ZTE launches world’s smallest 4G LTE datacard

ZTE has launched the ZTE MF823, the world’s smallest 4G LTE datacard, which offers fast and easy internet connectivity with driver-free capabilities.

The card uses Qualcomm’s second generation LTE chip platform and is only 13mm thick, nearly a third of the size of the first generation LTE datacard, making it the world’s smallest LTE datacard.

The MF823 has a web UI operation, supports IPV6 and is compatible with Win8/XP/Mac and all major operating systems. It supports LTE-FDD DL/UL 100/50Mbps, UMTS-HSPA+: DL/UL 42/5.76Mbps and GPRS/GSM downward compatibility allowing consumers to enjoy high speed internet access wherever they are without the need for a fixed line internet connect or public WiFi hotspot.

Continue reading “ZTE launches world’s smallest 4G LTE datacard”

Rhythm & Hues makes skies soar with NVIDIA GPUs in Life of Pi

Global visual effects giant Rhythm & Hues (R&H) recently completed the lion’s share of visual effects shots on the acclaimed new film, “Life of Pi,” leveraging NVIDIA GPUs to maximize throughput and accelerate creative workflows. “Life of Pi,” from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee, tapped legions of R&H artists at offices in Los Angeles, India, Kuala Lumpur, Vancouver, and Taiwan to create several hundred visual effects shots in stereo 3D that included the Bengal tiger, digitally recreated water and skies, Meerkat Island and myriad additional creatures and effects.

R&H is known for its custom development of proprietary visual effects tools, many of which are written specifically for the GPU. One of those tools, dubbed Rampage, was particularly instrumental in achieving the remarkable skies that set the tone in this tale of an Indian zookeeper’s son named Pi, shipwrecked with a Bengal tiger and adrift in the Pacific Ocean.

Continue reading “Rhythm & Hues makes skies soar with NVIDIA GPUs in Life of Pi”

HK start-ups showcase latest mobile apps and innovations

Technology incubation companies of Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) will be showcasing their innovative products and solutions at the HKTDC Inno Design Tech Expo (IDT Expo).  The innovations range from digital receipts system, mobile apps for “whole-child” development and mobile workforce, to cost-effective LED lamps.

Allen Yeung, Vice President of Business Development and Technology Support of HKSTPC, is pleased with the active participation. “HKSTPC has been organising pavilions to encourage incubatees to showcase their innovations in international fairs.  Many of them find it very effective in extending their connections with potential customers, whether they are in Hong Kong or from overseas.  During the Electronics Fair held in October, one of our incubatees SinoGael Technologies Limited has successfully enticed great interests from buyers of the US and Middle East.  We are confident that our incubatees will again attract international visitors in the coming IDT Expo and gain fruitful results.”

Continue reading “HK start-ups showcase latest mobile apps and innovations”

GSMA: More women needed in mobile communications industry

The GSMA held its first GSMA Connected Women conference in Europe, bringing together more than 250 telecommunications industry professionals to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing women in technology today. Through a range of keynote presentations and panel discussions, the GSMA Connected Women: Enriching the Mobile Ecosystem event explored how to attract, nurture and promote more female talent within the mobile industry, a sector that has revolutionised the lives of billions of people around the world.

“Women today comprise 40 per cent of the global workforce and account for more than half of university graduates, and yet we see only three to five per cent of senior management positions in technology being held by women,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. “This is a critical challenge that we must address immediately – as an industry, we will be at a disadvantage if we cannot attract and retain the most talented individuals, many of whom are women. The Connected Women event focuses attention on the many opportunities available to women in technology, and particularly in mobile, and how we can foster the next generation of business leaders.”

According to a Grant Thornton International business report issued earlier this year, women hold only 21 per cent of senior management positions globally across all industries and over the last 10 years, this number has remained largely unchanged. Most studies put the number of women in senior management positions in technology companies even lower, at around three per cent to five per cent. In the 2012 Fortune 500 rankings, the number of female CEOs was 18, up from 12 in 2011, but women still accounted for only four per cent of the ranking.

Continue reading “GSMA: More women needed in mobile communications industry”

ZTE wins GSM-R contract from Nanning Railway Bureau

ZTE has won a GSM-R (GSM for Railways) contract from Nanning Railway Bureau.

