Windows RT on ARM chips is ‘not promising,’ Asus exec says

Taiwan firm plans to focus instead on making devices running Intel chips, report says

Even Asus, maker of the Microsoft Surface RT tablet, isn’t impressed with the sales results of Microsoft Windows RT-based tablets.

Asus Chairman Jonney Shih told tech news website AllThingsD that the Taiwan-based manufacturer won’t be launching new Windows RT-based tablets running on ARM chips.

Shih didn’t flat out say Asus won’t produce Windows RT products, but did maintain that the company is putting time and energy into devices that run on Intel chips.

“The result is not very promising,” he told AllThingsD, referring to the widely reported problems with Surface RT and the Asus VivoTab RT.

Asus could not be reached to elaborate on Shih’s comments.

Nvidia, which makes the Tegra 3 ARM-based processor used in Surface RT, recently voiced support for Surface RT and the Microsoft concept behind it.

“Surface RT is the very beginning of a long process and it’s the first shot in a changing landscape,” said Rene Haas, vice president of computing products at Nvidia.

Haas in May said that next-generation Tegra 4 chips would be used in multiple RT tablets, but in July said he couldn’t commit to when or what types of future RT product will appear.

Microsoft cut the prices of its Surface RT tablets by up to 30% in mid-July.

Just 200,000 Surface RT and other Windows RT tablets shipped in the first quarter of 2013, IDC said.

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Chief Digital Officer: Hot new tech title or flash in the pan?

Chief Digital Officer: Hot new tech title or flash in the pan?
Enterprises are tapping CDOs to monetize digital assets, but how will these new execs interact with IT? And will the hiring trend hold?

There’s a new C-level executive — the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) — in the boardroom, charged with ensuring that companies’ massive stores of digital content are being used effectively to connect with customers and drive revenue growth.

At first blush, an executive title that includes the word “digital” would seem to encroach on IT’s territory. Not so, observers say — but that doesn’t mean tech leaders don’t need to be prepared to work closely with a CDO somwhere down the line.

Gartner last year reported that the number of CDOs is rising steadily, predicting that by 2015, some 25% of companies will have one managing their digital goals, according to analyst Mark P. McDonald. (See also CDOs by the numbers.)

While media companies are at the forefront of this movement, McDonald says, all kinds of organizations are starting to see value in their digital assets and in how those assets can help grow revenue.

“I think everybody’s asking themselves whether they need [a CDO] or should become one,” McDonald enthuses. “Organizations are looking for some kind of innovation or growth, and digital technologies are providing the first source of technology-intensive growth that we’ve had in a decade.”
What CDOs bring to the table

While the CIO and the CDO are both concerned with digital information, their responsibilities diverge sharply.

“The role of IT in the past has been to procure and secure IT equipment for the company, lock [data] up and bolt it down,” says Jason Brown, the CDO for trade show and event management company George Little Management. “Whereas with digital content, you want to get it out to the world so the rest of the world can see it and access it. I don’t care about Exchange servers, Web servers or any of that stuff,” continues Brown, who was hired in September 2011 as George Little’s first-ever CDO, reporting to the company’s CEO. (Previously he worked as a vice president of digital media for what is now events and media company UBM Canon.)

“I’m interested in building products that can be monetized,” he says. “Companies need to look at their products and see areas where they can make money digitally.” (For details, see Digital assets defined.)

Organizations including Sears, Starbucks, Harvard University, the City of New York and many others have hired CDOs, says David Mathison, founder of the Chief Digital Officer Club, where current and would-be CDOs can find training, job opportunities and more. Their goal? To improve efforts in digital content promotion, a motive shared by CDOs from Forbes, Columbia University and elsewhere, who described to Computerworld how they go about helping their companies take advantage of their large digital resources.

“A lot of company leaders really don’t understand digital very well,” observes Calkins Media CDO Guy Tasaka, who has more than two decades of experience in advertising, strategy and planning, circulation and marketing for media and startup companies. Tasaka, who reports to his company’s CEO, says chief digital officers “should have the future vision in mind and not be constrained by the technical or architectural limitations of the current company.”

