Turbotodd

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

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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Where’s My Driver?!

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Ars Technica is reporting that Waymo now has cars driving on the public roads in the Phoenix area with no one in the driver’s seat.

Until recently, the story explains, the company’s modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans had a Waymo employee in the driver’s seat ready to take control if the car malfunctioned.

Not anymore. Check out the video here:

Ya kinda have to see it to believe it.

And so it begins.

Written by turbotodd

November 7, 2017 at 2:25 pm

That’s a Big Deal!

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Happy Monday.

A big deal could hardly wait for Monday morning.  In fact, the biggest tech deal ever.

Broadcom Ltd. has offered roughly $105 billion for Qualcomm Inc., reports Bloomberg, “kicking off an ambitious attempt at the largest technology takeover ever in a deal that would rock the electronics industry.”

According to the report, Broadcom has made an offer of $70 a share in cash and stock for Qualcomm, a 28% premium for the world’s largest maker of mobile phone chips.

If the deal were to go through and be approved, this would make Broadcom the third largest chipmaker, behind Intel and Samsung. And as Bloomberg estimates, the deal would dwarf Dell’s $67 billion acquisition of EMC in 2015.

VentureBeat writes that “the deal would give Broadcom a foothold in the mobile communications market” but comes at a time Qualcomm is still trying to close its own $38 billion bid for NXP Semiconductors, which Qualcomm wants to use to help it get into self-driving technology.

And as VentureBeat points out, Intel is certainly not sitting still as competitive pressure emanates from the likes of Nvidia who are moving into the growing field of machine learning and artificial intelligence, both of which are demanding higher performance semiconductors.

No word at press time as to whether billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family and one of the world’s wealthiest men, will be making an investment in this new venture.

The Prince was detained by Saudi authorities on Saturday night, according to the Wall Street Journal, along with at least 10 other princes and more than two dozen current ministers in the Saudi royal family. Mr. al-Waleed is a top investor in tech companies, including Apple and Twitter, and faces charges of money laundering.

 

Written by turbotodd

November 6, 2017 at 9:02 am

The Power of a Bitcoin

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Happy Friday.

Well, for most.

A disgruntled employee on the way out the door from Twitter apparently deleted President Donald Trump’s Twitter account last night for eleven whole minutes.

Twitter Government on the incident:

Earlier today ’s account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee. The account was down for 11 minutes, and has since been restored. We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.

But if you really want to talk about power, check out how much the average Bitcoin transaction uses: 215 KWh!  According to a story from Motherboard, that’s enough to run an average US home for nearly a week!

In fact, at nearly 300,000 Bitcoin mining transactions per day, global Bitcoin mining could power the daily energy needs of 821,940 average American homes.

And if you instead want to talk about running out of power, it’s sad days at Stack Overflow, the go-to Q&A site for developers. TechCrunch is reporting Stack is going to be laying off roughly 20 percent of its work force, and also going to be closing its Denver office.

Stack’s new “Channels” product is still in beta, and offers a private version of Stack Overflow that companies can run for their own internal teams. But according to TechCrunch, the company’s facing some stiff headwinds due to the likes of Slack, Hipchat, and other similar platforms.

 

Written by turbotodd

November 3, 2017 at 11:23 am

IBM Expands Watson Data Platform to Help Unleash AI

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 IBM today announced new offerings to its Watson Data Platform, including data cataloging and data refining, which is designed to make it easier for developers and data scientists to analyze and prepare enterprise data for AI applications, regardless of its structure or where it resides. By improving data visibility and helping to better enforce data security policies, users can now connect and share data across public and private cloud environments.

By 2018, nearly 75 percent of developers will build AI functionality into their apps, according to IDC. However, they also face the obstacle of making sense of increasingly complex data that lives in different places, and that must be securely and continually ingested to power these apps.

Addressing these challenges, IBM has expanded the functionality of its Watson Data Platform, an integrated set of tools, services and data on the IBM Cloud designed to enable data scientists, developers and business teams to gain intelligence from the data most important to their roles, as well as easily access services like machine learning, AI and analytics.

“We are always looking for new ways to gain a more holistic view of our clients’ campaign data, and design tailored approaches for each ad and marketing tactic,” said Michael Kaushansky, Chief Data Officer at Havas, a global advertising and marketing consultancy. “The Watson Data Platform is helping us do just that by quickly connecting offline and online marketing data. For example, we recently kicked off a test for one of our automotive clients, aiming to connect customer data, advertising information in existing systems, and online engagement metrics to better target the right audiences at the right time.”

Specifically, this expansion includes:

  • New Data Catalog and Data Refinery offerings, which bring together datasets that live in different formats on the cloud, in existing systems and in third party sources; as well as apply machine learning to process and cleanse this data so it can be ingested for AI applications;
  • The ability to use metadata, pulled from Data Catalog and Data Refinery, to tag and help enforce a client’s data governance policies. This gives teams a foundation to more easily identify risks when sharing sensitive data.
  • The general availability of Analytics Engine to separate the storage of data from the information it holds, allowing it to be analyzed and fed into apps at much greater speeds. As a result, developers and data scientists can more easily share and build with large datasets.

More details on the new offerings of the IBM Watson Data Platform may be found here.

To further help companies grasp control of all of their data no matter where it resides, IBM is also announcing a series of new features to its Unified Governance Platform. These bring greater visibility and management of clients’ global data, including new capabilities that help clients as they better prepare for impending data protection regulations such as GDPR.

Built on open source technologies and fueled by IBM Cloud, the Watson Data Platform brings together IBM’s cloud infrastructure, powerful data services and decades of experience helping clients across industries solve their data challenges. Linked closely with the most popular communities among data scientists and developers, including Python and Spark, the Watson Data Platform continues to evolve to build the most open and complete data operating system on the cloud.

For more information on the Watson Data Platform, visit: https://www.ibm.com/analytics/us/en/watson-data-platform/.

To try and explore the Watson Data Platform, visit the tutorial: www.ibm.biz/wdptutorial.

Written by turbotodd

November 2, 2017 at 9:52 am

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