Friday, October 2, 2015



Link to TechEye

AMD lays off staff

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 01:45 AM PDT

AMD Analyst Day '15_2Troubled fabless chipmaker AMD is to lay off 500 people, or five percent of its global workforce.

The outfit is facing weak demand for its chips and is falling behind its rivals Intel and Nvidia it its key markets.

AMD said it expects to take a charge of $42 million, with $41 million of that recorded in the just ended third quarter. AMD said it expected savings of about $58 million in 2016 from the restructuring plan.

Under the plan AMD will outsource some IT and application development services, the company said in a regulatory filing.

AMD will cut white collar jobs and is not shutting or idling any engineering operations. The jobs will be lost across AMD’s global operations, including Austin, Texas, and company headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.

AMD had about 9,700 employees at the end of last year, according to its latest annual filing from February.

AMD reported its second quarter revenue fell 35 percent from the year-earlier period, citing weaker than expected demand for PCs.

The company has been shifting to gaming consoles and low-power servers, but progress has lagged Wall Street expectations due to intense competition from Intel and newer companies. It is currently betting the farm on its Zen chip range, which should be out next year.

Memory maker Micron does well

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 01:43 AM PDT

BN-JJ273_0713MI_P_20150713201819The cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street have emerged screaming from their marble-tiled toilets in shock after it emerged that the memory chip maker Micron had done better than expected.

Micron Technology reported a lower than expected fall in quarterly revenue and that industry breathed a shy of relief. The company’s shares rose as much 8.3 percent.

The company predicted a revenue of $3.35 billion-$3.6 billion for the current quarter, well below analysts’ average expectation of $3.73 billion.

But the DRAM and NAND flash maker reported a 14.8 percent fall in revenue to $3.60 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with a year earlier. Analysts thought that would be $3.55 billion.

Micron said it expects the demand environment to stabilise and improve in 2016.

Micron said net income attributable to the company fell 59 percent to $471 million. Excluding items, the company earned 37 cents per share, trumping analysts’ estimates of 32 cents per share.

Micron is currently being chased by China’s state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup. This little rally might make the company a little more expensive.

Tsinghua, whose unit bought a 15 percent stake in Western Digital Corp for $3.8 billion on Wednesday, has offered $23 billion for Micron. It has not heard back yet because the US is unlikely to want to let one of its companies be owned by a company it thinks will spy on it. Oddly enough, the only country to force its hardware companies to spy on rival governments has been the US.

Amazon bans Google and Apple

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 01:42 AM PDT

AmazonOnline book seller Amazon will stop selling media streaming devices from Google and Apple that do not play nice with its video service.

The outfit sent an e-mail to its marketplace sellers that it will stop selling the Apple TV and Google's Chromecast since those devices don't “interact well” with Prime Video.

No new listings for the products will be allowed and posting of existing inventory will be removed October 29, Amazon said.

Basically, there was no chance of Google or Apple coming up to snuff. Prime Video doesn't run easily on its rivals’ hardware.

Roku's set-top device, Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation, which work with Amazon's video service, aren't affected, it said.

It is a risky move and shows that Amazon is OK about losing sales to improve its own video streaming service. Apple and Google have the best selling media streaming devices generally.

But Amazon has invested heavily in online content, including producing its own exclusive shows as a way to attract new Prime subscribers, who pay $99 a year for speedy shipping and access to video and other services.

It might hurt Google and Apple a little. Google does lean on Amazon more than Apple which has its own stores and uncritical legion of fanboys who will buy whatever Jobs' Mob tells them.

Amazon, Apple, Google and Roku devices made up 86 percent of all media-streaming products sold to US households with broadband in 2014. An estimated 86 million media-streaming devices will be sold globally in 2019, the research firm said.

Amazon supplanted Apple for the No. 3 position in sales in 2014. Roku led the market with 34 percent and Google was second with 23 percent.

“Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,” Amazon said in the e-mail, which was sent to sellers yesterday. “It's important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”

Shareholders flee Apple

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 01:41 AM PDT

rat treading waterShareholders are giving up on the fruity cargo cult Apple over fears that its days of meteoric growth are over.

Worries about slowing economic growth in China, an increasingly important market for Apple, have recently hurt the Cupertino, California company’s shares, sending them down about 19 percent from a record high in April.

On Thursday, Apple was down 2.2 percent at $107.83 on a report that chip suppliers were concerned the iPhone maker would cut chip orders for the fourth quarter. This would indicate that Jobs' Mob does not think it will sell as many tablets and pink iPhones as it thought it would.

Apple has been doing its best to spin news about iPhone sales. It even launched the iPhone in China on the same day as the US to make it look like sales had increased. Shareholders did not buy that trick, well other than those who also owned Apple shares and believe everything the company tells them anyway.

Borrowing in Apple shares grew 32 percent through most of September, and then abruptly dropped 31 percent this week, according to lending data from SunGard’s Astec Analytics.

Apple’s stock has fallen almost six percent in the last week.

Brad Lamensdorf, who manages the AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear thinks there could be a lot of hurt for Apple coming. He suspects investors are overestimating iPhone sales in future quarters.

Autonomy man takes HP to court

Posted: 01 Oct 2015 08:02 AM PDT

Meg WhitmanThe ex-CEO of Autonomy said today he is going to sue Hewlett Packard for $150 million.

HP bought Mike Lynch's company for $11 billion in 2011, and then accused him later of mismanaging the company and wrote off billions of Autonomy's value.

HP is suing Lynch for damages over $5 billion and alleges that Autonomy had presented the appearance of a high power software company when it wasn't.

But Lynch claimed that HP made allegations that were damaging and misleading and has due diligence documents made at the time.

He believes that HP acted incompetently over the acquisition and that caused the relationship to fall apart.

He wants to make HP's CEO Meg Whitman appear in court.

Dell revamps workstation line

Posted: 01 Oct 2015 06:19 AM PDT

Dell logoDell said it has revamped its Dell Precision mobile workstations with a complete redesign in and out.

Options include sixth generation Intel Core CPUs, Xeon processors and future Xeon E3-1200 product families.

Dell gives customers the choice of choosing professional graphics from both AMD and Nvidia and the company is also offering customers PremierColor 4K Ultra HD displays.

The company said that Full HD and UHD options on its InfinityEdge monitors give a 15.6-inch viewing area.

The workstations include certifications for a number of professional applications from Adobe, Autodesk and other software vendors.

Dell claims it's the number one monitor vendor worldwide.

Google and Microsoft declare peace on patents

Posted: 01 Oct 2015 06:08 AM PDT

GoogleA long running battle between Microsoft and Google over patents has come to an end.

The companies have been in legal squabbles for five years, with smartphones and video games at the heart of their disputes.

Microsoft had claimed that the Google Android operating system used some of its technology.

The companies said they will now work together to develop patents in collaboration with other companies such as Netflix and Amazon.

And they are also to engage in intense lobbying to get a unified patent system across the European continent. The European Union has a plan to set up an EU patent court.

Neither firm would say how much they have both wasted on the failed litigation.

Toshiba to lay staff off

Posted: 01 Oct 2015 06:03 AM PDT

ToshibaThe newly fledged CEO of Toshiba said that the accounting irregularities means that the firm will have to look towards laying off staff in divisions that are underperforming.

Masashi Muromachi has introduced a management team to take a cool long hard at its different business divisions and that could well mean layoffs.

According to Reuters, those divisons include its PC, home appliance and TV businesses.

Its nuclear business, which has also been under scrutiny, will also need to be looked at following the Fukushima disaster in Japan, which has virtually put an end to the business there.

Because of the irregularities, Toshiba may also need to take out bank loans because it is unable to raise money by issuing equities and bonds.

Muromachi did not say what the extent of the layoffs might be.

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