Computer trends for 2014

Here is my collection of trends and predictions for year 2014:

It seems that PC market is not recovering in 2014. IDC is forecasting that the technology channel will buy in around 34 million fewer PCs this year than last. It seem that things aren’t going to improve any time soon (down, down, down until 2017?). There will be no let-up on any front, with desktops and portables predicted to decline in both the mature and emerging markets. Perhaps the chief concern for future PC demand is a lack of reasons to replace an older system: PC usage has not moved significantly beyond consumption and productivity tasks to differentiate PCs from other devices. As a result, PC lifespan continue to increase. Death of the Desktop article says that sadly for the traditional desktop, this is only a matter of time before its purpose expires and that it would be inevitable it will happen within this decade. (I expect that it will not completely disappear).

When the PC business is slowly decreasing, smartphone and table business will increase quickly. Some time in the next six months, the number of smartphones on earth will pass the number of PCs. This shouldn’t really surprise anyone: the mobile business is much bigger than the computer industry. There are now perhaps 3.5-4 billion mobile phones, replaced every two years, versus 1.7-1.8 billion PCs replaced every 5 years. Smartphones broke down that wall between those industries few years ago – suddenly tech companies could sell to an industry with $1.2 trillion annual revenue. Now you can sell more phones in a quarter than the PC industry sells in a year.

After some years we will end up with somewhere over 3bn smartphones in use on earth, almost double the number of PCs. There are perhaps 900m consumer PCs on earth, and maybe 800m corporate PCs. The consumer PCs are mostly shared and the corporate PCs locked down, and neither are really mobile. Those 3 billion smartphones will all be personal, and all mobile. Mobile browsing is set to overtake traditional desktop browsing in 2015. The smartphone revolution is changing how consumers use the Internet. This will influence web design.


The only PC sector that seems to have some growth is server side. Microservers & Cloud Computing to Drive Server Growth article says that increased demand for cloud computing and high-density microserver systems has brought the server market back from a state of decline. We’re seeing fairly significant change in the server market. According to the 2014 IC Market Drivers report, server unit shipment growth will increase in the next several years, thanks to purchases of new, cheaper microservers. The total server IC market is projected to rise by 3% in 2014 to $14.4 billion: multicore MPU segment for microservers and NAND flash memories for solid state drives are expected to see better numbers.

Spinning rust and tape are DEAD. The future’s flash, cache and cloud article tells that the flash is the tier for primary data; the stuff christened tier 0. Data that needs to be written out to a slower response store goes across a local network link to a cloud storage gateway and that holds the tier 1 nearline data in its cache. Never mind software-defined HYPE, 2014 will be the year of storage FRANKENPLIANCES article tells that more hype around Software-Defined-Everything will keep the marketeers and the marchitecture specialists well employed for the next twelve months but don’t expect anything radical. The only innovation is going to be around pricing and consumption models as vendors try to maintain margins. FCoE will continue to be a side-show and FC, like tape, will soldier on happily. NAS will continue to eat away at the block storage market and perhaps 2014 will be the year that object storage finally takes off.

IT managers are increasingly replacing servers with SaaS article says that cloud providers take on a bigger share of the servers as overall market starts declining. An in-house system is no longer the default for many companies. IT managers want to cut the number of servers they manage, or at least slow the growth, and they may be succeeding. IDC expects that anywhere from 25% to 30% of all the servers shipped next year will be delivered to cloud services providers. In three years, 2017, nearly 45% of all the servers leaving manufacturers will be bought by cloud providers. The shift will slow the purchase of server sales to enterprise IT. Big cloud providers are more and more using their own designs instead of servers from big manufacturers. Data center consolidations are eliminating servers as well. For sure, IT managers are going to be managing physical servers for years to come. But, the number will be declining.

I hope that the IT business will start to grow this year as predicted. Information technology spends to increase next financial year according to N Chandrasekaran, chief executive and managing director of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest information technology (IT) services company. IDC predicts that IT consumption will increase next year to 5 per cent worldwide to $ 2.14 trillion. It is expected that the biggest opportunity will lie in the digital space: social, mobility, cloud and analytics. The gradual recovery of the economy in Europe will restore faith in business. Companies are re-imaging their business, keeping in mind changing digital trends.

The death of Windows XP will be on the new many times on the spring. There will be companies try to cash in with death of Windows XP: Microsoft’s plan for Windows XP support to end next spring, has received IT services providers as well as competitors to invest in their own services marketing. HP is peddling their customers Connected Backup 8.8 service to prevent data loss during migration. VMware is selling cloud desktop service. Google is wooing users to switch to ChromeOS system by making Chrome’s user interface familiar to wider audiences. The most effective way XP exploiting is the European defense giant EADS subsidiary of Arkoon, which promises support for XP users who do not want to or can not upgrade their systems.

There will be talk on what will be coming from Microsoft next year. Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch a series of updates in 2015 that could see major revisions for the Windows, Xbox, and Windows RT platforms. Microsoft’s wave of spring 2015 updates to its various Windows-based platforms has a codename: Threshold. If all goes according to early plans, Threshold will include updates to all three OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone).


Amateur programmers are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the IT landscape. A new IDC study has found that of the 18.5 million software developers in the world, about 7.5 million (roughly 40 percent) are “hobbyist developers,” which is what IDC calls people who write code even though it is not their primary occupation. The boom in hobbyist programmers should cheer computer literacy advocates.IDC estimates there are almost 29 million ICT-skilled workers in the world as we enter 2014, including 11 million professional developers.

