科技头条 20130701

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1、苹果发现与三星“分手”很难(华尔街日报)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324682204578513882349940500.html?mod=WSJ_Tech_LEADSecond

三星是苹果数据处理器和存储器最大的供应商,但是两家公司在移动手机市场有着直接的强竞争关系。苹果试图寻找其他供应商以替代三星,但是,貌似很难。

Apple is finding that breaking up with Samsung is hard to do.

For evidence, look no further than Apple Inc.'s effort to find a company other than ferocious rival Samsung Electronics Co. to make the sophisticated chip brains used in Apple's iPads and iPhones. This month, after years of technical delays, Apple finally signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to make some of the chips starting in 2014, according to a TSMC executive. The process had been beset by glitches preventing the chips from meeting Apple's speed and power standards, TSMC officials said.

Apple's iPhone 5. The company no longer buys iPhone screens from Samsung and has reduced iPad-screen purchases, suppliers say.

Despite the deal, Samsung will remain the primary supplier through next year, one of these executives said.

Apple is one of Samsung's biggest customers for processors and memory chips. But the two firms compete directly in the mobile-phone market and have spent the better part of the past two years suing and countersuing over the look, feel and features of their gadgets. Both companies declined to comment.

They were ideal partners a decade ago, when the two didn't really compete. Then Samsung started rolling out smartphones that today eclipse the iPhone in units shipped. In the past year, Apple executives have expressed concern that their dependence on Samsung limits Apple's ability to control its destiny by constricting Apple's negotiating power and ability to use different technologies, according to people who have been told so by Apple executives.

Apple, Cupertino, Calif.,has cut back on some purchases. It no longer buys iPhone screens from Samsung and has reduced iPad-screen purchases, suppliers say. And Apple has been buying more flash-memory chips—an essential component for storing data—from other makers, say former Apple executives and officials at another chip supplier.

But Apple remains critically dependent on Samsung. The microprocessor brains that control iPods, iPhones and iPads are Samsung-built. And some new iPads still use Samsung screens, according to examinations of the devices by industry analysts.

Apple's conundrum: Samsung is the world's biggest maker of some of the most sophisticated parts that Apple craves, such as processors, memory and high-resolution screens. Apple also has more than a half-decade invested in working with Samsung to build custom chips. Replicating that elsewhere is daunting, former Apple executives say.

The component choices for Apple "aren't good, which is why they keep buying from Samsung," says Michael Marks, who teaches a course on supply chains at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and is chairman of SanDiskCorp., which sells memory chips to Apple. Plus, the maturing tech business has left fewer big players to partner with. "That's forced more of these strange bedfellows, because the choices are limited."

Apple's deal this month to start buying chips from TSMC is a milestone. Apple long wanted to build its own processors, and it bought a chip company in 2008 to begin designing the chips itself. But it continued to rely on Samsung to make them.

As early as 2010, Apple and TSMC started discussing working together to build the chips, say the TSMC executives. In 2011, TSMC senior executive Chiang Shang-yi met Apple officials to discuss collaborating on the complex process.

Apple asked to invest in TSMC, or to have TSMC set aside factory space dedicated to Apple chips, the executives say. TSMC Chairman Morris Chang rejected both requests because the company wanted to maintain its independence and manufacturing flexibility, the executives say.

TSMC plans to start mass-producing the chips early next year using advanced "20-nanometer" technology, which makes the chips potentially smaller and more energy-efficient.

Regarding the relationship with Samsung, Apple isn't the first to watch a happy tech matchup turn into a marriageó of inconvenience when competition flares. In the 1980s, early in the PC revolution, chip maker Intel Corp. agreed to share technology with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Later, AMD became a major rival, and Intel spent years trying to undo the agreement.

Samsung has reason to keep the Apple relationship alive. Apple is still Samsung's biggest customer for components, and a complete retreat by Apple from Samsung would hurt Samsung's earnings, analysts say.

Apple's component orders from Samsung were set to hit around $10 billion last year, says Mark Newman, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein in Hong Kong. That represents a significant chunk of the 67.89 trillion won ($59.13 billion) Samsung posted in sales from its component business, which includes chips and displays. The Apple processor, where Samsung is currently the sole supplier, accounted for $5 billion of purchases in 2012, he estimates.

