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Does Apple's Quiet Loyalty Program Make CRM Sense?
March 11, 2014
Apple has bumped up the discounts offered in a loyalty program available to customers who spend at least $5,000 on its products over 12 months. It reportedly added unlocked iPhones and Apple TVs to the program as well. Apple may be aiming to improve penetration in the enterprise market while shoring up its position in the education sector in the face of increasingly fierce competition from Google.
LaCie Fuel Is Much More Than a Run-of-the-Mill Portable
February 26, 2014
Cords have been the bane of digital life since the introduction of PCs. As wireless devices proliferated, though, the need for cords has declined, thanks to technologies like Bluetooth and WiFi. One product area where cords have been persistent, however, has been storage. Sure, the cloud has provided some relief, but local storage units often require a cord to tap into a wireless net.
The End of 'Good Enough' Computing
February 26, 2014
During the heyday of the dot-com boom, then-HP CEO Carly Fiorina espoused "good enough" computing. Despite significant performance differences between x86 servers and Unix and other enterprise-class systems, the dramatically lower cost of x86-based products would cause organizations to rethink their computing priorities and adopt, buy and deploy x86 whenever and wherever possible, she maintained.
Raising Linux to Grow Open Source
February 19, 2014
The open source business model has an inherent ability to bring software rivals together. This approach to developing and distributing software keeps expanding the usefulness and success of the Linux operating system as well. Linux has not yet come close to replacing Windows on the desktop, but open source is much more than Linux. Its "co-opetive" nature is spreading through the enterprise.
Has Linux Conquered the Cloud?
February 12, 2014
Linux on the desktop may have missed its adoption time line, but Linux in the cloud is a win-win proposition for the post-PC movement. Microsoft's Azure may be the only real threat to Linux cloud dominance -- all other major cloud software platforms are based on Linux and open source software. Some enterprise Linux distros are showing up as cloud-based offerings.
Apple Could Put Quantum Dots Before Your Eyes
February 07, 2014
Not quite content with pushing the boundaries on the level of screen clarity with the vaunted Retina display, Apple apparently is investigating new ways of advancing screen technology. The USPTO on Thursday published three patent applications that detail Apple's interest in improving the Retina display through the use of quantum dots. The technology would enhance colors.
AT&T Gives Icy Appraisal of Russia's Anti-Gay Laws
February 05, 2014
Joining athletes and activists, AT&T has rebuked Russia's less-than-progressive stance on homosexuality ahead of this month's Sochi Winter Games. AT&T, the U.S.'s second-largest wireless character, penned a blog post -- titled, "A Time for Pride and Equality" -- in which it declared its "pride in America and everything for which it stands."
New Asus Chromebox Sports Shiny $179 Price
February 05, 2014
Asus on Tuesday announced a new Chromebox device priced at just $179, a full $150 less than the Samsung product that's currently its principal competition. Powered by either a fourth-generation Celeron 2955U chip or an Intel Core i3, the diminutive Chrome OS device offers integrated Intel HD graphics, 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR3 memory, and HDMI and DisplayPort for dual display support.
Mac Birthday Video Stars iPhone
February 04, 2014
Unlike in 1984, when the Macintosh was introduced, there weren't any Apple ads at the Super Bowl this year. Instead, on the day after the Massacre in the Meadowlands, the company raised the curtain on a 127-second video celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mac -- on YouTube. Video for the project was shot entirely with iPhones over a 36-hour period on Jan. 24, the 30th birthday of the Mac.
IBM, Lenovo Deal Is All About Winning
January 31, 2014
Lenovo Group's $2.3 billion deal to purchase IBM's low-end, commodity x86 Server portfolios, related resources and operations is an all-around win for everyone involved. The sale of the IBM x86 servers has been rumored for well over a year, as Big Blue grappled with continuing pressure on its low-margin x86 servers. In its most recent quarter, IBM's revenue dropped 5.5 percent to $27.7 billion.
Here Comes the Sun-Powered MacBook?
January 30, 2014
Apple wants to use natural energy sources to keep MacBooks powered while on the move. The company has won a patent for a laptop with a lid that features a second display, touch inputs and solar cells. The latter could help users keep their MacBooks' batteries topped up without having to plug in an external charger. Apple filed its application in 2010, and USPTO granted it this week.
For IBM and Lenovo, System x Marks the Sweet Spot
January 28, 2014
In case you missed last week's announcement that Lenovo would be acquiring IBM's System x x86 server business -- rumors had been making the rounds for months -- here are some of the details: Lenovo is acquiring IBM's x86 server hardware business for $2.3 billion, approximately $2 billion of which will be paid in cash and the balance in Lenovo stock.