He elaborates, “CIOs and CTOs don’t look at the core business. They look at the technology for technology’s sake.” As the CDO, Tasaka says, “My responsibility is public-facing technology, the mobiles, the online and everything that we are doing going forward. I won’t do anything unless there is a revenue strategy and a sustainable revenue model. My job is to separate what will help Calkins strategically from what is just a shiny object that’s cool.”
Forbes Media: Building audience, increasing revenue

Michael Smith joined the Forbes Media Group 13 years ago and became its first CDO in 2010 when a new CEO came in and wanted to drive the importance of digital content. Smith, whose background was as a CTO, took on the task of looking at technologies inside the company and how they could be used to better promote its digital content, specifically to grow online readership at

“As the CDO, I don’t make technology decisions — those are made throughout the organization,” says Smith, who reports to the CEO and president of Forbes Media. “It’s the CDO’s job to support the adoption of these selections. The focus I have now is on revenue growth. It’s far more of a business role.”

By tracking new content management applications, online publishing systems and other digital innovations that can be used to create and deliver Forbes’ digital content, Smith has been able to help grow the company’s online audiences threefold since 2010, to more than 45 million unique users a month. “That’s a dramatic increase in users,” he says. “This stuff helps the company.”

Columbia: Changing delivery of digital assets

At Columbia University in New York City, Sree Sreenivasan, a journalism and media professor at the school, also held the title of CDO beginning July 2012, reporting to the school’s chief academic officer. His main responsibilities? To “address digital needs to be sure that the school is adjusting and morphing with all the changes that are happening” in the digital marketplace, he says.

Sreenivasan has been cataloguing and placing online two decades worth of media initiatives at Columbia (they used to send VCR tapes of classes to long-distance students in the late 1980s, he reports) and helping faculty, departments and schools learn more about online learning, along with social and digital media.
Sree Sreenivasan
Sree Sreenivasan. Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Education is changing. We need someone to be looking at [digital assets] centrally. That’s my role.
Sree Sreenivasan, CDO

Columbia has offered online courses for more than a decade and distance learning since 1986, but those efforts typically have been decentralized inside the various schools, Sreenivasan explains. The goal today is to build a single site where all the online material — from individual courses to entire programs of study — can be easily found.

“Education is changing,” said Sreenivasan. “We need someone to be looking at it centrally. That’s my role. We are now trying new things.”

One such initiative is a third-party site called Coursera, where people anywhere can sign up to take online courses for free from top educational institutions around the world.

“Coursera is an example of a different approach — we want to use it to learn how to improve the experience of our in-person classes, as well as reach out to the world,” says Sreenivasan. “Our first three classes had more than 100,000 signups, and we have several ideas on how to take this further to improve the experience of our on-campus students as well as those in hybrid programs.”
Doe-Anderson: Leading through digital disruption

At Doe-Anderson, the fourth-oldest advertising agency in the U.S., Joe Pierce has been the CDO since October 2009, reporting to the company’s chief creative officer. In his job, he oversees whatever the company’s clients want to do that’s digital, including websites, banner ads, mobile apps and online advertising buys.

“Almost anyone you meet in the land of brand/digital marketing has a horror story they can tell you about the website that never worked, the app no one downloaded, the banners no one clicked on, etc.,” says Pierce. “Usually, these horror stories stem from the simple fact that there wasn’t a geek in the room who had the experience, wisdom, gravitas, mojo, trust, whatever you want to call it to steer the team away from risk and to keep the focus on the win.”

To Pierce, this gets to the heart of what the CDO is all about. “You’re a Sherpa. It’s your job to get your client, or organization, to the top of the digital mountain as quickly and safely as possible.”

In making that journey, Pierce’s IT background, as well as stints elsewhere as a CEO and COO, has come in handy, he says.

“You can’t be a strategy guy unless you understand the technology that you have to implement to fulfill that strategy,” says Pierce. “And you can’t do business in the C-level suite now unless you’ve got that digital knowledge to talk business with a customer. Having someone in the room that has that experience can help. I call it being ‘the nerd at the table.'”
Will the CDO title endure?

There’s little doubt the nascent Chief Digital Officer role is in flux. This month, Sreenivasan is scheduled to leave Columbia to become the first-ever CDO at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he will report to the associate director for collections and administration. In his new job, Sreenivasan will explore new digital opportunities for the Met and lead its Digital Media Department, which is responsible for managing and producing digital content.

Smith too recently left Forbes, but not for another CDO title: He’s now vice president of revenue platforms and operations at Hearst Magazines Digital Media, where he reports to the company’s president and is responsible for aligning technology, content creation and advertising.
It’s perfectly natural to create a C-level role when the technology is new, but … you can be a digital company without having a CDO.
Mark McDonald, Gartner

Which leads to the question: will the CDO craze last, or is it simply an interim title useful in the short term for corporations undergoing digital transformation?

Sreenivasan says CDOs are new and needed today (and notes that Columbia plans to hire a replacement CDO to fill his position), but acknowledges that could certainly change in the future. “I imagine there was once a chief telephone officer at Columbia long ago, but that wasn’t needed after people figured out how to use the phone. This job could go that way, that someday they won’t need somebody with this title.”