"If Samsung loses Apple as a client, it will have an impact because Apple represents a large portion" of Samsung's sales of non-memory chips, he says.

Apple's serious relationship with Samsung goes back to early iPod music players in the 2000s. For the first few years, iPods used tiny hard drives to store tunes. But Apple wanted to use flash-memory chips, which are more reliable and use less power.

The problem: flash memory was pricier, and prices can swing wildly. As iPod demand soared, Apple executives signed a deal with Samsung to lock in supply, according to people familiar with the strategy. Apple's first iPod Shuffle with flash memory hit shelves in 2005.

Around that time, Apple executives were looking for a new processor for the iPod. Apple grew concerned that its existing partner, PortalPlayer Inc., wasn't listening to some of its terms, the former executives say. A spokesman for Nvidia Corp., which bought PortalPlayer, declined to comment.

Samsung won some of the business. When Apple's iPhone hit the market in 2007, its brains were Samsung-made, too.

Apple executives weren't blind to Samsung's ambitions to compete with it, the former executives say. Samsung told Apple it structured its business to keep the two sides of its business apart and promised to keep its executives from swapping information, the former officials and others familiar with the matter say.

Some Apple executives didn't like enriching Samsung in one side of its business while the other side was attacking Apple. And sharing information with Samsung about Apple business forecasts was harder to stomach, the former executives say.

In 2008, Apple set out to shift more of its flash-memory purchases away from Samsung, say the former executives and other people familiar with the strategy. The company announced in 2009 a $500 million prepayment to Toshiba Corp. for future supply of flash memory. At the time, Apple relied heavily on Samsung for a type of flash memory called NAND, because it was one of few big companies that could deliver large quantities of the latest technologies.

The move paid off. More than five years ago, Samsung supplied the majority of Apple's NAND flash memory and a large portion of another chip type, the "DRAM" in mobile devices. Now, each of those portions has fallen to below 10%, Mr. Newman estimates.

Apple also broke up with Samsung on screens. Screen quality had become an increasingly important way that Apple tried to differentiate its gadgets. When Apple launched the iPhone 4 in 2010, it dubbed the screen a "retina display" to draw attention to its high resolution.

Apple executives felt screens were particularly important to take out of Samsung's hands, people familiar with Apple's strategy say. A screen is a phone's "face," says DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase. "If you buy screens from your competitor, you will be sharing some key information on your next product," he says.

Apple stopped using Samsung smartphone screens in the iPhone 4, which was released in 2010. Apple helped other screen suppliers Sharp Corp. and Toshiba Corp. expand their factories, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

A representative for Japan Display Inc., formed from the mobile-display businesses of Toshiba, Sony Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., declined to comment.

But other efforts to ditch Samsung have faltered. In 2011, when Apple was designing its third-generation iPad, the company asked Sharp, which was already supplying iPhone screens, to produce the new iPad's high-resolution displays, says a person close to the supplier. But when Apple launched the third-generation iPad in March 2012, it came mainly with Samsung displays. Sharp had missed the launch deadline as it struggled to mass-produce displays using a new technology, says another person close to the supplier.

In March, Samsung agreed to buy a 3% stake in Sharp and to buy more LCD panels from it. The deal would make Samsung not only Sharp's fifth-largest shareholder but its key client, potentially preventing Apple from gaining more bargaining power with Sharp.

 

2、黑莓第一季度亏损六千七百万美元(华盛顿邮报)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/blackberry-reports-first-quarter-loss/2013/06/28/d6572a56-df5b-11e2-963a-72d740e88c12_story.html

周五,黑莓发布报告称,今年第一季度亏损六千七百万美元,这笔大部分的分析师预测的情况还要糟糕。黑莓总裁Thorsten Heins强调黑莓公司目前仍处在转型期。

BlackBerry reported a first-quarter loss Friday — the first full quarter that includes sales of the company’s new BlackBerry 10 devices.The company reported a loss of $67 million, or 13 cents per share, on $3.1 billion in revenue — below the predictions of most analysts, who had cautioned that BlackBerry’s path to recovery would be slow. According to a poll from Thomson Reuters, analysts were expecting the company to earn 6 cents per share in the first quarter on $3.36 billion in revenue.

Sales of smartphones running its new system are far behind Apple and smaller competitors such as Nokia.

