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HP just posted its Q2 financial report, and despite somber news of falling profits and revenue, the company managed to beat consensus estimates and the stock has jumped more than 10 percent in after-hours trading. As for concrete figures, HP pulled in $1.1 billion in profit, which is down 32 percent from just one year ago. Revenue of $27.6 billion reveals a similar story, which is down 10 percent year over year. With respect to HP's Personal Systems group, the company is pulling in a 3.2 percent margin, where revenue is down 20 percent year over year. Here, total unit shipments are down 21 percent, with an 18 percent decline for desktops and a 24 percent hit for notebooks.
Just three months ago, company CEO Meg Whitman promised a bright future for HP with plans to bring "a number of new programs and disruptive innovations to market in the coming quarters," which likely includes such products as the Split x2. Whether consumers will respond remains to be seen, but for the moment, HP is keeping investors happy by returning $1.1 billion to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases. Meanwhile, in a move to further set expectations, Whitman reiterated her confidence for the rest of the year, but followed with, "As I have said many times before, this is a multi-year journey." The future remains just that, but for the moment, you can hit up the source link for a peek into the current financial health of HP.
Filed under: HP
If you've ever sat in a plane on the tarmac only to have the flight cancelled, been bumped just before boarding, or landed at your destination only to be told your luggage will arrive sometime in the next 12 hours, you know how air travel can suck. In all of those cases, the airline owes you for your trouble. Sometimes it's good customer service, and other times it's the law. Here are some of the legal rights you may not know you have, and how to go about filing your claims or getting what's due to you if you've been wronged.
Android/iOS/Web: A little music to keep you motivated while you work out is always a good thing, and FitRadio has that in spades. The app packs dozens of playlists from multiple genres, all engineered by professional DJs to help you keep your energy up and push through your exercise routine.
The web becomes more and more capable each day, finding ways to replace what you do on your desktop. In the very near future you'll talk to your web apps, enjoy complex animation without the drain of Flash, and maybe even plug in your guitar. These features and more already exist, and they're coming to the broad internet this year.
Your skin shouldn't look like a package of pork cracklins after spending the day outdoors; that's why we invented sunscreen. However, there's a right way and a wrong way to slather on your protection—screw it up and you could get burned.
- Ships with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
- 2560 x 1600 13.3-inch at 227 PPI
- 128GB SSD
- 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 Processor
- MSRP: $1,499
- Portability combined with high-quality display
- Super speedy sleep and resume
- Good battery life
- Just two USB ports
- Non-upgradeable RAM
If I could only have one MacBook (which is usually the case for your average laptop-buyer), this is the one I’d pick without hesitation. Fewer issues than its 15-inch cousin, which pioneered the Retina line, combined with a much lighter design with a smaller desktop footprint for a display that can still give you crazy amounts of screen real estate all add up to a sure-fire winner.
The Most Flexible Mac
I’ve owned a lot of Macs. To find myself so ready to claim any single one a clear “winner” seems crazy, but the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display is it. The smaller Retina notebook has proven itself through trial by fire and continues to be the Mac I pick for nearly every situation.
For example it’s my constant companion at every travel event I ever go to. The 15-inch is just a hair too heavy and unwieldy, but the 13-inch Retina hits the sweet spot. It slides easily into any bag, takes up an amount of desk space that’s better for your peripherals and for those seated around you, and yet can stil provide you with one of the best screens in the business.
True Retina-quality graphics isn’t the reason to own this notebook. Apple’s “Best for Retina display” radial button in the Displays settings menu is something you can go ahead and forget about right now; instead, select “scaled” and crank that sucker up to the “More Space” maximum. But if that’s not enough, go grab DisplayMode from the Mac App Store and enjoy up to 2560 x 1280 resolution, which is beyond that supported by Apple’s official settings. My eyes suffer after 2048 x 1280, so that’s where I keep it, but even there you get so much screen real estate it feels positively sinful. If you’re used to a Cinema display or two at home, there’s nothing else that compares.
The hardware is up to Apple expectations, and while I’ve experienced case creak on the 15-inch version (a widely reported issue), I’ve never had a problem with the 13 inch’s fit and finish. It feels as sturdy as a laptop can (with the possible exception of Google’s leaden Chromebook Pixel) and it withstands rough treatment with gusto, as a busy blogger can attest.
In terms of Geekbench, the base Core i5 13-inch, which is the version I’m reviewing here, consistently scores between 6,000 and 7,000. That’s not a chart-topping number, but the machine hardly stutters, even under fairly demanding conditions. I thought I’d miss the dedicated graphics card or upgraded RAM from my 15-inch model, but I don’t, at least not for anything short of using Final Cut Pro X.