Lenovo Rising, IBM Evolving
January 27, 2014
The new deal IBM and Lenovo announced last week showcases that the companies are on very different paths toward two widely divergent but equally powerful goals in what is a rapidly changing market. Lenovo is on a path to dominate the hardware side's second technology wave, while IBM is jumping to what may be the fourth technology wave. IBM dominated the first wave -- mainframes.
IBM Deal Propels Lenovo Into Enterprise Hardware Game
January 24, 2014
Lenovo has struck a deal to acquire IBM's x86 server business. The deal, jointly announced Thursday, covers System x; BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches; x86-based Flex integrated systems; NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and related software; blade networking; and maintenance operations. Lenovo is paying around $2.3 billion for the business.
Apple TV: From High Hopes to Has-Been
January 24, 2014
When it comes to TV, Apple is starting to recede into the dark corners of my mind. Its relevance -- and even potential relevance -- is waning. A fancypants Apple-made big-screen HDTV device that seems to float in the air and function like a delightful work of art... . It not only seems unlikely any time soon, but also unlikely to really matter to anyone but rich Apple enthusiasts.
LogMeIn's Free Service Permanently Logs Out
January 23, 2014
LogMeIn has announced that it will be shutting down its free service and unifying its existing portfolio of paid products in a single offering. Existing users of LogMeIn Free will be given seven days from the next time they log on to the service to upgrade to the premium service at a discounted price of $49. LogMeIn was an early pioneer in what's known in business circles as the "freemium" model.
HP Urges Consumers to Give In to Their Win 7 Cravings
January 21, 2014
HP launched a marketing campaign over the weekend advertising that Windows 7 was "back by popular demand." On its website, HP highlighted a handful of devices that run on the older version of Microsoft's OS, and it is selling the Core i5 and i7-powered machines at a $150 discount. The marketing campaign caters to consumers who aren't ready to embrace Windows 8's significant changes.
Microsoft Struggles to Get Surface Pro Updates Right
January 20, 2014
Microsoft is rolling out a fix for a troubled firmware update for Surface Pro 2. Many of those who installed the December patch saw battery-life issues and trouble with the sleep and shutdown functions on the tablets. Some users reported that battery power drained more quickly, and that their Surface either did not charge fully or did not show it was actively being charged.
AMD Unleashes Kaveri APUs
January 14, 2014
AMD is attempting to take computing to a new level with the launch of its 2014 AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Units. The A-Series APUs include AMD's Radeon R7 graphics technology and are codenamed "Kaveri." The chips mark the first time that AMD has used the Heterogeneous System Architecture in an APU -- a way to let the chip evenly allocate and give access to certain resources.
InAiR Gives TV a Breath of Fresh AR
January 14, 2014
Forget second-screen TV viewing with a tablet or phone -- so-called second screens are a kludgy, old-school method of extending a show. What's new? SeeSpace InAiR: The World's 1st Augmented Television. InAiR is a Kickstarter project that intercepts your TV content stream, analyzes it, then reaches out to the Internet to grab relevant content, which it then displays in navigable layers on your HDTV screen.
Will ARM Get a Cold Shoulder from Data Center Owners?
January 14, 2014
The past couple of years have seen rising interest in and considerable promotion of servers and appliances based on the ARM microprocessor architecture. At first glance, the narrative makes some sense. ARM's native performance and energy efficiency, when multiplied across hundreds or thousands of systems, looks impressive for supporting certain kinds of workloads common in Web 2.0, social networking and search sites.
Google Apologizes for Hitler Miscue
January 13, 2014
Google has had its share of headaches in Germany, but this one is new. Google apologized after Google Maps briefly changed the name of a Berlin intersection, "Theodor-Heuss-Platz," to its Nazi-era moniker, "Adolf-Hitler-Platz." Google released a statement explaining that user-submitted edits for Google Maps are reviewed by Google moderators or "the community of mapping volunteers."
Amid Shrinking Market Share, Apple's 2014 Challenges Loom Large
January 09, 2014
In my mind, 2014 is shaping up to be Apple's wildest year in the post-Jobs era. Last year, we saw a lot of incremental innovations from Apple but no thunderous new products. Sure, the new Mac Pro is insanely small, quiet and super sexy -- not to mention manufactured in America, which is no small feat these days -- but it's also a niche product for professionals.
Nvidia's K1 Super Chip Lands in Farmer's Field
January 08, 2014
Nvidia this week announced the Tegra K1, a 192-core super chip that brings its Kepler architecture to the mobile space. Kepler is used in what Nvidia claims is the fastest GPU on the planet, its GeForce GTX 780 Ti. Because the K1 will support the latest PC-class gaming technologies, it will be able to run the Unreal Engine 4 game engine, allowing PC- and console-class game play.

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