Wednesday, October 14, 2015



Link to TechEye

Intel’s Data Centre business flounders

Posted: 14 Oct 2015 01:33 AM PDT

flounder-6001Chipmaker Intel cut revenue growth forecast for its highly profitable business of making chips for data centres claiming that businesses are reducing spending due to weak macroeconomic growth.

Intel has been counting on the data centre business to help offset declining demand for its chips used in PCs and it bought  Altera for $16.7 billion to help out.

Intel now expects data centre business to grow in “low double digits” in 2015, compared with its earlier forecast of about 15 percent growth.

Data centres are Chipzilla's second biggest area and grew 19.2 percent in the first quarter, 9.7 percent in the second and 12 percent in the latest quarter.

Chief Executive Brian Krzanich insisted that the company was not “rethinking the long-term growth” of the business.

The weak data centre forecast took the shine off from the company’s better than expected profit and revenue in the third quarter.

The company also trimmed its 2015 capital expenditure for the third time to $7.3 billion, plus or minus $500 million.

Intel had previously forecast capital expenditure of $7.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million.

The company said it expected fourth-quarter revenue of $14.8 billion, plus or minus $500 million. The midpoint of the range is a marginal increase from a year earlier. It’s into its pluses and minuses, that INTC

Intel said revenue from its PC business fell 7.5 percent to $8.51 billion in the third quarter ended September 26.

Intel’s net income fell to $3.11 billion from $3.32 billion last year.

Net revenue declined to $14.47 billion from $14.55 billion, but beat analysts’ estimate of $14.22 billion.

German magazine blocks ad-blockers

Posted: 14 Oct 2015 01:31 AM PDT

adblockA German magazine empire has decided that the only way it can stop people from using ad-blockers is to ban them from reading its content.

Germany’s Axel Springer which apparently does not run a TV show where fat people punch each other and have sex with cake, has banned readers who use adblockers from its Bild tabloid website.

Springer said visitors to the website of Bild will be asked to switch off the adblocker or pay a monthly fee of $3.40 to browse the website mostly ad-free.

“Whoever does not switch off the adblocker or does not pay cannot see any content on, as of now,” the publisher said in a statement on Tuesday.

Publishers are struggling with the increasing popularity of software that blocks the Web advertising that is key to maintaining or growing their revenue in the Internet age but which many users find intrusive or slows the loading of pages.

For example when you are reading a news story the last thing you want is a big screen which blocks you view demanding that you fill in a questionnaire.

Apparently the magazines are still listening to their advertising departments who think this is a good idea.

Some 200 million people used ad blockers last year, up 40 percent from a year earlier, resulting in $22 billion in lost advertising revenue, according to a study by Adobe and PageFair, an anti ad-blocking technology company.


Last year, Axel Springer received more than 1.5 billion euros in revenues from major advertisers and circulation.

However its 265,000 digital subscribers at the end of June who pay 4.99 euros per month for full access to the tabloid’s online content generate less than 20 million euros in annual sales.

Axel Springer changed the website of Bild to a so-called “freemium” model about two years ago, with some content remaining free and items such as exclusive interviews, stories and photos subject to a charge. Looks like that model didn't work that well.

Last month Axel Springer lost a court case against German software firm Eyeo, which makes the Adblock Plus browser. In May a Munich court ruled in favour of the start-up in a case brought by ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL Group.

And the publisher of German newspapers Handelsblatt and Die Zeit lost a similar case in a Hamburg court. Several appeals are pending.

Micron and Western Digital want SanDisk

Posted: 14 Oct 2015 01:30 AM PDT

Sandisk extreme SSDsChipmaker Micron and hard disk drive maker Western Digital are in talks with memory chip maker SanDisk about a possible acquisition.

SanDisk is valued at about $12.6 billion and has hired a bank to help with the process. No decision has been made and the talks may not result in a transaction, but things appear promising.