Another nice win for the 13-inch is battery life. The Pro can stretch itself to around seven and a half hours if I need it to, but even with my incredibly sloppy, multi-app setup with tons of things going on in the background and about a thousand Chrome tabs open, it seems to average around five.
Who is it for?
Yes. The one complaint that designers might have with the Retina MacBook Pro is that its screen is still glossy and that the color rendering and contrast are a little exaggerated to make photos pop. But if you need a device for running Photoshop or Illustrator, the Retina scratches that itch, even with the minimum specs at the $1,499 level.
Plus, you can always power up to three external displays via Thunderbolt and HDMI out, but I’d only recommend doing this if you’re very cold and also enjoy the sound of a fan operating at maximum power. Still, in a pinch the Retina Pro becomes a solid companion for a 27-inch Cinema Display, giving designers even more flexibility.
Yes. John pointed out that entrepreneurs love MacBook Airs in his review of the Dell XPS Developer’s Edition, but that’s actually outmoded. If you’re a modern entrepreneur, and keeping a close watch on your company’s design and suitability for the future of HiDPI devices and displays, you’ll want the 13-inch Retina. It’s still light enough to carry with you everywhere, plus you can pile on the open applications thanks to the screen real estate benefits I mentioned above.
The 13-inch Retina is pretty much exactly like the successful entrepreneur: flexible where it needs to be, rigid when it doesn’t; equally comfortable doing their thing in the boardroom or working out of the small local coffee shop; equipped with enough endurance to keep producing through the day.
Yes. Programmers love Macs, and this is a Mac that’s easy to fall in love with. You want to run Xcode next to the iOS Simulator and still have room to keep a team chat window open? You can do that with the 13-inch Retina Pro, so long as you’re okay with squinting. You can build websites and watch them output and tweak on the fly without squishing anything inordinately. If there’s a development flaw on the Pro, it’s not an apparent one.
MG said this laptop was near perfect back when he reviewed it at launch, and it’s pretty hard to disagree. There are support threads filled with growing pains and other issues experienced by the inaugural 15-inch Retina Pro, but Apple seems to have worked out any kinks with this one, and the added portability is a big benefit besides. It’s still a pricey beast, but the use value to cost ratio is through the roof regardless.
VMware today unveiled its first public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud product, putting the virtualization software vendor into direct competition with Amazon Web Services. When combined with its in-house software, VMware's cloud also provides an alternative to the virtualization/cloud synergy Microsoft is trying to achieve with Hyper-V, Windows Server, and Windows Azure.
Like Amazon and other IaaS providers, VMware's public cloud will offer access to virtual computing resources hosted in data centers in four US regions (with non-US data centers coming next year). VMware's biggest opportunity probably isn't in stealing customers away from Amazon or Microsoft, however. Rather, the VMware cloud will likely appeal the most to businesses with big VMware deployments—this is a strategy to wring more money out of customers already paying a premium for virtualization software.
VMware's cloud could be used by customers without any VMware software in-house, but it will be more useful to businesses that can use the cloud as a logical extension of their own VMware-driven data centers. The VMware cloud's name, "vCloud Hybrid Service," reflects the customer base it will most likely attract.
Nymphomaniac, a movie directed by Lars von Trier (he did Melancholia), will use a groundbreaking digital editing technique to show graphic sex scenes on the screen. For the non-explicit portions of the sex scenes, you'll see celebrities and actors you recognize. For the penetrative portion, you'll see the body doubles doing it. The difference is you won't know the difference because the film will digitally stitch the two together.
NEC demonstrated multi-vendor OpenFlow network @ Interop Las Vegas, linking physical switches from Arista, Brocade, Centec, Dell, Extreme, Intel and NEC, and virtual switches in Linux (OVS) and Hyper-V (PF1000) environments in a leaf-and-spine fabric controlled by ProgrammableFlow controller (watch the video of Samrat Ganguly demonstrating the network).
Does that mean we’ve entered the era of multi-vendor OpenFlow networking? Not so fast.Read more ...
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Over the past three years, Cisco has vaulted from the not only the leader in the networking industry, but they [...]
Group revenue down -4.2% to £44.4 billion as Southern Europe struggles
Over the past year or so, from time to time, I’ve blogged about what we in Cisco Services have been doing with [...]
Now, courtesy of a Redmond-based startup, we have yet another ordinary product attached to your body that’s becoming more intelligent: smart socks.
Meet Heapsylon, a company founded two years ago by three Microsofties that is developing what is essentially a pedometer on steroids embedded in your socks.
