Tag Archives: AWS

Supplier Report: 1/19/2018

Amazon released a finalist list of 20 cities that will compete to host Amazon’s HQ2.  Philadelphia, Newark, and Boston are all in the running.  As Amazon looks to grow in a new city, they have grown all over the internet, commanding 62% of the entire cloud market.

Google is trying to compete and differentiate from AWS by adding more capacity overseas via 3 massive underwater cables. They are also trying get AI to the masses with tools that require little to no experience programming AI.  That solution is… a work in progress.  

Google is also making friends with a potential fix for Meltdown and Spectre that won’t impact CPU performance.

Meanwhile, IBM is celebrating breaking the 22-quarter revenue losing streak! Revenue is up, but their stock was down 4%.

Acquisitions

  • What the JAGGAER/BravoSolution deal means for procurement

    The focus of the acquisition, instead, seems to be to tap into the widely different client bases for both providers, and the potential to expand into a larger range of vertical markets. BravoSolution has a large body of public sector customers, and identified construction, utilities and oil as target areas, while JAGGAER has a strong presence among pharmaceutical and discrete manufacturing companies.

    The drive to provide both direct, and indirect, procurement for a wider range of verticals seems to be the principal vision underpinning the move.

    https://www.procurementleaders.com/blog/guest/what-the-jaggaerbravosolution-deal-means-for-procurement–681579

Artificial Intelligence

  • Google’s new cloud service lets you train your own AI tools, no coding knowledge required

    You might have heard of Google’s AutoML initiative before now. It was announced at the company’s I/O conference last year, and is focused on creating machine learning software that can design machine learning software, a hot area of research in the AI community. (The basic premise is simple: you make different algorithms compete with one another, pick the winners, and then make them compete. Rinse and repeat.) Cloud AutoML isn’t working with tools as sophisticated as this, but it does aim to solve the same underlying problem of making AI less painful to code.

    Cloud AutoML does this by offering users a simple graphical interface for training their own machine learning model. So far, the service is limited to image recognition, letting users drag and drop a set of pictures, and then watching as the software starts picking out recurrent elements or items. Urban Outfitters, for example, is testing how Cloud AutoML might be used to identify items of clothing in their catalog, so users can filter by certain characteristics.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/17/16901126/google-cloud-ai-services-automl

Cloud

  • Another Amazon Win: Two-Thirds of the Cloud

    Research at KeyBanc reported that Amazon Web Services had 62% of the cloud market last year, followed by Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) at 20%. Its cloud business is called Azure. KeyBanc said that AWS lost a small amount of share last year, but its lead is still insurmountable for the foreseeable future.

    The news could hardly be better for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his company’s shareholders. Amazon’s North American and International e-commerce divisions barely make money in many quarters. AWS has impressive margins. For Amazon as a whole to post strong earnings, AWS has to continue to grow and keep big margins.

    http://247wallst.com/technology-3/2018/01/13/another-amazon-win-two-thirds-of-the-cloud/

  • Google is building three new underwater cables to compete with Microsoft and Amazon in the cloud

    In an effort to expand its cloud business and compete more effectively with rival Microsoft and Amazon, Google will build three new underwater fiber optic cables from the Pacific Ocean to the North Sea over the course of the next two years, according to The Wall Street Journal. These cables will extend Google’s private network into regions where its competitors have yet to stake their own claim, and should be finished before the end of 2019.

    Each of the sub-sea cables have been given their own name: Curie is a private cable connecting Chile to Los Angeles; Havfrue is a consortium cable connecting the United States to Denmark and Ireland; and the Hong Kong-Guam cable system (HK-G) is another consortium cable that will link major underwater communication hubs in Asia.

    http://bgr.com/2018/01/16/google-underwater-cables-cloud-business-expansion/

  • Comcast Cable Partners with Amazon Web Services for Cloud Computing

    Comcast Cable has announced today that they will be partnering with Amazon Web Services for cloud computing infrastructure.

    This partnership will help Comcast Cable utilize the server technology with AWS.

    Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal are currently connected with AWS to provide them with new and engaging revenue-generating products within the competitive entertainment industry.

    https://crescentvale.com/2018/01/comcast-cable-partners-amazon-web-services-cloud-computing/

  • No One is Sure Why Amazon Needs a HIPAA Compliance Officer

    The HIPAA Compliance Officer will be asked to create “a HIPAA security and compliance program to ensure that technology and business processes meet our HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) requirements.” The listing doesn’t specify what projects it is planning, or what data it will be handling, that will fall under HIPAA or HITECH regulation.

    Amazon could be exploring legitimate medical applications for its Alexa-powered talking cylinders, like the Echo, and their underlying technology, according to speculation. “Experience with FDA and the 510K process” is listed as a preferred qualification—510(k) applies to premarket certification of medical devices.

    Alexa does have some health-related “skills,” like a basic medical app that delivers Mayo Clinic guidance on basic conditions like fevers or burns. Those are a far cry, however, from the sort of application that would handle protected health information and require HIPAA oversight.

    http://www.hcanews.com/news/no-one-is-sure-why-amazon-needs-a-hipaa-compliance-officer
    Foolish headline. This position could be for Alexa, or it could be as simple as ensuring their web services are better positioned for insurance and medical entities.

Datacenter

  • Apple will boost its spending on data centers by $10 billion over the next 5 years

    Apple is increasing the amount it plans to spend on data centers by $10 billion over the next five years, the company said in its announcement on Wednesday about contributing $350 billion to the U.S. economy.

    The buildout will help Apple support its growing web services, like the App Store and Apple Music. Services is Apple’s fastest growing business, outpacing revenue growth in key products like iPhones and iPads. Apple has said it aims to double its services revenue from $24 billion in its 2016 fiscal year to $48 billion by 2020.

    Perhaps more important, the new spending could make room for Apple to spend less money on other companies’ cloud services. Apple has relied on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to meet its computing needs, despite that it competes with those companies in certain areas.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/17/apple-to-boost-data-center-capex-by-10-billion.html

Software/SaaS

  • City of Barcelona will replace Microsoft’s Windows with Linux

    The users of the City of Barcelona will have to use alternatives to Microsoft products like Open-Xchange instead of Microsoft Exchange Server, LibreOffice or OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office, etc. which is a bummer. Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer would also be replaced by other alternative browsers like Mozilla Firefox, etc.

    As reported by the newspaper, the City Council wants to avoid paying or spending money on services with licensing cost. That’s where open source software come where anyone can modify the source provided and there is no need to pay anything for the license. The City Council is also committed to investing 70% of the budget in software for open source software.

    https://www.windowslatest.com/2018/01/13/city-barcelona-will-replace-microsofts-windows-linux/

  • Snap Inc. lays off at least two dozen amid slowed user growth and engagement

    Snap Inc. has laid off at least two dozen people across several divisions within the company, according to the Information, which first reported the news.