McDonald, the Gartner analyst, agrees. “It’s perfectly natural to create a C-level role when the technology is new, but as the organization builds an understanding of that technology, it works its way back into core operations. You can be a digital company without having a CDO.”

Nigel Fenwick, an analyst with Forrester Research, said he certainly sees the role of a digital content leader, but not necessarily the CDO title, sticking around for enterprises.

“There’s a need to put your arms around your digital business, absolutely,” says Fenwick. “I completely believe that that is going to be a strategy for businesses going forward. This is partly why the executive level sometimes has to shake things up a bit to get things where they need to get to. [The CDO title] is one way of doing it.”


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Google unveils second-generation Nexus 7 tablet running Android 4.3

The device will be available starting next week via Google’s Play Store

Google is rolling out a second-generation Nexus 7 tablet designed for improved performance and portability, featuring the company’s just-announced mobile operating system, Android Jelly Bean 4.3.

The device offers numerous enhancements over the original Nexus 7 tablet that Google released last year. It is also the first device to ship with Android Jelly Bean 4.3, the latest version of Google’s mobile OS, the company announced Wednesday.

The product was introduced by several Google executives during a meeting hosted by Sundar Pichai, head of Android, Chrome and apps at Google.

Improved portability, speed and graphics comprise the major enhancements to the Nexus 7 tablet. The device will be available in three models: a 16GB Wi-Fi version for US$229, a 32GB Wi-Fi model for $269, and a 32GB 4G LTE version for $349. The Wi-Fi models will be available starting Tuesday at the Google Play store, while the 4G model will be available in the coming weeks through T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, the company said.

Besides the U.S., the new Nexus 7 will be available in Canada, the U.K., Spain, Korea and Australia, with more countries to follow very soon, Google said.

In terms of portability, the new Nexus 7 is almost 2 millimeters thinner than the original and about 50 grams lighter. The device features a 7-inch display, the same size as its predecessor, but packs in more pixels, Google said, going from 1280 x 800 to true 1080 HD at 1920 x 1200 pixels in the new model. It also can show a 30 percent wider range of colors and has dual stereo speakers for virtual surround sound.

The first partner to take advantage of the new 1080 HD video feature is Netflix, which supports video streaming in the high-quality format.

The tablet also sports dual cameras, with a 1.2-megapixel camera in the front and a 5-megapixel lens in the rear.

Internally, the Nexus 7 features a 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, giving it a four-times-more-powerful graphics processing unit than the original Nexus 7, Google said. The CPU is also 1.8 times faster, Google said, and the system memory has been doubled to support 2GB of RAM.

Specs also include dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 for powering peripheral low-energy devices.

The Android 4.3 software on the Nexus 7 also includes a new restricted profiles feature to give users more controls over who else can access certain content and apps on the device.

Since its launch last year, Google’s Nexus 7 has accounted for more than 10 percent of all Android-based tablets sold, Google’s Pichai said.

“Nexus 7 has been a big hit, and we’re going to try to follow up with another one,” said Hugo Barra, product manager at Google.

In recent years Google’s product portfolio has expanded significantly beyond its bread-and-butter search technology. In recent months there has even been talk of Google opening brick-and-mortar retail stores to boost its efforts in selling hardware like tablets and also laptop computers with its Chromebooks.



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Microsoft takes Outlook Web App native on iPhone, iPad

Microsoft takes Outlook Web App native on iPhone, iPad
Just as with Office Mobile — the truncated Excel, PowerPoint and Word — OWA requires an Office 365 subscription

Microsoft today launched Outlook Web App (OWA) for iOS, a “native” app that reprises — and amplifies — the in-browser OWA corporate workers have long used on devices that don’t support the full-fledged Outlook client.

The new app, which comes in iPhone and iPad flavors, offers the same functionality as the browser-based OWA, letting users access email, calendars, contacts and other inbox data housed on a company’s Exchange server.

But because the apps are iOS-native — in other words, they’re written specifically for Apple’s mobile OS, not simply a Web app in disguise — they can tap the hardware, adding features like gesture support and voice control.

The native app approach also means it can be used when offline, unlike the in-browser OWA which requires an Internet connection.

Wes Miller, an analyst with Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft, was impressed. “In terms of packaging this is a really neat idea, with a very, very good [user] experience,” said Miller, who ticked off several examples, ranging from push notifications to the hardware integration.

There are caveats.