The Challenge of Cross-language Interoperability will be more and more talked. Interfacing between languages will be increasingly important. You can no longer expect a nontrivial application to be written in a single language. With software becoming ever more complex and hardware less homogeneous, the likelihood of a single language being the correct tool for an entire program is lower than ever. The trend toward increased complexity in software shows no sign of abating, and modern hardware creates new challenges. Now, mobile phones are starting to appear with eight cores with the same ISA (instruction set architecture) but different speeds, some other streaming processors optimized for different workloads (DSPs, GPUs), and other specialized cores.

Just another new USB connector type will be pushed to market. Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen ‘type C’ jacks will be reversible article tells that USB is to get a new, smaller connector that, like Apple’s proprietary Lightning jack, will be reversible. Designed to support both USB 3.1 and USB 2.0, the new connector, dubbed “Type C”, will be the same size as an existing micro USB 2.0 plug.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:
    KDevelop 4.7.0 Released

    “KDevelop team is proud to announce the final release of KDevelop 4.7.0. This release is special, as it marks the end of the KDE4 era for us. As such, KDevelop 4.7.0 comes with a long-term stability guarantee.”

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:
    HGST unveils its final non-helium drive and the first 10TB hard drive
    Uses shingle magnetic recording

    SAN FRANCISCO: HGST HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS to end production of traditional hard drives, with all future models to be filled with helium.

    HGST president Mike Cordano announced that the newly unveiled HGST Ultrastar 7K6000 will be its last “in air” product.

    Dave Tang of HGST Corporate Development and Strategy explained that although the 10TB hard drive has higher capacity, the shingle magnet technique involves overlapping sectors and so is best suited for write once, read many applications.

    company that also included new solid-state disk (SSD) drives

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Maxthon launches MxNitro for Windows, claims ‘the fastest PC browser’ loads pages 30% faster than Chrome

    Maxthon today released a new browser for Windows called MxNitro (short for Maxthon Nitro), which it claims is “the fastest PC browser in the world.”

    This is made possible with a minimal user interface load, as well as “new patent-pending pre-connection and pre-fetching technology.”

    From our testing, it seems that MxNitro is indeed very fast. The lack of basic features, however, makes it a bit of a pain to use for anyone who spends much of their time in the browser.

    The company says it is targeting users who want a stripped-down, high performance browser with a minimalist design, low memory usage and CPU footprint.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:
    7 reasons Apple should open-source Swift — and 7 reasons it won’t
    Faster innovation, better security, new markets — the case for opening Swift might be more compelling than Apple will admit
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Oracle slurps another storage upstart: Front Porch Digital joins Ellison’s crew
    Nice Big Data market niche biz y’got there, partner

    Front Porch Digital (FPD) is a content storage management (CSM) business. Its software products sit in a server between a media network on the one hand and a storage resource storing files, such as videos, in online and archive media, on the other.

    The FPD server integrates a media customer’s proprietary content commands and formats with those in the storage library and does whatever the media customer requires, such as retrieve and distribute them, and receive and store them.

    Another way of describing FPD is to say it ids a world-wide broadcast archive management supplier against a media background of migration to digital workflows.

    Oracle says it and Front Porch Digital “will help organisations more effectively and efficiently manage the growing complexities associated with the migration, integration, storage, and delivery of rich media content,” and the Oracle/FPD combo will “create the most comprehensive enterprise-grade cloud and on-premise content storage management solution.”

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Markus “Notch” Persson on selling and leaving Mojang: “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.”

    I’m leaving Mojang

    A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development.

    As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Mojang’s founders Markus “Notch” Persson, Carl Manneh, and Jakob Porsér to leave the company after Microsoft acquisition — Yes, we’re being bought by Microsoft — Yes, the deal is real. Mojang is being bought by Microsoft.

    Yes, we’re being bought by Microsoft

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Why parents are raising their kids on Minecraft
    Microsoft’s latest purchase has remarkable cross-generational appeal

    Back in June of 2011, David Pakman’s daughter and son, at the time age 10 and eight, asked him for a copy of Minecraft. “At the time I didn’t know what that was, so I checked it out, thought it was kinda like digital Legos, and agreed to get it,” says Pakman, a tech entrepreneur and investor. Pretty soon Pakman’s son joined them a few times, and got hooked. So that the family could play together, Pakman set up his own server, hosting a private community for the three of them. Slowly, his children’s friends began to join, and three years later, there are more than 100 kids and parents from around his neighborhood who log on to Pakman’s server. They built churches, libraries, airports, castles, and farms. “It’s the basis for a huge amount of the interaction that happens between the kids in town.”

    With its purchase of Mojang, the parent company behind Minecraft for $2 billion, Microsoft is gaining a profitable, fast growing company. Mojang reportedly book over $100 million in profit last year and has just 100 employees. Minecraft offers Microsoft a platform with strong elements of social and mobile usage, two areas where they have struggled so far.

    Easy to learn, impossible to lose

    In Minecraft, users move around a virtual world, harvesting resources like wood, gold, and iron ore that they can use to build whatever they like. Everything is made of textured 3D cubes. The graphics are extremely low-fi.

    Another big reason Minecraft appeals to younger players is that it’s easy to learn and impossible to lose. “There’s no minimum skill level,” says Sorka. “If you die, you respawn. Maybe you dropped some stuff, but that probably doesn’t matter if you just like running around and following your big brother.”

