Citing an internal document, The Wall Street Journalreports IBM, who was recently ranked No. 3 on the "Corporate Citizens" list, plans to issue its largest number of layoffs in terms of revenue and employment, with 180,000 employees worldwide. Of them, IBM will cut a "large number" of US employees in its business service unit and look to India to fill the void, the Journal states.
According to "people familiar with the situation," the number of US jobs being cut isn't known, as IBM typically remains tight-lipped when it comes to layoffs. However, earlier this year IBM had sent notices of layoffs to roughly 4,600 US employees in its software, sales, semiconductor, and finance groups.
While this might be the largest shift in IBM's history, the company has also been linked to acquisition talks with Sun Microsystems. According to a New York Times article last week, IBM is considering spending nearly $7 billion to merge with Sun. Layoffs and job shifts would be one way to help fund the venture, which would have IBM and Sun accounting for about 65 percent of the market share for server computers running Unix and 42 percent of the total server market.
The first out the door with a 2TB hard drive, Western Digital takes the next logical step and also becomes the first to offer a 2TB single-drive external storage solution by upgrading its My Book line.
"The popularity among consumers of high-definition video cameras, digital photography and digital music downloads means that users are filling up their computers with massive amounts of digital content as fast as they can click 'save.' As the volume and value of users digital content grows, backing up data on multiple CDs or DVDs becomes time consuming and inconvenient. At the same time, consumers are realizing the monetary and emotional value of content and need to back up their most important files. The My Book family, with its massive 2 TB capacity allows users to backup all their data in one easy step and keep it in one easily accessible place," said Jim Welsh, senior vice president and general manager of WD's branded products and consumer electronics groups.
The 2TB capacity is available in WD's full line of My Books, including the My Book Studio Edition, My Book Home Edition, My Book Essential Edition, and My Book Mac Edition. Features, depending on model, include eSATA (Studio and Mac), Firewire 400/800 (Studio and Mac), Firewire 400 (Home), and USB 2.0 (all My Books). All models also come with a Kensington Security Slot, small footprint, and SmartPower features.
Pricing for the new 2TB My Books range from $330 to $380.
Maybe looking to steal a bit of thunder from Nvidia's upcoming GeForce GTX 275 release, there's a chance AMD will release its ATI HD 4890 on April 2nd, a week ahead of schedule, says VR-Zone. The reviews and news outlet doesn't cite any sources, but did say that both Asus and Gigabyte have already begun selling the HD 4980 in Taiwan and Hong Kong for HK$2,280 (US$297) and HK$1,999 (US$258), respectively.
As previously reported, reference specs for the RV790-based HD 4890 include 1GB of GDDR5 memory running at 3,900MHz and a core clockspeed of 850MHz. No official release date (that we know of) has been given, but if AMD does introduce the new card on April 2nd, it will have beat Nvidia to the punch by a full week if Nvidia sticks to its April 9 release date for its upcoming GeForce GTX 275. A likely scenario if, as VR-Zone claims, "their GTX 275 isn't ready yet and the clocks aren't even finalized."
Vista might not have lived up to the pre-release hype on the day of its release, but at least as time went on, the initial bugs and hiccups have been mostly ironed out. What started off as a problematic OS has evolved into a respectable replacement for XP, no matter what the haters might tell you. If only the same could be said for former Microsoft Windows executive Jim Allchin's first foray into the solo music scene.
Allchin, who left Microsoft in 2007, recently released a solo guitar-and-vocals album titled "Enigma" (we would have gone with "Enema"), which made its way onto iTunes earlier this week. But unlike Vista, which got off to a rocky start but held promise, "Enigma" might have more in common with Windows ME, another utterly forgettable release.
"This is literally one of the, if not THE, worst albums I've heard," a listener wrote. "I'd say it's the 'Istar' of music, but that would be doing a grave disservice to 'Istar.' I cringe when I hear this ,and I'm at a loss for words to describe why it's so bad."
So are we, but maybe you'll have better luck than us. Give it a listen here, then hit the jump and offer up your critique.
Asustek is trying to further cash in on the huge success of its Eee PC netbook range. It has some very ambitious plans and innovative products up its sleeve. One of those innovations happens to be voice-controlled Eee PCs.
"The first Eee PC or Eee Top products implementing voice-recognition and features will be ready by Q3/Q4 2009 – with our dedicated development team working with third parties in both Japan and the US and reporting directly to me. So this is something we will see very soon, later this year." Shen told Tech Radar.
