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Category Archives for "Network World Data Center"

Budget smartphones to get 4K video, faster LTE with new Qualcomm chips

Qualcomm is planting the seeds for 4K video and faster LTE speeds in more affordable smartphones with its new Snapdragon 620 and 618 processors, which will reach devices in the second half of this year.The new chips could be in smartphones priced at US$300 and above, and some performance and 4K features are being cascaded from the Snapdragon 810 chip, which goes into premium smartphones priced above $500.Previous Snapdragon 600 series chips have appeared in a few handsets and phablets from HTC, Samsung and LG. Amazon’s Fire TV also uses a Snapdragon 600 chip and is able to deliver full high-definition video to TV sets.The new 600 series chips are built to support Android and Windows, said Tim McDonough , vice president of marketing at the company.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Competition, new rules to spur West African electronic financial services

New regulations, competition and product diversity are likely to help boost digital financial services across the eight West African Economic and Monetary Union countries.Making financial services available and affordable to all segments of the population, especially those excluded by income level, political instability, gender, location, or education, has been a major topic over the past few years in Africa.The availability of financial services to those who historically not had access to them—so-called financial inclusion—is essential for widespread economic growth, according to the African Development Bank (ADF). However, Africa has been lagging behind other continents in this area, with less than one out of four adults holding an account at a formal financial institution, according to an ADF report, “Financial Inclusion in Africa.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IBM puts software and cloud at the center of storage

The future of storage may not be in storage itself, but in the intelligence to manage it.Major storage vendors and startups alike are now pushing software-defined systems spanning anything from a set of arrays to a whole enterprise. On Tuesday, IBM placed a big bet on this trend, announcing the first product in a portfolio called IBM Spectrum Storage and saying it will invest $1 billion in storage software over the next five years.The strategy will see IBM offer its traditional storage systems in software form so customers can choose to buy them as appliance, software or service. The first Spectrum Storage product out of the gate is IBM Spectrum Accelerate, software that’s based on the company’s own XIV high-end storage appliance.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Dell XPS 13 vs. MacBook Air: A closer look at battery life

The MacBook Air's battery life is legendary. Colleagues who drive MacBook Airs claim they can get all-day battery life, and that no similarly sized PC can do the same. But now we have a real contender: The Dell XPS 13. Time to test those claims.Before we dig in, it's important to note that there's no single test that can compare PC and MacBook battery life directly. We have to arrive at comparable numbers through reasoned use of similar tests. I'll also be discussing other reviewers' tests to help paint a more detailed picture.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Payments startup iZettle makes chip & PIN card reader available for free

With a free Chip & PIN card reader, Swedish mobile payments company iZettle is lowering the threshold for small companies to start accepting card payments.The Card Reader Lite, released Tuesday, connects to tablets or smartphones via an audio cable and it is meant to lower the cost barriers small merchants face when setting up their businesses, iZettle said.Startup costs weren’t that high to begin with though. Businesses only pay €49 (about US$55) for iZettle’s wireless Bluetooth card reader, which it will continue to offer, and similar readers from competing services such as Payleven and SumUp cost only a little more at €79.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Materials breakthrough promises smaller chips

If you haven't heard of graphene, or its new brother silicene, you will.For the uninitiated, graphene is a super cost-effective, ultra-hard and light-weight conductor. It's better than copper at conducting and is in fact the world's most conductive substance. Silicene is similar in that it's also ultra-thin, but it has properties that may be more suited for use in chips.We've been hearing about graphene for a while. However, this miracle substance has a slight, somewhat awkward problem for a superstar. Despite its second-coming-like trumpet blowing, it's not very good in transistors. The reason: it doesn't have the necessary logic operation capability.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Products of the week 02.16.2015

New products of the weekOur roundup of intriguing new products. Read how to submit an entry to Network World's products of the week slideshow.Actifio OneKey features: Actifio One is a flexible cloud-based service for midmarket companies to extend their datacenter. Built on the copy data virtualization technology, applications are available when and where users need them. More info.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Infosys to acquire startup Panaya to automate customer tasks