ZTE’s new generation SDR-based GSM-R system has passed European Integrated Radio Enhanced Network (EIRENE) specifications and received a certification from TÜV Rheinland, a global technical, safety and certification service provider. GSM-R, based on the GSM standards, provides industry-leading technology for precise railway scheduling and communications. Currently, ZTE provides BSCs, BTSs and engineering services for rail operators in Southwest China.

With the new Nanning Railway contract, ZTE will deploy its GSM-R technology on a key transport link in Southwest China. The Nanning Railway section will include six rail lines that support train speeds exceeding 200km/h, and enhance China’s high-speed rail links with countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“This GSM-R contract strengthens the partnership between ZTE and Nanning Railway Bureau,” said ZTE Vice President Li Jian. “ZTE’s GSM-R system can overcome the wireless communication challenges in mountainous and undulating terrains, and ensure robust network connections. We will work closely with Nanning Railway Bureau to help our client fulfill their role as a key regional transport hub linking major international cities.”

hybris enables digital content providers to create high-value, ongoing relationships with customers

hybris has further strengthened its position of offering the most agile, most modern commerce platform by announcing important new features that empower publishers of books, magazines, games and software, as well as other service providers, to sell more digital goods, content and services online.

“Digital products are different from physical products. They’re alive,” stated Ariel Ludi, CEO of hybris. “Using the internet to stay connected after the initial sale, offering related or next-in-series products in context, gives publishers of any digital goods or content the ability to have high-value perpetual digital relationships with their customers. hybris helps them create – and grow – those relationships.”

A host of new enhancements to the hybris Commerce Suite, purpose-built to support the sale of non-physical products, enables online sellers to offer a variety of flexible recurring pricing models.  In addition, merchandisers can easily construct complex bundles of products, with sophisticated rule-based discounts, and give their customers the power to create their own packages with a modern guided-selling user experience.

Continue reading “hybris enables digital content providers to create high-value, ongoing relationships with customers”

Atomic makes last stand alone

Atomic, an Australian technology magazine targeted at PC enthusiasts, has just breathed its last — as a standalone publication. From the February issue, it will be merged with  PC & Tech Authority (PC&TA).

“With the media landscape shifting at such a fast pace, we felt it was vital that we prepare for the future by pouring all of our resources into one overriding consumer tech brand. It gives the team focus and allows us to invest in areas that deliver expert content, while creating a stronger footing in the consumer tech market,” said  Jeremy Vaughan, Managing Director of Haymarket Media.

Going forward, PC & Tech Authority will be carry more than 16 pages on PC component reviews and gaming content.

Continue reading “Atomic makes last stand alone”

ZTE launches commercial trial VoLTE call with eSRVCC

ZTE has launched the industry’s first commercial trial VoLTE call with enhanced single radio voice call continuity (eSRVCC) in Hong Kong.

The VoLTE call with eSRVCC enables higher quality voice calls while the network is upgrading to LTE and provides end-to-end QoS assurance. The eSRVCC was proposed by ZTE at 3GPP in 2009 and is supported by a number of operators and vendors. It was accepted into 3GPP R10 as a standard technology promotion.

“eSRVCC VoLTE call improves connection time when compared to CSFB solution and shortens handover time when compared to SRVCC solution. It gives LTE users more options and better service experience,” said ZTE Core Network Vice President Tu Jiashun. “The success of this solution is a milestone in the development of the VoLTE ecosystem.”


Mugshot: Informix

Informix mugFounded as Relational Database Systems Inc in 1980, Informix Sofware was a leading developer of relational database management software across a variety of platforms, including Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows and Unix.

After selling its core database business to IBM in 2001, Informix was renamed Ascential Software. However, this too was subsequently sold to IBM in 2005. While the company is no longer in existence, the Informix brand lives on as IBM Informix.

This mug is a memory of Informix during its heydays in the 1990s.


ZTE brings Jelly Bean experience to users

ZTE has become the first Chinese vendor to launch a smartphone running on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

This announcement comes just one week after Google released Android 4.2. Users of the ZTE N880E upgrading to Android 4.2 will experience improvements in operating performance as well as updates to Google Now and gesture typing. In addition, new features such as the Photo Sphere camera functionality and photo filter function will provide them with more personalised content for work and play.