Asus will have to come up with a truly remarkable voice-recognition technology to even pose a threat to our beloved keyboard.
Though the browsing experience on cellphones has come up by leaps and bounds, a lot of work still needs to be done. Another considerable step forward would be full-fledged Flash functionality on cellphones. It is something that figures high on Adobe’s list of priorities. In fact, it is busy developing Flash ports for major mobile platforms.
Now it appears as though a Flash port for the Android platform may become available sooner than expected as another company is also developing one.
Remember when Stardock outlined its plan to breed a half-DRM, half-helpful hybrid in order to violently obliterate DRM once and for all? We’re a bit foggy on it, to be honest, but we’re pretty sure the press release starred Wesley Snipes.
Well, anyway, the publisher recently unveiled the fruits of its labor, and amazingly, this slow starter just rocketed to the head of the class. Sorry, Steamworks – the second row isn’t so bad.
There is no third-party client required. This means a developer can use this as a universal solution since it is not tied to any particular digital distributor.
It paves the way to letting users validate their game on any digital distribution service that supports that game. One common concern of gamers is if the company they purchased a game from exits the market, their game library may disappear too. Games that use Goo would be able to be validated anywhere.
It opens the door to gamers being able to resell their games because users can voluntarily disable their game access and transfer their license ownership to another user.
True ownership of your game library – as opposed to paying for the right to play your games until their distributor shuts down? We really can’t find anything to complain about here. How about you?
Goo launches on April 7 with Stardock’s Impulse distribution platform’s next release.
We’ll admit we’ve been perfectly content with Samsung’s SH-S203 DVD burner for more than a year. Once we were writing 4.38GB of data to a disc in five minutes flat, we were feeling pretty satisfied with the state of DVD technology. Nevertheless, we’re not about to turn our nose up at a performance increase. And that’s what Samsung’s latest DVD burner, the SH-S223, offers.
As you might have guessed from the name, the SH-S223 represents a jump from 20x to 22x DVD+/-R burn speeds. In our tests, this effectively shaved 12 seconds off the time it took to fill a single-layer DVD+R disc. The SH-S223 took 4:46 (min:sec) compared with the SH-S203’s flat 5:00. In both cases, we used 16x media, the fastest-rated media that’s readily available. And in both cases, the drives’ “over-speed” feature enabled them to burn data at higher than rated speeds. In the course of its write, the SH-S223 steadily climbed from a starting speed of 8.38x to 20.7x.
After three years of service, ex-Google Visual Design Lead Douglas Bowman parted ways with the search giant last Friday, while also offering some parting thoughts about the company and his decision to move on. His reason for leaving? Not enough creative freedom.
In a blog post, Bowman laments the process of how Google implemented design decisions, saying the company relied too much on data and not enough on subjectivity. He says the reliance on hard numbers ultimately became a crutch that prevented Google from making any daring design decisions.
"Yes, it's true that team at Google couldn't decide between two blues, so they're testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better," Bowman wrote on his blog. "I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4, or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can't operate in an environment like that. I've grown tired of debating such minuscule design decisions."
Despite his design philosophy criticism, Bowman says he understands where Google is coming from with billions of shareholder dollars at stake and millions of users around the world to try and please. He also says he has something else lined up, which he'll announce at a later date.
In an attempt to better compete with streaming giant Netflix, Blockbuster this week announced a new deal to begin transmitting movies to TiVo users.
"This relationship with TiVo is step one in getting into the places that consumers care about," says Kevin Lewis, Blockbuster's senior VP for digital.
As part of the deal, Blockbuster will start selling TiVo DVRs in its retail stores later this year. However, neither company was willing to divulge how many of Blockbuster's nearly 4,000 stores will participate. Nor is it known what movies will be available, as "The studios and we are trying to figure it out," Lewis added.
Due to begin in the second half of 2009, Blockbuster's OnDemand will feature content to both buy and rent, and will be integrated into TiVo Series2, Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL DVRs, Blockbusters says.
Barring any changes, TiVo owners with Blockbuster accounts will pay up to $4 to rent a movie and then have 30 days to begin watching. Subscribers will then be given a 24-hour window. Alternately, movies will be available for sale at up to $20 a pop, but DRM will prevent subscribers from copying purchased content over to DVD.