Apple products are thrown into such secrecy that the Cupertino-based company sometimes puts new engineers on fake products, until those new employees can be trusted.
In his book "Inside Apple," author Adam Lashinsky, reported the following tidbit in his new book, and was backed up by a former Apple employee who confirmed it when Lashinsky spoke at LinkedIn the other day. This is what the engineer had to say:
A friend of mine who's a senior engineer at Apple, he works on --or did work on -- fake products I'm sure for the first part of his career, and interviewed for 9 months. It's intense.
The same employee also says that Tim Cook has the charisma to be President. Not President of Apple, but he could replace Obama as the President of the United States. If this happened, maybe all U.S. citizens could expect an iPhone to help stimulate the people?
Micron Technology, an Idaho-based company, is looking to slap down $500 million to purchase a stake in it's Japan-based rival, Elpida.
Previous reports from Taiwanese Nanya Technology and Inotera Memories have both stated that DRAM makers should consider combining forces to help the industry's sustainable development.
This could mean we will see increases of DRAM prices during this year, as 2011 has been an absolutely amazing year for memory pricing. Will we see an increase in pricing of DRAM, as companies get rid of their over-stocked warehouses, and begin to start the process again.
TweakTownTip: Buy your DRAM now if you want to get it cheap, I see it rising in the next few months and even if it doesn't (by a fair margin), it can't get much lower than it is now.
Elpida have refused to comment on this latest move.
Most of us have heard about the MegaUpload debacle, where founder Kim Dotcom was arrested and is now facing some very serious charges. Since MegaUpload was blocked by U.S. authorities, users have not had access to their precious data.
The data of roughly 50 million MegaUpload users stored on servers from third-party storage providers could actually be wiped, even though MegaUpload's lawyers claim it would compromise their ability to defend themselves in court. MegaUpload's lawyers have argued that losing user data would reduce their ability to defend themselves against the charges, as well as affect millions of users who have data on the servers, who are 100-percent innocent.
Ira Rothken, an attorney for MegaUpload says:
We're cautiously optimistic at this point that because the United States, as well as Megaupload, should have a common desire to protect consumers, that this type of agreement will get done
Reuters is reporting that NEC Corp is set to slash an insane 10,000 jobs, which for NEC is nearly one-in-ten of its workers. The slashing of employees is in a move to cut costs as competition from foreign rivals such as Apple are hurting, very badly.
NEC have blamed their poor performance on weak demand for its smartphones (they had smartphones?) against the can't-be-stopped iPhone in Japan, as well as other foreign rivals who are competing against NEC in the domestic IT infrastructure business and difficulty in NEC expanding overseas.
NEC did have a forecast of a 15 billion yen profit from eight analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, but are now warning of posting a 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) net loss for the year to March 31. As you can see, this is quite the difference, 15 billion to 100 billion.
Most of the employee cuts will be from their mobile phone business, as NEC have cut their annual mobile phone sales projection by close to 25-percent, bring them down to 5 million phones projected to be sold.
Amazon's Kindle Fire may have launched to a small reception, but that has turned into a crowd of clapping and awe. According to data supplied by Flurry Analytics, Kindle Fire has taken a fair amount of market share in just three months.
With data measured in application settings on Android from November 2011 to January 2012, Kindle Fire went from a 3-percent market share to a very nice 36-percent. To compare, Samsung's already-established Galaxy Tab that has been on sale for more than two years, dropped from 64-percent to 32-percent market share.
4 million Kindle Fires were sold in December alone, according to Amazon. These sales were enough to give the tablet nearly one third of the Android tablet market. Kindle Fire does have a $199 price, which would help it, well, quite a bit. Most of the other tablets start at $350, which would explain why people are jumping on to the Fire.
President Obama has made a visit to Intel, which is his second time since in his stint as President. Last year he visited Hillsboro, Oregon, where Intel CEO announced that a new fabrication plant would be built, in Arizona.