“This announcement highlights ZTEs long standing strategic relationship with Google and ZTEs determination to provide consumers with cutting-edge technology and the best Smartphone experience,” said He Shiyou, EVP and Head of the Terminal Division of ZTE.

“ZTE will introduce more models on Android 4.2 in the future, and will continue to make improvements to equipment performance and stability, ensuring that our handsets meet with the high expectations of today’s consumers,” he added.

When ZTE launched the ZTE N880E with Android 4.1 earlier this year it was among one of the first handsets to have Android 4.1. Once again the ZTE N880E is one of the first handsets to incorporate Android 4.2.

The ZTE N880E is part of the very popular Blade Smartphone family. It has a 4 inch high resolution 480 x 800 pixel screen, a 10.4mm ultra-thin metal appearance and Qualcomm 7627A processor, which makes it energy efficient.

NetApp unleashes new Data ONTAP to enable greater IT agility


Global business faces a new era in which agility in IT is central to success, today and in the future. Competition, an always-on global economy, and the urgency to make data a propellant for advantage all require the CIO to provide the business with an infrastructure agile enough to cope with a very dynamic business environment. Customers want to accelerate their business with greater efficiency and productivity, but they must think differently to remove the complexity, cost, and inefficiencies of decade-old IT approaches.

Today, businesses can make agility in IT a reality. NetApp, in collaboration with its partners, is introducing a new way for customers to fundamentally architect and manage their data storage infrastructure differently to be more agile. Building on years of storage efficiency and clustering innovation, new platform features, products, and technologies with the latest release of Data ONTAP software, enable IT to better respond to changing business requirements, maintain non-disruptive operations, and grow the business without limits.e future. Competition, an always-on global economy, and the urgency to make data a propellant for advantage all require the CIO to provide the business with an infrastructure agile enough to cope with a very dynamic business environment. Customers want to accelerate their business with greater efficiency and productivity, but they must think differently to remove the complexity, cost, and inefficiencies of decade-old IT approaches.

Continue reading “NetApp unleashes new Data ONTAP to enable greater IT agility”

Show fatigue?

School holidays, check. Christmas coming, check. Gift giving time, check.

All the signs are there but seasoned visitors to SITEX, which started yesterday, noted that the event was a little quieter than normal — and we’re not talking about noise level.

Missing from the run up to the show are thick supplements that used to appear in the dailies earlier in the week and on the opening day of the event. Digital Life did run a 10-page supplement on SITEX but this pales in comparison to past years and past events. Other than that, only a smattering of vendors did mention SITEX in their ads in the main paper.

Is Singapore suffering from IT show fatigue? Or is this just a sign of the economy?

Evolution of IT shows

SITEX has just started in Singapore and crowds are expected to throng the halls at Singapore Expo for bargains — just like they did three previous times this year.

Singapore has four major IT shows a year and other than each event’s name, everything else seems the same. Exhibitors pitch products at bargain prices or bundle their products with goodies to entice visitors, who in turn, are looking to get the best deals.

It just looks like a quarterly IT sale held either at Suntec City or Singapore Expo.

IT shows didn’t used to be like that. While a couple started out as a sales platform, at least one show was the place where IT vendors introduced new products and took pains to demonstrate their solutions to visitors. But, over the years, leading IT vendors pulled out and now it’s becoming more consumer and not enterprise oriented at all. It’s all about selling, not educating or informing. The objectives have changed, the players have changed, and the show has changed.

HKSTPC Chairman wins Directors of the Year Awards 2012

Nicholas Brooke, Chairman of HKSTPC

Nicholas Brooke, Chairman of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC), has been awarded the “Directors of the Year Awards 2012” by The Hong Kong Institute of Directors.

The annual award is highly regarded by the business community, and aims to publicise the significance of good corporate governance, and recognise boards and directors for their outstanding efforts in promoting and practising high standards of corporate governance.

Entering its 12th year, the Awards adopted the theme, “Enhancing Board Competence through Continuing Professional Development for Directors” for 2012, which focused on the importance of a proactive and ongoing approach to enhancing the effectiveness of the Board operations.

Brooke has served on the Board of HKSTPC for 11 years since the Corporation’s inception in 2001, and has been actively involved in its policy making, strategy formulation and business development. In the capacity of Chairman of HKSTPC since 2007, he has led the Corporation in enhancing its corporate governance and operational efficiency. He also plays a key role in strengthening the role of the Corporation in building a world-class technology hub for the region and advancing the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong.