    Snap has since confirmed these layoffs, which largely affect those on the content teams in the New York and London offices. Over half of the two dozen employees laid off today were part of the content team.

    Snap tells TechCrunch that what’s left of the content division will now move to the company’s Venice, California location and that it will continue to hire on the content team. According to Snap, this is just part of finding the right people for the job.

    These layoffs may also not have been unexpected as they are part of a reorganization effort to cut costs due to the lackluster growth at the six-year old company.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/18/snap-inc-lays-off-at-least-two-dozen-amid-slowed-user-growth-and-engagement/?ncid=rss

Security

  • Google claims to have a Spectre fix that doesn’t slow down PCs

    According to Google, its patch, code-named Retpoline and which is software-implemented, has no or little impact on performance. “Retpoline sequences are a software construct which allow indirect branches to be isolated from speculative execution. This may be applied to protect sensitive binaries (such as operating system or hypervisor implementations) from branch target injection attacks against their indirect branches,” explained Retpoline creator Paul Turner.

    “This confirmed our internal assessment that in real-world use, the performance-optimized updates Google deployed do not have a material effect on workloads,” Google VP Ben Treynor Sloss wrote. “We believe that Retpoline-based protection is the best-performing solution for Variant 2 on current hardware. Retpoline fully protects against Variant 2 without impacting customer performance on all our platforms. In sharing our research publicly, we hope that this can be universally deployed to improve the cloud experience industry-wide.”

    http://bgr.com/2018/01/12/google-spectre-patch-retpoline-explainer-analysis/

Other

  • Amazon Narrows Choices for ‘HQ2’ to 20

    Atlanta
    Austin, Texas
    Boston
    Chicago
    Columbus, Ohio
    Dallas
    Denver
    Indianapolis
    Los Angeles
    Miami
    Montgomery County, Md.
    Nashville
    Newark, N.J.
    New York City
    Northern Virginia
    Philadelphia
    Pittsburgh
    Raleigh, N.C.
    Toronto
    Washington D.C.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-narrows-choices-for-second-headquarters-to-20-1516284607?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • IBM’s year-over-year revenue didn’t decline in the last quarter

    Virtually all IBM business units reported increased revenues, including 32 percent growth in the “Systems” unit, which includes hardware and operating systems software — and which interestingly was an area where IBM definitely struggled in the past, though its z Systems and storage line is showing some clear growth now.

    IBM’s hybrid cloud services, as well as security and mobile service, which fall under the “Technology Services & Cloud Platforms” segment, saw 15 percent growth in the last quarter, even as the overall segment saw a 1 percent drop in revenue, to $9.2 billion.

    The company also notes that it took a $5.5 billion charge because of the enactment of the U.S.’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. IBM’s GAAP tax rate, including this one-time charge, was 124 percent for Q4 and 49 percent for the full year. That’s not unexpected, but it may hurt the company as it’s looking to grow its revenue over the next few quarters.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/18/ibms-year-over-year-revenue-didnt-decline-in-the-last-quarter/?ncid=rss

Photo: Ken Goulding

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Supplier Report: 1/5/2018

Here we go again… there is another security flaw that could impact almost all connected computers.  This time the issue is at the CPU kernel level and it could take some time to completely correct.

Amazon is one of the companies impacted by this flaw, but on the bright side, their bets on home speakers, video and music services, and grocery stores are paying off. The company also seems to be making progress on ridding themselves of Oracle software internally and in their service offerings.

And last but not least, Google is saving billions of dollars in another off-shore tax shelter plan.

Acquisitions

  • Microsoft acquires Avere Systems, file-storage vendor for Windows and Linux

    Microsoft announced intentions to buy the Pittsburgh, Penn.-based vendor on Jan. 3 for an undisclosed amount.

    Avere has developed file system and caching technologies designed to speed access to compute and storage in hybrid environments. Avere provides NFS and SMB file storage for Windows and Linux clients running in the cloud, hybrid, and on-premises environments.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-acquires-avere-systems-file-storage-vendor-for-windows-and-linux/

  • How FANG Stocks Left the Media Business Snakebitten: A 2017 Retrospective

    But media moguls aren’t taking all this lying down; to defang FANG, they’re fighting with fire. They are remaking their companies in the same mold as their tech rivals, first by striking the deals necessary to scale into a group of fewer but bigger businesses that can at least approach the size of a quartet boasting a combined market capitalization of $1.9 trillion. They are also pivoting toward their rivals’ style of data-driven streaming direct to the consumer. As Murdoch summed it up in the wake of the Disney deal, “Silicon Valley is spending tens and tens of billions on entertainment programming,” he told NPR. “So it makes sense to bulk up the entertainment side, so that we’ve got a company that can go direct to consumers in a big way.”

    Nothing defined the media sector more in 2017 than the mergers and acquisitions that have been the order of the day to appease an increasingly skeptical Wall Street. In addition to the Fox-Disney stunner, there was the $14.6 billion union of Discovery and Scripps completed in November. More such deals seem inevitable next year, such as the potential for Shari Redstone to engineer the reunion of CBS Corp. and Viacom. Maybe someone in Silicon Valley will finally buy one of the content companies as well.

    http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/fang-facebook-amazon-netflix-amazon-2017-1202645607/

  • Inside the Eccentric, Relentless Deal-Making of Masayoshi Son

    Chris Lane, an analyst with Sanford Bernstein, says about eight in 10 of the investors he talks with are skeptical of Son. They see him as a solid telecom operator who is taking enormous risks with his investments and has demonstrated no special skill in technology investment. Lane sees clear evidence of that disbelief: SoftBank’s stock in Alibaba and other assets are worth more than 19 trillion yen after subtracting all its debt, but SoftBank’s market cap is only 9.8 trillion yen. It’s like your neighbor having a suitcase stuffed with $1 million in cash, but you’ll only pay him $500,000 for it because you think he’ll lose the rest on the way to your house. Critics not only don’t believe Son can pick the next Alibaba; they’re convinced he’s going to squander what he already has.

    “If you think of this as a telco making unrelated investments and likely to lose money, then maybe the discount is right,” Lane says. “If you think this is a sophisticated technology investment firm with a strong track record, then this is an unbelievable opportunity.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-01-02/inside-the-eccentric-unstoppable-deal-making-of-masayoshi-son

Artificial Intelligence

  • China emerges as a hotbed for artificial intelligence (thanks JD!)

