Most of the time, Google’s nifty little Street View is nothing more than an interesting toy or a way to see landmarks along a road trip. Today, it became something else: a visual memory of one of the most damaging natural disasters in recent history. Google took it upon itself to take its cameras to the streets in the aftermath of Japan’s horrific earthquake and tsunami to show the world the true extent of the devastation, complete with before and after pictures to drive the point home.
Like we said on Friday, Sony just can't catch a break. Japan's major earthquake devastated the company the same as it did almost every other Japanese company; then hackers kicked them (and their crappy security systems) while they were down and brought the PlayStation network to its knees. It's been bad news after bad news since March, and the company's recently revised financial forecast shows just how hard the past few months have been to Sony's wallet.
Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest PC maker, cut its full year forecast on Tuesday saying it now expects $5 per share for the year, down from previous predictions of $5.20 to $5.28 per share. The new number is also well below Wall Street expectations, which pegged HP to perform at $5.24 per share. There was plenty of blame to go around for why HP expects its numbers to be lower.
Fallout from the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan continue to rock the tech industry with delays for one reason or another. From damaged facilities to disruptions in power, parts just aren't getting from point A to point B, and who knows how long it will be until things are back to normal. But these aren't the only problems. Now we're hearing that a shortage of industrial gases has forced Sharp to halt production of some LCD panels.
More plant closures are coming as a result of the devastating earthquake in Japan. Toshiba, for example, said it is shutting down a liquid crystal display plant in Fukaya for about a month as the firm assesses the damage and goes about making repairs. Meanwhile, Hitachi is stopping production of small panel LCDs at a factory near Tokyo, also for about a month.
Whether or not the closures lead to panel shortages is still up in the air. The plants in question mostly deal with displays for mobile devices, like smartphones and navigation devices, and could affect the auto industry, Reuters reports.
"Given that car production in Japan is down anyway, a one-month stop in production may not be as problematic as it might seem," said Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities in Japan. "However, given that the market for smartphones outside Japan is pretty active, supply disruptions there could cause problems for some handset makers of some models."
According to iSuppli, Panasonic's 6th generation LCD fab in Japan was also affected by the quake. That plant produces LCD TV panels for use in Panasonic televisions.
Market research firm iSuppli says the Japan earthquake and tsunami could impact component supply and pricing with "significant shortages" of some parts, causing pricing to "increase dramatically." There haven't been many reports of damage at production facilities, and the reason we could see a short supply of devices and rising prices is because of the impact on transportation and power infrastructure.
Regardless of how you feel about AT&T, a bit of kudos is in order. Following last week's massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, AT&T has decided not to charge U.S. residential wireless customers who call or text message love ones living in Japan, and wireline customers get a break too. Here's what you need to know.
An 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunamis rocked Japan's northeast coast and Tokyo today, leaving many technology companies scrambling in the fallout. The extent of the damage isn't yet fully known, though the disasters hit right as several data centers were being built to handle increased cloud computing demands.
As everyone knows by now, Haiti was rocked by a devastating earthquake, and the true extent of the damage -- from lost lives to demolished structures -- is still being calculated. On the IT side, communications appears to have taken a huge hit, and that's put companies in a frenzy to fix whatever can be fixed at this point.
"The mobile network still appears to be down, though [we're] getting reports that Blackberry is working," said Ory Okolloh, a South Africa-based lawyer and co-founder of crowd sourcing site Ushahidi. "We've been struggling to get a local line or short code [numbers] that people can use. Radio stations also appear to be down."
According to Okolloh, some Haitians have been able to communicate with satellite phones, "so it's no a complete blackout." And because of the situation, Okolloh notes that he's seen "urgent requests" from Haitian government officials for satellite phones.
Ann Saxton, treasurer of Bellevue, Washington-based Trilogy, says getting communications up and running has become a top priority in light of Haiti's already weak IT infrastructure. Trilogy provides cellular services to around 1 million Haitians.