SingTel unbundles Bridge Dataroam rates

Bridge Dataroam users, take note.

The three- or five-day packages for SingTel’s Bridge Alliance Network countries have been adjusted. Essentially, the rates are now the same as the daily rates. The three-day package, which used to cost S$42, is now S$45 or S$15 a day. This is the same as the daily rate.

Since this is the case, why is SingTel still selling as three- or five-day bundles? Wouldn’t it be simpler to just take the number of days and multiply by S$15?

SCTV to deliver advanced TV services to 15m subscribers in China

NDS is collaborating with one of China’s largest cable operators, Sichuan Cable TV Network (SCTV), to deploy advanced functionality that will provide an enriched subscriber experience with greater flexibility for over 15 million subscribers.

SCTV is utilising the two-way nature of its network to provide subscribers with more flexible viewing, including the ability to catch-up on missed programmes, restart live TV and personalise their service through features such as ‘My planner’.

In addition, SCTV is introducing additional revenue generating opportunities including EPG advertising solutions that enable ads to be addressed to a specific region, county or subscriber profile; HDTV, Video on Demand, multi-room offers and interactive features including games, flight info and the lottery.

Providing a solid and scalable technological underpinning, NDS solutions are enabling the seamless deployment of these new features across the entire consolidated provincial SCTV network. Addressing 131 branches and 15 million subscribers, the deployment is one of the largest feature upgrades of its kind in China and will enable access to HD services across the entire province.

SCTV employs a number of solutions from NDS, including NDS MediaHighway set-top box middleware, XTV DVR technology, an electronic programme guide (EPG) and NDS Dynamic advanced EPG advertising. VideoGuard secures SCTV’s service to ensure revenues and provide anti-roaming protection between regional operations.


Mobile offers unprecedented economic growth opportunity globally

The GSMA and Deloitte has released the first comprehensive assessment of the incremental benefits of next-generation mobile telephony services, such as 3G technology and mobile data services, and their impact on economic growth.  The report ‘What Is the Impact of Mobile Telephony on Economic Growth?’ provides the first estimates of the impact of mobile data usage on GDP growth in developed and developing markets. The report draws from research of data usage and economic growth across 14 countries provided by Cisco Systems based on their Visual Networking Index (VNI), as well as Deloitte studies on the productivity impact of mobile in 79 countries and the impact of 3G penetration across 96 countries.

“The development of data services have the potential to drive economic development in the same way in which voice services have in previous generations,” said Chris Williams, Deloitte telecommunications partner. “This report offers the first serious quantification of this impact and confirms industry expectations that the impact is significant. Policy makers need to consider the implications of this report in their support for the development of mobile data”.

Key findings of the report include:

  • A doubling of mobile data use leads to an increase of 0.5 percentage points in the GDP per capita growth rate across the 14 countries;
  • Countries characterised by a higher level of data usage per 3G connection have seen an increase in their GDP per capita growth of up to 1.4 percentage points;
  • A 10 per cent rise from 2G to 3G penetration increases GDP per capita growth by 0.15 percentage points; and
  • In developing markets, a 10 per cent expansion in mobile penetration increases productivity by 4.2 percentage points.

The impact of 3G penetration on GDP growth
The report measures the impact on GDP growth of consumers moving from basic 2G connections to 3G connections. This analysis of 96 developed and developing markets shows the positive effect of consumers substituting a 2G connection with a 3G connection. A 10 per cent rise in 3G penetration increases GDP per capita growth by 0.15 percentage points.

“Total mobile connections will stand at 6.8 billion with mobile subscriber penetration at 45 per cent by the end of 2012,” said Tom Philips, Chief Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer, GSMA. “In this period of economic uncertainty, governments should look to the mobile industry as a key partner for economic growth and put in place policies that encourage investment in broadband infrastructure, which will serve to enhance productivity, as well as policies to drive the development of new data services that will boost the economy and benefit society.”

The impact of mobile data on GDP growth
The increase in 3G connections, supported by the proliferation of data-enabled devices that allow mobile Internet connectivity, has led to a massive growth in the use of mobile data. Total mobile data usage has more than doubled on average every year from 2005 to 2010 in each of the 96 countries in the sample. In Western European countries, it grew by 350 per cent.

