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    SemiWiki 2.0 is up

    Well worth it. Modern look and easier to use
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    A dose of reality for unicorns and their kin

    Few of us would disagree that the unicorns are running into problems. The concept has been amped-up, particularly through blitz-scaling, to become (I would argue) an entirely artificial financial vehicle, more or less designed to be unloaded on a gullible public in a fast IPO. Investors liked...
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    A new low in tech business babble

    Apple gets “a lot of optionality by working on the perception stack,” from Exclusive: Apple in talks with potential suppliers of sensors for self-driving cars - sources - Reuters
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    Google hiring chip designers in Bengaluru

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google has hired more than a dozen microchip engineers in Bengaluru, India, in recent months and plans to rapidly add more, according to LinkedIn profiles, job postings and two industry executives, as the search firm expands its program to design the guts...
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    Cadence, others partner with Facebook to build machine learning ecosystem

    (September 13th post) Today, we are announcing the next steps in Facebook’s efforts to build a hardware ecosystem for machine learning (ML) through partner support of the Glow compiler. We’re pleased to announce that Cadence, Esperanto, Intel, Marvell, and Qualcomm Technologies Inc, a subsidiary...
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    Holographic video conferencing

    The next big step in video-conferencing - holographic projections of participants, which makes the big flat-screen version look kinda lame. Still in the lab, but how long will it be before this makes into the mainstream? And does this mean you'll have to dress up when videoconferencing form your...
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    Another aging reminder

    Remember the Apple battery fiasco? It's not just them or just phones. All electronics ages. Latest case in point - inverters aging in Toyota Priuses or rather the solder joints under those inverters are aging. Which led Toyota to update software (sound familiar?) to reduce demand on those...
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    IKEA and the limits of AI

    An entertaining article in the Economist on robots trained to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture and the light this sheds on how far AI has yet to go before the rise of the robot overlords. BTW, "Kamprad" is (or rather was) Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA. IKEA furniture and the limits of...
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    ZTE - a penalty or accelerating independence?

    The recent ban on sales to ZTE, while no doubt a problem for ZTE, seems to have encouraged the Chinese to accelerate efforts to become independent of US chip makers. You could argue they were headed there anyway but presumably US chip makers would have reaped revenues/profits in the meantime and...
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    Semi stocks down on soft demand for smartphones, maybe more?

    Reuters report, TSMC down on reduced demand from Apple, Intel down, semi index .SOX down Apple, Philip Morris, chip stocks lead Wall Street slide | Reuters
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    The Economist on autonomous cars

    Economist viewpoints are always carefully researched and thoughtful. Here they point out the advantages of autonomy, also some of the potential unintended consequences. Best of all (in my view) they add a historical perspective, something often sadly lacking in many techno-utopian viewpoints (or...
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    Why I hope the BCOM attempt to merge with QCOM fails

    Very personal reason, nothing to do with the business merits (mostly). I have been bombarded with calls, every night, wanting to get me to vote on this. I guess I must own QCOM stock somewhere. This is a hyper-aggressive campaign to intimidate stockholders into voting, apparently in BCOM...
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    Don't know whether to be happy or terrified

    AWS acquires a company spun out of the NSA, apparently to help intelligence service use cloud computing with high levels of security. What could possibly go wrong? https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/23/amazons-cloud-business-acquires-sqrrl-a-security-start-up-with-nsa-roots.html
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    Limit to advertising revenue for "free" platforms

    A widely popular zeitgeist is that software should be free and vendors should make their money in other ways. Of course the only "other way" that seems to scale is advertising. Some of the big tech players, notably Facebook and Google, are playing this to the hilt, already raising concerns about...
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    The shine is coming off tech consuming the world - and that's a good thing

    Recent article in Wired on building discontent in the real world with perceptions of tech. Admittedly tech-wise much of this is around software - FB, Twitter et al in social media, Uber et al and the increasingly pointless startups popping up daily, doing things our Moms used to for us. But it's...
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    So much for VR

    Lack of compelling game content, cumbersome headsets, dive to the bottom in pricing and capability, none of this is looking good for VR. AR on the other hands seems to be in the ascendant, which make sense at least to me. Useful in a broad range of applications, less intrusive, less dependent on...
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    Tech hoist by its own petard

    Wells Fargo's robo/AI analyst suggests selling Facebook and Alphabet (Google). Who can deny just a taste of schadenfreude in this news? https://finance.yahoo.com/news/robot-analyst-slaps-sell-rating-151315227.html
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    Tech disruption - a business perspective

    From inside our tech bubble it is easy to believe that robots and AI will take over the world, all brick and mortar retail will disappear, none of us will have jobs and that these changes are inevitable and accelerating. Then again, not everyone sees reality the way we do. The Economist has...
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    A new kind of electric car

    Fuel-cells powering electric cars have some interesting potential advantages in range over battery power, especially where electric charging stations may not be widely available on long-range drives. Of course hydrogen stations aren't exactly thick on the ground either but there are some...
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    3D printing aluminum alloys

    I normally think of 3D printing as being based on platsics or similar materials. Now an option for printing objects based on aluminum alloys, as strong as the wrought material, may be on the horizon. 3D printing of high-strength aluminium alloys : Nature : Nature Research
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