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Bob’s Byte

Microsoft: Malware on PCs Even Before Stores

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Microsoft: Malware on PCs Even Before Stores

 

The only people happy with this news will be the local system builders...

Microsoft's digital crimes division tells the court malware is being installed on PC machines in China before they’re even released from the factories.

What? That's right, your customers who import direct from China may be buying Trojan Horses. Even European importers who bring in unknown Chinese brands could be affected-- unless the importer (like many larger distributors already do) sets up his own security control. Continue reading...

RadioShack: It Ain't Working

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RadioShack: It Ain't Working

Under attack in the mobile category, Radio Shack struggles to find its place with today's consumers.

Its deal with 1500+ Target stores (the store-within-a-store that sells mainly postpaid wireless sales and limited higher margin accessory sales) created a loss of $25.4 million in Q3 and $38.2 million so far this year.  The company said it may pull out of Target stores if its contract terms aren’t renegotiated.

But that won't fix the bigger problem. RadioShack's Q3 loss of $47 million (versus a profit of $300,000 a year ago) came as

total sales fell from $1.03 billion to $1 billion. Same-store sales declined 1.6%.

The "Signature" segment accounts for about 30% of sales, which includes accessories (including mobile-related products such as headphones) and power and technical products and generates healthy margins. Sales growth is in the low single digits.

Continue reading...

Intel's Captain Kirk: Beam Me Up

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Intel's Captain Kirk: Beam Me Up

"War is not a good life, but it's still a life, "said Captain Kirk in Star Trek.

A new captain is on the bridge at Intel.  Kirk Skaugen is now captain of the Intel PC Client Group and his job is to lead the Enterprise... to re-invent the PC.

Over years the PC world built an empire...destroyed many other worlds of technology  (e.g., the electronic typewriter, fax machine, desktop calculator, cash register...and more).

While at its peak, the PC industry sought to consolidate its conquered lands by inventing platforms like internet. Like the mythical Trojan Horse, the internet, built by the IT industry and harnessed by the PC industry to expand its empire...succeeded in a life of its own. Once grown, the Internet supplanted the PC and its power.

Internet hit the PC with so much force that it knocked the PC from the very center of the IT universe to its current status as just another planet in orbit...or perhaps as far away as even a moon of that planet.

Continue reading...

Stranger Than Fiction: The Launch of a New PC Brand

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Stranger Than Fiction: The Launch of a New PC Brand

In 2000, William Wang sold MAG monitors from Taiwan (a well-known brand at that time) to US clients like Gateway. He boarded Singapore Airlines Flight 006 (a Boeing 747-400) in Taipei and, distracted by an incoming typhoon, the plane attempted take-off on a closed runway. It hit some construction equipment and crashed... killing 83 out of 179 people on board.

Wang walked away from that plane crash. That experience probably best prepares Wang for what he is just about to do.

But before we go there, let's just say that what Wang has already done is even more incredible than his walked-away-from-a-plane-crash history.

Ted Waitt [then Gateway's famed chairman] had been one of Wang’s customers at MAG. In 2001, Gateway asked Wang to help put together a TV strategy and Wang’s team put together Gateway's 42" plasma TV system, priced at an impressive $2999. At the time, comparable systems were selling for as much as $6000.

Despite the fact that Gateway's TV didn't unseat Sony, Sharp, Toshiba and other traditional TV makers in USA...in 2003, at age 43, Wang took partners and $600,000 and decided to start a TV company.

Continue reading...

Samsung Has A New CEO, New Rules

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Samsung Has A New CEO, New Rules

Now both of the two contenders for world leadership in consumer electronics have new leaders. While Tim Cook inherited Apple's top job after the death of Steve Jobs,  Dr.  Oh-hyun Kwon [shown in photo] will step into the job as Samsung's CEO after Gee-sung Choi steps down.

But the CEO job that Kwon accepted will not be the same job Choi had. Nope. Not at all.

