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HP Struggles With Autonomy's Sticky Wicket
February 18, 2014
HP's problems following its 2011 purchase of Autonomy for $11.1 billion are getting worse. Various documents reportedly indicate HP knew about the existence of loss-making hardware sales Autonomy allegedly used to bolster its revenue figures well before May 2012, when HP claimed to learn about them from a whistleblower. Former Autonomy CEO Michael Lynch insists Autonomy did nothing wrong.
Recognizing and Defending Against Creeping Violence
February 17, 2014
I spoke last week with a woman who built a house in Belize. Apparently it was burglarized several times. After she moved away, her husband mysteriously died there -- he had stayed to protect the house before they sold it. Then I got a visit from a friend who'd retired to Brazil but badly wants to come home. He recently had his gold chain ripped from his neck while he was on a private beach.
Google's Got a Robot Friend in Foxconn
February 11, 2014
Google reportedly has partnered with Foxconn to advance its foray into robotics. Foxconn is widely known as the manufacturer of most of Apple's iPhones and iPads. The firm apparently now is working with Google. Last year, former Android chief Andy Rubin switched gears to lead development of Google's robotics initiatives. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou recently met with Rubin in Taipei.
Apple's Sapphire-Screen iPhone Less 'If' Than 'When'
February 11, 2014
If the latest sapphire tech rumor is true, Apple's exclusive manufacturing partner, GT Advanced Technologies, is gearing up its Mesa, Ariz., manufacturing facility with enough furnaces to forge up to 200 million iPhone displays. Previously, most super-hard sapphire crystal rumors were limited to small component usage in Apple products, like scratch-proof Touch ID sensors or camera lens covers.
Innovation vs. Execution: Nadella's Brilliant Stroke
February 10, 2014
There has been a lot of discussion on the differences between Steve Jobs' Apple and Steve Ballmer's Microsoft, with a common argument being that Apple innovated and Microsoft didn't. I'd argue that Microsoft out-innovated Apple during Ballmer's tenure, but Apple out-executed Microsoft. During the last decade, Bill Gates proved to be more of a liability than an asset to Microsoft.
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."
Sprint Chairman Goes Knocking at FCC's Door
February 03, 2014
Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son reportedly was scheduled to meet with the FCC on Monday to discuss a possible purchase of T-Mobile, although the DoJ already has signaled its opposition. Both U.S. government bodies would have to approve of a merger, but they would view it from different perspectives. Son is CEO of Japan's Softbank, which purchased 78 percent of Sprint last July.
Lenovo Takes a Page From Steve Jobs' Playbook
February 03, 2014
If you look back at what Steve Jobs did, he took a hard look at Porsche and Sony, and then he effectively built a better Sony. As Apple's star rose, Sony's star crashed, but Jobs never targeted Sony directly. He just figured out what Sony wasn't doing right, and he did that extremely well while Sony lost its way. He didn't copy Sony's products, he copied its mission.
Nadella May Be Next in Line for the Microsoft Chalice
January 31, 2014
Microsoft is ready to make its enterprise and cloud head, Satya Nadella, the company's new chief executive officer, and it may replace Bill Gates as chairman, according to reports. Nadella appeared to stand out as one of the stronger options to replace retiring CEO Steve Ballmer several weeks ago, but the plans are not yet set in stone. Nadella reportedly is in contract discussions with the board.
What Went Wrong With the iPhone 5c?
January 30, 2014
The iPhone 5c has been bugging me. As a product, it's so good -- and yet so wrong. By not saying much at all during the financial conference call with analysts this week, Apple has confirmed doubts while presenting new questions. Does the iPhone 5c represent a colossal misstep by Apple? Or is it just a mediocre product that remains profitable? Can it be both at the same time?
Google, EC Antitrust Settlement in the Wind
January 29, 2014
Google reportedly is close to settling the antitrust case the EC brought against it more than three years ago. This is its third offer to the EC so far, and it reportedly includes commitments from Google on how it will treat rivals and how it will use content from other providers. "We are ... at a critical point in the Google investigation," said Antoine Colombani, EC spokesperson for competition.
Apple's Next iPhone: Big's In, Plastic's Out
January 28, 2014
iPhone rumors hit pretty much every week, but some rise to the top -- with or without great sources. The latest bigger-screen iPhone 6 rumor comes courtesy of three authors who span the globe, writing together from Hong Kong, Taipei and San Francisco. According to "people familiar with the situation," they reported that two new iPhone models would be released in the second half of this year.
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.
The Case of the Missing OS, or Did Apple Eat Pear?
January 27, 2014
Here in the Linux community, it's no secret that there are more flavors of our favorite operating system than most of us can keep track of. That doesn't mean, however, that one can just up and disappear without anyone noticing. Case in point: Pear OS. One day it's freely available for download, offering a remarkably Mac-like experience that's nevertheless based on Linux.
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.
Christie vs. Clinton: What Would Watson Say?
January 20, 2014
IBM is putting a massive amount of resources into Watson, which has the capability to dramatically improve the quality of our decisions. Since most don't know how Watson works, I thought it would be interesting to emulate how it might think when tied to a topical subject. As the U.S. approaches its next election circus, two candidates have jumped to the top as both frontrunners and targets.
Microsoft May Breathe New Life Into Halo's Cortana AI
January 17, 2014
The hottest rumor for Microsoft Xbox Halo fans is that the voice and text-based virtual assistant service -- code-named "Cortana" and planned for release with Windows Phone 8.1 -- actually might be created with the real-life voice behind Cortana, Jen Taylor. There is no evidence to back up the rumor, but millions of Halo fans will be totally freakin' stoked if it's true.
French Cabbies Attack Uber Vehicles
January 14, 2014
French taxi drivers reportedly attacked vehicles linked to Uber, a smartphone app that helps people find shared rides and drivers-for-hire -- or, from cabbies' perspective, erodes a time-honored business model. Protestors blocked traffic and went after the service's vehicles, reported one Uber-using witness, Kat Borlongan. The vehicle she was in suffered significant damage, including a flat tire.
Microsoft's Next Windows May Be Dressed to the 9
January 13, 2014
Microsoft reportedly will discuss its vision for the future of Windows at its Build developer conference, to be held in San Francisco April 2-4. The company also will talk about the next version of its operating system, code-named "Threshold," which will be officially named "Windows 9" and will debut in April 2015. Windows 8 generally has been panned, and sales reportedly have been poor.

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