By all accounts working for Foxconn -- the China-based company that does the actual manufacturing of a lot of consumer electronics, including the Xbox 360 and the various iProducts -- is a horrible drag. Not only is there the threat of massive explosions, but the combination of long hours and low pay have led to a rash of suicides amongst its workers, highlighted by the threat of a mass suicide last week. Why aren't things getting better? The chairman of Foxconn's parent company may have dropped a hint when he likened his workers to animals.
You don’t get a leg up on your competitors by just sitting around (unless you’re a lemming, of course). Lenovo’s staying plenty active and reaping the dividends. The company slipped past Acer to claim the spot as the world's third-largest PC manufacturer in the second quarter thanks to a ridiculous 22.9 surge in shipments, a rarity in the otherwise sluggish PC market. Now, Lenovo Chairman Liu Chuanzhi is putting his mouth where his money is; he isn’t content with the bronze medal and says Lenovo will topple Dell as the second-largest PC manufacturer in all the land by the end of the year.
It’s a fact: Justin’s Long’s smarmy “I’m a Mac” jackassery doesn’t sit well with the PC crowd. As it turns out, the patronizing hipster persona worn so well by Long in those commercials might not have been an entirely fictional creation. Could he have been the personification of the members of Apple’s board? Probably not, but Google Chairman Eric Schmidt doesn’t paint a pretty picture of his stint as an Apple director.
Ah, fads. Without those brief, yet intense, bursts of consumer excitement, the majority of us may have never heard awesome tidbits like the Pet Rock, bell-bottom pants, the Macarena, Tickle Me Elmo or Trapper Keepers. If you listen to Acer chairman JT Wang, one of our useful modern electronics is soon to join those fabled ranks. That’s right, while the pundits are busy calling tablet PCs the best thing since sliced bread, Wang thinks the whole iPad deal is overblown. The future lies in Ultrabooks!
With the announcement of Craig Barrett's retirement in May, one of Intel's last links with the pre-PC era will vanish. Barrett's career at Intel started in 1974, when Intel was just seven years old and was introducing the first general-purpose microprocessor, the 8080. The 8080's descendents included the first 16-bit processor, the 8086, and the IBM PC's processor, the 8088. The IBM PC and its many descendants enabled Intel's rise to processor dominance.
Barrett became Intel's CEO in 1998, taking over for the legendary Andy Grove. Barrett's tenure as CEO saw the development of Intel's first Celeron economy CPU and high-end Pentium III processors, the introduction of the Pentium 4, diversification into communications chips, development of new Xeon and Itanium server processors, and the introduction of the Centrino portable chipset/processor technology.
During this period, Intel received formidable challenges from AMD's Athlon and Athlon XP, and frequently saw its processors beaten by AMD's processors in real-world performance tests. Barrett became chairman of Intel in 2005, and during his tenure as chairman, saw Intel retake the performance crown from AMD with the introduction of the Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, and Core i7 processor lines.
Barrett, 70, is retiring at a time in which Intel, like other technology companies, is facing tough times, and announced last week that it's closing two fab plants in the US as well as three assembly test facilities in Malaysia and the Philippines, affecting over 5,000 employees.
What was the first Intel product you used? Was it a processor, motherboard, chipset, network adapter, or something else? Looking back at Barrett's long career, what do you think were Intel's biggest hits - and misses? Join us after the jump for your chance to tell all.
The man who has been perched atop AMD’s corporate hierarchy since April, 2004, and overseen the company’s horrendous streak of six consecutive quarterly losses – still unbroken, has stepped down as AMD’s CEO. Hector Ruiz will now be replaced by, Dirk Meyer, heir apparent to AMD’s throne of thorns. But he won’t leave AMD altogether and will don the role of executive chairman.
Had AMD advertised for this job instead of roping in Dirk Meyer straightaway, the advertisement would have carried a warning: this job carries a great – possibly grave - risk of hypertension and nervous breakdown, please, apply at your discretion.
Dirk Meyer held the reigns of the team that developed the first Athlon processor and has served as the company’s president and chief operating officer. Leading AMD is a job that will currently find very few takers and so Mr.Meyer might need your best wishes