“Our company’s vision is about having each piece of clothing becoming a computer passively gathering data and moving it to the cloud for the user to analyze and make informed decisions about his health and fitness,” said co-founder and CEO Davide Vigano, who spent 22 years at Microsoft.
The three founders, who are all originally from Italy, decided to focus on the foot because they knew it was “both constantly under pressure and also underserved by wearable devices and pragmatic innovation,” as Vigano puts it.
Since coming up with the idea two years ago over pizza, they’ve spent the past 24 months refining a product called Sensoria Fitness, which has three main aspects: e-textile sensors, a snap-on bluetooth-enabled anklet brace and the resulting data feedback.
The sensor-infused, washable socks are similar to today’s fitness trackers in that they can record stats like calories burned or distance traveled.
But what sets it apart is the socks’ ability to measure basic absolute and shear pressure, which can provide information about when and where the foot lands on the ground, as well as stride length, cadence, intensity and activity type, whether you’re standing, walking, running.
“They are substantially more accurate than any pedometer or fitness tracker out there,” Vigano said.
The anklet, which snaps onto the socks’ sensors, is used to transfer the data from the socks into the cloud for analyzation. Users can access the information via smartphone, tablet or PC.
You may be wondering why all this data is important. Why does it matter how much pressure I’m putting on my foot? Who cares if my strides are long or short?
That’s where the Sensoria comes in. Vigano said about 75 percent of runners are “heel-strikers,” meaning they land on the ground first with their heels, then with their toes when they run. This creates a significant force throughout the body for every step.
“If I do not change my running technique to a more mid-foot landing, my risk of getting injured increases substantially,” Vigano said.
The Sensoria socks can notify the runner in real-time where their foot is landing, which allows the user to make changes on the go to run properly. The socks can also identify pronation problems. All this information can be sent to the cloud and analyzed later in an easy-to-read format.
Targeting runners is just the start for Heapsylon, which got its name from the “Heap” C++ function and the Greek letter Y (upsilon) to remind the founders of the need for pragmatic innovation. The company knows that smart socks can be leveraged in multiple scenarios that require monitoring of balance and weight-shifting of the body — think golf, skiing or even diabetic foot ulcer monitoring or fall prevention in elderly patients.
“We will release a set of open API’s for developers to build their own app on Sensoria and deliver on these scenarios,” Vigano said.
The company, which is largely self-funded with a little bit of angel money, is gearing up for a crowdfunding campaign and plans to ship the first set of Sensoria socks by early next year. It is also in talks to partner with other companies to embed the sensors for other applications and seeking partnerships with sports and clothing manufacturers as well.
As for Vigano, the startup life has given him a whole new perspective on the working world and specifically Microsoft.
“It’s day and night,” he said of the differences. “I have to take care of everything that relates to business while my two partners take care of anything that has anything to do with hardware and software technology. People at Microsoft do not realize how fortunate they are to be backed by the largest and most patient VC in the world.”
People at Microsoft may not be inventing socks of the future, either, so Vigano and his founders do have that going for them.
Previously on GeekWire: Wearable computing: How technology will soon be stitched into our lives
Donut charts have grown tremendously in popularity in recent years thanks to the clarity with which they display data and mostly because they quite simply ...
AlcaLu & Verizon are confirmed as the first small-cell vendors for Verizon Wireless' deployment in second half of 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Cloud companies like Box and Salesforce have a new sector in mind: health care.
It’s still not clear whether the industry is ready for them.
“Anyone who has to write a check knows the value of cloud computing,” said Joshua Newman, an M.D., who is also the director of product and health strategy at Salesforce, a pioneering cloud technology company and the leader in defining the marketing term “software as a service.” Newman spoke this afternoon on a panel at HealthBeat, VentureBeat’s health-focused technology conference.
Newman said a big part of his job is to communicate the value of the cloud to health providers, and to assuage fears about breaches of sensitive patient data.
In the past, patient records were stored on film, tape and paper charts. As data gets digitized, everyone in the field has grappled with how to keep it secure, including hospitals, physician practice groups, software and hardware companies, consulting firms and affiliated health care organizations.
The federal government recently released statistics that 21 million people had their sensitive health records hacked. This is just the cases that were reported — the actual number is thought to be far higher.
As a result, security challenges have overpowered the benefits of the cloud. Cost-savings and easier software upgrades pale in comparison to leaked health care records. As a result, health providers are treading very carefully.
Newman is convinced that we’ll see increased adoption of services like Salesforce in the coming years. “There are a lot of great examples of how it’s working, and you can see how quickly it’s grown,” he said. “There are emerging standards in health care,” David Chao, a product manager at MuleSoft, said in agreement.