    Mods, makers, hacking, and learning

    A lot of parents are especially happy to spend time and money on Minecraft for their kids because they see it as a teaching tool. Minecraft teaches kids about architecture, and players can use something called redstone circuits to create simple mechanical devices, even entire computers, out of Minecraft blocks. And while Mojang offers a number of different versions and upgrades of Minecraft to download, the incredible variety of worlds to explore and items you can build comes from “mods”, modified software created by the community that can be installed on a server to reshape that world or the rules that govern it. For many young players, mods become a gateway to the world of computer programming, something parents, and perhaps Microsoft as well, are keen to encourage.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:
    DisplayPort 1.3 announced w/ support for upcoming 5K displays, enhanced 4K performance

    The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announced today that it’s introducing the latest DisplayPort technology that brings support for upcoming 5K monitors and more. DisplayPort 1.3 for audio and video increases the standard to a maximum link bandwidth of 32.4 Gbps and as a result supports 5K displays with resolutions of 5120 x 2880 on a single cable without compression methods. In addition, users will notice enhanced performance for 4K displays in multi-monitor setups over a single DisplayPort connection:

    The timing of the announcement is notable as a new crop of 5K displays are about to hit market and 4K displays become more affordable. Dell recently announced its first 5K monitor coming soon to consumers, while Apple is rumoured to be working on either a new iMac and or monitor that is expected to sport 5K resolution.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:
    ‘Windows 9′ leak suggests Microsoft has caught up with Linux
    Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids

    New videos of a Windows variant thought to be Windows 9 have emerged, and to this hack’s eyes they look to have brought Windows up to speed with tricks Linux on the desktop has been doing for at least half a decade.

    The feature in question is being described as “multiple desktops” and looks an awful lot like the “workspaces” that have been around in Ubunutu and Gnome for years, are on offer in the Raspbian distro for the Raspberry Pi and. If correspondent’s memory is not entirely crocked, the ability to create and switch between multiple desktops was also on offer in that version of Red Hat I bought with a n00bs guide in about 2004.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Permabit builds shrink-your-SAN dedupe box
    SANblox compresses too

    Permabit has built a front-end SAN box to dedupe and compress SAN data so it needs less disk capacity.

    The company produces Albireo deduplication and compression software, which it sells on an OEM basis. The idea is to enable disk array vendors to improve the cost/GB of their storage so that they can retain a cost advantage over all-flash array vendors and deduping/compressing hybrid array startups.

    Permabit says its software works at high speed and enables primary data deduplication, which is not generally possible with disk arrays due to data access delays.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:
    WD Ae cold storage drives look to the modern data centre
    Brings incremental upgrades to market

    WD HAS ANNOUNCED its latest range of disks for cold storage, aimed at consigning tape libraries to history.

    The WD Ae range is configured for data centre archiving and includes progressive capacity options, meaning that drives are available in granular capacities such that the capacities are available in increments, rather than the traditional terabyte jumps. For example, 6.2TB to 6.3TB is stated as an example of a typical jump.

    With a high meantime before failure (MTBF) of 500,000 hours and a 60TB/year reliability rating, the Ae range is designed to be a workhorse for backing up the petabytes of data that pass through data centres every year, which is estimated to be 70-80 percent static.

    “Cloud service providers have rapidly growing volumes of generally inactive data to store and manage, while at the same providing customers with access to the data at almost any time,”

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:
    SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
    Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse

    Attachmate, the software shop that headhunted Novell and SUSE Linux, is itself being bought out by Micro Focus International.

    The mainframe and COBOL specialist is acquiring Attachmate Group from its parent company Wizard in a deal calculated at $2.3bn before costs.

    The deal will allow the new company to offer products and services spanning Linux and host connectivity in addition to mainframe modernization and COBOL.

    Attachmate once earned the ire of the open source community for taking on Novell and then putting 882 patents in its Linux portfolio up for sale to a consortium backed by Microsoft.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:
    s your data boring? MapR wants you to bore it back with Apache Drill
    New release adds support for Google-y SQL-on-Hadoop tech

    MapR has given its customers a new way to use SQL to query their Big Data stores, with the addition of Apache Drill to MapR’s eponymous Hadoop distribution.

    Drill is an open source project developed largely by MapR that aims to create a work-alike to Google’s proprietary Dremel data analytics tool, which the Chocolate Factory makes available to the public in the form of its BigQuery online service.

    The software allows users to run interactive ANSI SQL queries against Hadoop and NoSQL data stores, including complex datasets with nested fields and data in a variety of file formats. Drill even supports querying self-describing data formats such as Parquet and JSON.

    Mind you, Drill is far from the only way to use SQL to query a Hadoop store. In fact, with the 4.0.1 release, the MapR distribution now supports no less than five different SQL-on-Hadoop technologies, including Apache Hive, Cloudera Impala, Spark SQL, and certified integration with Vertica, in addition to Drill.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Facebook unleashes inter-cache router code on a waiting world
    ‘Mcrouter’ released under BSD license

    Facebook has slung another slice of code into the open source world: the software that lets it sling content between caches around the world, fast enough to keep The Social NetworkTM social.

    First discussed last year at Usenix, “Mcrouter” handles “all traffic to, from, and between thousands of cache servers across dozens of clusters distributed in our data centres around the world”, Facebook’s Anton Likhtarov, Rajesh Nishtala and Ryan McElroy write in this post.

    From its internal development, they say, the memory cached protocol router was then tested as a binary in AWS, “when Instagram used it last year before fully transitioning to Facebook’s infrastructure.”

    So, okay: it’s a big piece of serious software. Why, however, would the rest of the world want it?

    The idea is that on either side of Mcrouter, nobody should notice anything different. The client should think it’s connecting to a cache, and not notice its characteristics; and on the other side, a server is dumping data into a cache and forgetting it. To help keep things invisible, Facebook says, Mcrouter uses the standard ASCII memcached protocol as its API.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Canonical, AMD, team up with OpenStack-in-a-rack
    The hyperconverged hardware market just became a little more crowded

    AMD and Canonical have announced a new hardware partnership that will see the pair prepare an OpenStack-in-a-rack product.

    Canonical is clearly quite keen on this stuff

    The new rig is based on AMD’s SeaMicro SM15000 server, a product takes uses either AMD’s Opteron, Ivy Bridge or Haswell Xeons, packs them into a 10U box with up to 512 cores, 5PB of storage and 160 gigabits of total I/O.