As it did last month with Office Mobile for iPhone, Microsoft is dangling the iOS OWA carrot to tempt customers into subscribing to Office 365, the rent-not-own plans introduced earlier this year. Only customers with active Office 365 accounts can use OWA on the iPhone or iPad, even though the app itself is free to download from Apple’s App Store.

More important, if apparently temporary, is the requirement of Exchange Online, the off-premises, hosted Exchange service included with virtually every non-consumer Office 365 plan. Businesses that still run their own on-premise Exchange servers are out of luck for now.

“We are planning to deliver OWA to Exchange 2013 on-premise customers at a future date, but we have no additional details to share today,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said in answer to questions today.

“That’s a deal-breaker for some customers,” said Miller in a Tuesday interview before Microsoft clarified that it would offer OWA to organizations with an in-house Exchange infrastructure, a category that includes most medium- and large-sized companies. What remains unknown is when those Office 365 users will get their hands on OWA for iOS.

Microsoft’s approach to iOS apps has taken some licks from outsiders who view the Office 365-only strategy as misguided. “Anyone [with Office 2013] should be able to access the app,” Forrester analyst Frank Gillett said last month about Office Mobile for the iPhone. “They’re continuing the artificial advantaging of one product over another to change customer behavior. We think that’s a major mistake.”

Gillett’s point may be a month old, but it applies equally to OWA for iPhone and iPad: Microsoft customers who have adopted Office 2013 in perpetual license form rather than as a subscription are barred from running the new app.

Even so, Miller argued that the limitation is consistent with Microsoft’s claim that it is now a “devices and services” company, not one which sells packaged software.

“Where they don’t sell devices, they’ll try to sell services,” said Miller, referring to Office 365.

OWA for the iPhone and the iPad can be downloaded from the App Store.

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Internet traffic jams, meet your robot nemesis

MIT researchers have built a system to write better algorithms for tackling congestion

On an 80-core computer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists have built a tool that might make networks significantly faster just by coming up with better algorithms.

The system, called Remy, generates its own algorithms for implementing TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), the framework used to prevent congestion on most networks. The algorithms are different from anything human developers have written, and so far they seem to work much better, according to the researchers. On one simulated network, they doubled the throughput.

Remy is not designed to run on individual PCs and servers, but someday it may be used to develop better algorithms to run on those systems, said Hari Balakrishnan, the Fujitsu professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. For now, it’s churning out millions of possible algorithms and testing them against simulated networks to find the best possible one for a given objective.

IP (Internet Protocol) networks don’t dictate how fast each attached computer sends out packets or whether they keep transmitting after the network has become congested. Instead, each system makes its own decisions using some implementation of the TCP framework. Each version of TCP uses its own algorithm to determine how best to act in different conditions.

These implementations of TCP have been refined many times over the past 30 years and sometimes fine-tuned for particular networks and applications. For example, a Web browser may put a priority on moving bits across the network quickly, while a VoIP application may call for less delay. Today, there are 30 to 50 “plausibly good” TCP schemes and five to eight that are commonly used, Balakrishnan said.

But up to now, those algorithms have all been developed by human engineers, he said. Remy could change that.

“The problem, on the face of it, is actually intractably hard for computers,” Balakrishnan said. Because there are so many variables involved and network conditions constantly change, coming up with the most efficient algorithm requires more than “naive” brute-force computing, he said.

Figuring out how to share a network requires strategic choices not unlike those that cyclists have to make in bike races, such as whether to race ahead and take the lead or cooperate with another racer, said Balakrishnan’s colleague, graduate student Keith Winstein.

“There’s a lot of different computers, and they all want to let their users browse the Web, and yet they have to cooperate to share the network,” Winstein said.

However, Remy can do things that human algorithm developers haven’t been able to achieve, Balakrishnan said. For one thing, current TCP algorithms use only a handful of rules for how a computer should respond to performance issues. Those might include things like slowing the transmission rate when the percentage of dropped packets passes some threshold. Remy can create algorithms with more than 150 rules, according to the researchers.

To create a new algorithm using Remy, Balakrishnan and Winstein put in a set of requirements and then let Remy create candidates and try them against software that simulates a wide range of network conditions. The system uses elements of machine learning to determine which potential algorithm best does the job. As it tests the algorithms, Remy focuses on situations where a small change in network conditions can lead to a big change in performance, rather than on situations where the network is more predictable.

