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EMEA Printer Market is Up

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The combo printer, copier and multifunctional product (MFP) shipments in EMEA in 2007 totaled 52.6-million units, up 4,3% says Gartner.

This year of growth was driven by demand for MFPs, which outsold printers. Colour-page devices grew again in EMEA (up 34%) but monochrome-page was the predominant office choice (up 18% and 85% share of the page market).

HP held Number 1 position while Lexmark lost market-share trying to pull out of the lower end of the market to focus on high-end workgroup space.

”The current period of unit growth may not continue,” cautions Gartner.

Vendor200720072006

20062007-2006

 Shipments(%)Shipments(%)Growth (%)
Hewlett-Packard23,22144.120,72341.110.8
Canon8,33715.88,12416.12.5
Epson6,66112.76,29612.55.5
Lexmark3,9867.65,0129.9-25.7
Brother3,2246.12,9025.810.0
Others7,21013.77,33414.6-1.7
Total52,637100.050,392100.04.3
      

Your Body: A DigitalTattoo That’s Bloodless

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tattooSome people’s genius is just frightening…

Engineer Jim Mielke's invention, as demonstrated at a Greener Gadgets Design Competition, is a wireless blood-fueled display subcutaneously implanted. A touch-screen operates as a cell phone display (with the potential for 3G video calls that are visible just underneath the skin.)
When the phone rings, for example, an individual turns the display on, and "the tattoo comes to life as a digital video of the caller." Mielke told press. When the call ends, the tattoo disappears.

The 2x4-inch "Digital Tattoo Interface" Bluetooth device (made of thin, flexible silicon and silicone) is inserted through a small incision as a tightly rolled tube, and then it unfolds underneath the skin to skin and muscle.

Via the same incision, two small tubes allow blood to flow to a coin-sized blood fuel cell and it converts glucose and oxygen into electricity. After blood flows in (from an artery) to the fuel cell, it flows out again (via the vein).
 
On both surfaces of the display (top and bottom) is a matching matrix of field-producing pixels. The top enables touch-screen control through the skin. Instead of ink, the display uses tiny microscopic spheres, similar to tattoo ink (the spheres changes their color from clear to black, as aligned with the matrix fields).

The “tattoo” communicates like any other Bluetooth device. Tthe display can be turned off and on by pushing a small dot on the skin. But unlike battery-powered devices… this device is the ultimate green concept and is always on as long as your blood flows.

Fortunately, as an engineer, Jim has no plans for commercialization.

Bob’s Byte: Nicolas Carr Flips on “The Big Switch”

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Nicholas CarrYou remember Nicholas Carr, sure you do.

While at Harvard Business Review, Carr penned a famous report called: “I.T. Doesn’t Matter.”

Now apparently it does matter as he has taken the time to write a book about I.T. The first half of the book explains how computing is switching from a box sitting in front of the user to being a utility-like electricity.

Utility computing is old news, although he presents the story well. So it’s the second half of his book that has the industry talking. In that half, Carr starts to develop a plot to rival sci-fi virtuoso Arthur C. Clarke.

The Big SwitchCarr says a revolution is coming. He might talk to Steve Ballmer whose speech at CeBIT featured the news that our 5th revolution has just begun, but never mentioned “utility.” But Carr sees a different revolution: he sees the internet, a network of computers, becoming a gigantic computer itself.

Users will write programs to run on this "World Wide Computer," as Carr refers to it, and sooner or later, this system will, like Hal 9000 in 2001 A Space Odyssey, gain a level of artificial intelligence. And that’s when the fun starts.

The Big Switch, by Nicholas Carr, Norton, 258 pages.

The Mystery of the Corporate 5 Note Tune

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Remember the 3 seconds music tone of INTEL that chirped so famously on TV ads across the world? It played once every 5 minutes somewhere in the world.

Now Cisco's selected a new musical logo. Cisco was quite chuffed  as apparently it takes 18 months to compose an adequate five-note tune and Cisco completed this in six months. Whew!
Cisco is in a touchy-feely corporate mood these days, although it fires execs who can’t do touchy-feely without blinking. Which would indicate a source of musical inspiration for their music could be the song: You Have to be Cruel to Be Kind.

Instead Cisco let 12,000 employees fill out surveys last summer with suggestions for the logo. Some even created tunes of their own. After a small group of finalists were picked, the employees voted on them.

Given Cisco’s track record with notes, we think they could have saved a lot of fuss and recorded the sound of the cash register ringing in the bills.

 

Micron, Nanya Will Cooperate On Chip Design

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Micron and Nanya Technology sign a preliminary deal to set up a joint venture and cooperate on technology development.

Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed. The deal centers on collaborating on technology for making DRAMs.

Micron is the biggest U.S. DRAM maker by revenue. Nanya is Taiwan's second-biggest producer (after Powerchip Semiconductor Corp.)

Prices of DRAM chips fell nearly 80% in the past year.

The weak environment is forcing DRAM makers globally to seek partners to share the cost of shrinking circuitry to boost data-storage capacity. Sony. and Qimonda AG agreed last October to form a JV to design DRAM for consumer and graphics applications.

Collaborating with Micron could bring Nanya to "stack" technology. (Nanya now uses trench technology.)

For both companies, this deal could help share R&D cost and add production capacity less expensively than the company could alone.

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