    Buyers will also get Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and OpenStack,

    Throw in the fact that Gartner recently included hyperconverged kit on its list of things that might give the data centre market a shake and it is clear that there’s probably room for more players.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Oi! You noisy servers! Talk among yourselves and stop bothering that poor router!
    RDMA-over-Ethernet steps up to v 2.0, promises less chatter so servers can get on with it

    The group behind the RDMA over converged Ethernet standard – RoCE to its friends – is tweaking the spec to support UPD and IP in the stack.

    RDMA – remote direct memory access – has become increasingly important in large-scale data centres, since it lets data move between different servers’ user space without having to drop down through the stack and get put into TCP/IP packets.

    The resulting efficiency and low node-to-node latency is particularly important in highly virtualised environments, which is why (for example) Microsoft has made much of its support in Azure.

    However, there are reasons to want some routing capability in the RoCE world.

    “You need routing between the layer 2 networks,” Lee said. Hence RoCE v2, which slips UDP and IP in that part of the RoCE stack that formerly supported only Infiniband: the new version establishes “east-west” communication in the RoCE world.

    “They wanted RoCE to span across layer 3. Ethernet with priority flow control is the most optimal way of developing a fabric that will support RoCE and RoCE 2, and RoCE is suitable for multiple subnets within a fabric”.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Death of a Salesman: Enough with the marketing already
    A launch is not enough on its own

    Reflecting recently on the changes that I have seen in the enterprise IT market, more specifically the enterprise storage market, I have come to the conclusion that over the past five years or so, the changes have not been technological but rather having to do with everything around the technology and its packaging.

    There appears to be significantly less selling going on and a lot more marketing. This is not necessarily a good thing; there is more reliance than ever on PowerPoint and fancy marketing routines. There also appears to be more focus on the big launch and less on understanding what the customer needs.

    There are more webinars and broadcasting of information and a lot less listening than ever from the vendors.

    Yet this is hardly surprising. As the margins on Enterprise hardware slowly erode away and the commoditisation continues, it is a lot harder to justify the existence of the shiny suit.

    And many sales teams are struggling with this shift. The sales managers setting targets have not yet adjusted to the new rhythms and how quickly the market can shift.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Adobe revenue forecast misses, shares slip

    Photoshop maker Adobe Systems Inc’s (ADBE.O) forecast disappointing revenue for this quarter and reported lower quarterly sales at its digital media business, which includes the Creative Cloud software suite.

    “I think the market has come to expect perfection from this company and today was not perfect,”

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Microsoft creates a keyboard for iOS and Android tablets

    Microsoft has created a keyboard designed for iOS, Android, and Windows tablets. It’s the latest in a series of moves that underlines the company’s focus on providing software, services, and even hardware for rival platforms to Windows. The new Universal Mobile Keyboard is very similar to Logitech’s K480 keyboard, and Microsoft’s version also includes a button to switch between iOS, Android, and Windows Bluetooth modes.

    Supporting iOS and Android isn’t unusual for Microsoft’s keyboards, but the company has gone a step further this time.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Micron Releases 16nm-Process SSDs With Dynamic Flash Programming

    Micron’s newest client flash drive line, the M600, uses its first 16nm process technology and dynamic write acceleration firmware that allows the flash to be programmed as SLC or MLC instead of using overprovisioning or reserving a permanent pool of flash cache to accelerate writes.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Digia Spins Off Qt As Subsidiary

    Following through on an announcement from August, Digia has spun off a subsidiary called The Qt Company to unify Qt’s commercial and open source efforts, and debuted a low-cost plan for mobile developers. The Linux-oriented Qt cross-platform development framework has had a tumultuous career, having been passed around Scandinavia over the years from Trolltech to Nokia and then from Nokia to Digia. Yet, Qt keeps rolling along in both commercial and open source community versions

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Micron SSD Allows MLC to Mimic SLC

    Micron is looking to reduce power and improve performance with a new client SSD that leverages its new 128nm process technology and with a feature that enables multi-level cell (MLC) NAND cells to act like single-level cell (SLC). The new M600 SATA SSD is aimed at the mobile computing segment, including Ultrabook platforms and tablets, says Steve Janzen, marketing communications manager at Micron, as well as high-performance PCs and video capture systems. He says the company sees the Ultrabook market — tablets built like PCs — as a growing segment for client SSDs. The M600 is available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB mSATA and M.2 module configurations.

    Jon Tanguy, senior technical marketing engineer at Micron, says the new 16nm lithography enables better write performance through a new feature called dynamic write acceleration

    The dynamic write acceleration also improves endurance, he says. At 1TB capacity, the M600 can reach up to 400 TB total bytes written, which is five times more than typical client drives and enough endurance to write 220 GB daily for five years — higher than the average client SSD workload.

    While some vendors such as SanDisk and HGST have particularly focused on the enterprise SSD market, and many are offering enterprise SSDs for different workloads, the client SSD market is drastically bigger than the enterprise datacenter space, according to Joseph Unsworth, VP for NAND Flash and SSDs at Gartner. The mainstream PC SSD market will be will be more than 69 million units this year, while the enterprise SSD segment will be exceed nine million units.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Huawei: Our sales in Europe and US are TINY, admits red-faced exec
    Channel recruitment plans are stalling – and US spy accusations still dog the firm

    Huawei’s enterprise biz outside of China is crawling along, hampered in Europe by a slower-than-forecast recruitment of channel partners and in the US by government paranoia concerns over espionage.