After about four to 12 hours, Remy delivers the best algorithm it’s found. The results have been impressive, according to the researchers. In a test that simulated a fast wired network with consistent transmission rates across physical links, Remy’s algorithms produced about twice the throughput of the most commonly used versions of TCP and cut delay by two-thirds, they said. On a simulation of Verizon’s mobile data network, Remy’s algorithms gave 20 percent to 30 percent better throughput and 25 percent to 40 percent lower delay.

But don’t expect blazing page loads just yet. Balakrishnan and Winstein cautioned that Remy is still an academic research project.

For one thing, it hasn’t yet been tested on the actual Internet. Though Remy’s algorithms would probably work fairly well out there, it’s hard to be sure because they were developed in simulations that didn’t include all of the Internet’s unknown variables, according to Balakrishnan. For example, it may be hard to tell how many people are active on a particular part of the Internet, he said.

If machine-developed TCP algorithms do end up going live, it will probably happen first on private networks. For example, companies such as Google already fine-tune TCP for the requirements of their own data centers, Balakrishnan said. Those kinds of companies might turn to a system like Remy to develop better ones.

But even if Remy never makes it into the real world, it may have a lot to teach the engineers who write TCP algorithms, Balakrishnan said. For example, Remy uses a different way of thinking about whether there is congestion than TCP does today, he said.

Though the researchers understand certain tools that Remy uses, they still want to figure out how that combination of tools can create such good algorithms.

“Empirically, they work very well,” Winstein said. “We get higher throughput, lower delay and more fairness than in all the human designs to date. But we cannot explain why they work.”

“At this point, our real aspiration is that other researchers and engineers pick it up and start using it as a tool,” Balakrishnan said. “Even if the ultimate impact of our work is … more about changing the way people think about the problem, for us, that is a huge win.”




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Windows RT not making it to BYOD party

Windows RT not making it to BYOD party
Microsoft takes a $900 million inventory adjustment on the ARM-based tablets

IT pros can stop worrying about whether and how to support Windows RT tablets should any come through the door as part of BYOD programs; it’s likely not to become an issue.

Microsoft has taken a $900 million hit on its balance sheet for Windows RT “inventory adjustments”, which could include Microsoft’s cutting the price of its Surface RT tablets by $150 during an ongoing sale.

Windows RT has drawbacks for business in that it doesn’t run traditional x86 Windows applications and can’t join a domain. It is the version of Windows 8 that comes bundled with ARM-based hardware to offer longer battery life than full x86-based Windows 8 machines.

So businesses might have been reluctant from the get-go to offer support for the devices, but now it seems that their popularity is poor enough that they might never crop up in large enough numbers to warrant the attention of IT departments.

A recent sale on Surface RTs – the Microsoft-built version of Windows RT – cuts the price from $499 to $349, not including the keyboard, which costs an additional $119 or $129, depending on which one you buy.

The company just released a video this morning comparing its Surface RT to the iPad in which the RT comes out ahead because it has a built-in stand to prop it up, a USB port and a snap-on keyboard. And it costs less, although the price differential posted in large print is a bit misleading. It puts the $349 in big type and the keyboard-not-included notice in the fine print. It also says the price is based on the price July 11, which is during a week-long sale.

The company has also deeply discounted the tablets for schools and offered them up for even greater discounts to attendees of at user and partner conferences.

While things don’t look good from some angles, Microsoft nevertheless continues to lavish advertising money into pushing Surface RT. The company runs TV ads promoting them and even co-sponsors the popular new CBS series Under the Dome, in which Surface RTs occasionally pop up being used by characters in the episodes. Earlier, Microsoft even had the device written in as a character (yes, really) in the series Suburgatory.

The possible saving grace for the platform is that Microsoft partners may choose to create less and less expensive hardware-software bundles around it creating an affordable option for the curious.

One upside for businesses that do encounter Windows RT in a work setting is that the devices include a version of Microsoft Office as part of the standard software load. Windows RT 8.1 will include Outlook as well, a new addition in response to complaints about the mail client that came with the original version.

Microsoft has also added features that enable connecting to corporate networks securely via a portal and wiping corporate data from the devices when they disconnect.

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Windows 8 Update: Microsoft Surface RT price slashed $150

Also: New Surface accessories slated, kickbacks for Windows 8 device sales

Microsoft is authorizing a $150 discount off its Surface RT tablet for a week, which represents a 30% discount off the list price of $499, according to an ad on the upcoming-sales page of Staples Web site.

This is the least attractive of the Surface tablets because, among other things, it runs only Windows 8 applications – not traditional Windows applications – and has only 15GB of the 32GB disk available to the user. It does come with an abbreviated version of Office.

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Those who want to buy the device at the sale price still have to pay either $119 or $129 extra if they want a keyboard to go with it.
New Surface accessories

Microsoft will be coming out with new accessories for its Surface tablets over the next 12 months, according to information it revealed at its international partners conference last week.

While it didn’t detail what they’d be, the new add-ons were mentioned in a slide during a presentation by Microsoft COO Kevin Turner and noticed by eagle-eyed Mary Jo Foley, the author of the All About Microsoft blog.

The slide consisted of 48 squares – not unlike the tiles that display apps on the Windows 8 Start screen – that represented innovations coming in 2014. That seems to mean the company’s fiscal 2014 because among the tiles was one for Windows 8.1 which is scheduled to be finalized for manufacturing in August.

(Prediction: one accessory will be a keyboard that contains a battery that will extend the overall battery life of the device. Surface keyboard ports are already wired with the electrical connection needed to carry this off.)

The slide promises new colors for Surface accessories, which probably means keyboards. So far they’re available in five hues, and they haven’t even used up the primary colors. The slide also makes mention of new Windows 8.1 devices, which likely means devices made by hardware partners, but could mean another, perhaps smaller, Surface.

The other Windows 8/Surface-related innovations from the slide: an unspecified update to Surface RT, an unspecified update to Surface Pro, third-party application updates for Windows 8 and first-party application updates for Windows 8.
Kickbacks for resellers

Microsoft is offering up to $10 per Windows 8 Pro touch device sold by resellers in a new program called TouchWins. The idea is to get more Windows 8 devices in the hands of users with the hope they’ll prompt others to buy.

Microsoft is being pretty picky about which models it’s offering the bounties on – a total of 27 devices from these vendors: Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.

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iPad 5 rumor rollup for the week ending July 11

September splendor, iPad mini 2 delay, to Retina or not

With real information about iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 almost non-existent, the iOSsphere seized on the dregs, most of them provided by anonymous Asian supply chain sources.

The most prevalent rumor is the unfounded claim that iPad 5 will be announced and released in September, but iPad mini 2 won’t appear until the October-December quarter.

Unless you believe another rumor that both new tablets along with the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6 and possibly a completely separate iPhone cheap will be announced at the same time in September.

Finally, contradictory rumors confirmed once more that no one really knows if the Next iPad mini will have a Retina display or not.

You read it here second.


“A new rumour emerged claiming that Apple is set to release its iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 in one big event in September.”

Kristin Dian Mariano, International Business Times, who seems to have made up this rumor completely on her own, based on the “fact” that other rumors have predicted September as the month in which these products will be announced. Why not just put them all together and get it over with?


iPad 5 will be announced in September but iPad mini 2 is “delayed.”

And the reason for the later date for the smaller tablet is that it “may receive further upgrades in specifications,” according to a post at DigiTimes.

Some in the iOSphere, predictably, are already interpreting this as a delay, caused by the iPad mini 2 “not being ready” in time. Thus RedmondPie’s Ben Reid: “[W]hile the iPad 5 is apparently set for a September release, the purported iPad mini [2] may not be ready in time, probably releasing later on in the year.”

Reid packs a lot of unexamined assumptions into that one statement: that iPad mini 2 originally was scheduled for September 2013 release, that it’s late, and that “probably” it will be released later in the year.

And he’s confident that given such a schedule “We are quickly approaching that time of the year whereby Apple’s supply chains begin leaking clues on the Cupertino’s upcoming products….”

Good luck with that because the basis for Reid’s post is the original DigiTimes’ post, with its “sources from the upstream supply chain,” which is the usual breeding ground for DigiTimes’ Apple rumors. And as usual, there is remarkably little detail, let alone clues or even hints, offered by these presumably informed supply chain sources.

Except for one, and it’s a big one, buried near the end of the DigiTimes post: “As for the new 7.9-inch iPad mini, the sources pointed out that Apple is still considering whether to adopt a Retina Display for the device, and if the company decides to do so, the product’s release may be delayed to the end of the fourth quarter.”

This revelation contracts the Accepted Wisdom of the iOSphere since shortly after the original iPad mini was announced in 2012 – that the Next Obvious Improvement would be to upgrade its screen to the high resolution Retina display.

Without any expert knowledge of Apple’s supply chain, it nevertheless seems a bit late in the game to be deciding on whether you’re going to replace the main iPad mini display, and do it in time to have any hope of offering the new iPad mini for sale during at least part of the year-ending holiday quarter. The change would involve possibly retooling not just Foxconn assembly lines but those of the display manufacturers, and their suppliers. And that doesn’t take into account the need for enough processing and graphics processing power, and battery power, to drive the much higher resolution display.

