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  • Is Hewlett-Packard Stock Worth Considering Right Now? [View article]
    HP is going after Autonomy's David Lynch and Sushovan Hussain to the tune of $5.1B claiming that revenue, profits, and growth rate were overstated. This suit is ongoing within British courts. Without knowing British accounting rules, and also without knowing how much the two plaintiffs are actually capable of disgorging should HP actually prevail, the only certainty is that lawyers will be employed.
    Jun 30, 2015. 02:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Focus On This Trend [View article]
    The article was well written and thoughtful, thank you.

    Because Apple has been a well-managed company of late this isn't so obvious here, but one should generally be cautious regarding PE ratio timelines. The characteristic of putting a time-dependent difference (earnings) in the denominator tends to magnify noise, so such curves tend to be greatly more erratic than actual corporate performance. Just my two bits...
    Jun 28, 2015. 08:11 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • INTC, STX, WDC lower following Micron's results/guidance [View news story]
    It looks like there is a lot of financial over reaction in progress.
    Jun 26, 2015. 01:02 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Still Shut Out Of Mobile [View article]
    Russ, I'm long in both. ;-)
    Jun 21, 2015. 03:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Still Shut Out Of Mobile [View article]
    Hi Huggy,

    It seems the Skylake will typically consume about 4W, while Atoms in this type of use typically consume well under 3W. That's probably dancing right around the point where an HDMI stick computer would absolutely require active cooling, such as the fan in Intel sticks already, but not in some other announced Atom based sticks from other vendors. This power consumption difference would also be enough to change cell phone battery life specs, yet would still be the user-preferred higher performance solution in most circumstances, IMHO.
    Jun 20, 2015. 01:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Still Shut Out Of Mobile [View article]

    Thank you. As I read the article it appeared to be a biased bag containing flaws that were both logical and conceptual in nature, and that was before even looking for factual errors. But your post said it best.
    Jun 19, 2015. 01:48 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: What Is The Future Of The Mac? [View article]
    As one with a Windows-8 computer, I can definitely say that the features Microsoft incorporated to unify their OS over such a broad range of device types causes users to be less productive. It takes more steps to get something done, and feels as if one is trying to work with gloves that are too large and contain extra fingers so that all other primate types can wear the same gloves. Even turning off the power can be a real pain, because you have to move the mouse to the right place and then seemingly flick the curser with just the right speed into the corner before the extensive menu that contains all of the shutdown options pops out. Even Windows Vista was more intuitive.

    Windows-10 remains an open question, but Win-8 is a setback.

    As for going to ARM chips on the MAC to replace Core and Xeon processors, who wants their Photoshop, Maya, Autocad, and other computation-intensive programs to run slower on their Macs when there would still be PCs out there that could get the job done, such as rendering successions of images far faster?

    Also, when one tries to change ARM chips so that that they will work better on PCs, such as having more sophisticated memory management, that will either bifurcate the hardware processor design efforts or negatively impact the more power sensitive ultra-portables, such as iPhones.

    The merging of operating systems is something that evolves. Trying to force it to occur through edict amounts to creating the types of failures that come from over-managing creativity. Apart from pixel count, people actually look at small screens and large ones very differently when using smartphones vs computers. What makes one efficient can have the opposite effect on the other.
    Jun 19, 2015. 12:16 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hewlett-Packard Should Be Avoided - Here's Why [View article]

    SSYS is not a Chinese company, and is already shipping product with better dimensional tolerance control than what HPQ has announced for their hoped-for future product, seems to be doing a pretty good job while HPQ fiddles:
    Jun 19, 2015. 02:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hewlett-Packard Stock Worth Considering Right Now? [View article]
    HPQ has demonstrated a pattern in recent years of announcing spectacular future products and then failing to deliver, or at least failure to deliver within 2 years of their initially announced schedules. They also create press related dog and pony shows where nothing significant is really demonstrated. This has happened with their memristors, high-speed 3-D printer, and high speed memristor based information storage device. With their 3-D printer, which was initially going to ship around the end of 2013, they have even gone as far as printing a lone huge chain link, and lifting a car with that link. Most printed plastics of the same dimensions could easily do the same thing, but the intent was obviously to wow the press using what amounts to a mechanical engineering 101 trick.

    They have given conflicting statements about whether their memristor devices are fast enough to replace RAM. However, they have announced a major earth-shaking enterprise computer that depends on it being faster, and supposedly needs a new operating system as well. Now it appears they intend to show off a greatly scaled down machine with conventional dynamic RAM and Linux next year, if they make that date. The only problem is that if they demonstrate what they claim, it will essentially completely lack most of the critical technology they have been bragging about.

    Published reports based essentially on rumors say they are achieving yields as high as 15 percent in some memristor wafers. However, the capacity of the chips, timing performance, and definition of yield are all dubious at least from this outsider's perspective. What is perfectly clear is that these devices are years late and are continually getting pushed out. Low yields usually translate to reduced reliability, but that's a different subject.