    The networking, server and storage kit division accounts for nine per cent of Huawei’s overall revenues of £23mm in 2013

    It is now four years since the Chinese company launched its Enterprise wing – it grew up building networks for telco customers – but in the West, Huawei has struggled to assemble an army of channel evangelists.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Will multi-tier flash arrays come to a data centre near you?
    One step at a time

    Multi-tier storage is a familiar concept in data centres and large server installations.

    In the old days, this was often a simple case of having a single-access bus type with different-speed disks, for example SCSI-based disk arrays with 15,000rpm disks in the “fast” set and 7,200rpm or 5,400rpm in the “slow” set.

    Commonly, however, it is achieved by having entirely different interfaces and disk types, for example SAS-connected flash disks for the fast set and SATA-connected spinning disks in the less performant set.

    The thing is, though, flash storage is not a single concept. It is a whole family of technologies which has three members:

    SLC (single level cell): each storage element can store one bit of data;
    MLC (multi-level cell): an appallingly named step up from SLC that should really be called double-level cell as each element can store up to two bits;
    TLC (triple-level cell): quelle surprise, each element can store up to three bits.

    As in all computing applications, there is no such thing as the best option – technology is full of compromises. First of all, flash storage wears out: as you write and erase each storage cell it degrades and eventually becomes unusable because it is simply not able to hold charge any more.

    SLC is super-fast and has the longest lifespan, but it is expensive
    TLC has a rubbish lifespan – but it is far cheaper.

    Right now MLC tends to be the average choice because it has a half-decent trade-off between lifespan and speed versus cost.

    Disk-based backups: more and more companies are taking the approach of using dirt cheap SATA-connected disks as their secondary storage medium instead of tape, using tape only as an archiving technique.

    High-speed storage for niche applications: introducing super-fast disks for a tiny minority of applications that are so data intensive that their average-speed kit can’t keep up.

    Well, one of the key factors with the current flash technologies on the market is that because flash drives wear out, the vendors are making massive efforts to offset this finite lifetime by building cleverness into the controllers to which they attach.

    Flash drives are already appearing in spinning disk arrays as a pre-storage layer. Just as RAID and SCSI controllers have on-board cache in the form of RAM, we are also seeing high-speed caching disks on storage arrays to sit between the high-speed host machines and the slower spinning disks.

    The investment required to install a flash infrastructure of significant size is considerable

    In three to five years, when flash becomes more of a commodity

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:
    What TODO with open source: Google, Facebook and Twitter launch collab project
    It’s all about making it easier – on their bottom lines

    Some of the web’s biggest users of open-source gear have thrown their weight behind a project to make open-source “easier.”

    Facebook, Google and Twitter, cloud collaboration services Dropbox and Box, and code site GitHub have joined payment providers Square and Stripe, US retailer’s WalMart Labs and a body called the Khan Academy to announce TODO.

    An acronym for “talk openly, develop openly”, the goal of TODO is to iron out lingering and persistent problems for big firms using open source.

    The TODO site says the group plans to share experiences, develop best practice and work on common tooling.

    TODO shows the giants feel the open-source tools they have built or the components they are sucking in aren’t developing in the wild as they’d like. And that’s a problem, particularly for listed companies betting their businesses on this stuff.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:
    CIOs: Want to find out how to break into the boardroom?

    Very few businesses don’t rely on technology these days. Yet how often do they place real strategic power in the hands of the people running IT?

    There are plenty of tech titles that sound like they get the bearer into the C-suite. But while becoming a CIO, CSO, or CTO might just get you a key to the executive washroom, does it mean anyone is actually listening to you?

    Do you find yourself being told to do more with less, or worse still to spin-up a big data analytics project because the marketing director read about the latest “paradigm shift” in an in-flight magazine.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

    Linux creator Linus Torvalds is well-known for his strong opinions on many technical things. But when it comes to systemd, the init system that has caused a fair degree of angst in the Linux world, Torvalds is neutral.

    Torvalds says he has no strong opinions on systemd

    In a reference to a spat he had with Kay Sievers, one of the main developers of systemd, Torvalds added: “Now, I don’t get along with some of the developers and think they are a bit too cavalier about bugs and compatibility, but I’m also very much not in the camp of people who hate the very thought of systemd.”

    Linus Torvalds: So I think many of the “original ideals” of UNIX are these days more of a mindset issue than necessarily reflecting reality of the situation.

    People obviously still do those traditional pipelines of processes and file descriptors that UNIX is perhaps associated with, but there’s a *lot* of cases where you have big complex unified systems.

    And systemd is in no way the piece that breaks with old UNIX legacy. Graphical applications seldom worked that way

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Minecraft: ‘It’s the one game parents want their kids to play’

    For Microsoft, buying Mojang — the game developer behind the Minecraft game franchise — means much more than just acquiring an immensely popular game.

    That’s what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said today at an annual Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon at the Westin Seattle, explaining Microsoft’s interest in Minecraft. Nadella’s first question during a fireside chat was, unsurprisingly, about Microsoft’s $2.5 billion purchase of Mojang that was announced today.

    “To me what Minecraft represents is more than a hit game franchise,” he said. “It’s this open-world platform. If you think about it, it’s the one game parents want their kids to play.”

    “If you talk about STEM education, the best way to introduce anyone to STEM or get their curiosity going on, it’s Minecraft,”

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Geek on the Street: Game industry insiders cautiously optimistic about Microsoft’s Mojang buy
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
    Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech

    To help bridge the gap between its two mobile platforms, Google has released a beta version of a technology that allows Chrome OS users to run Android apps on their desktops.

    Dubbed the App Runtime for Chrome, it’s a way of packaging Android apps so that they will launch and run on Chrome OS, via a special runtime implemented using the Chocolate Factory’s Native Client (NaCl) in-browser binary execution tech.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:
    ‘Windows 9′ LEAK: Microsoft’s playing catchup with Linux
    Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
  33. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Big Data’s being held back by little talent, says Huawei head techie
    Solutions? ‘I don’t know – but SIs could help’

    Big data projects – seen by some as the tech industry’s latest snake oil and others as a potentially valuable tool to dig up fresh information – is being held back by the lack of data scientists for hire.

