Nokia 3310 makes comeback at under S$100

Nokia’s announcement at Mobile World Congress in February that it was resurrecting the iconic Nokia 3310 was met with enthusiasm, which was quickly dampened when the phone was said to run on 2.5G.

However, Nokia has responded remarkably by upgrading the 3310 to 3G and making it available at “below S$100”.

“Our fans around the world have been asking for this iconic phone to support 3G. Fans asked, we listened, and today welcome the Nokia 3310 3G,” said Mr Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer of HMD Global, maker of the Nokia phone.

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Appier appoints Sean Chu as CSO

Appier has appointed Sean Chu as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) to lead its operations in Japan and Korea. Chu will help drive the company’s growth as it moves to create new AI platforms to help enterprises solve their business challenges.

Chu brings over two decades of experience in enterprise technology and media. Before joining Appier, Chu served as Senior Director, Central Marketing Group, at Microsoft Japan. He has also held leadership positions in a variety of companies including Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Motorola. He has worked in the US and supported operations in Europe and Asia.

Appier believes AI can help enterprises deal with today’s rapidly changing business environment, helping them process enormous amounts of data to identify patterns and make intelligent decisions. Appier’s first product, the CrossX Programmatic Platform, brought AI into digital marketing. Its second, Aixon, is a data intelligence platform that allows business users at a variety of enterprises to discover new customers, enrich their understanding of their customer base, and make predictions using AI.

Enterprise wearables to hit 118m units in 2022

Royole flexible display.
Royole flexible display.

Enterprise wearable shipment will reach over 118 million in 2022, increasing from just over 38 million in 2017, a CAGR of 25 percent, according to ABI Research.

The enterprise wearables market is continuing to see stronger growth than the consumer market, which has shipment numbers increasing at a lower CAGR of 13 percent.

Healthcare devices, wearable cameras, and wearable scanners will account for 73 percent of enterprise wearable shipments in 2022. Innovative companies are leading the charge, such as Royole with flexible components, Waverly with real-time translation, and Axon (previously Taser) with wearable cameras.

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China’s tech giants bet on NVIDIA Volta

China’s top technology companies are betting big on the NVIDIA Volta platform.

Alibaba Cloud, Baidu, and Tencent are incorporating NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU accelerators into their data centres and cloud-service infrastructures to accelerate AI for a broad range of enterprise and consumer applications.

At the heart of the new Volta-based systems is the NVIDIA V100 data centre GPU. Built with 21 billion transistors, it provides a 5x improvement over the preceding NVIDIA Pascal architecture P100 GPU accelerators, while delivering the equivalent performance of 100 CPUs for deep learning. This performance surpasses by 4x the improvements that Moore’s law would have predicted over the same period of time.

Inspur, Lenovo and Huawei are using the NVIDIA HGX reference architecture to offer Volta-based accelerated systems for hyperscale data centres. Using HGX as a starter “recipe,” original equipment manufacturer and original design manufacturer partners can work with NVIDIA to more quickly design and bring to market a wide range of qualified GPU-accelerated AI systems for hyperscale data centres to meet the industry’s growing demand for AI cloud computing.

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Dell boosts new SCV3000 series entry storage arrays with enterprise-class features

Dell has extended a full range of enterprise-grade capabilities to its entry-level SC Series offering, providing access to advanced storage technology for businesses of all sizes and budgets. The affordable new Dell SCv3000 arrays complete an end-to-end refresh of the overall SC portfolio, offering greater automation, integration and more shared capabilities with the larger SC Series products.

The new Series includes many of the key SC operating system features, including data progression, intelligent compression, full replication/federation with other SC Series arrays, live migrate, live volume, and PS Series integration. The platform has been significantly upgraded compared to the previous-generation SCv2000 with new 6-core Intel processors, twice the memory and thrice greater bandwidth result in a 50 percent performance boost.

Dell SCv3000 Series storage arrays will be available in early October.

More NVIDIA GPU offerings on Google Cloud Platform

Google has expanded its NVIDIA GPU offerings on the Google Cloud Platform. These include:

  1. Performance boost with the public launch of NVIDIA P100 GPUs in beta
  2. NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPUs available on Google Compute Engine
  3. Introduction of sustained use discounts on both the Tesla K80 and P100 GPUs

According to a Google Cloud Platform blog, cloud GPUs can accelerate  workloads including machine learning training and inference, geophysical data processing, simulation, seismic analysis, molecular modeling, genomics and many more high performance compute use cases.

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HPE to cut 5,000 jobs

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) plans to shed 10 percent of  its workforce, accounting for at least 5,000 workers globally, according to a Bloomberg report.

Expected to start before the year end, the move is in line with reducing expenses in the midst of global competition.

 

HPE Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman has been pushing to delayer the organisation in a bid to become more efficient.