At HealthBeat, we also heard from Box CEO Aaron Levie how the company intends to be an “underlying layer for how content gets stored and shared” for physicians. Recently, Box received HIPAA compliance certification, meaning the product is now considered safe enough to hold on to data about your health — and safe enough for health care developers who use it.
Box and Salesforce are both appealing to progressive CIOs at hospitals and other health providers. But Newman believes it really needs to start small. “Let’s get the ball rolling with small apps,” he said. The hope is that CIOs will then realize the value in these tools.
“Getting into the cloud is not an all-or-nothing game,” said Newman. When it comes to healthcare, he stressed that we can take “baby steps.”
Photo credit: Michael O’Donnell/VentureBeat
Filed under: Cloud, Health
HealthBeat 2013 is a new conference showcasing how technology is transforming health care. We'll explore how IT is driving out inefficiencies on the hospital, practice, and patient levels. Check out full event details here, and register here.
Orange Business Services has expanded its Flexible Computing infrastructure-as-a-service product to North America and Asia, targeting multinationals with a presence across those continents and Europe and South America, where the platform is already available.
As can be expected with that sort of customer base, France Telecom’s business services arm is highlighting global business continuity support as the main reason for choosing its IaaS over the likes of Amazon or Rackspace. As the company’s international cloud chief, Chris McKay, told me, configurability is also a selling point.
“There are no small, medium or large instances. You pay for what you use, but you don’t have to pay for steps in instances,” McKay said.
Regarding competition from other telcos, particularly others from Europe such as BT and Deutsche Telekom, he stressed the “industrialized” nature of Orange’s offering – “we provide a catalog for the customer which has granularity of managed services which the customer can choose, from the OS to middleware to applications” – and the fact that Orange manages its own cloud data centers around the world rather than turning to outsourcing in certain locations.
Orange already has around 500 customers for Flexible Computing, which allows both self-managed and fully managed usage. The platform is based on in-house technology, but McKay said Orange was also looking at “other avenues”.
“Right now we’re carrying out studies,” he said. “[We will try] possibly OpenStack and a few others for an internal cloud solution at France Telecom in the next four months, where we’re going to evaluate what the right direction is for the future.”
According to an Orange Business Services statement on the North American and Asian expansion, the company is on track to rake in €500 million ($644 million) in cloud revenues in 2015. It managed €113 million in 2012, which was a third up on the year before.
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ConsultingMD, a startup that connects patients with leading medical specialists, has raised a $10 million round of funding from Venrock Capital. The company, which launched earlier this year and previously raised $1 million from Harrison Metal, enables patients to seek second opinions from a network of top doctors, and to get referrals to specialists in their own area. With the funding, the startup said it plans to further develop its technology and build out its network of elite doctors.
In contrast to startups like ZocDoc or HealthTap, which help patients find any doctor available in their area or online, ConsultingMD bills itself as service that offers access to only the doctors in the top echelon of the medical world. These physicians – who encompass the one percent of their profession – tend to be the chiefs or chairmen of the department, with publications in the top medical journals, the company says.
“The core problem is that in the highly elite world of academic specialists… access to these people is difficult [and] patients don’t know how to find them in the first place,” said CEO and co-founder Owen Tripp, who was previously COO and co-founder of Reputation.com. The company’s other co-founder is Dr. Lawrence Hofman, chief of interventional radiology at Stanford Hospital.
Through the site, patients in need of second opinion spend a few minutes describing their case, disclosing where they’ve already received care and authorizing ConsultingMD to access their medical history. Then the startup digitizes and indexes the relevant medical records (an often frustrating and dragged-out process for patients) and delivers it to the appropriate specialist on ConsultingMD.
While it can take the company an average of seven or eight days to aggregate all the records, once the doctor receives the information, Tripp said, they the doctor can turn around a second opinion in an average of 48 hours.
For individuals coming to the site, the pricing is steep, emphasizing ConsultingMD’s positioning as an elite service – the company’s website says a second opinion costs $3,750. But the company believes its bigger opportunity is by offering the service to employers looking for a way to help their employees get better outcomes (and therefore boost productivity and lower costs).
For an additional $200, the company will also locate and schedule a priority appointment with a top specialist in a patient’s area, as well as deliver all of the necessary medical records.
For doctors, the site offers a chance to interact with other top-tier medical professionals (doctors are only admitted to the site by peer recommendation), see more cases that match their research interests and, of course, earn a little more cash. For patients, the opportunity to reach the one or two leading experts in a given field may be attractive — especially in very specific or rare medical situations. But even though the company says that outcomes for elite doctors differ substantially from outcomes for less pedigreed professionals, it’s unclear that the research backs that up.
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