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Dell Expands Its Security Offerings with SonicWall Acquisition: Dell will acquire IT network security company SonicWall, whose 950 employees make next-generation firewalls and unified threat management firewalls, for approximately $1.2 billion. Dell, which has been expanding its storage and networking capacity with acquisitions such as EqualLogic and Force10 Networks, is clearly well on its way to breaking out of its tradition PC manufacturing box and become more a services provider, a move that its major rivals HP and IBM have already made. Top Tech News
Apple Will Double Its Presence in Austin: Apple is making a $304 million investment to build a new campus in Austin, adding 3,600 jobs over the next decade and doubling its local workforce. In the past eight years, Apple has grown in Austin from fewer than 1,000 workers to more than 3,500, mostly in customer support, sales and accounting. The State of Texas is investing $21 million over 10 years to make the move happen, and Austin and Travis County may also kick in some funds. The Huffington Post
…And Austin Has A Lot of Tech Job Openings: More good news from Austin, which is basking in the glow of this week’s SXSW conference: Samsung, one of many tech companies with a presence in the area, has over 150 engineering job openings, and that’s on the heels of the 150 new employees it hired right out of school last year. “We like to stay local and choose the local universities to fill those roles,” said a company rep. The tech industry provides 13 percent of all jobs in Austin, and there are 4,000 tech companies in the area. Austin YNN
IT Job Growth Continues to Accelerate: After reaching an all-time high in January, the pace of IT job growth continued to accelerate in February, doubling January’s rate of growth, according to TechServe Alliance. In February, the number of IT jobs grew by 23,000 or 0.6 percent to 4,127,700. Since February 2011, IT employment has grown by more than 100,000 jobs or 2.5 percent. Marketwatch
Patent Wars Explode in the Social Media Space: In what some are calling a move borne out of desperation, Yahoo! has launched a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook. The extensive 19-page lawsuit over 10 patents covers advertising, privacy, customization, messaging and social networking. “Facebook’s entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles for and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo’s patented social networking technology,” the lawsuit reads. Yahoo! says that Facebook has been “free riding” on Yahoo!’s intellectual property, and that royalty payments alone won’t make it right. It’s interesting to note that Yahoo! has done this before, most notably in 2004, when it went after Google around the time of its IPO and got a settlement. AllThingsD
Upcoming Tech Events
Signal March 21—San Francisco This conference features top executives from the key “dependent” platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google. These services are where audiences discover new content and services with which to engage. But it’s out on the “Independent Web” that people engage with unique, community-driven content. How can marketers capture the value of both sides of the Web?
Ignition West March 21—San Francisco Ignition West intensively explores the future of mobility. Through high-level discussions with executives and leading entrepreneurs and demos from emerging startups, the conference brings together people who are evolving and disrupting mobile to discuss what’s happening now, what’s next, and how it affects your business. Which platforms, products and business models will dominate? Topics include: Mobile platforms and consumer behavior; next-generation devices and services; who owns the Internet after search; the future of publishing, film and television on mobile; investing in mobile and mobile content; the gaming marketplace.
Structure: Data March 21-22—New York This GigaOM conference explores the technical and business opportunities spurred by the growth of big data, including storage needs, data analysis and the uncovering of new revenue opportunities. Are you sitting on unmined gold?
Gartner CIO Leadership Forum March 25-27–Phoenix This gathering offers an interactive, workshop-centric experience to exchange ideas and receive actionable guidance from prominent CIOs, Gartner experts, and senior executives from leading technology providers.
Microsoft DevConnections March 26-29—Las Vegas Explore the latest trends and get the most up-to-date information and training available, all while networking with your colleagues and building a valuable network of peers. Celebrate the release of Visual Studio 11 Beta, and visit the Visual Studio Connections conference, which will focus on what it takes to leverage the powerful technologies and tools of .NET 4.0 in the context of your application to maximize productivity and quality.
Y Combinator Demo Day March 27—Mountain View, Calif. The goal of this unique demo day is to get you and your brilliant idea through the first phase of seed funding. This usually means: get you to the point where you’ve built something impressive enough to raise money on a larger scale. Then meet later stage investors—or occasionally even acquirers.