 In a call with analysts Friday morning, BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins stressed that this is still a company in transition. “BlackBerry 10 is still in the early stages of its transition,” he said. “In fact we are just five months in.”
The company predicted an operating loss for its next quarter. BlackBerry shares took a deep dive on news, down nearly 24 percent ahead of the market’s open on Friday.Many had expected this report would offer insight on the status of the firm’s turnaround, but the company did not disclose how many of the 6.8 million smartphones that it shipped in the last quarter were new BlackBerry 10 devices. Executives also declined to do so during the call.

The firm did say that the company’s subscriber base had declined by 4 million to 72 million in the past quarter as consumers continue to leave the older BlackBerry 7 system.

BlackBerry executives also said that revenues were affected by currency restrictions in the firm’s key market in Venezuela, which meant that revenue could not be recognized under generally accepted U.S. accounting principles. Fifteen percent of the company’s revenues came from the Latin America region, the firm said.

While the report marked the first full quarter in which the company was selling its newest smartphones, Heins repeatedly noted that BlackBerry is still rolling out its devices across the world. For example, BlackBerry’s new keyboard-toting Q10 device began selling in the United States only last week.

“It’s pretty early days still,” Heins said. “We haven’t even completed the entire portfolio.”

He said that the company — which has released or announced three BlackBerry 10 devices — will have a narrow, focused smartphone portfolio moving ahead. The firm’s goal is to have no more than six devices on sale at a given time, he said.

Heins also indicated that device sales weren’t the only one metric that BlackBerry is using internally to measure its own success. “We don’t plan to run the company with a short-term device-only strategy,” he said. “We don’t have to be all things to all people in all markets.”

Heins then went on to tout BlackBerry’s performance its core enterprise market, particularly consumer adoption of its BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 managements system. The company recently began offering a BES 10-based system to allow companies to manage devices from competitors such as Apple and smartphones running Google’s Android mobile operating system.

He also said that BlackBerry will be updating other products, such as its BlackBerry Messaging service, to enable them to work on competitors’ phones. That effort, he said, is on track to be finished by the end of the summer.

Heins closed his portion of the call by referring to 2013 as “our year of investment,” as the company works to promote its new devices and services. BlackBerry is already in a better position that it was in 2012, Heins said, when some observers doubted that the firm would survive the year.

“One year ago, none of these products existed,” Heins said. “Transition takes time.”

3、抱歉,微软,专家已经说了Window 8的界面叫做Metro(时代)

http://techland.time.com/2013/06/30/sorry-microsoft-the-experts-have-spoken-windows-8s-interface-is-called-metro/?iid=tl-main-lead

直到去年8月份之前,Window 8 都被称为Metro,但是之后,微软抛弃了这个商标。尽管之后微软提供了其他的名称,但是大家还是喜欢较之前的名字。这貌似是个让消费者困惑的微软的错误。

Sorry, Microsoft, the Experts Have Spoken: Windows 8′s Interface Is Called Metro

Microsoft's explanation of Metro, from back in the days when it was officially called Metro

I like writing about Windows 8. But every time I do–such as right now, as I’ve been working on a post on Windows 8.1–I’m bedeviled by the same conundrum. It’s minor but aggravating, and it confronts anyone who writes about Microsoft’s new operating system:

What do you call the new Windows 8 interface?

Until August of last year, there was an easy answer to that question: You called it Metro, the name Microsoft gave to the streamlined, tile-oriented, largely pleasing look and feel which it has rolled out, in various forms, in Windows 8, Windows Phone, Outlook.com and other products and services. And then Microsoft abandoned the moniker–apparently because of a trademark dispute involving the German retailing firm Metro AG, though I don’t believe anyone has ever publicly acknowledged that as the reason.

Rather than providing an alternative name for the interface formerly known as Metro and the software which uses it, Microsoft offered several of them, none entirely satisfactory: “Modern UI,” “Windows 8,” ‘Windows Store Apps,” and “New User Interface.” According to Wikipedia, the company eventually settled on “Microsoft Design Language,” a term I’ve almost never seen used by anyone outside of Redmond city limits. At least one prominent pundit, The New York Times‘ David Pogue, was moved to coin his own name: “TileWorld.”

