Cisco Goes To The Cloud

April 4, 2014 by admin  
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Cisco Systems Inc will offer cloud computing services, pledging to spend $1 billion over the next two years to make a foray into a market currently dominated by the world’s biggest online retailer Amazon.com Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Cisco said it will spend the amount to build data centers to help run the new service called Cisco Cloud Services, the Journal reported.

Cisco, which mainly deals in networking hardware, wants to take advantage of companies’ desire to rent computing services rather than buying and maintaining their own machines.

Enterprise hardware spending is dwindling across the globe as companies cope with shrinking budgets, slowing or uncertain economies and a fundamental migration to cloud computing, which reduces demand for equipment by outsourcing data management and computing needs.

“Everybody is realizing the cloud can be a vehicle for achieving better economics (and) lower cost,” the Journal quoted Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s president of development and sales as saying.

“It does not mean that we’re embarking on a strategy to go head-to-head with Amazon.”

Microsoft Corp last year said it was cutting prices for hosting and processing customers’ online data in an aggressive challenge to Amazon’s lead in the growing business of cloud computing.

Cisco could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S.business hours.

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Web Pioneer Calls For Bill of Rights

March 24, 2014 by admin  
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The inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, voiced his support for bill of rights to protect freedom of speech on the Internet and users’ rights after leaks about government surveillance of online activity.

25 years since the London-born computer scientist invented the web, Berners-Lee said there was a need for a charter like England’s historic Magna Carta to help guarantee fundamental principles online.

Web privacy and freedom have come under scrutiny since former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden last year leaked a raft of secret documents revealing a vast U.S. government system for monitoring phone and Internet data.

Accusations that NSA was mining personal data of users of Google, Facebook, Skype and other U.S. companies prompted President Barack Obama to announce reforms in January to scale back the NSA program and ban eavesdropping on the leaders of close friends and allies of the United States.

Berners-Lee said it was time for a communal decision as he warned that growing surveillance and censorship, in countries such as China, threatened the future of democracy.

“Are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control – more and more surveillance?” he told BBC Radio on Wednesday.

“Or are we going to set up something like a Magna Carta for the world wide web and say, actually, now it’s so important, so much part of our lives, that it becomes on a level with human rights?” he said, referring to the 1215 English charter.

While acknowledging the state needed the power to tackle criminals using the Internet, he has called for greater oversight over spy agencies such Britain’s GCHQ and the NSA, and over any organizations collecting data on private individuals.

He has previously spoken in support of Snowden, saying his actions were “in the public interest”.

Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web Consortium, a global community with a mission to lead the web to its full potential, have launched a year of action for a campaign called the Web We Want, urging people to push for an Internet “bill of rights” for every country.

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Cisco Launches I-O-T Security Contest

March 14, 2014 by admin  
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Cisco has leant its support to the Internet of Things (IoT) with a security competition.

The “Internet of Things Grand Security Challenge” will be offering prizes of up to $300,000 for innovations designed to close security loopholes surrounding internet-connected objects.

Because the IoT is a loose concept rather than a standard or protocol, the criteria for the solutions are quite far reaching, with a Cisco blog post citing that it will evaluate entries based on:

Feasibility, scalability, performance, and ease-of-use

Applicability to address multiple IoT verticals (manufacturing, mass transportation, healthcare, oil and gas, smart grid, etc.)

Technical maturity/viability of proposed approach

Proposers’ expertise and ability to feasibly create a successful outcome

We now live in a world where even the most benign objects are hackable and the numbers of devices involved will only increase, so it therefore will become imperative that the interconnectivity involved does not overstep boundaries of safety or privacy.

Sierra Wireless recently launched Legato, a Linux distro specifically engineered for the IoT, which actually plays up its capacity for gathering Big Data. Meanwhile the IT industry continues to be excited about the IoT with Intel claiming it will be the next major disrupter in tech.

Winners of Cisco’s security challenge will be announced this Autumn at the Internet of Things World Forum, with six prizes of between $50,000-$75,000 up for grabs, as well as the overall winner’s $300,000 bounty.

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Marvell’s Future Brightens

March 7, 2014 by admin  
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Marvell reported a more-than-expected 112 percent rise in profit, helped by strong demand from storage and networking companies, and said it expected its mobile business to pick up in the current quarter.

Marvell forecast first-quarter revenue between $870 and $910 million, which is above what the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street predicted. Chief Executive Sehat Sutardja said that in his company’s first quarter, he was expecting some revenue and unit growth for our 4G LTE mobile platform from multiple customers. Marvell said results were not so hot in the mobile business in the fourth quarter as some customers delayed product launches.

The company, which also makes communications and processor products used in mobile phones, said net income doubled to $106.6 million, or 21 cents per share, in the quarter ended February 1 from $50.2 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose to $931.7 million, beating analysts’ estimate of $901.1 million.

Marvell’s biggest customer is Western Digital which reported better-than-expected quarterly results in January, citing strength in its gaming and notebook business.

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Is The US & UK Lacking In Broadband?

December 11, 2013 by admin  
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The US and UK are stragglers when it comes to consumer broadband download speeds and appear far down in table rankings.

This puts the countries, swaggering authoritarian surveillance monsters that they are, rather low down on the satisfaction scale.

The ranking produced by Ookla is based on results from Speedtest servers, and is called the Net Index.

“Based on millions of recent test results from Speedtest.net, this index compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe,” is the explanation.

“The value is the rolling mean throughput in Mbps over the past 30 days where the mean distance between the client and the server is less than 300 miles.”

Hong Kong takes pole position and it is credited as having download speeds in the area of 71.03 Mbps. There is a big drop of around 20 Mbps down to Singapore in second place with 52.85 Mbps and third is Romania, where speeds are 50.82 Mbps.

You have to look a long way down the list before arriving at the UK, which is in 25th place. Here, or there depending on where you live, consumers get a rather meagre sounding 23.55 Mbps.

The United States weighs in at 31st place and has download speeds of 20.77 Mbps. This puts it below the UK, Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Greece and 25 others.

Closer to home the European Commission has published its report on Broadband Coverage in Europe (2012) and reveals progress on broadband coverage targets. It found that while broadband has improved, it could be faster.

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Marvell Loses In Court

September 5, 2013 by admin  
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A federal judge denied Marvell’s request to declare a mistrial in a patent infringement case in which a jury awarded $1.17 billion in damages to Carnegie Mellon University.

Carnegie Mellon sued Marvell in March 2009 over patents issued in 2001 and 2002 related to how accurately hard disk-drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks. The suit involved nine Marvell circuits which incorporated the patents, and that the infringement let the Bermuda outfit blog billions of chips with its tech on board.

The damages award in December 2012 was one of the largest by a US jury in a patent infringement case. Marvell asked the judge to declare a mistrial and it claimed that Carnegie Mellon’s lawyer made improper, misleading and prejudicial comments during closing arguments that “inflamed” the jury.

US District Judge Nora Barry Fischer in Pittsburgh federal court disagreed and said that Marvell was trying to do what it could not do at trial convince the court to throw out this case and have another crack at it. Marvel has said that it will appeal so this case will run and run.

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Will Cisco Boot Linksys?

December 24, 2012 by admin  
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Cisco reportedly has hired Barclays to find a buyer for its Linksys business.

Cisco bought Linksys back in 2003 to get into the consumer networking business and the firm has put out some good products, most notably the WRT54G wireless router that was a favourite with technology savvy punters. Now Cisco is looking to offload Linksys as it continues to pull back from the consumer networking market.

Cisco has been cutting jobs and products such as the Flip video camera, as it wants to get back to the high margin enterprise networking business. Back in 2003, Cisco paid $500m for Linksys and got access to an established business that focused on producing consumer network equipment.

A decade later, it is being reported that Cisco will be lucky to get its $500m back. Cisco has been pulling out of its failed attempt to get into the consumer market and is now focusing on flogging both network infrastructure hardware and servers, though it is widely expected to be hit hard as software defined networks become more popular.

Unlike Cisco’s core enterprise business, Linksys products typically have low margins, and with its parent firm’s slowing sales growth, it is not surprising Cisco wants to offload it. Bloomberg’s sources said Cisco might find interest in buying Linksys from television makers, though they wouldn’t provide any more details.

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Did Huawei Steal From Cisco?

October 25, 2012 by admin  
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Huawei has replied to US rival Cisco after the networking firm made allegations about the Chinese company relating to a lawsuit between the two firms.

The case dates back to 2003 and relates to the alleged theft of source code by Huawei from Cisco for use in its networking products. The case was settled confidentially out of court.

Cisco complained about what it saw as a willful distortion of the facts of the case after Huawei’s chief representative in the US, Charles Ding, claimed the outcome was that Cisco stood down over its allegations.

In response, Cisco released excerpts from a report by an independent analyst that was used to form the basis of a settlement, which Cisco said proved Huawei had used its source code in its products.

However, in a statement sent to The INQUIRER, Huawei said it was “disappointed with the continued rhetoric from Cisco” and claimed there was no basis to its argument.

“With respect to the lawsuit which took place about 10 years ago, the fact is the court dismissed the case, upon a joint stipulation of the parties, after the neutral expert’s review. This shows Cisco’s present allegations have no merit,” it said.

Furthermore, the firm also said it didn’t believe Cisco had the right to report elements of the review.

“We don’t think Ding violated the agreement between Cisco and Huawei, which had a negotiated confidentiality provision in it,” it said. “Cisco’s general counsel’s selective and misleading cropping of a confidential report from the Neutral Expert may have violated that provision.”

Huawei added that it would consider releasing more information on the case, though, in an effort to paint a more complete picture of the case.

“However, since Cisco has put selected snippets into the public domain, the truth may require that more than carefully selected quotes be put in the public record. Huawei is exploring the best way to accomplish that goal,” it said.

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Chase Building 1/2 Billion Dollar Data Center

August 24, 2012 by admin  
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The enthusiastic backer of Enron and serial over charger of  mortgage payers, JPMorgan Chase has just splashed out on a new $500 million data center.

CEO Jamie Dimon announced the move which practically everyone in the IT industry finds a bit strange. While Chase is the US’s largest bank, the new facilities are a little big by anyone’s standard. It is about the same about of money that Google and Microsoft in their largest data centres for their cloud networks.

Dimon cited the figure as one of the advantages of being a big size. It can afford to invest cash in this way. Size lets Chase build a $500 million data centre that speeds up transactions and invest billions of dollars in products like ATMs and apps that allow your iPhone to deposit cheques, he enthused.

JPMorgan Chase operates two large data centres in Delaware and a 400,000 square foot facility. It also acquired data centres in its deals for distressed rivals Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual in the early days of the 2008 financial crisis. So why it needs a huge new one is anyone’s guess.

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Cisco Gives Employees The Boot

July 30, 2012 by admin  
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Network equipment maker Cisco Systems said on Monday that it plans to eliminate about 1,300 jobs as part of ongoing efforts to restructure the company.

“We are performing a focused set of limited restructurings that will collectively impact approximately 2 percent of our global employee population,” the company said in an emailed statement.

These actions are part of a continuous process to simplify the company and assess the economic environment in certain parts of the world, it said.

Cisco had 65,223 employees at the end of its fiscal third quarter, according to its website.

Cisco last year started a plan to cut expenses by $1 billion in an effort to make the company leaner and more efficient.

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