Obama loves this, as it creates jobs and pumps money into an unstable economy. Intel were spending $5 billion and creating more than 4,000 jobs, which should put a smile on Obama's dial. Obama forgot to mention during his visit that Intel have built plants in Israel and China, too.
Considering that the chips that Intel make will be shipped to China, put into PCs and servers, and then sent back to the U.S. Obviously this can't be stopped, but we're not going to see Obama admit the bad things regarding Intel and the economy, only the good. You don't report on bad intel.
Twitter, as of today, can and will sensor tweets, if required by law. Twitter have said as they grow internationally, they enter countries that have different ides about "the contours of freedom of expression".
Some of which can be so different to ours, that Twitter cannot exist there. Twitter have said that others are similar but, for historical and cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.
Up until now, Twitter had to remove the content globally. Today brings change. Twitter have given themselves the permission to reactively withhold content from users based in a specific country, while keeping it available to everyone else. Twitter have also built-in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.
Samsung have posted their Q4 2011 official earnings, and they have done quite well indeed. Samsung had an operating profit in Q4 2011 of $4.7 billion from $42 billion in sales.
How did Samsung reach this success? Oh, by selling more than 300 million smartphones last year alone. Mobile accounted for roughly 40-percent of Samsung's sales, and nearly 50-percent of their operating profit, Samsung's semiconductor business also did very well, taking in more than $2 billion in profit over the same period.
Samsung's Display Panel business was improved year-over-year compared to 2010, thanks to LED TVs, with sales up almost 20-percent to $7.6 billion. Samsung expects good things for 2012, with mobile business to grow, LTE and new market segments like the Galaxy Note to drive sales. TVs are expected to continue their rise, with Samsung releasing more Smart TVs, and the 2012 London Olympics will help, too.
Intel have pulled out their credit card today and swiped down a purchase of patents from RealNetworks to the tune of $120 million. RealNetworks Inc. in the agreement hand over a large number of patents, which is set to help Intel's portfolio for streaming media on not only smartphones, but laptops and other devices.
Intel will receive roughly 190 patents and 170 patent applications, as well as next-generation software that allows for the quick compression or decompression of video for streaming. RealNetworks are still allowed to use the patent in current and future products, and will now work with Intel on continued development of the software and related products.
RealNetworks Chief Executive, Thomas Nielsen, said in an interview:
To bring new technology like that [video software] to market requires significant reach into the consumer and business markets. A partner like Intel has the capacity and size to do that.
Apple's Tim Cook says at Town Hall all Apple employees get $500 off Macs, $250 off iPads, starts in June
Apple had an amazing quarter, and to thank their employees, Tim Cook has said at today's Town Hall meeting that there will be some new "employee benefits". This is just a way Apple want to show their appreciation to those who have worked so hard to continue pushing the company to where it is today.
Cook announced that starting in June of this year, Apple employees will be given $500 discount on purchases of new Macs and $250 discounts on purchases of new iPads. There are some conditions, though. Apple employees may only take this opportunity every three years, and have to have been working at Apple for 90 days or more.
Another condition is the Mac discount cannot be used on the Mac mini, which is priced pretty close to the $500 Mac discount which would make it nearly free. Apple employees already receive a 25-percent discount on Macs, so that $500 is going to go a long way.
President Obama did what he does best at his State of the Union speech, talked. Obama can say a lot, and not really mean it. He comes across as this beacon of light that is going to introduce change, but nothing really changes. He allows no reform, employs half of Wall St, ex-bankers and ex-CIA to be his left and right-hand men and women.
Anyway, he has laid out his plans for an economic recovery where he references the technology sector and said:
An economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country.
Steve Jobs' wife, Laurene Powell Jobs was in the audience at this time, when Obama said:
That means women should earn equal pay for equal work. It means we should support everyone who's willing to work; and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.
Apple had quite an amazing 3 months, with a record-breaking $46.3 billion in revenue, 37 million iPhones sold and 15.43 million iPads being sold. That last number, 15.43 million iPads.