As for me, I’ve tried to play along, usually referring to the Modern UI and dutifully noting that it was formerly known as Metro. But I’ve occasionally slipped and simply called it Metro, or tried to avoid the whole issue by calling it the new-style interface. It all seemed like an unforced error on Microsoft’s part: How could there be any confusion over the name of Windows 8′s most significant new feature?

This weekend, however, it occurred to me: Folks who write about Windows 8 seem to have decided to keep calling the new look and feel “Metro,” regardless of trademark conflicts or what Microsoft thinks it should be called. For verification, I poked around on Twitter and found the term used by all of the journalists whose names spring to mind when I think about Windows:

Study: 40% of Windows 8 users on desktop, where Metro is "useless," launch at least 1 Metro app a day: zdnet.com/what-yahoo-and…—

Ed Bott (@edbott) May 22, 2013

Preview of Foursquare Metro-Style/Windows Store Windows 8 app shown off at #bldwin microsoft.com/en-us/news/Pre…—

Mary Jo Foley (@maryjofoley) June 27, 2013

Windows 8.1 a "refined blend" of Metro and desktop. Nice—

Paul Thurrott (@thurrott) June 26, 2013

Any new Windows 8.1 Metro apps or games that are interesting?—

John Obeto II (@johnobeto) June 28, 2013

And the study says: Windows 8 users rarely touch Metro apps | PCWorld pcworld.com/article/203944… via @pcworld—

Mark Hachman (@markhachman) May 22, 2013

AdBlock is now available for Internet Explorer, but it doesn't work in Metro or protected mode adblockplus.org/en/internet-ex…—

Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 19, 2013

It’s true that when one has only 140 characters to convey an idea, one tends to refer to things in the tersest possible manner. But even when the writers above have more space, they refer to Metro as Metro. (ZDNet’s Mary-Jo Foley usually says “Metro-style.”) If the name is good enough for these experts, it’s good enough for me: Henceforth, I’m going back to calling the new Windows interface Metro, without explanation or guilt.

4、是时候说再见了,Google Reader!(今日美国)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/personal/2013/06/30/google-reader-alternatives/2476337/

今天起Google Reader终止服务了,如果您是它的用户,为您提供五个备选:Feedly、The Old Reader、Flipboard、AOL Reader、Digg Reader.

Goodbye, Google Reader. Here are 5 alternatives

On Monday, fans of Google's popular Reader application will bid farewell.

Google shuts down Reader on July 1, citing a drop in usage and a shift toward a smaller selection of Google services.

If you're a Google Reader user, now's the time to export your subscriptions. Users can do this by going to Settings, Import/Export and follow the steps to export your subscriptions through Google Takeout, which will download to a computer in a ZIP folder. Most RSS readers will let you import subscriptions (saved as an XML file) easily.

Feedly is a replacement for Google Reader, a tool for bringing headlines and articles from your favorite websites into a single place.

Since Google announced Reader's demise in March, several other options have emerged to potentially fulfill your RSS needs. Here are five alternatives to consider.

Feedly. As of right now, this is the best option in a Google Reader free world. It's flexible, so users can opt for the traditional Google Reader list appearance, or go for a more dynamic magazine view. Feedly also offers the best selection of sharing options, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Pocket, Instapaper and Evernote. Users can click a Save For Later bookmark as well for reading directly on the app. The service works great as a browser extension on Chrome, Firefox or Safari (and standalone Web client), and features a native app for Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

The Old Reader. For those users seeking just the basics, The Old Reader is a strong choice. Designed to look very similar to Google Reader, The Old Reader is simple and easy to use. Importing and adding feeds is easy, but it seems sharing is limited to the service. So, it's tough to directly share to social networks. But for users who want feeds on the go, Old Reader will work with the iOS app Feeddler.

Flipboard. The mobile app for iOS and Android opts for a more visual approach to story syndication, presenting feeds in a magazine-style format. Along with RSS feeds, users can add updates from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, "flipping" pages with simple swipes on the touchscreen. Simiilar to notetaking app Evernote, Flipboard allows users to clip content from the Web to display in a digital magazine for their mobile devices. The big drawback to Flipboard is users can't read their feeds on a desktop or laptop. It's for smartphones and tablets only.

