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Bob’s Byte

Intel Believes Drones are Their Next Computing Platform

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Intel Believes Drones are Their Next Computing Platform

Intel’s leaders believe drones are an important computing platform for the future—and they hold a new Guinness World Record to prove it.

They set the new record for having The Most UAVs Airborne Simultaneously with 500 drones lighting up the night sky. They outdid their previous record of 100 drones in-flight simultaneously in less than a year.

Yet the World Record may not be as high flying as an even more important record: these were all Intel-built and Intel-branded drones. Yes, it’s "Intel Outside" this time...

In October, Intel announced their first Intel-branded commercial multirotor drone – the Intel Falcon 8+ System [shown in photo below] with complete flight system redundancies built in.

Recently they announced their expanded capabilities in the drone sector with their acquisition of MAVinci GmbH – a private fixed-wing company with best-in-class flight planning software.

But Intel isn’t stopping there.

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German High Tech Company Fights Philippine Customs Corruption-- For More Than 30 Years

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German High Tech Company Fights Philippine Customs Corruption-- For More Than 30 Years

In the age of internet, every company is urged to "tell its story." Recently at IFA Berlin, the German consumer electronics company, Unimex, told us its story fighting theft and corruption, a story that spans three decades and several regimes in the Philippines.

The moment Stephan Finta hit the bottom of the stairs, he knew what he had to do.

He looked up at the two bulky guards from the Customs Office in Manila who had just thrown him down the stairs. Both had guns drawn and one said, "Never come back here, Finta."

When Finta finally had his chance to tell this story in court, no one was surprised. In the Philippines, violence and corruption were the norm at that time.

Usually a consumer electronics manufacturer (video computers, cartridges, game accessories) from Germany was not a target. And certainly this was not the message the Philippines wanted to send abroad to the international business community.

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Sinking Shipping Firm to Cause 2016 Price Disruption

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Sinking Shipping Firm to Cause 2016 Price Disruption

Korea's Hanjin, container shipping giant, drowns in financial waves and the consumer electronics industry will get swamped.

With too many container ships and freight rates at historical lows, Hanjin files for receivership-- and much of the industry will only now learn how dependent the electronics industry is on container ships.

For example, Daniel Yoo at Kiwoom Securities told CNBC Hanjin handles more than 50% of Samsung Electronics' device shipments from South Korea to the Americas-- as well as 23% of LG Electronics.

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Chinese Company Buys Ingram Micro

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Chinese Company Buys Ingram Micro

Out of the blue sea, Tianjin Tianhai from China announced it will buy Ingram-Micro, the world's largest technology distributor for $6 billion.

$6 billion for a $46 billion company tells you a lot about the business of high tech distribution. But this story is not about the HOW MUCH but more about the WHO and the WHY.

Tianjin Tianhai began as a humble marine shipping company and turned itself into a modern logistic industry investor and operator, focusing on investment in logistics, supply chain and management-- and financing service for the logistic industry.

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Amazon Opens First Bookstore

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Amazon Opens First Bookstore

James Daunt, CEO of Waterstones in the UK, told the BBC he hopes Amazon’s push into physical retailing “falls flat on its face.” Daunt has also removed Amazon's Kindle from most of Waterstones’ 280 stores.

You can hardly blame him.  It seems ironic the webstore that enrichened itself shuttering so many bookstores-- while crowing about the inefficiency of brick-built stores-- now turns to a physical presence as if it were an Amazon innovation.

More than 20 years ago, Amazon first rocked the book industry with its online sales, a digital disruption--specialized in books--that battered both bookstores and book publishing. In a short time Amazon captured about 25% of all books sold in the U.S. market.

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The Merchant of Venice

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The Merchant of Venice

If you caught the last Republican debate, Donald Trump and others were on stage in the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. That casino stands on the site of the former Sands hotel and is owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation whose owner is a major contributor to Republican Party candidates.

While the city of Venice rests famously upon a foundation of loosely spaced wooden piles covered with plates of Istrian limestone,  the Venetian Hotel & Casino was built on a foundation of dollars from the computer industry.

How did the computer industry, an industry known in Vegas by its annual visits to conventions as "non-gamblers," contribute to the making of the Venetian?

Remember COMDEX (1979-1995)?

It was the brainchild of Sheldon Adelson, the rapacious show organizer parlayed his computer trade show into Las Vegas casino ownership and a billionaire's influence on the American Republican party.

As of June 2015, Adelson (with a fortune of $28 billion) was listed by Forbes as the 18th richest person in the world.

Now Forbes has put Adelson in the headlines again. This is the story:

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Microsoft to Limit Unlimited Storage

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Microsoft to Limit Unlimited Storage

It's official: Microsoft OneDrive will cut unlimited storage to Office 365 Home, Personal or University subscribers...starting NOW.

Those unlimited subscribers will be limited to 1TB of OneDrive storage.

And many users are furious.

The comments on the blog describe the problem for many professionals in video and in photography who actually need more space than 1TB. But the bigger problem for Microsft will be other consumers who react more to the sudden change itself, to this "huge back-down."

OneDrive executives explain the change is necessary to curb abuse. A "small number of subscribers" backed up "numerous PCs and stored entire movie colllections and DVR recordings." In some cases, Microsoft notes this was 14,000X the average (or 75 TB for a user).

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Is Intel Wrong About the PC?

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Is Intel Wrong About the PC?

Intel told Wall Street that its PC sales will grow in "mid-single digits" in 2015. Some analysts think Intel is fibbing.

These industry analysts claim Intel's CPU revenue will fall by 6% in 2015, based on inventory build-ups from 2014.

Analyst Srini Pajjuri of CLSA is one of the bears. Pajjuri writes that “Management deserves credit for solid execution and consistent strategy, but we believe the company’s 2015 guidance for mid-single-digit growth is optimistic.”

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What's a PC Dealer to Do?

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What's a PC Dealer to Do?

I may be one of the few voices that still argues the PC is not dead. At least I am a familar voice: I have stood on stage at many IT events during the last 20 years, defending the PC against death-sayers.

One speech last year is still worth listening to, if you like the tone and fact of this article: Thinking Outside the PC Box.

Listening carefully to the market, it seems while the PC is still alive, it is not cool to acknowledge it. How can I persist in believing in the PC when statistics show great decline in the PC market? Mainly because I believe the PC sales we are losing are the most unprofitable ones anyways.

Don't get me wrong-- I am not suggesting PC dealers, resellers and distributors should not change. We've always faced change in the PC business.

In fact, my discussion today centers on what changes PC dealers and distributors could possibly make to survive: an audit of the possible directions...

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