15,430,000 iPads sold, compared to the total number of HP's personal computing devices is actually strong. HP only sold 14.7 million, which means Apple sold more iPads than HP sold PCs. This is a seriously huge number.
Considering its only one iOS-based device, and not even the iPhone, this shows Apple mean some serious fruity business. This HP figure, to be fair, doesn't include the TouchPad. "Sources familiar with HP's build plans" say that the initial TouchPad order was between 1.8 and 2 million units.
NVIDIA has warned that its current quarter's sales would fall short of expectations. NVIDIA, whose fourth quarter ends January 29, has said it now expects quarterly revenue of around $950 million.
This is short of their original expectations of approximately $1.066 billion. NVIDIA have said that the shortfall is due in part by the PC-market impact from a global hard-drive shortage because of the unfortunate and devastating Thailand floods.
Because of this, fewer systems were shipped, and some PC makers decided to scale back on graphics to account for their inflated hard-drive costs. NVIDIA have also said that its Tegra 2 mobile chip business declined more rapidly than it had expected.
NVIDIA is currently ramping production for Tegra 3, which will replace the Tegra 2 chip over time.
Tim Cook congratulates employees over e-mail, tells them to attend Town Hall tomorrow to discuss "some exciting new things going on at Apple"
Apple have had an amazing Q1, with some uber-strong numbers blowing even analysts expectations. You'd have to be happy being the CEO right now, and Tim Cook seems to be over the moon. Cook sent a short e-mail to Apple employees not only congratulating them on both a record setting holiday quarter, but starting 2012 with the launch of a ground-breaking initiative for education with iBooks textbooks.
Cook has told all employees to report to Town Hall tomorrow, either in person or through AppleWeb at 10AM PT to discuss "some exciting new things going on at Apple." His full e-mail is below:
Thanks to everyone's hard work, we're off to a great start in 2012. Last week in New York we launched a groundbreaking initiative for education with iBooks textbooks, and today we reported the strongest quarter in Apple's history.Please join me tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. in Town Hall. We'll review our record-setting results and discuss some exciting new things going on at Apple.The meeting will be broadcast live to many sites in Cupertino and other Apple locations. Please check AppleWeb for details.
This is definitely something that I did not expect, but WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange is set to host his own new television show that will have him featuring interviews with key political players from around the world.
The theme of the interview show is "the world tomorrow" and is scheduled to hit in mid-March. Assange is said to be planning 10 weekly half-hour episodes where he will explode what he says is the future of our world with political players, thinkers and revolutionaries. He hopes to examine his guests' philosophies and struggles in a deeper way than what has been done before.
The program is set to be shown to over 600 million viewers across cable, satellite and terrestrial broadcast networks based on initial licensing commitments, but no specific networks or providers have been listed.
At the moment, there has also been no mention of planned guests.
Apple just posted their earnings, and what a quarter they had. How did their Apple Store's go? Well, they experienced 110 million people walking through the Apple Store doors, worldwide. This breaks down to roughly 22,000 customers per Apple Store, per week.
These customers aren't just window shoppers, either. $6.1 billion of Apple's quarterly revenue came from their retail stores. This works out to be roughly $17 million from each of Apple's 358 retail stores.
Considering that most people, and competitor Amazon have rung the bell of death for brick-and-mortar retail stores for a while now, Apple are seeing as Borat would say "great success" in their Apple Stores.
Apple's Q1 2012, which runs between September 25th to December 31st, 2011 is quite special. It included the iPhone 4S launch and the holiday sales. How did Apple fare up? Well, quite brilliantly.
Apple took in $46.3 billion in revenue (compared to $28.3 billion in the previous quarter), with a record quarterly profit of $13.06 billion. 37.04 million iPhones were sold in this period, compared to just 17.07 million sold in the previous quarter.
iPads saw a nice shipment total, too, with 15.43 million iPads being sold, compared to 11.1 million in the previous quarter. Macs and iPods saw 5.2 million and 15.4 million, respectively. Compared to the previous quarter of 4.89 million and 6.62 million, respectively.