The plan calls for Apple to add more than 3,600 employees over the next decade, including customer support, sales and accounting staff. The company has 3,500 employees in its operations there now. In return, the state has offered the world’s most valuable company $21 million in incentives, along with local incentive agreements still to be approved by the city of Austin and Travis County.
The incentive money comes from the state’s controversial Texas Enterprise Fund. The Apple deal will be the largest payout from that fund. Other cities and states have lamented Texas’ ability to outbid them. Gov. Rick Perry’s office said Texas has handed out more than $443 million in business incentives since 2003, bringing more than $15.4 billion in capital investment into the state and 62,000 jobs. Tea party activists and other critics, though, question those numbers and whether major companies should be paid to locate there.
IBM Layoffs Are Coming, But How Many? What IBM is calling a “rebalancing” is actually a flurry of layoffs, but it remains unclear exactly how many people are being let go and from which North American locations. A union-organizing group affiliated with the Communication Workers of America, is reporting 1,100 cuts, but other reports peg the number at 800. Many cuts may be coming from the Global Technology Services outsourcing group. In addition, 106 workers were laid off in IBM’s Systems & Technology Group, which manufactures servers and computer chips. No notice has been filed with the North Carolina Commerce Department, so the layoff count at IBM’s huge Research Triangle facility must be under 500, state officials confirm. IT Business Edge
Salesforce.com Cancels Big San Francisco Office Plan: Salesforce.com Inc’s cancellation of plans to build a massive office complex in San Francisco is mysterious. The company said it would no longer go ahead with a project to build a sprawling new headquarters in the Mission Bay neighborhood because of “logistics.” “We are growing now faster than we were growing at the time when we originally made the decision to build the campus,” said Bruce Francis, chief messaging officer for Salesforce.com. “We are going to need space faster than we could build it. That’s why we decided to suspend development of the campus.” Reuters
Apple Plans Oregon Data Center: Oregon is turning out to be a hot destination for big data centers. Following Facebook, Apple has bought $5.6 million worth of land in Prineville, Ore., for its own new data center right next door to Facebook’s. Experts suggest that the move will help build out Apple’s new iCloud service. While the facility will certainly boost Prineville’s property tax revenue, chances are that the number of full-time employees will be relatively insignificant. IT Business Edge
Yahoo! Could Pink Slip Thousands: Scott Thompson, Yahoo!’s new CEO, is looking hard at the bottom line, and apparently he doesn’t like what he sees. Sources say he is preparing a massive restructuring of the company, including layoffs that are likely to number in the thousands. Much of the change—which could be announced as soon as the end of this month—is aimed at Yahoo’s large products organization, as well as other arenas in which the company has lagged. Thompson has hired Boston Consulting Group to help focus the company on “growth” initiatives and to help determine the best path for Yahoo! going forward. Dice News
Professional Hiring Up But Slowing in Q2: Hiring in professional fields will rise the second quarter but at a slower pace than forecast for the first quarter, according to the latest Robert Half Professional Employment report. A net two percent of executives plan to add full-time staff in the second three months of 2012, down from 10 percent last quarter. Nine out of 10 (91 percent) executives expressed confidence about growth at their firms during the quarter, and 61 percent of those surveyed reported recruiting challenges. In the tech industry, eight percent of respondents expect to hire, while five percent expect to decrease staff, for a net three percent increase. Robert Half Technology
Has Apple Really Created Half a Million Jobs? Industry analysts are poring over numbers provided by Apple that suggest it has created or supported 514,000 jobs in the United States. Apple says it currently supports 304,000 U.S. jobs, including 47,000 people employed directly by the company, plus 257,000 who work in fields ranging from component manufacturing to transportation and healthcare. The company has full-time employees in 50 U.S. states and its iOS application economy has created 210,000 jobs. Dice News
Cloud Computing Leads to NYC Hiring: The shift to cloud computing, and the economies of scale it allows, will bring the total of cloud-related jobs to more than 60,000 in New York this year—a bump of 17 percent over 2011, says a report by research firm IDC (and sponsored by cloud technology provider Microsoft). That makes New York the biggest beneficiary of the cloud trend among major metro areas. Los Angeles came in second, with close to 38,000 cloud-related jobs in 2012, an increase of 18 percent. “There’s a myth out there that moving to the cloud is shrinking job opportunities,” said Laura Wallace, general manager of Microsoft’s New York metro district. “That wasn’t what we were hearing from our customers.” Dice News
Upcoming Tech Events
SXSW March 9-18—Austin South by Southwest offers an amazing gathering of thought leaders in independent music, independent films and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery. The Integrated Media Association conference will be held in conjunction with SXSWi, and there will be a tech career expo on March 9 and 10.