Using data from Cisco’s VNI for 14 countries, this study finds a strong relationship between usage of mobile data per 3G connection and economic growth. A doubling of mobile data use leads to an increase of 0.5 percentage points in the GDP per capita growth rate across the 14 countries.

The impact of increased mobile data usage is stronger in countries where the average level of mobile data consumption per 3G connection is comparatively higher. Countries characterised by a higher level of data usage per 3G connection, such as Russia, the UK and South Korea, have seen an increase in their GDP per capita growth of up to 1.4 percentage points. The effect is more limited for countries where mobile data usage is currently less prevalent, such as China, India, Mexico and South Africa.

“This study is an important addition to the growing body of empirical evidence demonstrating the impact of broadband on economic growth,” said Dr. Robert Pepper, Vice President, Global Technology Policy, Cisco. “As people around the world increasingly connect to the Internet via multiple wireless devices to use rich content anytime, anywhere, it is creating a deluge of data that is changing the way we work, live and play. The fact that increasing high-speed mobile broadband data usage leads to greater average per capita income underscores the need for increased investment in wireless networks as well as for government policies to foster that investment, including the allocation of additional spectrum.”

Impact of mobile telephony on productivity in developing markets
While the effects from mobile data are most evident in more developed markets, mobile telephony in developing markets continues to deliver strong benefits through voice services, with huge potential for additional benefits as mobile data networks are rolled out. In developing markets, a 10 per cent expansion in mobile penetration increases productivity by 4.2 percentage points. Rather than look to capture value from the mobile industry via sector specific taxation and high regulatory fees, government could seek to incent investments in mobile broadband networks, which will deliver significant economic and social benefits.

 The full report is available at www.gsma.com/tax


H3G completes national roaming in Austria based on MOCN architecture

Hutchison 3G (H3G) Austria has successfully completed national roaming (NR) based on MOCN (Multi-Operator Core Network) architecture, covering two thirds of Austria, using ZTE technology.

To enable 3G NR, ZTE provided H3G with MOCN technology which allows NR partners to connect to the H3G UTRAN network. As a result of the project both CS and PS traffic are increased significantly. The ZTE SDR base stations and network controller, together with the core ZTE network, ensured that the project, which covered more than 9,000 MOCN cells, did not affect the experience of H3G’s subscribers.

Benefitting from excellent network performance, H3G Austria users number is increasing fast. Test results show that the average upload rate is still over 50 percent higher than other networks and the average download rate is about 11.7Mbps. The solution enables the network to deliver excellent quality and have good coverage.

“NR based on MOCN architecture is a win-win solution for both parties. Relying on H3G’s high performance network, constructed by ZTE, the NR partners can not only make full use of the network resources and quickly deploy network commercialization with low TCO, but also achieve thorough cooperation and complement each other’s service advantages. NR based on MOCN architecture helps operators save thousands of base station construction costs and shortens the 3G commercialisation by about two years,” said Wang Shouchen, vice president, ZTE.

“Network Sharing based on MOCN architecture will become a trend in the future, particularly in high-end markets such as Europe and North America. In sparsely populated areas with insufficient network coverage or unbalanced network resources, there is a need for network sharing for operators to reduce construction cost and speed up network commercialization,” added Shouchen.

As a world leading integrated communication solutions provider, ZTE is committed to constructing high performance networks with global operators and helping them customize service offerings. ZTE’s Uni-RAN solution has been deployed by 150 operators in the world. As of today, ZTE has concluded 38 LTE commercial contracts and constructed nearly 100 trial networks with operators worldwide.


HP Elitepad soars with Emirates

Emirates aims to deliver better customer service and flight experience with the HP ElitePad 900.

HP’s new tablets has won over an admirer. Emirates Airlines has started equipping its cabin crew with HP’s ElitePad 900 Windows 8 Enterprise tablets to improve customer service.


Running on Windows 8, the new tablets has enabled Emirates to create its Knowledge Driven Inflight Service (KIS) app, which allows air crew to deliver better customer experience. The HP ElitePad 900 tablets are synchronised with the corporate systems before take-off and upon landing, giving the crew updated information such as security, passenger seating and upgrades.