    This is according to Ron Raffensperger, Huawei’s chief techie for the IT product line that sits within its Data Centre Solutions Sales Department.

    “It is clearly an area that is ripe for a lot of innovation, there are a lots of start-ups trying to figure out how to help people do big data things without data scientists, automating the data scientist part of it, but that is not a very easy thing to do,” he tells us.

    So what’s the answer? “I don’t know,” he replies candidly.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:
    PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
    Sinofsky’s hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever

    Are tablets the new netbooks – a flash in the pan? Or perhaps even the new picture frames – a one-season fad?
    More Reading
    LG takes on Nokia X, Moto G: These are the cheapie ‘droids you’ve been looking forFEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha has an ‘entirely new appearance’Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4: 4G Android tablet is easy to swallowPEAK APPLE: One MILLION fewer iPads sold this quarterThin naked model slips out of Apple’s secretive lab … it’s an ‘iPad Air 2′

    I don’t think so, but sales are flat, and the numbers look ominous for any global technology company hoping they’ll provide a long-term money spinner. The numbers look particularly ominous for Microsoft, which paid the highest price of all with its response to the explosive growth in tablets.

    No other tech company compromised its existing bread-and-butter product in a demented dash to respond. Thanks to Steve Sinofsky, Microsoft ensured Windows was almost unbuyable. And in addition, it began to make hardware – at great expense – that nobody wanted to buy. Although Microsoft has since mended a lot of the damage, some really big decisions lie ahead.

    First, the numbers. They surely now show a consistent trend. Overall, the volume growth in fondleslabs is tapering off. Apple’s figures show a year-on-year decline in iPad sales, even though Apple’s iPads have never been better

    Once consumers have got a fondleslab, they don’t need to replace them very often. The gadgets rarely leave the house and so they break less frequently, and are shown off less frequently. Nor do you need to upgrade a tablet to the latest and greatest specs, if you’re using it mainly for Facebook and Netflix or iPlayer.

    What growth there is to come in tablets – as we suggested last week – will belong to no-name commodity manufacturers running bog-standard Android.

    This is good news for Chinese manufacturers (many of which we’ve never heard of) as they can crank out reasonable quality at rock bottom prices. But eventually, this is not a game an HP wants to be in, as the market becomes like the perfume market. The R&D spending on what’s in the bottle is minimal, but huge expenditures are required to maintain the brand.

    So much then, for the “post-PC” era. It’s really going to be a smartphone + PC era.

    Write once, run anywhere on desktop, RT or Phone was the goal. Many of us thought it was a bluff: that Microsoft wouldn’t actually ultimately launch a PC version of Windows whose user experience was so utterly awful. But Sinofsky, by now almost unmanageable, went ahead and tried it anyway. It didn’t work.

    When Microsoft made Windows unattractive, the cost was immense. The company has lost billions in revenue by losing out on the upgrade cycles which power the PC industry. It lost billions more making boutique own-brand hardware which nobody wants. And its partners have lost twice over: by losing core PC sales and by making tablets which are even harder to sell.

    So Microsoft should hire the exorcist and flush out any remaining vestiges of Sinofsky’s hybrid strategy. Then, it should pour itself a large drink.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Use of Forced Labor “Systemic” In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

    “The use of forced labor is so prevalent in the Malaysian electronics manufacturing industry that there is hardly a major brand name that isn’t touched by the illegal practice, according to a report funded by the U.S. Department of Labor”

    Use of forced labor ‘systemic’ in Malaysian IT manufacturing
    Almost every brand-name company sourcing from the country is impacted by the practice, said a new report

    It surveyed more than 500 migrant workers at around 200 companies in Malaysia’s IT manufacturing sector and found one in three were working under conditions of forced labor.

    Problems usually begin when they fall for a deceptive job advertisement at home, said Dan Viederman, CEO of Verité.

    The job looks good enough that they pay a broker to apply, often borrowing money from friends and family to do so. Upon arrival, their passport is taken by their employer and they’re threatened with deportation if they don’t work overtime. Indebted at home, without access to their passport and with little knowledge of the legal process, they accept the increased workload.

    “It’s a form of exploitation that should long ago have been confined to the past,”

    “Any and all companies sourcing from Malaysia should audit their supply chain,”

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:
    NetApp’s running with the big dogs: All-flash FlashRay hits the street
    But it’s not yet ready for prime time, strangely

    NetApp’s all-new FlashRay solid state array has been launched with limited availability and is not yet ready for prime time, having only a single controller, and lacking scale-out features and some ONTAP integration.

    It is a ground-up designed array with hardware and Mars software developed by NetApp in an internal start-up organisation. The product enables NetApp to start competing on an equal footing with with startups like Kaminario, Pure Storage and SolidFire, semi-established Violin Memory.

    FlashRay also pits NetApp against mainstream competitors such as Cisco, with its temporarily suspended Invicta, Dell, Fujitsu, EMC, HP, HDS, and IBM.

    NetApp says that if a 32K piece of data needs writing with 8K block lengths, and it is compressed to 25K, and therefore above a 24K block boundary (3 x 8K) then 32K still gets written. Whereas, with byte-granular compression, only 25K of data gets written, saving flash writes and helping to prolong endurance.

    FlashRay is a vital offering for NetApp, enabling it to compete on a level playing ground – eventually – with all-flash array competition.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
    Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster

    HDS’ federal subsidiary says it has a Blu-ray optical storage platform for long term data preservation, with 1,000-year M-DISCs in prospect.