VERGE DC March 14-16—Washington, D.C. VERGE DC brings together corporate leaders focusing on a new wave of technological change revolutionizing sustainability. A convergence of technologies for energy, buildings, information, and vehicles, which GreenBiz calls VERGE, is enabling companies to break down organizational silos and accelerate innovation. This has profound implications for your company’s sustainability and business goals.
Signal March 21—San Francisco This conference will feature top executives from the key “dependent” platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google. These services are where audiences discover new content and services with which to engage. But it’s out on the “Independent Web” that people engage with unique, community-driven content. How can marketers capture the value of both sides of the Web?
Ignition West March 21—San Francisco Ignition West intensively explores the future of mobile and is presented by Business Insider. Through high-level discussions with executives and leading entrepreneurs and demos from emerging startups, 2012′s Ignition West will bring together people who are evolving and disrupting mobile to discuss what’s happening now, what’s next, and how it affects your business. Which platforms, products and business models will dominate? Topics include: Mobile platforms and consumer behavior; next-generation devices and services; who owns the Internet after search; the future of publishing, film and television on mobile; investing in mobile and mobile content; the gaming marketplace.
DEMO Spring April 17-19—Santa Clara, CA At DEMO Spring, investors and potential partners can get a close-up look at the latest trend-setting technologies. It’s not just a place for face time but for eyes-on-the-product time.
Apple has unveiled a powerful new iPad that features a 2048 x 1536 retina display, an A5X quad core chip, 4G LTE and the same price points as the previous version: $499 at the low end, $829 at the high.
But the name remains the same: No ‘iPad HD,” no “iPad 3.”
The battery has a life of nine hours on 4G, and 10 hours during regular use. It’s got a voice-detection system, though it’s not Siri.
Details of the 4G: 21Mbps HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps. Carriers in the U.S. will be Verizon LTE and AT&T LTE. The device also offers HD video recording. At 1.4 pounds, it weighs slightly more than the previous iPad.
Company executives also introduced a new Apple TV set top box. Said Wired:
New UI, 1080p resolution. It’s sharper easier to read, movie posters are much larger for purchase and rent TV shows the day after they are, iTunes match gives you access to music library thanks to iCloud. You still get access to content from computer through the Apple TV.
More Tech Excitement in New York’s Silicon Alley: In the past year, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Zynga, and other technology players have opened offices in New York, hiring software coders and product designers in addition to the marketing and salespeople many already had in the city. New York also has a strong community of homegrown tech outfits, from Gilt Groupe to Foursquare. Entrepreneurs and investors say the influx of big-name companies will give that local tech community a big boost. “The talent pool will increase, there will be more startups, and the tech industry in NYC will grow and develop,” says Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures in New York. Fewer recent grads “will make a beeline to Silicon Valley.” Bloomberg Business Week
Amazon Preps for Major Seattle Expansion: Amazon will buy three blocks in downtown Seattle and has filed preliminary plans to build one million-square-foot office towers on each of them. The deal includes options for Amazon to buy even more of the seller’s downtown real estate holdings. If built, the three buildings would contain nearly twice as much office space as the Columbia Center, Seattle’s tallest building. They also would more than double Amazon’s already substantial footprint on downtown’s northern edge and mark the first time that Amazon has owned, rather than rented, its headquarters. The Seattle Times
Apple Strives for Extreme Green at New Data Center: Apple’s new data center in Maiden, North Carolina, is the first of its size to get an LEED Platinum certification and the highest rating the U.S. Green Building Council gives out for new projects. The center will have two sources of power: a gigantic 100-acre, 20-megawatt solar array on the surrounding land and a five-megawatt fuel cell system. When finished, the two power sources will provide 42 and 40 million kilowatt hours of power annually, enough for 7,400 homes. There will also be a water chilling system that shifts most of the chilling work to off-peak hours, high-voltage power distribution for reducing power loss, and a heat-reflecting white roof. The Verge