    The rapid growth of AI in China can also be partly attributed to government support. Beijing laid out a development plan in July to become a world leader in AI, aiming to build a domestic AI industry worth at least 1 trillion yuan (around $1.5 billion), according to a government document. Chirag Dekate, research director of high-performance computing for Gartner, thinks China is getting into AI for the long haul. “The U.S. is driving AI innovation across the spectrum, in software and hardware,” said Dekate in an interview with Investor’s Business Daily. “Early use cases and early adopters are happening more in the U.S. than any geography in the world. But China is looking at it from a marathon perspective.”

    https://digiday.com/marketing/china-emerges-hotbed-artificial-intelligence/

Cloud

  • The CPU catastrophe will hit hardest in the cloud

    But privilege escalation is much scarier in the cloud, where the same server could be working for dozens of people at once. Platforms like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud let online companies spread a single program across thousands of servers in data centers across the world, sharing hardware the same way you’d share an airplane or a subway car. Collective hardware isn’t a security problem because even when different users are on the same server, they’re in different software instances, with no way to jump from one instance to another. Spectre could change that, letting attackers steal data from anyone sharing the same chip. If a hacker wanted to perform that kind of attack, all they’d have to do is start their own instance and run the program.

    Cloud services are also a lucrative target for anyone hoping to cash in on Spectre. Lots of midsize businesses run their entire infrastructure on AWS or Google Cloud, often trusting the platform with sensitive and potentially lucrative information. Bitcoin exchanges, chat apps, even government agencies all keep passwords and other sensitive data on cloud servers. If you’re running a modern web service, there’s simply no other choice. If someone did set a new exploit running on a cloud instance, there’s no telling what kind of data might shake out.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/4/16850120/meltdown-spectre-vulnerability-cloud-aws-google-cpu

Software/SaaS

  • Facebook has a 100-person engineering team that helps advertisers build tools and infrastructure

    You’d expect any digital media business to offer some degree of technical support to its biggest advertisers, but the solutions engineering team is actually building products.

    For example, it was involved in creating Facebook’s dynamic ads format (where ads show different products to different users based on their activities and interests). Mehta said dynamic ads were first inspired by the complaints of an advertiser he was meeting with in Hamburg, Germany, and he then worked with the Facebook Ads team to create a prototype, eventually leading to a more polished product and broader availability.

    It’s probably safe to say that not every client meeting leads to a new ad format — sometimes Mehta’s team is just helping advertisers understand how to use their existing tools in a more effective way. But that other option, working with the rest of Facebook to build something new, is also on the table.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/29/facebook-solutions-engineering/?ncid=rss

  • Amazon and Salesforce are reportedly making ‘significant progress’ moving away from Oracle technology

    Salesforce is developing its own alternative to Oracle’s database, while Amazon is moving toward open-source technology called NoSQL, sources told The Information. If Amazon and Salesforce could move away from Oracle, it could be proof that other big businesses could, too, one consultant told The Information.

    Oracle’s database technology, as well as the coding language Java, have been the market standard in many industries since at least the 1990s, as one of the first databases to support “http” technologies online.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/02/amazon-salesforce-moving-away-from-oracle-technology-report.html

Security

  • Kernel panic! What are Meltdown and Spectre, the bugs affecting nearly every computer and device?

    In modern architectures, there are inviolable spaces where data passes through in raw, unencrypted form, such as inside the kernel, the most central software unit in the architecture, or in system memory carefully set aside from other applications. This data has powerful protections to prevent it from being interfered with or even observed by other processes and applications.

    Meltdown and Spectre are two techniques researchers have discovered that circumvent those protections, exposing nearly any data the computer processes, such as passwords, proprietary information, or encrypted communications.

    Meltdown affects Intel processors, and works by breaking through the barrier that prevents applications from accessing arbitrary locations in kernel memory. Segregating and protecting memory spaces prevents applications from accidentally interfering with one another’s data, or malicious software from being able to see and modify it at will. Meltdown makes this fundamental process fundamentally unreliable.

    Spectre affects Intel, AMD, and ARM processors, broadening its reach to include mobile phones, embedded devices, and pretty much anything with a chip in it. Which, of course, is everything from thermostats to baby monitors now.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/03/kernel-panic-what-are-meltdown-and-spectre-the-bugs-affecting-nearly-every-computer-and-device/
    Cloud infrastructure vendors begin responding to chip kernel vulnerability

    “We’re aware of this industry-wide issue and have been working closely with chip manufacturers to develop and test mitigations to protect our customers. We are in the process of deploying mitigations to cloud services and are releasing security updates today to protect Windows customers against vulnerabilities affecting supported hardware chips from AMD, ARM and Intel. We have not received any information to indicate that these vulnerabilities had been used to attack our customers.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/03/cloud-infrastructure-vendors-begin-responding-to-chip-kernel-vulnerability/?ncid=rss

  • Intel was aware of the chip vulnerability when its CEO sold off $24 million in company stock

    But while the public is just being informed about the security problem, tech companies have known about it for months. In fact, Google informed Intel of the vulnerability in June, an Intel representative told Business Insider in a statement.

    That means Intel was aware of the problem before Krzanich sold off a big chunk of his holdings. Intel’s CEO saw a $24 million windfall November 29 through a combination of selling shares he owned outright and exercising stock options.

    The stock sale raised eyebrows when it was disclosed, primarily because it left Krzanich with just 250,000 shares of Intel stock — the bare minimum the company requires him to hold under his employment agreement.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/intel-ceo-krzanich-sold-shares-after-company-was-informed-of-chip-flaw-2018-1

Other

  • Amazon did a lot of funky stuff this year and it’s paying off

    The bet paid off, with AWS now on track to generate more than $10 billion annually. More importantly, that $10 billion annually comes with a pretty healthy margin — though, over time, that margin may slip down. For the time being, though, it’s an impressive business compared to the razor-thin profits that Amazon might generate from its retail operations and a good data point as its media services like video or music start to play out.

    And, as usual, recurring revenue is a story that Wall Street loves. Amazon is a company that people will often tell you not to bet against, and its stock is up more than 50 percent on the year thanks to an array of businesses that all appear to be showing growth and the company’s recent-ish ability to turn a profit. Amazon can thank AWS a lot for that.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/29/amazon-did-a-lot-of-funky-stuff-this-year-and-its-paying-off/?ncid=rss

  • Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund Makes Monster Bet on Bitcoin

    Relatively few mainstream investors have bought large sums of bitcoin, scared off by concerns about cybersecurity and liquidity, as well as more mundane fears of investment losses. Even some of those who do own it are cautious about speaking too publicly, lest they draw the attention of hackers.

