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Apple Is Suddenly Spending Billions Of Dollars On Secret Projects (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-is-suddenly-spending-billions-of-dollars-on-secret-projects-2012-12

In the quarter ending June 2011, Apple spent less than $1 billion on property, plants, and equipment.

By March 2012, the number had spiked beyond $2 billion, beyond $3 billion, and approached $4 billion.

Horace Dediu thinks that number will zoom past $4 billion in 2013.

Here’s a chart he made to show what the spike looks like so far:

Apple Spike

Here’s the the interesting part about all this massive spending.

No one outside of Apple knows where it’s going.

“The capital is being deployed almost silently and, though vast in scale, barely gets a mention from analysts,” writes Dediu. “Not even a single question has been raised at any earnings call about this spending.”

His theory is that Apple, which prefers an “integrated” approach in everything it does, will soon make more of the components inside its gadgets, like chips.

That would explain why Apple has been so busy hiring former Texas Instruments employees, for example.

The truth is, Apple is a very secret company and it doesn’t have to say, specifically, where it’s spending that money.

For all we know, it could be building TV set factories.

One thing one know for sure is the Apple is always working on products that would cannibalize its current lineup. 

Maybe Apple is investing billions in a product that could kill the iPhone, like computerized glasses.

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Thursday, December 13th, 2012 news No Comments

IBM brings the fight to counterfeiters with nano-sized authentication methods (video)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/04/ibm-brings-the-fight-to-counterfeiters-with-nano-sized-authentic/

IBM brings the fight to counterfeiters with nanosized authentication methods

As counterfeiters continue to up their game, technology’s quest for the ultimate method of proving authenticity goes on. We’ve seen ideas at the nano level before, but IBM thinks its latest research might be so difficult to reverse engineer, that it’s impossible for forgers to reproduce. IBM scientist Dr. Heiko Wolf explains that the basic principle involves using the surface tension of water to orient nanorods on a stamp, which can then be printed onto any surface. These nanorods are so small that gravity alone isn’t enough to place the particles into predetermined patterns, such as corporate logos. IBM’s researchers have also patented a related nano-patterning method that uses fluorescent spheres that can take the color red, blue or green. These then arrange themselves in a completely random order, which is mathematically so difficult to replicate it’s known as PUF (physically uncloanable function). Both methods can be applied to a broad selection of objects, making them ideal candidates for anti-counterfeit detection for everything from diamonds to passports — all that’s needed to verify authenticity is an optical microscope. Don’t get your Picasso out of the vault just yet though, as it’s estimated that it’ll be another five years or so before the technology will find its way to market.

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Source: IBM Research

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

The Massive Scale Of Amazon’s Distribution Operations, Revealed Through Startling Images (AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/massive-scale-of-amazons-distribution-operations-2012-11

amazon fulfillment center

As the world’s largest online retailer, it’s no surprise that its biggest fulfillment center in Phoenix, Arizona is the size of 28 football fields.

That’s because it’s their goal to have everything anyone wants at anytime. 

Amazon has 80 fulfillment centers in the world to handle all of its orders.

Even though Amazon already has massive operations, it’s still planning to open at least two new fulfillment centers in California over the next year or so.

And with the holiday shopping season in full force, Amazon hired an additional 50,000 employees to help with the expected demand.

Thanks to Imgur user SippingTea’s incredible photos, we have a sense of that this incredible scale actually looks like.

Stacks of shelves line the warehouse

Employees need carts to navigate through the massive amounts of inventory

Hundreds of boxes full of products cover the floor

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Friday, November 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Here’s Everything That’s Freaking Out Apple Investors (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/reasons-apples-stock-is-down-2012-11

Barclays put out a note on the eight reasons Apple’s stock has been cratering. In the note is this handy table laying out each concern, and what Barclays thinks is the reason people shouldn’t over react.

AAPL chart

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Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook Just Went Heavy Into E-Commerce (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-just-went-heavy-into-e-commerce-2012-9

Holidays Gifts Wrapping

In May, Facebook spent $80 million on one of its largest acquisitions yet, Karma.

Karma was a gift buying startup that used Facebook to alert you of major upcoming dates in your friends’ lives (birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc).

Today, Facebook’s use for Karma was made clear as it dove head-first into e-commerce with a new feature, “Gifts.”

With Gifts, you can buy a friend everything from a bottle of champagne to a pair of glasses, while Facebook takes a percent of all sales.

It’s available in a few US cities beginning today on Facebook’s website and Android devices; it will roll out on iOS later. Gifts will either be physically sent or come in the form of gift cards to giftees. Some gifts, like Uber rides, can be redeemed instantly on the giftee’s phone.

Gift cards are a $100 billion industry and Facebook knows its up against steep competition from the likes of Amazon and eBay. “Our goal is to make this the best way to send a gift,” Karma’s co-founder Lee Linden tells TechCrunch. And once Facebook has all of our credit card information and addresses, it will be even more powerful. We already login to tons of other sites via Facebook, would it really be such a big stretch to pay on them with Facebook too? It’d be a lot easier than whipping out a credit card every time.