According to DigiTimes, “Apple is expected to announce its fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad in September as scheduled,” which is a nice touch since the phrasing makes the Apple announcement sound as precise as a publicly announced re-entry plan for a NASA space shuttle.

Yet two paragraphs later, DigiTimes has this: “Although suppliers have not yet received a firm mass production schedule from Apple and are mainly shipping products for pilot production, the sources pointed out that pilot production is already able to satisfy demand for the initial launch. Therefore, the sources expect Apple to give its shipment estimates at the end of July or early August.”

DigiTimes is saying that iPad 5 is scheduled for September launch even though as yet there’s no schedule for mass production of the devices. From this posting, it’s not clear whether or not this is a routine practice for Apple, and for consumer electronics companies in general, or something unusual.

The post recycles the widely accepted, if not well grounded, rumor that the next full-sized iPad will have a “slimmer bezel design to allow a bigger viewing area.” That doesn’t sound quite right: reducing the width of the “border” or “frame” around the 9.7-inch iPad display wouldn’t increase the display’s surface area – it would still be 9.7-inches diagonally. But the reduction could allow Apple to make the length and width of the iPad somewhat smaller and to create the illusion that the screen is, relatively, bigger.

Apparently, at least according to DigiTimes’ supply chain sources, Apple also wants to make the iPad mini’s mini bezel still smaller, and possibly nonexistent. DigiTimes: “Apple has also been asking its upstream supply partners to further shrink the next-generation iPad mini’s bezel, aiming to push a bezel-less design similar to that of Samsung and HTC’s large-size smartphones.”

If this is true, the months-long speculation that Apple is reducing the 9.7-inch iPad bezel in part to mimic the outside design of the iPad mini is another example of misreading Apple’s options, plans, and actions. The iPad 5 will end up mimicking the first-generation iPad mini.

CNET’s Brooke Crothers claims to believe that “a distinct theme has emerged about the timing of upcoming Apple tablets: The iPad 5 is on track, while the Retina Mini is up in the air.”

Yet for all anyone really knows, both products are on track, because Apple plans to introduce one first and then the other.

The theme that Crothers says is emerging is based on “speculation” and “continuing chatter” the credibility of which is highly variable. Much of it is from badly reported postings that depend on completely anonymous supply chain sources. Based on that, Crothers says regarding iPad mini 2: “Don’t hold your breath.”

Crothers quotes one analyst who makes a point that allows us to be even more skeptical of the DigiTimes post. “Ideally, [display makers] should be producing in high volume one or two quarters before Apple can use the display,” Sweta Dash, senior director of LCD research at IHS iSuppli, told CNET previously.”

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T-Mobile lets customers upgrade phones twice a year

The $10-per-month Jump plan will also provide device protection

T-Mobile US will let its customers switch phones twice a year under a new service announced Wednesday, the company’s latest move to set itself apart from its larger rivals.

The new plan, called Jump, will let consumers upgrade their phones more frequently and will include protection against malfunction, damage, loss or theft for US$10 per month plus taxes and fees, T-Mobile said. It was one of several pieces of news the company announced Wednesday at an event in New York.

Instead of having to wait until the end of a two-year contract or finish paying off a device in monthly installments, subscribers will be able to trade in their existing phones for a new model at a T-Mobile store as often as twice per year, once they’ve been on the Jump plan for at least six months. They’ll pay the same price for the new phones as new customers. The program will come online Sunday, but may not be available at all stores, T-Mobile said.

Also on Wednesday, T-Mobile said its LTE network now reaches 157 million U.S. residents, ahead of the company’s stated target of 100 million by midyear. The high-speed network is now available in 116 metropolitan areas. The company’s buildout is on track to reach 200 million people in more than 200 metropolitan areas by the end of this year.

T-Mobile also gave some details about two phones it will be launching soon. It will start selling the Android-based Sony Xperia Z in T-Mobile stores starting July 17, for $99.99 down and 24 monthly payments of $20. The Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 925 will go on sale at T-Mobile stores the same day, for $49.99 down and $20 per month for 24 months.

The carrier’s Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 tablet, already on sale, will get an over-the-air upgrade to LTE in the coming weeks, T-Mobile said.

T-Mobile also introduced a four-line service plan for families that will offer unlimited talk, text and Web use and 500MB per month of high-speed data for $100 per month plus taxes and fees. It won’t require a credit check or a contract and will be available starting July 14, the carrier said.