Microsoft Office for the iPad Will Shake Up IT: A Microsoft Office application suite will soon be submitted to Apple for approval. A brief hands-on with a working prototype of the software showed that the user interface is similar to the current OneNote app, but it has hints of Metro, the new design language that can be seen in Windows Phone and in the as-yet-released Windows 8 desktop operating system. Word, Excel and PowerPoint files can be created and edited locally and online. It’s not clear if Microsoft will support other Office apps at launch or at all. An exact launch date is unknown, but the design team has since wrapped up the project, meaning it could be released in the coming weeks, giving IT little time to decide if the software’s arrival will change its tablet deployment strategies for 2012. The Daily
Mobile App Revenue Poised to Soar: In 2016, total global mobile application revenue will reach an estimated $46 billion, according to ABI Research. That’s up from $8.5 billion in 2011, ABI Research says. “The vast majority of current in-app revenue is being generated by a tiny percentage of people who are highly-committed mobile game players. We don’t believe the percentage of mobile game players making in-app purchases will grow significantly, so for in-app purchase revenues to grow, mobile developers other than game developers must adopt it.” Last month, IHS iSuppli reported that in-app purchases accounted for 39 percent of total app revenue last year, and by 2015, that figure should grow to 64 percent, or $5.6 billion. CNET
Roche Will Put 90,000 Workers on Google Apps: Pharmaceutical giant Roche Group is transitioning all 90,000 of its employees to Google Apps. Dr. Alan Hippe, Roche’s CFO and CIO, said the apps will let Roche focus more on its business and less on data centers. “Being able to deploy Google Apps by simply enabling them via a control panel versus planning for and deploying complex infrastructure in our data centers will help us focus on our core business—helping save patients’ lives,” he wrote. Employees will be able to collaborate from practically anywhere on web-enabled devices without setting up VPNs or taxing Roche’s IT support teams. Datamation
HCA Expansion Yields IT Jobs in Nashville: HCA, a Nashville-based hospital chain, will create 155 IT jobs over the next five years at a new data center it will build in Antioch and in an expansion of its existing IT locations in the region. The company plans to invest $200 million in construction and expansion, and Governor Bill Haslam is pleased. “We appreciate the company’s continued investment in our state and its commitment to being such a valuable community partner over the years.” The Tennessean
300 New IT Jobs for New Orleans: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and GE have announced the creation of a major new corporate office in New Orleans with 300 new IT and software development jobs. The GE Capital Technology Center will provide support for the company’s financial services business. The project will produce jobs with salaries ranging from $60,000 to $100,000, plus benefits, that will support GE Capital’s growth. The Donaldsonville Chief
Upcoming Tech Events
Launch March 7-8—San Francisco 40 cutting-edge, never-before-seen technology companies will debut at this tech festival, and panels of experts with evaluate each of them.
SXSW March 9-18—Austin South by Southwest offers an amazing gathering of thought leaders in independent music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery. The Integrated Media Association conference will be held in conjunction with SXSWi, and there will also be a Tech Career Expo for new media job hunters on March 9 and 10.
Apptopia is a specialized marketplace created to connect developers with investors interested in getting into mobile. It’s not a service to help developers better market their apps. Instead, it provides an exit strategy.
Set to launch later this year, Apptopia aims to give developers an option to make money from the sale of ownership, code, revenues and more. It will provide end to end service throughout the sales process. Apptopia will interface with Google/Apple on your behalf, as well as provide escrow services and app valuation.
The service has been in beta since January 9. “By beta, I mean we have been accepting seller and buyer requests off our site, and I have been running the marketplace completely offline,” says founder Jonathan C. Kay. “I quickly realized that if I hustled hard enough, I could absolutely work like an old-school broker and just start putting 2 and 2 together. I wanted to prove out our hypothesis without any doubt, even before we launched our product.”