    The kit – we say kit although no products have been announced yet, just this “platform” – is for US federal agencies who need to “preserve and archive mission-critical data indefinitely.”

    HDPP, the HDS Digital Preservation Platform, uses Blu-ray optical storage and, eventually Millenniata M-DISC technology.

    To fulfil regulatory requirements, agencies are required to archive the data they generate and collect anywhere from five to over 100 years, while others have mandates that require data to be preserved forever.”

    HDPP says Blu-ray stores can last up to 50 years, with M-DISC taking life out to 1,000 years.

    M-DISC, which can be read in DVD-style drives, in harsh conditions and found: “None of the Millenniata media suffered any data degradation at all.”

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Here’s what you can earn at the 20 top tech companies

    While there’s debate over whether there’s a shortage of qualified tech workers, there’s one thing no one argues about: Tech companies pay their employees well.

    We’ve heard of senior engineers getting a base salary of $160,000, with stock options and other benefits on top. Some interns are earning $7,000 a month, which amounts to $84,000 a year.

    While there’s debate over whether there’s a shortage of qualified tech workers, there’s one thing no one argues about: Tech companies pay their employees well.

    So we sifted through job-hunting site Glassdoor to find the best-paying jobs listed on that site, at the best tech companies, according to Glassdoor’s ranking of the best places to work.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Lexar has introduced the world’s fastest SD memory cards. The new 2000x series supports data numbers up to 300 megabytes per second. Cards use the UHS-II bus. Lexar 2000x, new cards are primarily intended for professional photographers. 1080p or 4K movie recording

    X2000 card has a capacity of 32 GB or 64.

    Lexar introduced at the same time 1000x series SD cards, which even in read speed reaches 150 megabytes per second. The data for these cards is suitable for 16 to 256 gigabytes.


  40. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Companies must now move to flash storage

    When a consumer to buy a new laptop or a tablet, the hard drive is now in flash memory. Faster, silent and less power consumption. Enterprise Solutions, a traditional mechanical disc is still held its ground, but companies must now time to move to SSD world.

    Enterprise Servers and storage systems are evolving and more and more emphasis is placed speed, response time and time-critical business applications

    Although the majority of digital data is still stored in the traditional hard disk drives (HDD), NAND-based hard drives or SSD’s will bring attractive benefits such as faster data access time and lower power consumption.

    As the mechanical brethren, a consumer-level SSDs are not playing very well for business use because they require extremely fast data write, search, depreciation and amortization, while the operation must be very reliable.


  41. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Digia was founded by Qt subsidiary

    Digia referred to the creation of “The Qt Company” subsidiary to promote the Qt business development and market expansion. At the same time, the company has opened a new Qt web site, which connects the commercial business and the open source developer community, one of the online channel. The site can be found at


  42. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Ellison Becomes Oracle Chairman as Catz, Hurd Split CEO Job

    Oracle Corp. (ORCL)’s Larry Ellison stepped down as chief executive officer of the software maker he founded, making way for a new generation of executives after one of the most profitable runs for a leader in business history.

    Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, currently co-presidents of Oracle, were both named CEO to succeed Ellison, the company said yesterday.

    Oracle’s shares slipped in extended trading after increasing less than 1 percent to $41.54 at the close in New York yesterday.

    Ellison is leaving the day-to-day operations of Oracle at a time when the software industry he helped champion has been disrupted by the rise of cloud-computing technologies. Oracle’s core business has been selling software designed to run on gear owned by the customer, and by charging a license fee. New cloud technologies let companies rent software without having to invest in equipment or commit to a license.

    During his run helming Oracle, Ellison became the seventh-richest person in the world, with a net worth of about $46 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Larry Ellison’s exit as Oracle CEO signals Silicon Valley shift

    Larry Ellison’s resignation as CEO of Oracle Corp. punctuates a shift in power in Silicon Valley as original tech titans like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Ellison give way to a newer generation of leaders like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google.

    Though Ellison will remain executive chairman and chief technology officer, his influence beyond Oracle has noticeably waned in recent years in the industry he helped start.

    In a broader sense, Oracle and Ellison owed their success to a time when products like microchips, servers and personal computers dominated the imagination of the public and Wall Street. Today, mobile apps, search engines and social media sites rule the nest.

    But Ellison has refused to fade away. On Thursday, Ellison named Co-Presidents Mark Hurd and Safra Catz as CEO, but experts expect the founder to remain fully in charge. Founders often find it hard to let go of their creation, especially a flamboyant and aggressive leader like Ellison.

    “You can give him titles or take away titles, but Larry will have a profound influence on that company for a while to come,” said Mike Wilson, author of “The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison (God Doesn’t Think He’s Larry Ellison).” “I doubt there’s a founder with more power than Larry has managed to retain.”

    Despite Oracle’s decline, Ellison gets paid as a Silicon Valley titan. Although he makes just $1 in annual salary, Oracle’s board has awarded him 7 million stock options for several years in a row. Last year, exercising those options, plus some from previous years, brought him almost $153 million.

    Ron Enderle, principal of tech research firm the Enderle Group, said Ellison’s decision to step aside as CEO may be intended to placate investors angry over this pay.

    “He is the highest-paid person in the valley,” Enderle said. “The big investor groups were having a cow over how much he was making and how poorly Oracle was doing.”

    Ellison may have stepped down because of his age, said Wilson, the author. The multibillionaire turned 70 this year.

    “My instinct is he’s fighting the aging process with all he has,” Wilson said.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Computer games are in the UK already more women thing

    British Women play computer games for more than men, says a survey. According to all the players in the proportion of women is 52 per cent. Just three years ago in a similar measurements in men was scarce a head start.