    The recent price plunge has also spooked some. On Dec. 22, the prominent investor Michael Novogratz said he was delaying launching a crypto-focused hedge fund for outside investors, stating “we didn’t like market conditions for new investors.” South Korea announced last week it would crack down on cryptocurrency trading, an ominous sign given that the country at one point accounted for as much as one-fourth of global bitcoin trading activity.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/peter-thiels-founders-fund-makes-big-bet-on-bitcoin-1514917433

  • Google used a popular tax trick to shelter $19.2 billion

    Newly published Netherlands regulatory filings show that Google shielded €15.9 billion (about $19.2 billion) in 2016 using the popular “Dutch Sandwich” tax trick, saving it about $3.7 billion in taxes. The maneuver involves shifting revenue from an Irish subsidiary to a Dutch firm with no staff, and promptly moving the funds to a Bermuda mailbox owned by another Ireland-listed company. And this practice isn’t slowing down — Google moved 7 percent more cash through this approach in 2016 than it did a year earlier.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/02/google-dutch-sandwich-tax-maneuver/

 

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Supplier Report: 12/22/2017

Twas the Supplier Report before Xmas and I have to admit…
I didn’t predict Google’s announcement of the step-down of Eric Schmidt.

On to other things that you should know…
Apple confirmed they made your phone slow.

Here, at the end of the fourth term…
Oracle and Accenture bought out two firms.

And finally, our friends at Comcast and AT&T…
Are rewarding their employees financially.

This bonus is a result of the FCC…
Making changes to how we access content digitally.

Acquisitions

  • Oracle to Buy Australian Software Maker Aconex

    Oracle Corp. has struck a $1.2 billion deal to buy an Australian project-management software provider, the latest leg in its push to take on Amazon.com Inc. and others in selling cloud-computing services.

    The California-based software company on Monday said it had entered a binding takeover agreement after offering 7.80 Australian dollars ($5.96) cash a share for Aconex Ltd., valuing the Australian company at A$1.6 billion.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/oracle-to-buy-australian-software-maker-aconex-1513551593

  • Accenture acquires Irish creative agency Rothco

    Accenture has entered into an agreement to acquire Rothco, a full-service creative agency. Located in Dublin, Rothco will boost Accenture Ireland’s creative capabilities and those of Accenture Interactive as an experience agency in Europe. Thanks to acquisitions including Brand, Karmarama and Australia’s The Monkeys, among a great many other creative agencies, Accenture Interactive is now thought by many to rank as one of the world’s biggest digital agencies, leading to the creative wing delivering high-profile end-to-end solutions for global brands including Pearson publishing, although their actual size and influence is still a matter hotly contested by advertising industry heavyweights such as WPP.

    https://www.consultancy.uk/news/15070/accenture-acquires-irish-creative-agency-rothco

Artificial Intelligence

  • Accenture CEO: Company’s ‘Evolving’ its Digital Business to Take Advantage of AI

    To that end, he said, “going forward, Accenture Digital will be focused on three big areas: Accenture Interactive, Accenture Industry X.0 and Accenture Applied Intelligence.” As part of the strategy, Accenture Interactive will work with CMOs to help brands “transform the customer experience,” he said, adding the company is “strengthening our end-to-end marketing capabilities for CMOs by investing to scale intelligent marketing operations.” That capability “combines platforms, analytics and artificial intelligence to run marketing campaigns as a seamless managed service,” he said.

    http://www.mesalliance.org/2017/12/21/accenture-ceo-companys-evolving-digital-business-take-advantage-ai/

    “Accenture Industry X.0″…reminds me when everything was “xtreme” in the late 90’s…kewl marketing terms bra

  • Youngest IBM Watson Programmer Says Do Not Be Afraid of Artificial Intelligence

    The youngest IBM Watson Programmer, Tanmay Bakshi says that the leaders today should not be afraid of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Tanmay and his sister Tanvi, talk to host Kimberli Lewis, of Leadership Beyond Borders on VoiceAmerica’s Business channel, about why AI is important now and for our future.

    Tanmay, one of the youngest cloud computing developers in the world, has been programming since he was 5 and now, at the age of 14, he is building applications engineered to augment human capabilities.

    The Bakshi family immigrated from India to Canada, when both Tanmay and Tanvi were young children. These two Generation Z-ers, talk about what it was like to immigrate, how education and learning is important and why AI is an opportunity not a threat.

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3603688
    Programming AI at 14… I need to re-evaluate how I spend my time.

Cloud

  • Why an (unofficial) anti-Amazon alliance is a very good thing

    Amazon is going to take a lot of effort to stop. Even the three other gargantuan tech companies are in danger of being overwhelmed, as Amazon spends more on R&D than any other company on the planet.

    The risk isn’t that we see more squabbles between competing streaming platforms or hardware availability limits, it’s that the efforts to stop Amazon are so late that retail is dominated by one player with so many network effect positives it’s almost impossible to compete.

    The Big Four look like they’ll be overshadowed by one big player: Amazon. Scott Galloway’s new book The Four is invaluable extended reading on this subject.

    All of this is a U.S.-centric view though – Chinese online retailing behemoth Alibaba has a market cap of $450 billion and on the back on China’s continuing rise, could have the muscle to fight Amazon. Both are currently competing to tap India’s emerging ecommerce market.

    https://www.androidauthority.com/why-an-unofficial-anti-amazon-alliance-is-a-very-good-thing-822092/

  • Cloud Price Comparison: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google

    The charts below show how AWS, Azure and GCP stack up for Linux and Windows instances of various sizes and commitment contracts. And to make the charts a little easier to read, the lowest cost in each category is green, the second lowest is yellow, and the most expensive is pink.
    Linux:

    Windows:

    https://www.datamation.com/cloud-computing/cloud-price-comparison-aws-vs.-azure-vs.-google.html

Datacenter

  • IBM Enters Quantum Computing Business with First Paying Customers

    In addition to JPMorgan Chase, Daimler AG, and Samsung, the first customers include JSR Corporation, Barclays, Hitachi Metals, Honda, Nagase, Keio University, Oak Ridge National Lab, Oxford University, and University of Melbourne. All of them will be will be able to tap into IBM’s 20-qubit quantum computer, which the company installed in November. A 50-qubit system, which is currently just a prototype, will be offered to customers in a future version of the platform.

    Each of the initial clients will use the opportunity to research and develop quantum computing applications related to their area of expertise. In the case of JP Morgan Chase, the company will focus on how the technology can be applied to financial services applications, including trading, portfolio optimization, asset pricing, and risk analysis.

    https://www.top500.org/news/ibm-enters-quantum-computing-business-with-first-paying-customers/

Software/SaaS

  • Acquision of SAP to Ariba (not much of a headline tbh)

    Automation of the fundamental procedure of any supply chain is vital, however it’s insufficient. To gain power of your supply chain and your spending, you have to move your point of view from the procedure to the master plan. What’s more, you have to find an innovation accomplice that can help. An accomplice who can enable you to supplier how you can work together with your providers, who comprehends the complexities of dealing with a solid supply chain, and who can interface all aspects of your obtaining procedure over your whole business while giving your providers an approach to better oversee and grow theirs.

