposes' and the Carnegie Mellon University Biorobotics lab have been working on their own versions of these devices for quite some time.

 

There is no information currently pointing to any possible designs that Tesla may use for themselves, however the two above examples may give you a rough idea of what to expect.

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New NASA scientific balloon fails after only a short period

The freshly designed balloon, said to carry a telescope that detects gamma rays unseen by human eyes, was set off with the task of gloating over Antarctica for 100 days - marking it as NASA's longest scientific balloon mission ever.

 

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Er, Houston - We have a problem. After only two days of soaring through the sky, the balloon has sprung a leak and plunged back to earth. As according to the COSI '14 Balloon Campaign and Shenanigans website: "I'm saddened to report that the COSI/SPB balloon flight was terminated much earlier than expected. The balloon developed a leak after the first day at float and we decided to increase the chances of instrument recovery this season instead of continuing operations for as long as the balloon maintained altitude."

 

Currently sitting at 350 miles from McMurdo at an elevation of 8000 ft, this unfortunate situation has seen a daring mission end extremely early. The previous balloon flight mission sat at 55 days total, with this ambitious mission looking to almost-double this number. Judging by the wrap-up on this website, there are no repair and re-launch plans currently mate - it seems like a completely dead project.

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Christmas light recycling is serious business in China

20 million pounds of unwanted Christmas lights end up in the hands of the Christmas tree light capital of the world, Shijao, China, each year.

 

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Their industry built on old lights follows the age-old saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure," seeing this large quantity of unwanted lighting melted down and separated into brass copper and plastic materials for carious implementations ranging from clothing to electronic goods.

 

This information was first published by Adam Minter in his book titles "Junkyard Planet," seeing him travel to this utopia of trash and research the process of churning 2200-pound bales of lights into re-usable raw materials. Thanks to China's cheap labor and goods exports, it's claimed that the ships transporting goods to the U.S. and other Western Nations often come back empty-handed, with no cargo on-board. This is where they can utilize their light-load for good, often carrying back waste paper to be churned into toilet paper or in this case - discarded Christmas lights for a new lease on life.

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Tesla Roadster 3.0 package announced with a claimed 400+ mile range

The latest Tesla model upgrade has been announced, with the Roaster 3.0 package boasting an impressive 400 mile range - seeing a 31 percent increase in battery capacity when compared to it's older brothers 52 kWh lithium-ion offering.

 

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This 70 kWh battery package takes up the same amount of room as the older model, providing "more potent" lithium-ion cells for use. This improved and extended battery also includes an improved aero body-kit, enabling this futuristic vehicle to travel along at a more efficient rate and reducing its drag coefficient from 0.36 to 0.31, meaning a 15 percent improvement has been made.

 

The last improvement following this massive 40 to 50 percent increase in driving range is a 20 percent decrease in rolling resistance, to further help drive in efficiency.

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