Chairman Kun-hee Lee, third son of the Samsung founder, oversees all at Samsung with an iron hand. He wants to separate the consumer and component segments (with consumer product division leaders, such as TV and phones, not reporting to the new CEO.)

Why? Obviously, Samsung like many Asian suppliers is a tangle of OEM and branded products. On one hand, they supply you parts and pieces...on the other hand, they bash your brand and push their own in world markets. Imagine Apple's position: as a component supplier to Apple, Samsung knows almost every move Apple will make before public, press and other competitors. Today Apple is about 5% of Samsung's total business and Samsung is Apple's Number One competitor in the marketplace...

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Tipping Point for Wearables?

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Tipping Point for Wearables?

Calling Google's Project Glass "just a  start," Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps argues "like mobile and tablets today, in three years, wearable computing devices will matter to every product strategist."

Wearables have enormous potential for uses in health and fitness, navigation, social networking, commerce, and media. "Imagine," asks Epps, ".. video games that happen in real space. Or glasses that remind you of your colleague’s name that you really should know. Or paying for a coffee at Starbucks with your watch instead of your phone. Wearables will transform our lives in numerous ways, trivial and substantial, that we are just starting to imagine."

Wearables will "enter the mainstream by exploiting the relative strengths of the big five platforms" (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft) says Epps in her blog post.

Continue reading...

Five Millennial Myths

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Five Millennial Myths

Jennifer J. Deal’s Five Millennial Myths is subtitled: Forget what you think you know about your Gen Y employees.

That part was easy: I didn’t know much.

The conventional wisdom, apparently, is that “…everyone under the age of 30 is needy and narcissistic. They want the corner office and a company car, but they aren’t truly committed to their organization. They don’t take kindly to criticism, but can be easily won over with the next hot gadget.”

Deal asks: “Can companies afford to put their trust in these types of characterizations?”

For the past 12 years, she studied the so-called generation gap through empirical research, and found the stereotypes of millennials in the workplace asinconsistent at best and destructive at worst. With data collected from more than 13,000 participants in for-profit, nonprofit, and government organizations, Deal dentifies five key myths that companies believe about their younger employees.

Myth #1: Millennials don’t want to be told what to do.

The reality: Wrong! Their research shows (unexpectedly, she admits) that millennials currently in the workforce are more willing to defer to authority than either baby boomers or Gen Xers.

Millennials are more likely to thrive if they know the ingredients for success in the workplace, starting with the basics. For example, although it may seem obvious to an older manager, millennials may appreciate being told what time they are expected to arrive at the office, and precisely how quickly they should turn around a project (beyond just “ASAP”).

Myth #2: Millennials lack organizational loyalty. They aren’t committed to their company, and will change jobs when offered a small increase in salary.

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It's Not Only CeBIT That Hannover is Now Famous For...

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It's Not Only CeBIT That Hannover is Now Famous For...

OK, by us, Hannover in Germany is famous for CeBIT. But the success of a police stratagem in Hannover may capture attention from police forces worldwide.

In Hannover, the local polizei have a pilot scheme (Fahndung via Facebook or Manhunt via Facebook) that uses photofit technqiue delivered by social media to harness the public to locate criminal suspects.

Photofit is now generally known as Electronic Facial Identification Technique (E-FIT), as today it is a computer-based method that produces facial composites of suspects based on eyewitness descriptions. (Janina Kaminska in the UK Home Office first proposed the name "E-Fit"in 1984.)

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HP's Board of Directors Hasn't a Clue

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HP's Board of Directors Hasn't a Clue

Those familiar with the game Cluedo (Clue in No. America) know it as a popular murder/mystery-themed deduction board game...

The object of the basic game is for players to strategically move around the game board (representing a rich mansion), in the guise of one of the game's six characters (Colonel Mustard, for example) collecting clues to deduce which suspect murdered the game's victim-- and with which weapon (dagger, lead pipe, rope and a few other choices) and in what room.

In the case of the murder of the Hewlett-Packard business, we already know several clues. We know which room harbors the killers: the Board Room.

And the weapon: lack of leadership.

And the murderers?

Continue reading...

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