    SAP Ariba coordinates the whole purchasing process over your whole association. When you associate with Ariba Network, you interface with a huge number of providers crosswise over immediate and indirect cost categories.

    http://nbherard.com/business/acquision-of-sap-to-ariba/38270

Other

  • Eric Schmidt stepping down as Alphabet’s executive chairman to become a ‘technical advisor’

    “Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition,” he said in the statement. “The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving. In recent years, I’ve been spending a lot of my time on science and technology issues, and philanthropy, and I plan to expand that work.”

    Schmidt joined up with Google in 2001, stepping into the role of CEO at the behest of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, after stints at Sun Microsystems and Novell. Around the time of the company’s 2004 IPO, the trio reportedly pledged to work together for another 20 years.

    Of course, Schmidt handed the baton to Page in 2011. Four years later, when Google restructured to form Alphabet, Page became its CEO, with Sundar Pichai stepping in to take over Google.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/21/eric-schmidt-stepping-down-as-alphabets-executive-chairman-to-become-a-technical-advisor/?ncid=rss

  • Cloud revenue helps Oracle beat earnings forecast this time, but outlook tanks shares

    Oracle said it earned a profit of nearly $3 billion before certain expenses such as stock compensation, or 70 cents a share, up 14 percent from a year ago. Revenue rose 6 percent, to $9.62 billion. Analysts had expected an adjusted profit of 68 cents a share on revenue of $9.57 billion. Traditional on-premises software brought in the vast majority of revenue, at $6.3 billion, up 3 percent. But the portion from new software licenses was flat at $1.35 billion, making growth in cloud revenue crucial.

    Software-as-a-service applications saw growth of 55 percent, to $1.1 billion, while infrastructure as a service, the base-level computing and storage services that compete with public cloud leaders such as Amazon Web Services Inc. and Microsoft Corp.’s Azure, grew only 21 percent. That’s well behind the growth rate of the leaders. But Catz added that the cloud revenue includes older hosting revenue that’s slowing, masking higher growth in newer-generation cloud computing.

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/12/14/cloud-revenue-helps-oracle-beat-earnings-forecast-just-not-enough-investors/

  • Apple: Yes, we’re slowing down older iPhones

    The tech giant issued a rare statement of explanation on Thursday, saying that it has used software updates to limit the performance of older iPhones and prevent them from shutting down unexpectedly.

    Tech analysts and angry customers have reported in recent days that operating system updates had caused older iPhones to slow considerably, with some suggesting that Apple could be using the tactic to encourage fans to buy new phones.

    Apple insists the updates were made with a different goal in mind: It said the performance of lithium-ion batteries degrades over time, which can sometimes cause phones to suddenly shut down in order to protect their components.

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/21/technology/apple-slows-down-old-iphones/

  • AT&T, Comcast giving $1,000 bonuses to hundreds of thousands of workers after tax bill

    Telecom giant AT&T was quick to respond to news of U.S. tax reform, announcing it would give some employees bonuses once the legislation is signed into law.

    AT&T said in a press release Wednesday that it would give more than 200,000 of its U.S. workers who are union members a special bonus of $1,000. The company also increased its capital expenditures budget by $1 billion in the U.S.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/20/tax-reform-reaction-att-is-giving-bonuses-to-200000-employees.html

  • Uber Is a Taxi Service, the E.C.J. Rules, in Major Setback for Firm

    In the decision, the court determined that Uber, which connects drivers with riders through a smartphone app for payments, “must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service.” The 28 member countries in the European bloc will have to regulate “the conditions under which such services are to be provided,” the court added.

    The European court ruling applies across the European Union, but not elsewhere. In a statement, the company said that it was already operating under the transportation law of most European countries in which it did business, and that the ruling would have little impact. It added that it would continue a dialogue with cities across Europe for its services.

    The case may provide a benchmark for countries seeking to regulate independent workers, who make up as much as 30 percent of the working-age population in the United States and Europe, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. Some worry, though, that such a group could soon become an underclass.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/20/business/uber-europe-ecj.html

Photo: Kira auf der Heide

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Supplier Report: 12/15/2017

It was a bad week. 

Net Neutrality was repealed, GE is cutting 12,000 jobs, Microsoft is reportedly underpaying women and hurting their careers, IBM is looking to eliminate more jobs, and the Amazon boon in Seattle is finally slowing down.

At least Google is slashing their machine learning prices…

Acquisitions

  • Apple is acquiring music recognition app Shazam

    One source describes the deal as in the nine figures; another puts it at around £300 million ($401 million). We are still asking around. Notably, though, the numbers we’ve heard are lower than the $1.02 billion (according to PitchBook) post-money valuation the company had in its last funding round, in 2015.

    In all, Shazam has raised $143.5 million from investors that include Kleiner Perkins, London’s DN Capital, IVP and strategic investors Sony Music, Universal Music and Access Industries (which owns Warner Music). Kleiner Perkins also invested in competitor SoundHound.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/08/sources-apple-is-acquiring-music-recognition-app-shazam/?ncid=rss

  • Coupa Acquires Simeno to Augment Catalog Search and Management Capabilities

    Coupa has acquired procure-to-pay (P2P) provider Simeno, extending the platform’s marketplace strategy to provide deeper and pre-integrated supplier connections and opening key markets to support continued expansion.

    Financial terms of the transaction were not immediately disclosed, though Spend Matters estimates that buying Simeno will be accretive to Coupa, based on the various metrics by which investors measure the firm today.

    http://spendmatters.com/2017/12/11/coupa-acquires-simeno-augment-catalog-search-management-capability/

  • Google, Microsoft concerned that a Broadcom acquisition of Qualcomm will benefit Apple

    Google and Microsoft are concerned about the long shadow that Apple is casting across the deal. Apple and Qualcomm are enmeshed in a number of lawsuits and the relationship between the two is so bad that Apple is said to be looking elsewhere for a new supplier of modem chips for 2018 CDMA iPhone models. Currently, Intel modem chips are used inside GSM variants of the iPhone, and that will probably remain the case next year.

    Microsoft has started to compete with the Apple iPad by producing a series of hybrid tablet/laptops that are the first Windows 10 PCs to be powered by Qualcomm chips. Google has plenty of skin in this game with the majority of Android phone manufacturers using Qualcomm chips as well. The pair are afraid that if Broadcom buys Qualcomm, the newly merged company would favor Apple over their interests. For example, Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan has reportedly said that he is optimistic about settling the multiple lawsuits with Apple if his company buys Qualcomm. And with Broadcom’s reputation as a cost cutter, Microsoft and Google fear that a merger will sharply curtail innovation in the industry.