    So, an alternative view is that a large but shrinking company will behave in comet like fashion. When it breaks up, the component entities will continue to sublimate, likely at an increased rate.
    Jun 19, 2015. 02:09 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bloomberg: HP was close to acquiring CSC, walked away [View news story]
    The article was interesting. It does certainly appear that in October of 2011 Hewlett Packard was offering more than one type of memristor that would be in volume production within 18 months. Now, nearly 4 years later, they are supposedly about 5 years away, but the non-existent products are more grand.

    It looks as if HPQ's 3-D printer program is well along on a similar path.

    With both products, demonstrations that fall short of proof of viability have been or will be offered in increasingly transparent attempts to maintain credibility. It is as if an asthmatic claims he will climb Mt. Everest, and poses on top of little hills now and again while wearing what appears to be serious climbing gear.

    Maybe instead of Moore's Law, we need a 'Casper's Law' concerning progression of relative capabilities of dubious ghost products over time.
    Jun 16, 2015. 05:01 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: The Magic Of FPGAs [View article]
    Wouldn't the programmability of FPGSs be a two edged sword, as that very programmability could also be usurped by hackers?
    Jun 9, 2015. 04:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fox, HP, Cameron form five-year digital deal around 'Avatar' sequels [View news story]
    In reconsideration, I have to agree with you. Perhaps the key is whether or not this presumable underbid as opposed to HPQ's competition leaves headroom for profit. Alternatively, HPQ could be going after positive advertising attention as they achieved with "Shrek". A less likely but possible alternative is that Cameron's FOX team perceives some other possible advantage, such as security. However I would doubt this as HPQ appears to have too many ties to Chinese entities to make it easy to keep Cameron's IP from being "borrowed".

    It would be interesting to see if the project uses HPQ equipment from the start, or if their intention is to simply employ it during the huge computational "crunch" associated with late stage high resolution rendering.
    Jun 9, 2015. 04:17 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bloomberg: HP was close to acquiring CSC, walked away [View news story]
    Hi Michael,

    Headway makes recording heads for disk drives using a process based on deposition of alumina (Al2-O3) on ceramic wafers composed out of matrix of titanium carbide and alumina. While spin transfer torque memory bit cells can be deposited on alumina, it is not a semiconductor. This means that either Headway has created a process using a semiconductor such as Si for deposition, or that the 8 megabit (1 megabyte) chip they showed off uses supportive logic that is off-chip. I don't yet know which is the case, but it would be interesting to find out. The distinction is critical because it discerns whether or not Headway has developed a semiconductor diffusion process that does not conflict with their magnetic depositions, and they are making magnetic material depositions on silicon (or perhaps yet unlikely some other semiconductor).

    There was once a French company (Silmag in Grenoble) that made recording heads on a silicon substrate, but I don't think they ever integrated their recording heads with on-chip transistors. For example, that would be a logical place to put a pre-amplifier.

    So, if Headway's demonstration spin transfer torque memory chip also has on-board transistors performing addressing and discerning logic functions, I think that really is a big deal. If not, it would seem to be far less so, yet still quite impressive.

    If such memory begins to replace dynamic RAM in portable personal computers, then there are of course some security concerns that will need addressing. For example, even if a document was saved to a secure corporate server or password-protected mass storage system prior to shut down, it may still reside on the author's computer in a non-secure form. These things should be pretty simple to address, but not addressing them would likely lead to serious consequences.
    Jun 5, 2015. 06:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bloomberg: HP was close to acquiring CSC, walked away [View news story]
    While spin transfer technology seems promising in this nascent stage, it appears Allied Minds is a university related spin-off, getting a first round of funding in 2012. At this stage, it would be unlikely that the company would be aware of where the production "gotchas" lie, beyond the obvious issues such as static electric sensitivity, cleanliness, and perhaps domain pinning.

    Still, as a small entity, i suppose they have the option of getting a few prototypes into the hands of a few customers, built in something less than a full scale foundry. Maybe they will be able to share some university related equipment to accomplish this.

    As for HPQ, that's another animal entirely, with frequent improbable bellicose far-reaching announcements followed by delays, plan changes, cancellations, reorganizations, and personnel severances, including golden parachutes for the responsible parties.
    Jun 5, 2015. 04:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bloomberg: HP was close to acquiring CSC, walked away [View news story]
    In this article, HPQ CTO Martin Fink describes memristor technology as being initially faster than flash, but slower than dram memory. (That is actually a really big range.) In it, he expresses confidence that HP could have a high capacity disk drive like product in 5 years. That is a far cry from the image of having "The Machine" with high performance DRAM memory being replaced by higher performance memristor memory in the same time frame:

    Now, just a few hours ago, it looks as if HPQ has changed their mind again about this dubious forthcoming announcement:
    Jun 5, 2015. 01:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment