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AMD Considering Outsourcing Chip Manufacturing

The title says it all. Chinese magazine Bloomberg recently discovered plans of AMD to outsource chip manufacturing. Most likely, this move would be done to reduce capital expenditure. AMD has already been testing outsourcing with IBM, and is now ready to go all the way. This is all part of a strategy Hector Ruiz likes to call "asset light". Nobody on earth other than Ruiz seems to know what, exactly, asset light is, and Ruiz refuses to elaborate upon it at this point.Source: The Inquirer

American I.T. Jobs Post Record Salaries, Despite Economic Recession

While some in America, particularly the crowd on Wall Street, would tell you that America is facing a depression, anyone who chose a career field in I.T. would beg to differ. The average salary for anyone involved with I.T. reached record proportions, or $32.39 an hour, to be precise. However, the firm that performed the analysis warns that everything is not well in the world of I.T. careers. These record salaries are the end of a growth spurt in I.T. salaries, and already growth is slowing down. Over the past year, several large companies announced lay-offs, showing that less people to pay may have had a large affect on these salaries. If you're a high school junior and trying to decide what to do with the rest of your life, assuming you want to go into I.T., or you're much older and want a career change, you'll be happy to know that there is a demand for SAP talent, project managers, and data warehousing skills.Source: DailyTech

Gates Looses $3 Billion from Personal Fortune in Yahoo Bid; Tech Stocks Plummet

It seems that Yahoo isn't the only one suffering from the failed buy-out of Yahoo by the hand of Microsoft. Sir William Gates III is reported as having lost over $3 billion USD from his personal fortune in Microsoft stock just from trying to buy Yahoo. However, Gates' fortune is just the tip of the iceberg. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Google bosses Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, and Dell founder Michael Dell all are watching their fortunes and stock values plummet "like a team of free falling elephants." Even Steve Jobs, who should be swimming in the pool of wealth his entertainment gadgets have given him, is instead watching in horror as his share price looses a whopping 40% value in the stock market. Jobs, personally, has lost over $400 million in the past six weeks.Source: The Inquirer

Yahoo Buys Video Service Maven Networks for $160 Million USD

Whilst Microsoft is in the middle of what The Inquirer calls a "hostile takeover" of Yahoo, Yahoo decided to buy a company of their own. Maven Networks recently accepted a $160 million offer to be bought out by Yahoo. It is very likely that this move was to increase the value of Yahoo. It should be noted that Yahoo was in talks with Maven long before the whole Microsoft-buying-Yahoo debacle. As part of the acquisition, Yahoo gets some fine deals with CBS Sports, Gannett, News Corp, Hearst and Sony Pictures. Yahoo will not lay off any of Maven's 70 employees, despite laying off nearly 1,000 of their own. Another large benefit to Yahoo acquiring Maven will be the sudden boost of places where Yahoo can shove their advertisements, further increasing revenue. Whether or not this is enough to fend off the "hostile takeover", we'll have to wait and see.Source: The Inquirer

Indian IT Departments Riddled With Crippling Arthritis and Other Diseases

It's fairly obvious that most IT work is outsourced to places like India, where minimum wage and benefits are either not required or are much lower than they would be in America. However, there are huge problems with outsourcing to India, that was either overlooked or not considered at the time of outsourcing. Be it the fault of an utter lack of medical benefits, or a sheer volume of required tasks, IT departments in India are beginning to contract diseases relating to typing too much and/or too fast. Over 75% of the workers in Indian city Bangalore have been diagnosed with "musculoskeletal symptoms related to work". The most crippling, RSI, is known for putting victims through searing pain when doing even the most mundane tasks. Fortunately, only 20% of the workers with diseases suffer chronically, and with a little time off, the remaining 55% can probably function like normal. Whether or not big Western companies are willing to be humane and give said workers the mentioned time off is a different story.Source: The Inquirer

Time Warner Considering Selling AOL for Cash

America Online, love it or hate it, has an incredible influence on the internet. While it was once a giant that everyone had to go through to get on the internet, it would seem as though times have changed. Time Warner, known for cable television/internet and for owning America Online, recently ran into some trouble. They also are noticing that AOL is not doing too well themselves. And so, what was once the internet industry leader is now going to be sold off to the highest bidder. At this point, AOL should be split into two departments. One department will run whatever AOL does involving sheer internet access. The other department, called the AOL Web Portal, includes a search engine and a lot of media.Source: DailyTech

CompUSA to Close All Stores by Christmas

While the rumor that CompUSA is closing soon has been going around the internet for around a week now, nobody had actually confirmed anything. CompUSA head honchos officially confirmed what has been suspected: CompUSA was acquired by an investment firm, which goes by the name of the Gordon Brothers Group.
Under the terms of the deal, ownership of CompUSA will be transferred from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim to the Gordon Brothers Group. "An orderly and expedited wind-down and asset sale process is the best option for CompUSA and its creditors at this juncture," said Bill Weinstein of the Gordon Brothers Group.
Assuming you have a CompUSA near you, expect some very nice going out of business sales to arrive shortly.Source: DailyTech

University of California Berkeley Uploads Free Lectures to YouTube

Recently, UC Berkeley started uploading videos of their lectures to YouTube for the masses to view, free of charge. YouTube now is a host to over 300 hours of lectures on bioengineering, peace and conflict studies, and physics, according to the UC Berkeley. As time goes on, UC Berkeley hopes to upload more lectures to YouTube, and on more topics. "UC Berkeley on YouTube will provide a public window into university life - academics, events and athletics - which will build on our rich tradition of open educational content for the larger community," according to Christina Maslach, the vice provost for undergraduate education.Source: Neowin

AMD Begins Cutting Costs, Stock Perks First to Go

As we all know, AMD has had a hard year thusfar. And so, AMD's move to cut costs is just short of expected. AMD employees, as of November 1st, 2007, will no longer be able to spend 20% of their salary on AMD stock at a 15% discount. Stock perks are not the only things we'll see leaving. There are noticeably fewer bonuses and charity-matchings this year, and there are a couple rumors of lay-offs.Source: The Inquirer

Henri Richard Quits AMD

Henri Richard, AMD's head of sales and marketing, officially turned in his resignation. Henri Richard will stop working for AMD on September Eighth, just two days before the fashionably late Barcelona micro-architecture launches. The Wall Street Journal claims that Richard is leaving AMD to pursue a different career path.Source: The Inquirer

Cisco Kills Linksys Brand

It's official: John Chambers killed off the Linksys brand name, which is very well known throughout the United States. Cisco is replacing Linksys with the new, aggressive product line that Cisco has to offer. John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco, says "It (Linksys) will all come over time into a Cisco brand. The reason we kept Linksys' brand because it was better known in the US than even Cisco was for the consumer. As you go globally there's very little advantage in that".

Cisco products will appear in place of Linksys products very soon.Source: Uberpulse

Dell asking 100 Irish workers to quit as part of plan to lay off 10% of workforce

Dell, as part of it's plan to lay off 10% of it's total staff, is asking 100 people in the Irish plant located in Limerick, Ireland, to turn in their badges. In particular, Dell is trying to get people in IT, human resources, marketing, and management to quit. Dell "will reconsider the situation should it fail to make the targeted number of cuts" within two months. Dell's Cherrywood plant near Dublin, Ireland, is not affected.Source: The Inquirer

Top 10 dead/dying PC skills listed

ComputerWorld has done some research, and compiled a very interesting list of the PC skills that currently have little or no demand. Here is a very shortened version of that list. Please check the source link for the full version of the list with a much better explanation of, well, everything.

First place: Cobol.
Cobol is a very old programming language that saw a quick spike during the Y2K paranoia. However, since then, Cobol has been slowly on the way out, Universities no longer teach it, and rarely anyone uses it.

Second place: Nonrelational DBMS.
DBMS is an old database protocol, sort of like MySQL. MySQL is in fact one of the database protocols that replaced DBMS.

Third place: Networks without IP addresses.
This one's self explanatory. Back in the late 1980's/early 1990's, corporations thought it would be a sweet idea to put their computers on networks without IP addresses. Considering that a computer's IP address is like a regular mailing address, networks sans IP kinda bit the dust.

Dell cutting 10% of jobs

Computer manufacturer Dell is set to axe at least 7,000 jobs due to falling sales and rising costs as part of a move that will see the firm cut its global workforce by 10%. With tough competition from companies such as Hewlett Packard over recent months, Dell has lost the top spot for pre-built computer sales and now accounts for only 15.2% of the total market, with HP ahead on 19.1%. "While reductions in headcount are always difficult for a company, we know these actions are critical to our ability to deliver unprecedented value to our customers," Mr Dell said. Dell currently employs 78,700 staff worldwide, although the scale of cutbacks in different regions will depend upon current trading and legal considerations. Dell also announced that first quarter profits had actually risen from $762m to $947m, with sales rising 1% over the last three months to $14.6bn.Source: BBC News

Canonical and TraiCen Computer to deliver Ubuntu Certification

Canonical Ltd, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, today announced it has signed an agreement with TraiCen Computer Training & Consulting to deliver 'Ubuntu Certified Professional' (UCP) training in Germany. TraiCen will deliver official courses in Muenster from August 2007.

Two five day courses, Ubuntu Professional Courses 1 & 2, will assist System Administrators to pass the required LPI 101, LPI 102 and the Ubuntu 199 exams, and achieve the Ubuntu Certified Professional certification. These courses are the first in a series of classroom and e-learning courses scheduled for launch throughout 2007.

More Tech Tours - Intels GPGPU approach

Chief Architect Douglas Carmean, responsible for Intels rather new Visual Computing Group (VCG), is on a tour to universities looking for new recruits supporting Intel in the upcoming GPGPU war. The article is made of several slides out of Carmeans "Future CPU Architectures - The Shift from Traditional Models" presentation with additional notes and estimations on the part of Beyond3D. Carmean pictures Intels approach on a GPGPU design, consisting of an in-order 4-thread 'throughput' core that draws a mere 6.25W and a super-wide Vec16 FPU attached to it. If you look at such a single GPGPU processor it doesn't look promising, but that quickly changes if you take the great scalability of this object into account. It is small (and therefore cheap to produce) and somewhat fast and you can attach literally thousands of them together. At this point one usually expect some kind of a drawback of this design, which I won't deny here: It seems as this core doesn't support x86 instructions at all. In the article you will find enough speculation about it so I won't spoil anything more now. Further you will see what Intel thinks of where CPUs and GPUs are heading for, which type of application processings they will be best in and so on.
It is particularly interesting to note that they place video processing firmly in the CPU camp, and yet all current premium video solutions for high-end codecs rely on GPU power to accelerate this function smoothly.
Source: Beyond3D

Intel Builds Another China Fab

Intel Corp has won approval to build a $2.5 billion, 12-inch wafer plant in northern China for CPU chip sets, according to a statement issued Tuesday from China's National Development and Reform Commission. The plant would use 90-nanometer technology and produce 52,000 wafers a month at full capacity, according to the NDRC, which is China's top planning group. The plan calls for the fab to be in the city of Dalian. According to sources familiar with the project, official announcement is expected from Intel in the next few weeks. At this stage, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said, "We have announced no plans and will not comment on speculation of this nature". Click here if you want to read the full story.Source: EETimes

SanDisk cuts 10% of workforce in response to falling product prices

When a company is faced with a lack of demand for their products, they have to bring prices down. And in order to stay in business and out of debt, a company also sometimes has to "cut operating expenses". Unfortunately, this usually means a cut in the workforce, which is exactly how SanDisk is handling the currently dropping prices of memory sticks. 10% of the main workforce, which translates to 250 people, can expect to get the pink slip around March. Salaries of everyone who is working at Sandisk will drop around 10 or 20 percent.Source: Reg Hardware

Sony may outsource production of the Cell processor

Sony knows just as well as any of us do that $600 for a console is simply too much, especially when compared to a $250 Wii and a $400 Xbox360. And so, Sony is looking for ways to lower the price. The best one so far is to find a way to cut chip spending, and to do this, they need to outsource Cell production. This isn't as desperate as it may sound. Sony has been making their own chips since the birth of the PS1, but costs have been becoming quite steep as of late. Sony has spent $3.8 Billion USD since April 2004 on chips alone. The only thing preventing them from getting another company to develop these chips for them at a lower price was a lack of said companies. Now, there are several options for Sony, and Sony will likely outsource Cell production to bring their costs down.Source: 1Up

Google investing $600m in a new datacenter

Google has announced that it plans to build a new $600m datacenter in North Carolina, which will employ about 200 network and server specialists. The new facility will hold server farms that Google will be using as it continues to develop it’s search engine, in particular the new “Similarity Engine” which should improve results. Google has already been offered $4.8m as an incentive to set-up in North Carolina, which could potentially rise to $100m.Source: DailyTech

ATI Vice President leaves AMD

ATI Vice President and Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Pete Edinger, has left the company after 11 years of service. He wishes the firm all the best and feels that the merger between AMD and ATI makes sense, saying “the new AMD will enable a lot of opportunities for our industry to drive the market”. Edinger was respected by the press because he was nearly always available for a chat and he is likely to stay in IT. Alberto Macchi, president of AMD Europe, will take over his position.Source: The Inquirer

AMD Opens Advanced Architecture and Technology Lab

AMD today announced the formation of a new Advanced Architecture and Technology Lab led by Rich Witek, AMD corporate fellow and chief architectural officer. The new lab will focus on technology and platform development beyond the five-year time horizon, further extending AMD’s strong tradition of advanced silicon planning.
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