Shares of SanDisk rose 12 percent to $69.20 in extended trading on Tuesday. Micron was up 3 percent and Western Digital under one percent.

Micron and Western Digital are an odd couple of buyers. Micron already has a significant flash memory operation.

Western Digital mainly makes traditional hard drives. SanDisk’s flash-memory chips are used in solid-state drives, which are faster and more reliable than traditional hard drives.

In fact, many expected a Chinese conglomerate to be a more interested party to potentially acquire SanDisk. China's government wants to step up its chip industry and has been tipped to buy SanDisk before.

Tsinghua Unigroup offered $23 billion for Micron, but the plan was been clouded by US security concerns. In the end Tsinghua invested $3.78 billion in Western Digital, worth a 15 percent stake.

Analysts have said the cash infusion could allow Western Digital to take bigger steps in flash and solid-state storage, its key interest areas.

SanDisk’s price is low. It has dropped about 37 percent year-to-date as the company dealt with falling prices in the flash memory market.

A delay in sales of certain embedded parts used in solid-state drives has also weighed on the company’s results.

Jobs go at Twitter

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 07:54 AM PDT

TwitterTroubled social media outfit Twitter said 336 people would lose their jobs as part of a restructuring attempt.

The move comes after Jack Dorsey – a co-founder of Twitter – returned in the position of CEO.

The layoffs represent about eight percent of Twitter's worldwide roster and the news sent its share price up by six percent.

Dorsey may not be finished with his restructuring however. In a note to Twitter employees he said the rest of the company will also be "streamlined".

Most of the layoffs are in the software development side of the business because Dorsey thinks a smaller work force is a nimbler work force.

Twitter's real problem isn't software engineering however. The problem is it hasn't really mastered the craft of sales, unlike its sort of competitors Facebook.

The company will take a charge amounting to as much as $20 million in redundancy costs up to $15 million restructuring costs.

Acer bullish about the future

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 06:59 AM PDT

Acer's Stan Shih in 2007Like other PC vendors, Acer's roadmap has been a bit rocky of late but according to reports the company is optimistic about the future.

Tiffany Huang, Acer president of operations, told reporters that the channels are still stuffed with Windows 8 based PCs but that's an improvement on affairs barely three months ago.

The Taipei Times reported that she said that by the first quarter of next year, Acer Windows 10 PCs will exceed shipments of Windows 8 PCs.

Acer claims to be the number one Windows 10 PC vendor in Asia and in Europe.

Huang said she expected growth during this quarter due to people being attracted by Windows 10 and Chromebooks, 2-in-1 notebooks and gaming notebooks doing well.

Acer is believed to be nursing a grudge against Microsoft, after the launch last week of a high end notebook which effectively competes with Acer's own high end notebooks.

Microsoft has denied it is competing with its customers and has claimed it's competing with Apple, really.

Apple let off the antitrust hook

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 06:49 AM PDT

Apple blossom, Mike MageeThe US Justice Department has decided that Apple has behaved so well after it had its collar felt over driving up e-book prices that it doesn't need to keep its beady eyes on the corporation any more.

Apple may well have introduced compliance programmes that mean it can never have its collar felt again for this misdemeanour but it has also emerged that it has acted really grumpily over the last two years.

The Justice Department appointed a man called Michael Bromwich to monitor Apple's activities but it seems he wasn't the bee's knees as far as Apple was concerned. The department said Apple "never embraced a cooperative working relationship with the monitor".

According to Reuters, this didn't stop Bromwich from saying that it had put in place a "meaningful antitrust compliance programme".

Apple told a US district judge that its relationship with Bromwich was "rocky" but vowed to comply with the obligations the court system had imposed on it.

Cote had ruled in 2013 that Apple conspired with five book publishers in a bid to kybosh competition from Amazon.

Apple is still appealing the verdict and is thinking about taking the case to the US Supreme Court, otherwise it will have to reach into its corporate coffers and shell out $450 million.

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