Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Let the Chips Fall…

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Some big deals brewing early on a Monday morning.

Reuters reported that chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. would buy smaller rival Cavium Inc. in a $6 billion deal “as it seeks to expand its wireless connectivity business in a fast consolidating semiconductor industry.”

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Marvell makes chips for storage devices while San Jose, California-based Cavium builds network equipment.
– via U.S.

 

China’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba, will buy a big stake in China Wal-Mart rival, Sun Art Retail Group Ltd, for $2.88 billion, which would give it a 36 percent stake in the company.

Alibaba, which runs the world’s largest online shopping operation, sees traditional retail venues as a way to expand its reach into fresh foods while also creating new demand for its Alipay mobile-payment business and its logistics services. “Physical stores serve an indispensable role during the consumer journey, and should be enhanced through data-driven technology and personalized services in the digital economy,” Alibaba chief executive officer Daniel Zhang said in a statement.
– via WSJ

This follows on the heels of Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of U.S. grocer Whole Foods.

But China’s not done. One of its leading phone and appliances makers, Xiaomi Corp., has also indicated it would invest as much as $1 billion in 100 startups in India over the next five years. The move is apparently an effort to build an ecosystem of apps around its smartphone brand.

And if you’re still waiting for your Uber, you may not have to wait much longer. Just don’t look for the driver.

Reuters is reporting that Uber plans to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo, building on a three-year relationship between the two companies.

Geely-owned Volvo said in a statement on Monday it would provide Uber with its flagship XC90 SUVs equipped with autonomous technology as part of a non-exclusive deal from 2019 to 2021. A Volvo spokesman said it covered up to 24,000 cars. The self-driving system that would be used in the Volvo cars — which have yet to be built — is under development by Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group.
– via U.S.

That would be the single largest purchase for Volvo, and the broader autonomous vehicle industry, and would give Uber its first commercial fleet of cars.

No financial details were disclosed for the purchase, which would be a massive new investment for Uber and mark a change from Uber’s long-standing business model where contractor drivers buy or lease and maintain their own cars.
– via U.S.

Written by turbotodd

November 20, 2017 at 9:39 am

Fusion Genomics Using IBM Cloud To Support Advances Against Global Pandemics

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IBM today announced that Vancouver-based company Fusion Genomics selected IBM’s cloud capabilities to help advance Fusion’s ability to detect pandemics before they happen.

Fusion Genomics has developed disruptive DNA and RNA technology that it believes can positively identify infectious diseases and enhance the surveillance of emerging pathogens like MERS, SARS, avian flu, and swine flu.

Fusion Genomics selects IBM Cloud as scientists advance RNA and DNA genome sequencing for infectious disease diagnostics.

Vancouver-based company Fusion Genomics selected IBM’s cloud capabilities to help advance Fusion’s ability to detect pandemics before they happen. Fusion Genomics has developed disruptive DNA and RNA technology that it believes can positively identify infectious diseases and enhance the surveillance of emerging pathogens like MERS, SARS, avian flu, and swine flu. (Credit: IBM)

According to Fusion, Fusion Genomics’ technology when employed for pre-emergence surveillance can help proactively identify threats, like swine flu, by taking aerosol samples in high risk areas, then analyze the sample to determine if there is potential to affect humans.

If there is a risk, Fusion Genomics can help groups like governments and hospitals make rapid and informed decisions for the health and safety of those that rely on them before an outbreak occurs.

Requiring a cloud platform tuned for machine learning workloads, which also provides secure infrastructure capable of hosting sensitive genomic data, Fusion Genomics determined that the IBM Cloud was the ideal solution.

The global infrastructure footprint of the IBM Cloud helps Fusion Genomics create a more coordinated and efficient delivery system that can scale up or down as needed. In addition, IBM Cloud positioned the company to analyze genomic data in minutes.

The IBM Cloud enables Fusion Genomics’ system to gather and process four core elements in unison:

  • Beginning with testing, the sample genome is captured and DNA sequenced.
  • Fusion Genomics’ machine learning algorithms then analyze the genomic data to identify the presence of a pathogen, including any forms that could cause public harm.  
  • Once identified, physicians using Fusion Genomics’ technology can provide appropriate therapeutics; thus, treatment can be determined while tracking the transmission dynamics of the pathogen.
  • Since the system is delivered via the IBM Cloud, Fusion Genomics can easily run analytics and share information across boundaries.

“With a quickly growing global population, potential outbreaks of infectious diseases pose an increasingly pressing threat to our public health”, said Mohammad Qadir, CEO of Fusion Genomics.  “We chose IBM over other cloud providers because of its ability to quickly scale up or down while ensuring that sensitive data is protected with one of the most secure clouds available. This accelerates our capacity to react to infectious diseases that can pose dangerous threats to both the economy and human life.”

Organizations around the world are working with Fusion Genomics to access their DNA and RNA technology system built on IBM Cloud, including government agencies in both Canada and the European Union. 

For more information about IBM Cloud, please visit https://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/.

Written by turbotodd

November 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

China Tops Top500 Supercomputing List

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For the first time ever, China has the most systems on the Top500 supercomputers list with 202, up from 159 six months ago.