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Google-Microsoft-concerned-that-a-Broadcom-acquisition-of-Qualcomm-will-benefit-Apple_id100598

Artificial Intelligence

  • Microsoft starts own ‘AI University’ to address skills shortage

    “We try to work with them [universities] to fuel that talent pipeline,” said Bishop. “So for example we’re a major sponsor of a masters programme at Cambridge University.”

    Microsoft currently funds around 200 PhD scholarships at Cambridge University, significantly more than other companies like Google.

    “One of the things we’re trying to avoid doing is simply going into a university, hoovering up all the top professors and then just leaving tumbleweed blowing down the corridors,” he said.

    “That might be a short term fix for some companies but I don’t think it serves even the industry itself very well, let alone academia or the nation, to take that rather short term view.”

    https://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-starts-ai-university-to-address-skills-shortage/

  • Accenture’s Advice on Using AI to Succeed in the “New Business Process Era”

    There are three things to consider here. First: transformation takes time. Companies need to collect the relevant data, develop the necessary systems, and build the underpinning analytics and AI. Second: digital procurement requires investment. Fortunately, digital procurement capabilities are increasingly available as a service, which could reduce upfront investments and accelerate transformation. Finally: transformation takes vision. This is big departure from how procurement has traditionally operated. Companies need to have an internal champion who can define what the future procurement organization will look like and how the company can make it a reality.

    http://www.scmr.com/article/accentures_advice_on_using_ai_to_succeed_in_the_new_business_process_era

  • Google slashes prices for its machine learning service as AWS steps up competition

    The company has introduced massive price reductions for its Cloud Machine Learning Engine managed services. For example, customers using basic-tier compute for training a machine learning system will pay 43 percent less than they did earlier this year. Google also offered customers more clarity on what they’ll be paying for those jobs.

    Information of the price reductions was first included in a blog post that appeared briefly yesterday on Google’s website, then vanished. A representative for the company declined to comment further on the news when reached for comment.

    https://venturebeat.com/2017/12/12/google-slashes-prices-for-its-machine-learning-service-as-aws-steps-up-competition/

Cloud

  • AWS just opened another cloud computing region in China

    AWS said its China (Ningxia) Region, operated by Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology (NWCD), is now up and running and provides customers another option to run applications and store data on AWS in China.

    Whereas in most of the world AWS owns and operates its own cloud infrastructure, in China the situation is more complicated. Chinese law forbids non-Chinese companies from owning or operating cloud computing infrastructure.

    To comply with China’s legal and regulatory requirements, AWS has formed a strategic technology collaboration with NWCD to operate and provide services from the AWS China (Ningxia) Region.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/aws-just-opened-another-cloud-computing-region-in-china/

  • Google, Looking to Tiptoe Back Into China, Announces A.I. Center

    On Wednesday, it unveiled a small but symbolically significant move toward that end: a China-based center devoted to artificial intelligence. The move nods to the country’s growing strength in A.I., thanks to substantial government funding prompted by Beijing’s ambition of having a say in the technologies of the future.

    Google said the center would have a team of experts in Beijing, where the company has hundreds of employees in research and development, as well as other roles. The center will be led by Fei-Fei Li, who runs Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and leads the artificial intelligence arm of Google’s Cloud business, and Jia Li, the head of research and development for the A.I. division of Google Cloud.

    The Silicon Valley company, which announced the center’s opening at a software developer conference in Shanghai, cited China’s growing academic and technical contributions to the A.I. field, and said the new center would be “working closely with the vibrant Chinese A.I. research community.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/business/google-ai-china.html

Security

  • Kaspersky Lab is closing its Washington, DC office

    Kaspersky Lab Inc. has had a rough time with the US government this year and now Bloomberg reports that the company will be closing its Washington, DC office. However, while its government business seems to be dead in the water, Kaspersky still plans to sell to non-federal US customers and will be opening offices in Chicago and Los Angeles next year.

    In July, the Trump administration removed Kaspersky from its list of approved IT vendors and in August reports surfaced that the FBI was trying to convince companies to ditch Kaspersky’s products. These moves were a result of US government suspicions that Kaspersky funnels information from its customers to the Russian government. Best Buy pulled Kaspersky products from its shelves shortly thereafter and the US government ultimately banned federal agencies from using the company’s security software in September.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/08/kaspersky-lab-closing-washington-dc-office/

  • The Bitcoin Whales: 1,000 People Who Own 40 Percent of the Market

    About 40 percent of bitcoin is held by perhaps 1,000 users; at current prices, each may want to sell about half of his or her holdings, says Aaron Brown, former managing director and head of financial markets research at AQR Capital Management. (Brown is a contributor to the Bloomberg Prophets online column.) What’s more, the whales can coordinate their moves or preview them to a select few. Many of the large owners have known one another for years and stuck by bitcoin through the early days when it was derided, and they can potentially band together to tank or prop up the market.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-08/the-bitcoin-whales-1-000-people-who-own-40-percent-of-the-market

Other

  • The FCC officially votes to kill net neutrality

    Chairman Pai trotted out the same talking points he’s been pushing since 2015. That the law that dictates the internet remain “unfettered by federal and state regulation” (that part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act is advisory, and also about porn); that the 2015 rules were “designed in the ’30s to regulate Ma Bell” (they were rebuilt from the ground up in 1996, as he explained moments earlier); that the regulations had destroyed jobs (the jobs never existed); that small ISPs were harmed (I’ve asked the ones he’s cited repeatedly and they have never explained how) — and how edge providers are a bigger threat than ISP discrimination.

    Ironically, he asked that the internet be “driven by engineers” and not “lawyers and accountants” — ironic because hundreds of prominent engineers have pointed out the technical shortcomings of the order, which is largely based on economic analysis and legal hair-splitting.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/14/the-fcc-officially-votes-to-kill-net-neutrality/?ncid=rss
    What’s Next:

    There are two tacks they might take. First is the possibility of using the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to undo recently instituted regulations, to nix the FCC’s plan; Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) just announced he will do this. This is the most straightforward solution, and one the Republican Congress recently deployed in order to kill several Obama-era regulations, including the Broadband Privacy Rule. That action was particularly unpopular, and Republicans aiming to look progressive may hop on board a Democratic bill. Bipartisan talks will have to take place — this can’t be done without work on both sides of the aisle.

    A CRA repeal of Restoring Internet Freedom would be devastating to the FCC’s plans, but likely would leave intact the legislative ambiguities that gave rise to today’s issues.

    A true solution would involve amending the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The critical part of all this is the classification of broadband under Title II of the act, and if that could be accomplished by legislation — it would only take a few words — it would put an end to these questions once and for all. However, to amend a major bill is not something a minority party is likely to attempt. And with the threat of a veto hanging over them, it’s very unlikely that this will come to pass until a Democratic president is elected.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/14/the-fcc-just-repealed-net-neutrality-what-happens-next/?ncid=rss

  • GE is cutting 12,000 jobs

    The jobs are in the electrical power division, which makes the giant turbines and generators that the company estimates provide about one-third of the electricity produced around the world.