AOL Reader. One of two new entrants into the RSS reader market, AOL Reader has promise. Several views are available, from a traditional list to a pane view similar to the Microsoft Outlook email client. Users can share stories to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, as well as star items for later reading. However, I couldn't find any options for saving to offline services such as Pocket. Also, feeds didn't seem to update as quickly as other options, but that should improve over time. A native Android and iOS app is coming soon, the reader still functions nicely on a mobile browser. Among other options AOL plans to add soon: Search, Notifications and sharing with other AOL Reader users.

Digg Reader. It's only 24 hours old, but the newest RSS reader from Digg is a clean, simple choice. Sharing is limited to Twitter and Facebook, but users can set up connections to Pocket, Instapaper or Readability to view content later. Users can "Digg" stories, which bolsters a cool Popular section that breaks down the most popular stories appearing on your RSS. There are some important functions missing, such as "Mark as Unread" and "View Unread Items Only" options, but Digg says they plan to add those features quickly.

Readers, have you made the switch from Google Reader? What do you use?

5、Oracle和Salesforce:科技公司不纯洁的联盟(财富)

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/06/28/oracle-and-salesforce-techs-unholy-alliance/

这是一个时代的终结,也是另一个时代的开始。两家存在强竞争关系的科技公司Oracle和Salesforce宣布,他们将开启一个长达九年的合作,并肩开创云基础类的应用开发。

Oracle and Salesforce: Tech's unholy alliance
FORTUNE -- It's the end of an era. Or the beginning of one, as Oracle and Salesforce.com would describe it. The formerly sparring enterprise tech companies hosted a conference call for press and analysts Thursday afternoon, in which they outlined a new, nine-year partnership through which their respective cloud-based applications will work hand-in-hand.
"The value we can provide to customers is just awesome," said Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce (CRM), the largest provider of customer relationship management tools and a pioneer in cloud-based software. "This is a new world, this is a new time. Companies like Salesforce and Oracle working together are evidence that that's how it has to be."
Salesforce and Oracle (ORCL) have competed in the past -- and the companies' CEOs have long maintained a vocal, often entertaining war of words. (Their rivalry landed at No. 31 on Fortune's Greatest Business Rivalries of All Time list.) Now the two companies say they plan to allow customers to easily deploy and integrate their various applications in the cloud. As part of the agreement, Salesforce has committed to using Oracle's database and other infrastructure technologies and to implement Oracle's Fusion human capital management software, used by HR departments. Oracle, for its part, has agreed to run Salesforce's flagship customer relationship management software, though it didn't specify how widespread its implementation would be.
MORE: How to lead like Tony Soprano
"Almost every time we buy a company, they are running Salesforce CRM," said Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, adding that he plans to "leave some of those companies on those applications."
Those same "out-of-the-box" integration capabilities will be made available to customers of both companies, though there won't be cross-selling involved. Oracle will continue to sell Oracle applications, and Salesforce will continue to sell Salesforce applications.
The alliance, while surprising, could make sense, especially for Oracle, which has been trying to push its way into the cloud. The company inked other partnerships earlier this week, with Microsoft (MSFT) and NetSuite (N), a cloud-based provider of enterprise resource planning software for small- and medium-sized businesses. And while customers may want to move to the cloud, they don't necessarily want all of their applications from one vendor.
But Thursday's call was a far cry from the tit-for-tat Ellison and Benioff have engaged in previous interactions. (Ellison once referred to Benioff's Salesforce as the "roach motel" of cloud services.) Instead, the two alpha males showered each other with compliments and kept telling each other they should "go first" when answering questions.

"I couldn't be more thrilled to make this announcement with you today," Benioff said to Ellison at one point. (An aside: Benioff started his career at Oracle, where he stayed under Ellison for over a decade). Later in the call, he invited Ellison to attend Salesforce's annual "Dreamforce" conference. Ellison gladly accepted the invitation.
When asked whether the new partnership will mean the end to the "fun, entertaining potshots" of the past, Benioff said he hopes not. "That's one of the things I've enjoyed in our industry," he added. "We've always enjoyed working together and having fun with each other. Hopefully it will be the end to us getting a little too revved up at times."
Naturally, Ellison agreed with Benioff, saying "I'm sure both Marc and I are going to try to continue to be entertaining, while making sure that the entertainment never distracts from our commitment to work together." In other words, the era of entertaining potshots is over.


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