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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.
Intel Leaps Out of the Box
January 07, 2014
CEO Brian Krzanich laid out the road map for Intel's future in his first Consumer Electronics Show keynote as CEO. Krzanich, who took over the top job last May, focused on wearable technology -- including some products designed internally -- as well as dual operating system tech and Intel's McAfee security software. Among the products Krzanich displayed was a Bluetooth headset codenamed "Jarvis."
Was 2013 the Run-Up to Nineteen Eighty-Four?
December 23, 2013
It is time to look back on 2013 and consider what we've learned about technology and human nature. Both Apple and Dell were massively changed, and Google went from a company that wanted our private information to one that wanted our jobs. The U.S. government decided, through the NSA, that laws don't apply to it. Those who brought this to our attention got big punishments.
Chinese Man Heads to US Prison for Microchip Smuggling Attempt
December 19, 2013
A Chinese citizen was sentenced to three years in U.S. prison Wednesday for trying to smuggle American-made microchips from California to China. The man, Philip Chaohui He, was targeted in a 2011 sting at a Los Angeles-area port. He was nabbed while approaching a Chinese freighter, toting with him 200 radiation-hardened microchips tucked inside a tub of baby formula.
Apple's Sleek New Mac Pro Hits the Market
December 18, 2013
Apple has announced that its new Mac Pro will be available to order starting Thursday. It unveiled the system in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, surprising attendees with its cylindrical design. The aluminum body is just an eighth of the size of a standard tower unit -- 9.9 inches tall, 6.6 inches in diameter and weighing in at around 11 pounds.
The Maddeningly Painful, Pathetic Apple TV Experience
December 12, 2013
It's damn near 2014, and what's the most baffling computing experience we have? The Apple TV television experience. It's so disappointing. We get new so-called TV channels -- or little Applets -- that give us a kaleidoscopic glimpse into the content available from a particular broadcast network, but it's also locked down so we have to be a cable television subscriber to view it.
If You're Jonesing for a 2nd Screen, Air Display Is a Nifty Fix
December 06, 2013
I was intrigued when I came across Air Display, an Android app that lets you use your tablet as a second screen. Second PC displays definitely boost work productivity. I've been using two displays for years, keeping my email client open all the time on the left screen -- a laptop display -- and work-work on the right screen. I'm able to monitor incoming junk mail without having to stop working.
SMBs Hop on Virtualization Gravy Train
December 06, 2013
Mentioning virtualization technology to typical computer users in a work environment will get you a puzzled look. Despite the apparent obscurity of this IT trend, virtualization is making an increasingly large impact on SMBs. Some type of virtualization was reported in place by 77 percent of firms with 500 or fewer employees who responded to a recent survey.
Google Makes Robotics Its Next 'Crazy Idea'
December 04, 2013
Hard on the heels of Amazon's recent announcement that it's planning deliveries by drone, Google this week acknowledged that it has embarked on a new robotics effort under the leadership of former Android head Andy Rubin. "I am excited about Andy Rubin's next project," said Google cofounder and CEO Larry Page. "His last big bet, Android, started off as a crazy idea that ended up putting a supercomputer in hundreds of millions of pockets."
MacBooster Can Help Keep Your Mac Humming
November 26, 2013
Surf over to the Mac App Store, and you'll find plenty of utilities for keeping your Apple personal computer in tip-top shape. There are tools for freeing up RAM and cleaning files from disks and thoroughly uninstalling apps. Have you ever wished, however, that you had a an app to perform all those tasks under the same hood? IObit is doing that with MacBooster.
Intel Chief Lays Out the Game Plan
November 25, 2013
In his first meeting with investors since taking the helm, CEO Brian Krzanich presented a road map for the company's future. Intel will make a stronger push into mobile devices, expand its foundry business to build processors for other chip makers, and move into additional new markets. Intel has lagged behind competitors such as Qualcomm in the smartphone and tablet spaces.
The Yay! and Uh-Oh Reasons for Slowing Mac Sales
November 21, 2013
There's been some concern over the last year or so over slowing Mac sales. Instead of selling at wildly better rates than the constricting PC industry, Macs have been languishing. Of course, at the same time iPad and iPhone sales have been skyrocketing, so it's not hard to point a finger at iPads as a reason. Makes sense. iPads hold a heckuva lot of computing power inside their one-piece slab.

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