Updates from the HR systems provide supervisors with duty crew data, such as grades, nationalities and language competencies.

Designed for businesses, the HP ElitePad 900 is sleek, thin and light, and comes with enterprise-calibre data, device and identity protection for Emirates
customers with HP Client Security.


Mugshot: Data General

Data General was a leading minicomputer maker.

Minicomputers used to be hot — really hot — from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. And one of the leading players then was Data General.

Unfortunately, the emergence of the microcomputer led to the demise of the minicomputer. Data General was late to hop onto the microcomputer and portable computer bandwagon, resulting in the company being acquired by EMC in 1999.

This mug was given out in the early 1990s at a Data General product launch in Singapore.

ZTE launches energy saving solution for LTE networks

ZTE has launched an energy saving solution to help operators reduce energy consumption in their LTE networks. According to test results, a single site employing this solution can save up to 40 percent in power consumption.

The global information and communication technology industry accounts for as much as 2.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to research firm Gartner. In a typical wireless telecommunications network, about 90 percent of the energy is consumed by base stations.

ZTE’s Energy Saving Solution offers an array of innovative technologies to reduce power consumption for base stations, including the industry’s first integrated system for automatic/dynamic PA bias voltage control and intelligent OFDM signaling shutdown without affecting performance.

Based on test results, ZTE’s Energy Saving Solution can generate energy savings of as much as 32 percent on a single site. Annual reduction of as much as 5,200KwH can be achieved on a typical 1,500W base station. For a network comprising 1,000 base stations, the annual reduction would amount to 5.2 million Kwh, reducing 4500 tons of carbon dioxide emission. When combined with the deployment of renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind energy or bio-energy, energy savings of more than 50 per cent of the entire network can be achieved.

ZTE will increase resources for LTE development and green technologies. The company has won 38 LTE commercial contracts and is working with more than 100 operators in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East on trial LTE networks.

Mugshot: HP and Apple

Hewlett Packard makes Apples bear fruit

HP and printers are synonymous. For more than two decades, HP has been producing and delivering award winning printers — both inkjet and laser. Today, it carries many models that give companies more than just mere printing functions. Scanning, faxing and copying are functions that have been added to benefit both home and enterprise users.

This mug was given out in the early 1990s during the launch of one of its first printers to run on the Apple platform. It aptly reads “Hewlett Packard makes Apples bear fruit”.

ZTE sells shares in Changfei Investment, invests in China All Access

Telecommunications equipment and network solutions provider ZTE Corporation has agreed to sell its 81 percent stake in Changfei Investment to Guangdong All Access and CCBI (Shenzhen). The disposal will generate between RMB450 million and RMB850 million financial gain for ZTE, increasing the company’s working capital for business development. At the same time, ZTE (Hong Kong) Ltd., a subsidiary of the company, agreed to subscribe to shares and convertible bonds in China All Access to strengthen the strategic partnership between the companies in telecommunications and enterprise networks.

Changfei Investment is a subsidiary of ZTE, with operations in electronics and telecommunications components distribution, management consulting and investments. CCBI (Shenzhen) is a subsidiary of China Construction Bank. Guangdong All Access is a wholly-owned indirect holdings of China All Access. China All Access, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, is an integrated information communication application solution provider, with key customers including government departments and business enterprises, and has a solid position in the growing satellite communication and wireless data communication application markets.

Under the agreement with China All Access and CCBI (Shenzhen), CCBI (Shenzhen) will acquire a 30 percent interest in Changfei Investment from ZTE, and the company will sell a 51 percent interest in Changfei Investment to Guangdong All Access. Simultaneously, ZTE (HK) Limited will subscribe to 112 million shares in China All Access, in addition to HKD 201.5 million of convertible bonds as part of its agreement with China All Access. The agreements will strengthen ZTE’s cooperation with China All Access on enterprise networks and TD-LTE.

The proposed transactions form an important step in ZTE’s efforts to focus on its core operations, and reorganize shareholdings in its subsidiaries. The partnership between the companies, both listed in Hong Kong, will help increase transparency and generate synergies in TD-LTE and enterprise networks operations. China All Access’s competitiveness in the mobile devices and emergency solutions markets will be strengthened by its acquisition of Changfei Investment shares.


User guide, anyone?