    Populus now measuring violates other game myths. For example, over a 44-year-olds is 27 per cent of the players and at the same time bigger than the children and teens (22 percent). The survey indicated that gaming is explained by the widespread popularity of smart phones, which are the most popular gaming platform.

    Gaming used within 8-15 years of age are after all still number one. The average British game a couple of weeks to spend about six hours, which is the same as the time spent on social media.


  45. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Press Release:
    Toshiba to Restructure PC Business to Secure Consistent Profit

    Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that it will accelerate the restructuring of its PC business to focus on the profitable B2B field, and to control volatility in the B2C business by significant downsizing measures, including withdrawal from certain B2C markets. These moves are expected to support the business in securing consistent profit in the future.

    In the B2B market, Toshiba will continue to cultivate new customers and businesses. The company will expand its wide product range, from workstations to tablet PCs,

    The company will also move ahead with actively promoting the IoT (Internet of Things). By fully utilizing its differentiating strengths in PC technologies, including BIOS, security, wireless and high density mounting, Toshiba will offer innovative and appealing IoT products and services in such areas as social infrastructure, the cloud, healthcare and home appliances.

    In the B2C market, Toshiba will transition from the current business model, which is volatile and over-dependent on sales scale and volume, withdraw from unprofitable markets, and optimize sales bases in low profit countries and regions.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:
    The Minecraft Parent

    Michael Agger has an interesting article in the New Yorker about parenting in the internet era and why Minecraft is the one game parents want their kids to play. He says, “Screens are no longer simply bicycles for the mind; they are bicycles that children can ride anywhere, into the virtual schoolyard where they might encounter disturbing news photos, bullies, creeps, and worse. Setting a child free on the Internet is a failure to cordon off the world and its dangers. It’s nuts. … The comfort of games is that they are partially walled off from the larger Internet, with their own communities and leaderboards.

    new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “It’s this open-world platform. If you think about it, it’s the one game parents want their kids to play.”

    The Minecraft Parent

    A generation raised on the delights of Donkey Kong, Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Game Boy Tetris has now grown up. We have iPhones that wake us in the morning, Kindles that put us to sleep, and Facebook news feeds that annoy and entice us during the day. Many of us also have children. These children see us on our screens, want to play with these screens, and eventually ask to have their own screens. The discussion about how much screen time a child should be allowed is central to modern parenting. It’s the inescapable question.

    Steve Jobs was a “low-tech parent” who did not let his children have access to Apple’s new gadget, the iPad.

    When the Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella was asked why his company bought Minecraft, he replied, “If you think about it, it’s the one game parents want their kids to play.”

    What to make of these neat, contrasting C.E.O. statements? It was Jobs who declared that a computer was “the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”

    The comfort of games is that they are partially walled off from the larger Internet, with their own communities and leaderboards. But what unsettles parents about Internet gaming, despite fond memories of after-school Nintendo afternoons, is its interconnectivity. A lot of those older games became boring. We were playing against a machine, and we learned the patterns, the cheats, and the glitches. Eventually, we wanted to stop playing and maybe even go outside. Now, when children play FIFA 14 or Clash of Clans, there are other children, adults, teen-agers playing against them. These games are networks pulsing with life. They are much more interesting than TV or books or a whiny little brother. They are usually the most interesting things in the house, by far.

    Enter Minecraft. The game was first developed in 2009, but reached the mainstream with the introduction of an iPhone app in 2011. It’s as though it were a drug designed to neutralize the fears of anxious parents. Minecraft’s open world of 3-D blocks resembles a Lego world, with Lego being the paragon of the virtuous toy. The main character, Steve, spends much of his time walking through a sylvan landscape. He digs for coal and iron ore. He builds a house for shelter.

    Perhaps most potently, the game is built upon the D.I.Y. aesthetic of “crafting”: you need two sticks and three cobblestones to make a pickaxe, and so on, as though your child were training to one day open a blacksmith shop in Bushwick.

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:
    The Home Data Center: Man Cave for the Internet Age

    In the ultimate manifestation of the “server hugger” who wants to be close to their equipment, a number of hobbyists and IT professionals have set up data centers in their home, creating server rooms in garages, basements and home offices.

    The home data center is a novel extension of the central role that data centers now play in modern life. These enthusiasts are driven by a passion for IT, and use their gear for test-driving new equipment, lightweight web hosting or just as the ultimate technology ManCave.

    Whatever the motivation, this level of connected house requires some adaptations, including upgrading power and network connections and running cable throughout a residential home.

    Here’s a look at a few examples of these projects

    Why use standard data center racks in your home, when you can house gear in a stylish side table from IKEA?

  48. Tomi Engdahl says:
    The “Oculus Platform” Marketplace For Virtual Reality App Launches This Fall

    Oculus announced the “Oculus Platform” store for developers to distribute their virtual reality apps and experiences today at the Oculus Connect conference. Starting this fall on the Samsung Gear VR made by Oculus, this revamp of the Oculus Share marketplace will let users browse the Oculus Platform within virtual reality and download apps, games, and entertainment experiences.

    Eventually, there will be versions of the Oculus Platform for the Rift, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Oculus Platform could become one of the first ways for developers to sell the VR experiences they build, and by creating this marketplace, Oculus could rally the ecosystem to its mobile and PC-based VR headsets.

    Oculus Reveals Its New “Crescent Bay” Prototype With 360-Degree Head Tracking And Headphones

    Oculus gave the world the first look at its new prototype Crescent Bay today at the Oculus’ Connect conference (livestream), and I got the very first hands-on demo. Crescent Bay has a faster frame rate, 360-degree head tracking, and integrated headphones, plus it’s lighter.

    Oculus also announced the new Oculus Platform coming to the Samsung VR, which brings VR to a large audience through mobile apps, web browsers, and a VR content discovery channel.


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