    GE (GE) is by far the worst-performing stock in the Dow this year, down 44%, and CEO John Flannery, who took over in August, has been trying to slash costs.

    The company says the job cuts will mostly be outside the United States. The power division’s headcount will be reduced about 18%. About 295,000 people worked for GE overall at the end of last year, but the company has cut jobs and costs throughout this year. It hopes to reduce costs by $1 billion next year.

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/07/news/companies/ge-job-cuts/index.html?section=money_topstories

  • Cost-hurling IBM seeks more volunteers for employment bonfire

    As revealed by us in recent weeks, IBM told staff in TSS and ISD to form Employee Consultation Committees ahead of entering a 45-day consultation to discuss ways to improve margins – i.e. by cutting jobs.

    The length of the consultation, which started on December 6, indicates at least 100 people from each of the two departments will be kicked to the curb once the period ends. Before that happens, IBM is giving employees a chance to apply to leave. Applicants that are accepted will be out on December 31.

    The ISD memo, like TSS, stated: “We are now launching an Open Voluntary Separation Programme. The programme is open to all in-scope UK IBM regular employees working in the IS Delivery business area in the UK.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12/08/ibm_isd_voluntary_redundancies/

  • Amazon’s Seattle hiring frenzy slows sharply; what’s going on?

    Still, the pullback is a reminder that Amazon’s frantic expansion during the last few years — contributing to a boom that nudged the city’s unemployment rate near record lows, pushed housing costs to a record high, and sparked a debate about the company’s civic role in Seattle — won’t last forever.

    The slowdown also comes as the company seeks space to expand outside Seattle. Amazon is evaluating 238 bids it received from municipalities interested in welcoming Amazon’s second, “equal,” headquarters dubbed HQ2, which the company has indicated it could begin staffing as early as 2019.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazons-seattle-hiring-frenzy-slows-sharply-whats-going-on/

  • Two New Reports Say Microsoft Overwhelmingly Underpays Women and Stifles Their Career Advancement

    The plaintiffs filed to make the lawsuit a class action at the end of October and recently released two reports that detail pervasive gender-based discrimination at the $649 billion tech company. One, by Henry Farber, an economics professor at Princeton, analyzed data on more than 16,000 employees’ compensation, age, tenure, geographic location, performance ratings, and other factors between 2010 and 2016. Faber found that women in technical roles in low- to mid-level positions at Microsoft “receive lower compensation on average, than otherwise-similar men, and this difference in pay is statically significant.” Moreover, the report finds that women in mid-level jobs at Microsoft have a statistically significant lower probability of getting promoted.

    The other study filed in the case, conducted by Ann Marie Ryan, a psychology professor at Michigan State University, found that Microsoft “does not provide clear, job-related guidance as to how to distinguish levels within a career stage for compensation decisions,” which opens doors for managers to make subjective, and potentially sexist, decisions about career advancement.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/12/09/two_new_reports_say_microsoft_overwhelmingly_underpays_women_and_stifles.html

Photo: Cooper Smith

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Supplier Report: 12/8/2017

Amazon and Google are fighting this week and end users are suffering.  This fight isn’t about cutting off access to YouTube, it is about two companies finding themselves competing in cloud hosting, digital assistants, customer behaviors, forked operating systems, and now advertising.

As companies like Google, Amazon, Oracle, and Microsoft fight with each other, China is quietly growing their AI capabilities and they are applying them to areas that the US would never (publicly) be able to admit.

CVS is trying to out-run the business black hole that is Amazon. As rumors swirl that Amazon might get into pharmaceuticals, CVS is attempting to purchase healthcare company Aetna.  These are certainly interesting times.

Acquisitions

  • CVS buys health insurer Aetna to counter Amazon

    Neither CVS nor Aetna has explicitly mentioned Amazon. However, it’s no secret that Amazon looms large over the proposed merger. The New York Times reports that CVS and Aetna met “several times” for talks with Amazon’s potential competition in mind. Also, CVS is in a prime position to change its strategy. It makes the most money from its pharmacy benefits business (which serves companies and insurers), not its stores, so it could continue to thrive even if Amazon swoops in and destroys its retail sales.

    Aetna isn’t under the gun in the same way. It was recently blocked from buying a key competitor, Humana, and has been looking for a way to expand without invoking the wrath of antitrust regulators. CVS makes sense in that regard — the two firms operate in related areas, but they wouldn’t be shrinking the markets for health insurance or pharmacies. There is a concern that they might hurt choices for Medicare, since both are key to offering prescriptions to Medicare recipients.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/03/cvs-buys-aetna-to-counter-amazon/

Artificial Intelligence

  • COMB+ announces a $77M fund to help AI startups enter China

    The fund, which was announced at Slush in Helsinki this week, is run by COMB+ and the Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI). COMB+ launched its Sino Track accelerator program last year, which is based in Beijing and Helsinki and helps early-stage firms grow in China, and this is the second part of its strategy.

    So far more than half of the €65 million target has been raised, COMB+ CEO Leo Zhu told TechCrunch via interpreters in an interview. He didn’t name any confirmed LPs but said the fund is backed by government funds, government institutions, private enterprises and big corporates most of which are from China.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/01/comb-china-ai-fund/?ncid=rss
    China’s A.I. Advances Help Its Tech Industry, and State Security

    As China tests the frontiers of artificial intelligence, iFlyTek serves as a compelling example of both the country’s sci-fi ambitions and the technology’s darker dystopian possibilities.

    The Chinese company uses sophisticated A.I. to power image and voice recognition systems that can help doctors with their diagnoses, aid teachers in grading tests and let drivers control their cars with their voices. Even some global companies are impressed: Delphi, a major American auto supplier, offers iFlyTek’s technology to carmakers in China, while Volkswagen plans to build the Chinese company’s speech recognition technology into many of its cars in China next year.

    At the same time, iFlyTek hosts a laboratory to develop voice surveillance capabilities for China’s domestic security forces. In an October report, a human rights group said the company was helping the authorities compile a biometric voice database of Chinese citizens that could be used to track activists and others.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/03/business/china-artificial-intelligence.html

  • IBM unveils ‘game-changing powerhouse’ for AI

    POWER9 has the ability to improve the training times of deep learning frameworks by almost four times faster and allows enterprises to build more accurate applications at a much faster rate.

    As a result of the better performance, data scientists are able to build applications faster, from deep learning insights across scientific research to real-time fraud detection and credit risk analysis.

    https://www.cbronline.com/news/ibm-power9-game-changing-ai

  • Elon Musk says Tesla is making A.I. hardware that could be ‘the best in the world’

    Several other automakers, including Ford and GM, are developing self-driving technology. Alphabet, which has developed custom chips that can be used instead of Nvidia graphics cards, operates the Waymo self-driving car division. Apple has pursued autonomous driving, and it has also developed custom silicon to handle AI workloads on mobile devices.