Here’s a picture of what Facebook Gifts look like (click to expand):

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Thursday, September 27th, 2012 news No Comments

Here Are All The Changes Starbucks Is Making To Its Rewards Program

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/starbucks-rewards-program-changes-2012-9

Starbucks, coffee, cafe, Asian woman, Gen Y

Starbucks is making a bunch of modifications to its My Starbucks Rewards program.

The changes kick in on October 16th.

Here’s a breakdown for Gold level members:

New benefits

  • Gold members will receive a reward every 12 transactions, instead of every 15.
  • You’ll be able to redeem the reward for a drink or food item. The food benefit applies to almost all the food Starbucks offers.
  • Rewards will be digital (via email notification), so you won’t have to wait for a postcard. The reward will be loaded directly onto your Starbucks Card.

Benefits that are going away

  • Syrups and soy milk will no longer be on the house.
  • You won’t get a free tall beverage when you buy a pound of coffee.

Everything else — like birthday drinks and refills — is sticking around.

Starbucks explains how the redemption process works:

1. Visit any participating company-operated store  

2. Tell the barista you have a free reward that you want to use (that way you get to choose when you redeem your reward)

3. Present your registered Starbucks Card (or scan your registered Card on the Starbucks Card mobile app).

And here’s handy side-by-side graphic from Starbucks:

starbucks rewards 

NOW SEE : 15 Crazy Starbucks Customers Who Will Make You Never Want To Be A Barista >

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 news No Comments

2.7 Billion Likes, 300 Million Photos Uploaded and 500 Terabytes of Data [Factoid]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/WmLHYVUWhPU/what-facebook-deals-with-everyday-27-billion-likes-300-million-photos-uploaded-and-500-terabytes-of-data

What Facebook Deals with Everyday: 2.7 Billion Likes, 300 Million Photos Uploaded and 500 Terabytes of DataIf you were ever curious to how many photos get uploaded to Facebook everyday or how many likes happen across the entire social network or the sheer size of data booking the face is responsible for, look no further. Facebook gave a state of the union (of sorts) that detailed just how big Facebook data is.

Here’s the enormous breakdown that’s so big my head doesn’t understand the sheer size:

  • 2.5 billion content items shared
  • 2.7 billion Likes
  • 300 million photos uploaded
  • 500+ terabyte data ingested
  • What Facebook Deals with Everyday: 2.7 Billion Likes, 300 Million Photos Uploaded and 500 Terabytes of DataRoughly broken down into indivudal Facebook users, the numbers translate to a little under 3 Facebook likes a day and one picture uploaded every 3 days per Facebooker. But how come Facebook didn’t let us know how many time people get poked! Or how many pictures get pulled because of complaints? What about people tagged in photos? I want to know more. I want to know everything! [CNET]

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Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5932148/the-iphone-is-literally-four-times-as-powerful-as-the-curiosity-rover

The iPhone Is Literally Four Times as Powerful as the Curiosity Rover Last night NASA landed on Mars. An amazing feat! But guess what? The Curiosity rover’s on-board computer is a pretty low-power system. In fact, the iPhone 4S is four times more powerful. Check out the specs below.
The iPhone Is Literally Four Times as Powerful as the Curiosity Rover

Surprised? Don’t be. NASA knows what it’s doing. It has just enough to do everything it needs. And that includes 17 cameras. [@mikko]

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Monday, August 6th, 2012 news No Comments

Twitter was Really Freaking Broken Today

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5929408/heres-why-twitter-was-so-broken-today

Here's Why Twitter Was So BrokenTwitter was really freaking broken today. Which, well, sucked. Here’s what Mazen Rawashdeh, Twitter’s VP of Engineering, has to say about the outage.

The cause of today’s outage came from within our data centers. Data centers are designed to be redundant: when one system fails (as everything does at one time or another), a parallel system takes over. What was noteworthy about today’s outage was the coincidental failure of two parallel systems at nearly the same time.

And that was that. Rawashdeh apologized earnestly in the blog post, noting that Twitter can’t pin this to the Olympics or an external bug—just two parallel systems coincidentally going down at the same time. [Twitter]

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Friday, July 27th, 2012 digital No Comments

ARM forms UK group to foster an Internet of Things, put 50 billion devices online by 2020

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/26/arm-forms-uk-group-to-foster-an-internet-of-things/

ARM forms UK group to foster an Internet of Things, put 50 billion devices online by 2020

ARM isn’t content with dominating the mobile space. It’s been by the far the most vocal about an Internet of Things where everything is connected — and to make that happen, it just established an industry forum in the UK that it hopes will establish common ground for all those internet-linked light bulbs, refridgerators and thermostats. Home energy firm Alertme, cloud-aware sensing outfit AquaMW, lighting maker EnLight and white space wireless guru Neul will start meeting with ARM from August 24th onwards to hash out our automated, eco-friendly future. There’s a certain urgency in this for the chip designer: it expects 50 billion devices on the grid by 2020. With IDC estimating a billion new connected devices just in 2011, the clock on that connected device transition is ticking very loudly.

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ARM forms UK group to foster an Internet of Things, put 50 billion devices online by 2020 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 26 Jul 2012 19:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, July 27th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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