All posts on March, 2016


IBM is creating larger brain-mimicking computers

IBM says it wants to make intelligent computers that can make decisions like humans. This week, it shipped the NS16e, its largest brain-inspired computer yet, and has big goals ahead.

The company plans to create bigger versions of the NS16e — which was purchased by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory — to come closer to matching the scale of a human brain.

“Perhaps one day we may see a single rack of neurosynaptic system with as many neurons and synapses as in a human brain,” said Jun Sawada, a researcher at IBM, in a blog entry

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Here’s how Hololens could transform car buying

Microsoft’s Hololens promises to merge the real and virtual worlds in ways that haven’t been possible before, and on Thursday, the company demonstrated one way the gadget could transform the way we buy cars and just about any other major product.

The demonstration, which you can watch below, used a Caterpillar earth mover, but it’s not difficult to see how this could be expanded to cars, houses, furniture, or a host of other goods.

It begins with a sales pamphlet — the kind of thing you might pick up when shopping for a product. With a tablet PC pointed at the pamphlet, a 3D model of the machine sprang to life on screen, but the experience gets much cooler with Hololens.

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Intel’s fastest 22-core Broadwell chip comes to new servers

Every time Intel announces new Xeon chips, server makers waste no time in announcing new products to take advantage.

Lenovo, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell have announced faster servers with Intel’s new Xeon E5-2600 v4 chips based on the Broadwell architecture. The chips have up to 22 cores and are significantly faster than the Haswell-based Xeon E5-2600 v3, which shipped last year.

Dell measured a 28 percent improvement in server application performance based on SAP benchmarks on the new chips, compared to performance with the Haswell server chips. Lenovo benchmarks showed a 44 percent CPU improvement. Benchmark results vary depending on the application.

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How SunEdison went from No. 1 to the edge of bankruptcy

The world’s largest renewable energy developer, SunEdison, may be on the verge of filing for bankruptcy protection; its stock has fallen from a high of $30 per share in June last year to 36 cents today.

A Wall Street Journal report this week revealed that SunEdison is being investigated for overstating its cash position. SunEdison’s shares have fallen drastically since then.

A SunEdison spokesperson decline comment.

Today, SunEdison is $11 billion in debt, according to Reuters. By contrast, in 2014, the company, with about 7,200 employees, pulled in $2.4 billion in revenue with an operating income of $536 million. During the previous 12 months, shares of SunEdison had gained 175%, “placing it among the top performers in solar stocks,” according to a MarketWatch investor bulletin at the time.

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Microsoft fires back at AWS with Azure Functions service and more

Microsoft Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie on Thursday fired back at Amazon in the ongoing public cloud wars, announcing a set of new capabilities for Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

Guthrie showed a variety of new capabilities for Azure during a keynote address on the second day of Microsoft’s Build developer conference. The features  include a new Azure Functions service, which developers can use to set up functions that activate whenever a particular event happens.

Developers don’t have to set up the compute capabilities necessary to run the function, either: Azure handles all of that for them.

It’s a direct competitor to the Amazon Web Services Lambda service, which provides developers with similar functionality. Both services are interesting because they allow developers to create functions in the cloud and run them without having to worry about managing infrastructure, something that’s likely to be seen more often as the public cloud market matures.

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