Looks like we can kiss goodbye to any lingering politeness in the rivalry between these two UK chip houses, because the smaller one has just embarked on a cheeky expansion. Having been known mainly for its PowerVR graphics processors, not least in many Apple products, Imagination Tech could potentially push into the CPU arena too, through its $60 million acquisition of MIPS Technologies. Just Like ARM, MIPS designs low-power RISC processors for consumer electronics, but it has generally focused on smaller chips for devices like routers and TVs rather than smartphones and tablets. In addition to a portfolio of 82 exclusive patents, a squad of 160 MIPS engineers will now be transplanted to Imagination, where they’ll no doubt be debriefed and reassigned to conquering the world. Meanwhile, in some sort of flanking move, ARM has paid a far higher sum of $170 million to gain access to a number of other MIPS patents.
Imagination Technologies snaps up CPU designer MIPS in an attempt to wrestle ARM originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 06 Nov 2012 06:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Economic and market phenomena occur in cycles.
The basic business cycle can be loosely defined a series of economic expansions and contractions.
But how long are these cycles and how can they be applied?
We compiled eight “cycle” theories that tell us varying things about where markets and the economy are going.
Some have been around for decades, others are fairly new.
One is even based on sun spots.
The Kondratiev Cycle
Creator: Nikolai Kondratiev (1892-1938)
Duration: 50-60 years
Theory: Economic growth in capitalist countries comes in long waves and are determined by technological innovations.
What it predicts: Prices, interest rates, foreign trade, coal, pig iron production
Where we are now: The Kondtratiev cycle indicates we’re in a blank period and at least 30 years away from the next economic expansion period.
Source: Andrey V. Korotayev
The Schumpeter Cycle
Creator: Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950)
Duration: 50-60 years
Theory: Shumpeter cycles actually revolve around periodic “clusters of innovation”
What it predicts: Global economic paradigms
Where we are now: Schumpeter’s cycle says we’re on the ! downswin g from the most recent innovation cluster.
Source: Andrey V. Korotayev
The Kitchin Cycle
Creator: Joseph Kitchin (1861-1932)
Duration: 40 months
Theory: The market gets ‘flooded’ with commodities as growth accelerates. When demand declines, prices drop and the produced commodities get accumulated in inventories. But there is a delay between this and when entrepreneurs must reduce output.
What it predicts: Demand, prices, output
Where we are now: The Kitchin cycle indicates prices are in an upswing period, according toTimingSolution.com.
Source: Andrey V. Korotayev
Dollar stores are booming in a struggling economy, and one of the big boys of the industry is doing so well it’s planning another period of explosive growth, reports Gail Hoffer and Drug Store News.
It will open 625 stores and hire around 6,000 employees over the course of 2012. The discount chain already has about 9,800 stores spread across 38 states, and some of the new stores will be in previously unoccupied states California and Massachusetts.
Dollar General has adopted an aggressive growth strategy since the start of the recession. This marks the third straight year it has opened hundreds of new locations, and the chain has created more than 21,000 jobs since 2009.
It’s not all about the economy though. Dollar General had to be smart in its expansion strategy too — after all, Walmart is its biggest competitor, and the world’s largest retailer has had similar success recently.
It thrives on hitting markets that Walmart hasn’t taken over, such as small towns that can’t support one of Walmart’s massive big box stores. It also competes with the other big dollar store chains, like Family Dollar. The hybrid concept — somewhere between a giant discounter and a small dollar store — has worked admirably.
Plus, while dollar store marketing plays a significant role in getting people through its doors, Dollar General is actually also a clear leader in price over both Walmart and its dollar store compatriots.
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The Clover was a nerd’s way to make coffee. Every parameter precisely, digitally controlled, for the most of tweaky of experimentation—or you can make the exact same cup over and over. Then Starbucks bought the company.
What happened next: Waves of independent coffee shops ditched their $10,000 Clover machines, for practical and philosophical reasons. Starbucks rolled them out to 50ish stores across the Northeast, Seattle and San Francisco. Then expansion stopped. That was almost two years ago.
Starbucks’ first Clover showed up in New York around two months ago, in a nearly 20-year-old location that’s been converted into a concept store. The thaw is beginning. Starbucks plans to finally expand the Clover’s footprint gradually over the next 6-8 months, as they figure out how to integrate the machine into the natural rhythm of stores—which is basically dominated by Frappuccinos these days, not coffee.
In a way, it’s a hard sell. The kind of people who would be most interested in coffee made via Clover, designed to pull the most out of a coffee—so shitty coffee would taste shittier—don’t go to Starbucks. Starbucks is so reviled by people who actually like coffee that they’ve experimented with burying the Starbucks name two pilot stores in Seattle which are designed to look more like the kind of place that serves Intelligentsia or Stumptown coffee. So it’s heartening to see them try to live up a bit more to the ideals of caring about coffee and how it’s served.
For instance, while 30 days is what Starbucks considers the expiration date on beans in a store—16 days longer than any self-conscious shop would serve them—if you order a cup made with Clover, you’re far more likely to get beans roasted within the 2-week mark. (In part because there are limited quantities of some coffees served using Clover, like the Jamaica Blue Mountain they’re offering starting tomorrow.)
They’re also making use of their spin on Clovernet, which was one of the big hype points of the machine: Shops and their baristas could share, upload and download recipes for coffees made via Clover. Starbucks pushes recipes for each coffee it serves on the Clover—around 4-6—to stores via a similar network, so there are custom parameters for each coffee. African coffees get a different treatment versus South American ones, as they should.
For all the technology in the Clover, though, it ultimately comes down to the guy (or girl) handling it. Hopefully, it’s someone nerdy enough to know what the Clover was before it landed in front of them at Starbucks.
To call Mark Cuban eccentric would be akin to describing the ocean as wet, but what’s not so often acknowledged about the Dallas Mavericks owner is the sharp mind and commercial nous that have gotten him to the position of hiring and firing millionaire ball players. One of Mark’s recent blog posts, entitled “The future of TV … is TV,” got the attention of NewTeeVee, who sought to debunk his contention that VOD (video on demand) services from cable operators would become the primary means by which we consume digital media in the future. They cite the growing success story of Netflix’s digital distribution model, as well as the 12 million hours of March Madness video consumed via CBS’ web portal, in arguing that web streaming is indeed the great new hotness.
Mark’s response tackles Netflix head on, and points out that the company’s rapid growth is about to start working against it, with movie studios and other content providers likely to jack up prices and demand further concessions from the streaming service as it turns into a real competitor to cable companies. According to him, Netflix is presently getting its content at prices that are unsustainable, and his prognostication is that content owners seeking bigger levies — together with the expansion of VOD choice, which he sees as foolproof compared to the overwhelming complexity that web streaming entails — will lead to Netflix passing costs on to the consumers and losing out to cable operators. Irrespective of whether you agree with him, the whole exchange is well worth a read. Use the links below to get filled in.
Mark Cuban foretells Netflix demise, sees a future filled with on-demand video originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 07 May 2010 10:09:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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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