Buy any (or at least most) product and you will get a user guide. In the past, this is something that people will pour over diligently to learn how to use the product. When they don’t understand something, they will take out the guide, check the content page and read the instructions.

However, times have changed. When was the last time you referred to a user guide?

Today, most people just take product out, use it first and when in doubt…no, not refer to a user guide but just Google for the solution. This is fast and most times, provides the solution without needing to consult the user guide.

So, do we still need a printed user guide? Or for that matter, a CD version?


Mugshot: Ashton-Tate

Door gift from the opening of the Ashton-Tate Asia Manufacturing Centre in Singapore

Remember Ashton-Tate? Some of us may not have heard of the company but it was one of the top software companies in the 1980s and 1990s — ranking alongside Microsoft and Lotus — and is renowned for dBase, its database application.

The mug was given at the official opening of its Asia Manufacturing Centre in Singapore on March 15, 1991. Unfortunately, Ashton-Tate was sold to Borland six months later and dBase became history.


AMD fights on amidst the rumbles

What happened to AMD? Sean Hollister of The Verge asks this pointed question as he analyses development at the chipmaker in recent years.

Fighting the behemoth that is Intel, AMD had done well to carve a niche for itself. It’s not exactly an equal to Intel but still has a noticeable and sizeable presence, attracting a loyal following along the way.

When it acquired ATI, AMD upped the ante and seemed destined to win a bigger market share of the chip market. The graphics technologies gave AMD an edge over Intel and enabled it to develop new products.

However, things don’t seem to pan out as expected. Leadership transitions, layoffs, slow to market, and a dominant Intel stood in the way of growth.

But, all is not lost as AMD is known to be a fighter.



NetApp announces Q2 results

Storage and data management solution provider NetApp has reported results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, which ended October 26, 2012. Revenues for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013 totaled $1.541 billion and were in line with prior guidance. Revenues for the same period a year ago totaled $1.507 billion.

For the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, GAAP net income was $110 million, or $0.30 per share, compared to GAAP net income of $166 million, or $0.44 per share for the same period a year ago. Non-GAAP net income for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013 was $189 million, or $0.51 per share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $236 million, or $0.63 per share for the same period a year ago.

Revenues for the first six months of fiscal year 2013 totaled $2.986 billion compared to revenues of $2.965 billion for the first six months of the prior fiscal year. GAAP net income for the first six months of fiscal year 2013 totaled $173 million, or $0.47 per share, compared to GAAP net income of $305 million, or $0.78 per share for the first six months of the prior fiscal year. Non-GAAP net income for the first six months of fiscal year 2013 totaled $345 million, or $0.93 per share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $458 million, or $1.17 per share for the first six months of the prior fiscal year.

“NetApp produced healthy financial results in the second quarter with revenue roughly at the midpoint of and EPS above our guidance range, despite a difficult environment. We saw a strong uptake of NetApp Data ONTAP 8 and clustered Data ONTAP, as customers are looking to build agile data infrastructure environments with intelligent data management, nearly unlimited scalability, and nondisruptive operations,” said Tom Georgens, president and CEO.

“We also saw momentum in our partnering strategy with continued FlexPod growth and a record high revenue contribution from Arrow and Avnet. Our focus on delivering best-of-breed storage solutions and the leverage we gain through go-to-market and channel partners will enable NetApp to grow our business and gain share.”


Fencing your desktop

Fences groups icons to give a cleaner desktop for faster access.

Saving files on the desktop is supposed to make files easy to access without having to go through multiple clicks. However, if left unattended, this can lead to clutter and finding files may just be as, if not more, difficult.

Enter Fences, a nifty little app that groups desktop icons into categories, such as Recent Things, Files and Documents, and Programs.

This helps greatly in searching for files and gives the desktop a more organised feel.

Installation is easy too. Download here.


Hooked on Swype

The keypad – that’s the main reason I did not make a switch to touchscreen smartphones.

Even when I had to make the inevitable switch – because of the dying models of keypad-based phones – I did so reluctantly. That is, until I discovered Swype.

I never thought there would be a better way of inputting text until I used Swype. It’s fast, intuitive and makes writing SMS, Whatsapp and email messages so much easier.

Bye, bye, keypad. You’ll be missed but Swype has done an excellent job in softening the blow.