Indian outsourcer Infosys is to acquire Panaya, a U.S. vendor of automation technology for testing enterprise software deployments and upgrades.The cash deal values Panaya at an enterprise value of US$200 million, and is in line with the company’s strategy under new CEO Vishal Sikka to automate processes, including by using artificial intelligence, to cut down on repetitive tasks and accelerate services delivery.“This acquisition aims to use automation to boost the revenue of the company without a corresponding increase in staff,” said Sudin Apte, CEO and research director at analyst firm Offshore Insights. He pointed out that Infosys’ rivals like Tata Consultancy Services already use some degree of automation developed in-house.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Vint Cerf worries about a ‘digital dark age,’ and your data could be at risk

In this era of the all-pervasive cloud, it’s easy to assume that the data we store will somehow be preserved forever. The only thing to fret about from a posterity perspective, we might think, is the analog information from days gone by—all the stuff on papers, tapes and other pre-digital formats that haven’t been explicitly converted.Vinton Cerf, often called “the father of the Internet,” has other ideas.Now chief Internet evangelist at Google, Cerf spoke this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he painted a very different picture.Rather than a world where longevity is a given, Cerf fears a “digital dark age” in which the rapid evolution of technology quickly makes storage formats obsolete thanks to a phenomenon he calls “bit rot.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Apple is said to recruit engineers for car development project

Apple’s automotive ambitions may extend beyond CarPlay, its vehicle dashboard software.Managers from the company’s iPhone unit are leading employees in automotive research projects at a secret Silicon Valley lab, according to a report in the Financial Times Friday.Apple designers have met with executives and engineers at auto makers and in some cases recruited them, including the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley research and development division, the report says.If Apple is indeed building a car it will quickly run into one of its biggest rivals—Google, which is far along in its development of an autonomous vehicle. Traditional automakers are also getting smarter about incorporating technology in their vehicles. Chevrolet’s cars can come with built-in LTE hotspots, and in January Audi ferried journalists from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas in a self-driving car.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Newsreel reveals that even 1946 debut of ENIAC was greeted with ‘1984’-ish suspicion

A “today in history” post from The Poynter Institute includes an old newsreel showing that ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic computer, was also the first to raise the specter of government prying eyes ... or a least a look over your shoulder.Here’s that 20th Century Fox newsreel, with a transcript below for those who’d rather read: Transcript:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Panasonic’s Toughbook 54 gets lighter, but stays strong

Panasonic’s Toughbooks are known for their strength and durability, but the company is trying to resolve some of the heft and size issues with its latest model.The Toughbook 54 14-inch laptop is just 1.9 kilograms (4.19 pounds), much lighter than its predecessor, the Toughbook 53, which was over 2.5 kilograms. Panasonic has also doubled memory capacity of the laptop to 16GB, and included a spare bay to improve storage capacity.The Toughbook isn’t going to compete on weight with laptops marketed as being super light, such as Dell’s XPS 13, which weights a bit more than 1 kilogram. But it is much tougher, thanks to a magnesium alloy chassis that can withstand drops of just under 1 meter. The Toughbook 54 has a handle, making it look much like a mini-suitcase.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

GeoPoll, Control Union tap mobile tech to bring African farmers into supply chain

U.S.-based GeoPoll is partnering with Control Union, an international provider of agricultural inspection and safety services, to reach out to African farmers and bring them into global supply chain networks while ensuring compliance with standard business practices.GeoPoll provides technology for data collection, using mobile platforms for surveys. Control Union will be able to use GeoPoll technology to reach small-holding farmers to gain more information about their practices. The idea is to bring increased transparency to food supply chains globally, with a focus on key products such as cocoa, coffee, cotton, fruits and vegetables, palm oil, rice, and tobacco. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Google fear a factor behind Orbitz-Expedia deal