By comparison, the U.S. dropped from 169 to 144, according to a report from CNET.

China also sits atop the Top500 list, with its Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer at China’s National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi reaching 93.01 petflops, or 93 quadrillion calculations per second.

But don’t rule out the U.S….

The United States might reclaim the top spot on the Top500 list, though. An IBM-built machine called Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is designed to reach about 200 petaflops, double the performance of Sunway TaihuLight. It’s in a 10,000-square-foot facility that’s got a 20-megawatt power system for running the machine and keeping it cool. That’s enough electricity to power about 16,300 houses.
– via CNET

Written by turbotodd

November 14, 2017 at 9:34 am

Posted in 2017, china, ibm, supercomputing

A Deal to Boost Mobile App Speeds

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ZDNet is reporting that web performance and security provider Cloudflare has acquired Neumob, a mobile accelerator for apps.

They report that Neumob will allow the company to provide improved end-to-end optimization across desktop and mobile, with no disruptions or speed loss based on the device used.

VentureBeat wrote of the deal:

Neumob’s technology is designed to replace traditional internet protocols that weren’t necessarily designed with the issues of wireless networks in mind, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told VentureBeat. He said that TCP, one of the core protocols behind the internet, assumes that packet loss means there’s a router in a wired network being overwhelmed somewhere and backs off of transmitting data. “[That] makes a ton of sense on a wired network, but on a mobile network, when you start to see packet loss, that could just mean someone turned on the microwave or you’re driving through a tunnel, there are solar flares, or any number of things that the right reaction isn’t to back off,” Prince said. Neumob built a new set of capabilities that are designed to do away with issues like that. The technology is able to make applications load up to 3 times faster and reduce app errors and timeouts by up to 90 percent.
– via VentureBeat

Written by turbotodd

November 14, 2017 at 9:12 am

Qualcomm Board Rejects Broadcom’s Takeover Bid

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Happy Monday.

The Board of Directors for Qualcomm Inc. has rejected Broadcom’s $105 billion takeover bid.

“It is the Board’s unanimous belief that Broadcom’s proposal significantly undervalues Qualcomm relative to the Company’s leadership position in mobile technology and our future growth prospects,” said Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Qualcomm Incorporated.
– via Qualcomm

“No company is better positioned in mobile, IoT, automotive, edge computing and networking within the semiconductor industry.  We are confident in our ability to create significant additional value for our stockholders as we continue our growth in these attractive segments and lead the transition to 5G,” said Steve Mollenkopf, Chief Executive Officer of Qualcomm Incorporated.
– via Qualcomm

Qualcomm stock was up nearly 1 percent in early morning trading.

If you’re interested in all things cyber spooks and shadows, The New York Times feature on the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations’ recent fate is a must (but quite long) read.

And if you’re looking for quantum leaps in computing power, IBM announced late Friday two significant quantum processor upgrades for its IBM Q early-access commercial systems.

The first IBM Q systems available online to clients will have a 20 qubit processor, featuring improvements in superconducting qubit design, connectivity and packaging.

And the company has also successfully built and measured an operational prototype 50 qubit processor with similar performance metrics.

Clients will have online access to the computing power of the first IBM Q systems by the end of 2017.

In case you were wondering, a qubit, or “quantum bit,” is a unit of quantum information — the quantum analogue of the classical bit. But a qubit is distinguished by its being a two-state quantum-mechanical system, which allows a single photon both vertical and horizontal polarization.
You can read more in this blog post, “The future is quantum.”

Written by turbotodd

November 13, 2017 at 9:01 am

Need a New iPad?

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Are you in need of a new and improved iPad?

Well, even if you aren’t, Apple’s apparently working on one, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The company is said to be working on a redesigned, high-end iPad for as early as 2019 that incorporates some of the nifty new features from the iPhone X, including slimmer edges and facial recognition.

Bloomberg’s story suggests at least one new iPad model with a screen size similar to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is planned to include Face ID for unlocking the device, making payments, and sending animated emojis.

Because at work, it’s imperative that we be able to send animated facially-driven emojis.

And yes, the “home” button would go away on these new iPads, so you might as well just go ahead and get over it.

Written by turbotodd

November 9, 2017 at 9:54 am

A Snap Investment

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Happy Hump Day.

Chinese Internet firm Tencent has taken a roughly ten percent stake in the popular messaging app, Snap, according to a report by CNBC.

Tencent runs the WeChat messaging app, as well as online payment platforms and games.

Snap shares took a beating yesterday afternoon to the tune of 20 percent in after hours trading after reporting average revenue per user was up 39 percent YOY, but failing to meet Wall Street estimates.

Tencent is one of largest Internet companies in the world, featuring a variety of services that include social networking, e-commerce, mobile games, multiplayer online games, as well as it’s well-known instant messenger Tencent QQ.

Its WeChat mobile messaging service has over 1 billion monthly active users and is known as China’s “App for Everything,” including instant messaging, commerce, and payment services.

Written by turbotodd

November 8, 2017 at 8:55 am

Posted in 2017, china, messaging, snapchat

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