Google snares HTC hardware talents

Google is flexing its muscles in the hardware business with the acquisition of a team of hardware talents from HTC.

The move marks another milestone in a decade-long relationship between the two companies.

“These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we’re excited to see what we can do together as one team. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property,” blogged Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google.

 

Dell and Asus posts solid growth in monitor market in Q2

Dell and Asus are the leading lights in an overall weak PC monitor market in Q2.

Total shipment was 28.5 million units in Q2, a 6.4 percent decline from the corresponding period last year, according to IDC. Some of the market softness can be attributed to a strong Q2 last year.

IDC currently forecasts 117 million PC monitor units will be shipped for the full year of 2017 and expects to see a 2.2 percent decline year-over-year in worldwide shipment to 27.8 million units in Q2 2018. By 2020, worldwide shipment is expected to be less than 112 million units as the adoption of mobile devices at lower price points is expected to continue.

NVIDIA to hold first AI-focused conference in Singapore in October

With artificial intelligence (AI) being a hot topic this year, NVIDIA is organising its first AI-focused regional conference in Singapore on October 23 and 24.

The event will be held in two parts with the first day focusing on Deep Learning Institute (DLI) workshop where participants will received hands-on training on deep learningl and the second day filled with keynote addresses, panel discussion and three tracks. It is targeted at data scientists and senior decision makers in the field of AI in both public and private sectors.

“Singapore is aiming to be the world’s first smart nation and AI is playing a critical role. NVIDIA is well positioned to help drive the government’s Smart Nation initiative with the development of solutions based on AI. Our GPUs are making headlines across the world by enabling many breakthroughs in various industries using deep learning,” said Raymond Teh, Vice President of APAC sales and marketing at NVIDIA.

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New Apple iPhone is real X — for eXpensive!

Even though the X in the newly announced iPhone X is supposed to be pronounced as “10”, it can be interpreted as eXpensive. At S$1,648 for the 64GB version and S$1,888 for the 256GB iteration, the new iPhone X is a costly device, bringing it right into the price range of notebook computers.

Apple seems to be pushing the price ceiling on how much consumers are willing to pay for a high-end smartphone. It may even cause some die-hard fans to consider if it’s really worthwhile upgrading to this new rendition. The iPhone X comes with a six-core A11 Bionic processor, GPU, a bezelless super retina display, wireless charging, dual 12-megapixel rear cameras with optical image stabilisation, and Face ID. Most of these are already available in other high-end smartphones without such a hefty price tag.

Face ID, which lets users unlock and pay with the device, is probably the most unique value proposition but is this enough to justify the high price?

Guess the answer will be known when the iPhone X becomes available in Singapore on November 3.

Australia PC market bucks global trend by inching up 3.3%

Consumer and enterprise PC purchases are driving growth in the Australia PC market, which includes desktop, notebook and workstation.

The consumer segment grew 8.6 percent year over year (YoY) in Q2, according to IDC.

“The retail channel was negatively impacted by Dick Smith’s exit last year. This year however, promotional events such as Modern PC program run by Harvey Norman spiked growth in the consumer space. AMD’s new Ryzen series launch and EOFY sales further fuelled growth in this segment,” said Sagar Raghavendra, Client Devices Analyst of IDC Australia.

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March ending for Google Drive

Google Drive on the PC and Mac will cease to exist in its current form from March 2018. According to a blog post by Google, the app will no longer be supported starting on December 11, 2017, and it will shut down completely on March 12, 2018.

“We encourage you to use Drive File Stream. As an alternative to or in addition to installing Drive File Stream, you can upgrade to the new version of Drive for Mac/PC, called Backup and Sync,” wrote the blog.

Drive File Stream is for business users while Backup and Sync, which combines Google Drive and Google Photos functionalities, is for consumers. However, the Google Drive service will still work on the web and smartphone apps.

Amazon searches for 2nd HQ

Red alert, North America cities. It’s time to dust your red carpet. Amazon is on the hunt for a city to host its second headquarters.

The e-commerce giant’s new campus will take up about eight million square feet — that’s a lot of space and a great boost to the local economy.

Seattle Times has reported that the selected city will get US$5 billion in investments. According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the second HQ will be “full equal”to its Seattle campus.

Sun slips into history

Some may have already forgotten about Sun Microsystems, the company that introduced the SPARC processor and developed Java. The once mighty workstation maker was bought by Oracle in 2010.

It seems that the last of Sun will be disappearing as Oracle is laying off staff in its hardware division, which contained remnants of the former Sun team.

For those who have followed the rise of Sun in the 1980s, it’s an eventuality that is really sad. Based in Santa Clara, the company once competed against the likes of IBM and HP for a slice of the workstation market. However, by the time it was acquired by Oracle, Sun had outsourced its manufacturing operations.