This has been Apple's first $40 billion quarter.
The average annual salary of a Silicon Valley technology worker has surpassed the $100,000 mark this year. Tech-jobs website operator Dice Holdings Inc. has said that salaries for software and other engineering professionals in California's Silicon Valley rose 5.2-percent to an average of $104,195 last year.
This beat the average 2-percent increase to $81,327 in tech-workers' salaries nationwide. It was also the first time since Dice began the salary survey in 2001 that the numbers broke the $100,000 mark, said Tom Silver, a Dice senior vice president. It comes at a time where companies such as Facebook Inc., Zynga Inc., and Twitter Inc., that have reignited the web boom.
Some companies have gone public, too, with LinkedIn Corp. and Zynga hitting IPOs and Facebook is eyeing an IPO soon, too. Their success has made a domino effect on new start-ups, which has then ignited a hiring war for software engineers and others.
To compare, job growth elsewhere in the U.S. has remained relatively slow. U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.5-percent, its lowest level since early 2009. Silver said "there's a tussle for talent growing in Silicon Valley and employers have to pay up." Tech-job postings in Silicon Valley on Dice rose to 5,026 earlier this month, up 26-percent from 3,974 a year ago. Nationwide, tech-jobs only rose 11-percent in the same period.
Intel have just announced they have agreed to acquire QLogic's InfiniBand business for $125 billion in cash. The move ie said to enhance Intel's networking and scalable high-performance computing portfolio. The deal is expected to close by the end of the current quarter pending the usual regulatory approvals.
What is InfiniBand? InfiniBand is a switched fabric communications link for data flow between processors and I/O devices used in high-performance computing and enterprise data centers. Intel says that the acquisition supports their vision of innovating on fabric architectures to achieve ExaFLOP/s performance by 2018. An ExaFLOP/s is a quintillion computer operations per second, a hundred times more than today's fastest supercomputers. Fast, huh?
Intel has also said that they expect a "significant number" of InfiniBand employees to join their company. QLogic may have sold their InfiniBand assets, but they will now reportedly work on converged networking, Ethernet and storage area networking (SAN) products.
Groupon have just acquired Bay Area-based Mertado, a social shopping company that helps consumers discover new products. In a statement to All Things D, Julie Mossler said "Groupon is excited to announce it has purchase Mertado.com."
No terms of the deal were disclosed, but Mossler did say several members of Mertado's staff will join Groupon, including founders Mehul Shah, Rajiv Bhat, and Vijay Chittoor, who is also the CEO. The reason behind the acquisition is that Groupon were interested in Mertado's expertise in the social commerce space, which includes the launch of Mertado TV, which combined video content with products.
A post on Mertado's Web site states that they are no longer accepting any new registrations and will officially shut down on February 28th. This is the second acquisition in as many moths for Groupon, where last month Groupon acquired Campfire Labs, which will head up the company's social efforts.
28nm at TSMC and GlobalFoundries are going through teething issues, wakes up during the night screaming
With my beautiful 10-month-old daughter getting multiple teeth at once, it felt right comparing the issues between 28nm and teething. Onto the news! We all know transitioning from an older fabrication to something newer, better, and more exciting can be, well, hard. It's being reported that both TSMC and GlobalFoundaries are both experiencing serious yield issues with their 28nm process nodes, according to Mike Bryant, technology analyst at Future Horizons.
This is reportedly causing a rash of non-working wafers, to the point of having nothing working with some chip designs submitted for production. The problem seems to stem from pressure of bringing these new products to the market, rather than a problem with the technology itself. It takes time, something they don't have, and without said time, they can't iron out all of the issues and they're getting stuck.
Foundries have come under pressure to release cell libraries too early - which end up with designs that don't work. At 45-nm, only NVIDIA was affected. At 28-nm any problems for TSMC will be problems for many customers.