After acquiring a competitor weeks ago and just announcing plans to buy another one, Expedia may look like the dominant player in online travel, but its CEO argues the deals are necessary to battle another rival: Google.Expedia offers online booking services for flights, car rentals and hotels under brands such as Hotels.com and Hotwire.com, and plans to beef up its business with Thursday’s US$1.6 billion proposed acquisition of rival Orbitz, which offers similar services and operates sites such as CheapTickets.com.Snatching up Orbitz will give Expedia the customers it needs to fend off companies that have muscled their way into the online travel agency space, including Google, said Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi during a webcast held to discuss the Orbitz deal. Google, along with traditional travel industry players like hotels, are all trying to establish themselves as the best option for consumers looking to book travel.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Expedia to buy Orbitz for $1.6 billion

Cheaper air travel is making the world seem smaller—and that’s increasingly the case for the online booking market too, with Expedia planning to swallow up rival Orbitz Worldwide barely a month after buying the smaller Travelocity.Expedia operates online booking services for flights, car rentals and hotels, including the Hotels.com brand, while Orbitz offers similar services under its own brand and at Ebookers.com and Hotelclub.com.For Expedia, the acquisition is primarily about growing its customer base: The companies offer similar services in overlapping markets. Orbitz also operates “white label” travel booking services for airlines and bank loyalty programs through its Orbitz Partner Network.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, February 12

Restrictive governments getting better at censoring the InternetAuthoritarian government are censoring the Internet more aggressively and using more sophisticated technology, according to the annual World Press Freedom Index being released Thursday by Reporters Without Borders. China is judged “a pioneer” in the field, after blocking access to all Google services during the last year and stamping out domestic coverage of protests in Hong Kong and the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Iran is also high on the list, as it works on a national intranet that will keep citizens off the global Internet.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Apple ends system of recruitment fees that tied labor to contractors

Apple has forced its suppliers to end a form of “bonded labor” that saddled assembly line workers with unnecessary hiring fees, and put them in debt to third-party recruiters.The requirement went into effect starting this year, the company said on Wednesday in its latest supplier responsibility report, which examines the labor conditions at factories that produce Apple products.Many of these factories are based in mainland China, where suppliers are hiring thousands of local workers. But in periods of labor shortages, Apple suppliers have at times relied on third-party recruitment agencies to bring in more temporary workers.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Cisco posts revenue gains, vows to beat VMware’s network software

Cisco Systems posted quarterly revenue and profit gains that included growth for its software-defined networking products, and Chairman and CEO John Chambers used the occasion to lay down the gauntlet to SDN rival VMware.The company’s revenue hit $11.9 billion in the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 24, up 7 percent from a year earlier. SDN, a new market that might imperil Cisco’s traditional network hardware business, was a strong point: Sales of the company’s recently introduced Nexus 3000 and 9000 data-center switches, key to its SDN architecture, grew 350 percent.Cisco claimed 1,700 total customers for its SDN architecture, called ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure), up from 970 the previous quarter.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Facebook super-sizes its open networking switch

Facebook is taking its crusade for open networking to a broader battlefield, using its 16-port “Wedge” switch design as the basis of a new modular platform that can link together racks of servers across a data center.The social networking juggernaut doesn’t intend to become a data networking vendor. It designs switches for its own needs and then open-sources its hardware designs so others can use them. In time, other companies could turn Facebook switch designs into products for sale, but Facebook won’t be directly involved, said Matt Corddry, director of hardware engineering at Facebook.GOOD LUCK: Geeky Ways to Celebrate Friday the 13thTo read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Hitachi buying Pentaho to boost its IoT business

Hitachi Data Systems is purchasing business intelligence software maker Pentaho to incorporate analysis into Internet of Things systems it’ll build for the healthcare, public safety and other industries.“Hitachi owns the infrastructure and Pentaho owns the data integration and analytics platform and know-how to harness the value in big data,” wrote Pentaho CEO Quentin Gallivan in a blog post detailing the rationale behind the acquisition.Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of global conglomerate Hitachi, and focuses on IT and data center support and integration. It has been working to expand into the IoT market, which will generate over $2 trillion in business for all industries by 2020, according to Goldman Sachs.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here