T-Mobile, the country’s fourth-largest mobile operator, recently expanded by buying MetroPCS, but it will fall farther behind its nearest rival as No. 3 carrier Sprint is acquired by SoftBank and takes over Clearwire. The company has also suffered many subscriber losses over the past several months, with gains in prepaid customers offset by declines in postpaid subscribers. In the first quarter, T-Mobile finally turned that around, gaining 202,000 prepaid customers while losing 199,000 postpaid.

That underdog position has made T-Mobile a scrappy competitor, trying new ideas ahead of its bigger rivals.

In March, the company introduced plans that let consumers pay for a new phone in installments rather than sign a two-year contract. Though these plans require subscribers to pay off the device if they cancel their service early, the monthly hardware payments end after two years, while regular subsidized phone plans stay at the same rate. T-Mobile’s plans can cost less over time, according to TechHive.

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70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012

You work as a Network Administrator at The network contains a single Active Directory
Domain Services (AD DS) domain named The network includes servers that run
Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2012.
All servers in the network have Windows Remote Management (WinRM) enabled.
You use a Windows 7 Enterprise client computer named ABC-Admin1.
You are currently logged in to ABC-Admin1. From your client computer, you want to obtain the IP
address of a Windows Server 2012 member server named ABC-File1.
Which command or commands should you use?

A. Telnet ABC-File1 ipconfig.
B. NSLookup > Server ABC-File1 > ipconfig
C. WinRM –r:ABC-File1 ipconfig
D. WinRS –r:ABC-File1 ipconfig

Answer: D


Your role of Network Administrator at includes the management of the Active Directory
Domain Services (AD DS) domain named The network includes servers that run
Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2012.
A server named ABC-Win12Admin runs Windows Server 2012. You use ABC-Win12Admin to
administer the Windows Server 2012 servers in the domain.
A newly installed domain member server named ABC-SRV06 runs a Server Core Installation of
Windows Server 2012.
You need to configure ABC-SRV06 to enable you to use the Server Manager console on ABCWin12Admin
to manage ABC-Win12Admin.
How should you configure ABC-SRV06?

A. You should install the Remote Server Administration Tools on ABC-SRV06.
B. You should install the Server Manager console on ABC-SRV06.
C. You should enable Windows Remote Management (WinRM) on ABC-SRV06.
D. You should use the Enable-NetFirewallRule cmdlet to configure the firewall on ABC-SRV06.

Answer: D


Your role of Network Administrator at includes the management of the Active Directory
Domain Services (AD DS) domain named The network includes servers that run
Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2012.
A server named ABC-Win12Admin runs Windows Server 2012. You use ABC-Win12Admin to
administer the Windows Server 2012 servers in the domain.
You want to use Server Manager on ABC-Win12Admin to manage the Window Server 2008 R2
SP1 servers in the domain.
What should you do?

A. You should run the Configure-SMRemoting.exe –Enable cmdlet on the Windows Server 2008
R2 SP1 servers.
B. You should add the computer account for ABC-Win12Admin to the RAS and IAS Servers group
in Active Directory.
C. You should install the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 and Windows Management Framework
3.0 on the Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 servers.
D. You should install the Remote Server Administration Tools on ABC-Win12Admin.

Answer: C


Your role of Network Administrator at includes the management of the Active Directory
Domain Services (AD DS) domain named The network includes servers that run
Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2012.
A server named ABC-File1 runs the File and Storage Services server role. ABC-File1 hosts
shared folders on the D: drive. Users access the shared folders from their Windows 7 client
A user attempts to recover a previous version of a file in a shared folder on ABC-File1 but
discovers that there is no previous versions option.
How can you ensure that users can recover files using the Previous Versions function?

A. By modifying the Share Properties of each shared folder.
B. By enabling Shadow Copies on the D: drive of ABC-File1.
C. By adding a condition to the shared folders on ABC-File1.
D. By modifying the settings of the Recycle Bin on ABC-File1.

Answer: B


You work for a company named Your role of Network Administrator includes the
management of the company’s physical and virtual infrastructure.
The network includes servers running Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and
Windows Server 2012.
Virtual machines (VMs) are hosted on Windows Server 2012 servers running the Hyper-V role.
You install a new Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V host server named ABC-HVHost12. ABCHVHost12
has four Fiber Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) and connects to two Fiber Channel
SANs using two HBAs per SAN.
You plan to create VMs on ABC-HVHost12 that will need to access one of the SANs.
How should you configure ABC-HVHost12?

A. By creating a Virtual Switch in Hyper-V.
B. By installing an additional host bus adapter (HBA).
C. By creating a virtual Fiber Channel SAN in Hyper-V.
D. By creating a virtual iSCSI SAN in Hyper-V.

Answer: C


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