Currently, there are over 175 apps available for sale and more than 65 buyers. Two deals have closed, totaling $17,000. Apptopia is set to launch March 1.
Apple’s penchant for secrecy extends even to its new hires, who often come aboard without knowing which product they’ll be working on, and go through a period where they’re evaluated for trustworthiness.
In his book Inside Apple, Fortune editor Adam Lashinsky says many employees are hired into “dummy positions,” which are…
…roles that aren’t explained in detail until after they join the company. The new hires have been welcomed but not yet indoctrinated and aren’t necessarily to be trusted with information as sensitive as their own mission. “They wouldn’t tell me what it was,” remembered a former engineer who had been a graduate student before joining Apple. “I knew it was related to the iPod, but not what the job was.” Others do know but won’t say, a realization that hits the newbies on their first day of work at new-employee orientation.
Hear the details on this video, where Lashinsky talks more about the culture in Cupertino.
Apple’s Steve Jobs won’t be immortalized in an action figure. Sorry Apple fan boys. in icons says that, due to pressure from Apple and the Jobs family, it’s abandoned its plans for a 12-inch collectable figurine.
Unfortunately we have received immense pressure from the lawyers of Apple and Steve Jobs family. Regardless of the pressure, I am still Steve’s fan, I fully respect Steve, and his family, and it is definitely not my wish or intention that they be upset. Though we still believe that we have not overstepped any legal boundaries, we have decided to completely stop the offer, production and sale of the Steve Jobs figurine out of our heartfelt sensitivity to the feelings of the Jobs family.
Any fans who pre-ordered one of the dolls will get a full refund.
Although the timing was bad, and could look like an attempt to cash in, I hope as the years pass this product will be reconsidered. It feels like a highly detailed and appropriate tribute. Not many of us have techies has a Marilyn or Elvis figurine, but I’d bet we’ll go all QVC on a Jobs collectable.
There is an explosive growth in data demand from the iPhone 4S that is in part related to the personal “virtual assistant,” Siri, reveals a study by Arieso, a British technology company that specializes in bandwidth optimization.
According the study, “iPhone 4S users are the ‘hungriest’ data consumers, demanding twice as much data as iPhone 4 users and three times as much as iPhone 3G users.” And just two weeks after the 4S release, Ars Technica noticed a jump in data usage and warned “it could force you over your monthly data quota with your cell carrier if you’re not careful.” With modest use of Siri, Ars Technica was able to generate 20MB of data usage within a 30 day period.
But Siri might not deserve all the credit. Other factors also contribute to the 4S increased data usage, according to ZDNet. For one, the 4S runs with a dual-core A5 processor making it the fastest cell phone on the market, which means more can be done in less time and so more data can be consumed in less time. Also the better antenna means that users have greater access to cellular networks, which will add a greater likelihood of using the network. Also iOS5 comes installed on the 4S which optimizes iCloud and streaming music, both of which gobble up data.
The increased usage is straining cellular networks. “(Cellular network) operators risk spiraling and misplaced operational expenditure and delivering a sub-par quality of experience to customers,” said Arieso.
In June of this year, Alaska Airlines began a test program that saw 25 pounds of paper manuals replaced by 1.5 pounds of Apple hardware. They were satisfied with the results and noted that it would save approximately $1.2 million worth of fuel per year. The iPads use an app called GoodReader to display the manuals, which are in PDF format.
Says American Airlines of its take on computing in the clouds:
On Friday, American Airlines is the first airline in the world to be fully FAA approved to use iPads during all phases of flight. Pilots will use iPads as electronic chart and digital flight manual readers. The airline will begin iPad operations on B-777 aircraft, and then implement across all other fleets. By using electronic charts and manuals, the safety and efficiency on the flight deck is significantly enhanced. Both the iPad I and the iPad II have been approved for use. Other airlines such as United, Alaska, and UPS are also reviewing this potential, but none have been approved to conduct flight operations in all phases of flight except American. This FAA approval cumulates the results from a six-month test period whereby American flew thousands of hours with iPads to test and evaluate the product.
We are assuming that 3G and Wi-Fi are turned off at all times and that pilots are not feeding their Words With Friends addiction when they should be flying the plane.