    In the Thursday talk, Keller suggested that with custom hardware it’s possible to boost efficiency, while Musk talked about power and cost advantages, according to one report about the event on Twitter.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/08/elon-musk-talks-up-teslas-upcoming-artificial-intelligence-hardware.html

Cloud

  • Amazon is an 800-pound gorilla that moves like a cheetah, says analyst

    In a week that featured 22 product and services announcements (according to Andy Jassy, AWS chief executive officer), industry analysts were left to assess the significant position in the IT ecosystem that AWS has staked out for itself. “This is a real merging of application developers and the more traditional kinds of companies,” Warren said. “It feels like re:Invent this year is a blending of the entire IT ecosystem.”

    A key message that emerged from the various AWS releases is that the company has made major strides to debunk “fear, uncertainty and doubt” that it could not be taken seriously as a major player in enterprise cloud computing. “The big story this year is legitimacy across the board in every vertical and every category,” Furrier said. “Re-engineering and re-imagining are happening, and Amazon is just feeding the marketplace.”

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/12/01/amazon-is-an-800-pound-gorilla-that-moves-like-a-cheetah-says-analyst-reinvent/
    Nothing really new, I just like the headline.

  • Microsoft CFO sees Google’s cloud as a threat and praises its chief: ‘She’s always been a winner’

    In her Tuesday remarks — which came after Wells Fargo analyst Philip Winslow specifically asked about Google — Hood also praised Greene, the head of Google’s cloud efforts for the past two years. Greene, who was formerly CEO of VMware, announced last week that she hired Diane Bryant from Intel to be operating chief of Google’s cloud.

    “We’ve seen more of them in the past few quarters than we’ve seen before,” Hood said. “I think they’re making a good effort. I think Diane Greene is an excellent leader and an established enterprise CEO.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/05/microsoft-cfo-amy-hood-says-google-cloud-becoming-a-bigger-competitor.html

    I always call out the s**t-talking, I should highlight the acts of class as well.

  • Cheapest enterprise cloud storage providers not always best

    Bala’s public recommendation to conference attendees was the following: “Think about the number of years that a vendor has been in this market and their commitment to the market. The last thing you want to do is go with a vendor who says, ‘Well, the v1 version of our service didn’t work, and we’re going to scrap it, and we’re going to restart over again.’ There are a lot of customers in that boat.”

    Although Bala’s cautionary advice did not note specific enterprise cloud storage providers that abandoned the original versions of their cloud storage services, he did offer frank assessments of each of the major challengers to dominant player AWS.

    “Oracle did something very smart. They opened a large office in Seattle, and they’ve hired a bunch of AWS engineers. So, they’ve got several hundred AWS engineers that are building v2 of Oracle service,” Bala said. “After having failed the first time, they’re doing some really thoughtful things the second time.”

    Bala said IBM’s public cloud storage, also based on OpenStack, “didn’t really go anywhere” and “had lots of problems,” leaving the company “trying to rebuild it.” He said IBM spent lots of money trying to buy companies, as well as trying to rebuild in-house.

    http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/news/450431495/Cheapest-enterprise-cloud-storage-providers-not-always-best

Software/SaaS

  • Three Uber security managers reportedly resigned today

    Three senior-level security managers resigned from Uber today, Reuters reported earlier today. One of the three who resigned, Pooja Ashok, was chief of staff to now-former Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan. Sullivan was fired last week for trying to hide the security breach that affected about 57 million riders and 600,00 drivers.

    The other two who resigned were Prithvi Rai, a senior security engineer, and Jeff Jones. Both Ashok and Jones are planning to stay at Uber until January to help with the transition.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/01/three-uber-security-managers-reportedly-resigned-today/?ncid=rss

  • Inside Oracle’s cloak-and-dagger political war with Google

    For the past year, the software and cloud computing giant has mounted a cloak-and-dagger, take-no-prisoners lobbying campaign against Google, perhaps hoping to cause the company intense political and financial pain at a time when the two tech giants are also warring in federal court over allegations of stolen computer code.

    Since 2010, Oracle has accused Google of copying Java and using key portions of it in the making of Android. Google, for its part, has fought those claims vigorously. More recently, though, their standoff has intensified. And as a sign of the worsening rift between them, this summer Oracle tried to sell reporters on a story about the privacy pitfalls of Android, two sources confirmed to Recode.

    https://www.recode.net/2017/12/6/16721364/oracle-google-political-war-location-track-android-safra-catz-java-lawsuit

Other

  • Now on Oracle’s Campus, a $43 Million Public High School

    “Nobody has done anything like this before,” said Colleen Cassity, the executive director of the Oracle Education Foundation, a nonprofit funded by the company. The foundation oversees the company’s partnership with the school.

    Design Tech High School, known as d.tech, was founded in 2014 with the aim of steeping students in design thinking, a creative problem-solving strategy popularized by Stanford University’s design school. It teaches students to empathize with people before trying to devise solutions to their problems.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/03/technology/now-on-oracles-campus-a-43-million-public-high-school.html

  • Why Amazon and Google just can’t get along

    At this point, it’s easy to see why Amazon wouldn’t want to support Google’s products, and vice versa: Each company is using hardware to fortify themselves while attacking their rival’s core business. Without some broad-ranging truce, in which each company agrees to treat each other’s services equally and let consumers decide what’s best, Amazon and Google would only be undermining themselves.

    https://www.techhive.com/article/3240966/streaming-hardware/why-amazon-and-google-just-cant-get-along.html

  • IBM to invest $200 million in climate change research

    Not all businesses, however, take a short-term view of their operations, with increasing numbers of CEOs seeing reason, as a destroyed planet will even impact them and their shareholders in the long-run. In this vain, IBM recently announced it will direct around $200 million into five climate-related projects. Despite a rocky year financially, which saw global revenues further stagnate at the global technology giant, the organisation still saw fit to support scientists in their pursuit to better understand the consequences of humanity’s current uncritical climate forcing experiments.

    The funds will be awarded to projects that are judged to have the greatest potential impact on our understanding of climate change, and that consider strategies to mitigate its effects. The five projects would also be able to take advantage of IBM’s World Community Grid, an IBM Citizenship initiative that taps into the combined computing power of 730,000 worldwide volunteers. A similar project was recently run on such a network, allowing Harvard University to identify 36,000 carbon-based compounds that may approximately double the efficiency of most organic solar cells currently in production.

    https://www.consultancy.uk/news/14900/ibm-to-invest-200-million-in-climate-change-research

Photo: CloudVisual

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