DICE NEWS UPDATE
It’s Going to Be a Kindle Christmas: Amazon says it’s preparing to dramatically increase production of its Kindle Fire after seeing huge demand. CEO Jeff Bezos says “millions more” Kindle Fires will be produced. The tablet launches on Nov. 15 for $199. Analysts suggest Amazon will actually lose money on every sale, using the device as a loss leader to entice customers into Amazon’s online stores, where the real profits are. Business Insider
IBM Selects Its First Female CEO: Virginia M. Rometty, a senior vice president at I.B.M., has been named the new CEO and will follow Samuel J. Palmisano, who will remain as chairman. Rometty, 54, is a 30-year IBM veteran and has led several important divisions of the company over the years. Rometty will become one of the most important female executives in the country, joining an exclusive list of women who run such giants as Xerox, PepsiCo, DuPont, and HP. Dice News
The Valley Will Be a Smart Grid Center: Silicon Valley and the broader Bay Area will be national leaders in the development of smart grid technologies, says a report from Collaborative Economics. In 2009, there were 12,560 smart grid jobs in the Bay Area, up from 5,480 in 1995, a jump of 129 percent. Area businesses providing related products and services grew 139 percent during the same period, from 280 companies to 670. The Department of Energy wants the electric grid to be more reliable, secure and efficient, and local telecom and software experts are key to making that happen. Smart grid-related industries include energy storage technology as well as electricity transmission and distribution. SiliconValley.com
Microsoft Isn’t Thinking Different: All the eulogies for Apple CEO Steve Jobs are driving discussions about Microsoft and the fact that the software giant needs to seek out more artistic thinking if it wants to compete with Apple. Rick Sherlund, a technology analyst at Nomura Holdings, says, “It’s a cultural issue: Microsoft has always been more on the analytical side — sort of the left side of the brain — and you need some artists, you need some right side of the brain people there that really drive creativity, innovation.” Sherlund notes that with tablet computers, Microsoft labored for more than a decade without much to show for it, while the iPad quickly amazed millions. Bloomberg.com
How to Cool Facebook’s New Data Center? Arctic Winds: Facebook plans to build an entirely new small-town complex on the edge of the Arctic Circle in Sweden to house its new server farm and data center. As it turns out, Lulea, Sweden, has an average annual temperature of 35.6 degrees and rarely gets above 80. The three planned server halls will cover an area the size of 11 football fields, and though they’ll be air-cooled, they’ll still consume 120 megawatts of power. Luckily, there is a surplus of electricity generation nearby, so costs should be low. The Telegraph
Sony-Ericsson Will Become Just Sony: Sony will end its joint venture with Swedish telecom giant Ericsson by buying its 50% at a cost of $1.47 billion. Included in the price are “five essential patent families” that will help Sony create a new generation of wireless devices and wireless-equipped gadgets, accessories, and appliances. As Ericsson put it, “Ten years ago when we formed the joint venture, thereby combining Sony’s consumer products knowledge with Ericsson’s telecommunication technology expertise, it was a perfect match to drive the development of feature phones. Today we take an equally logical step as Sony acquires our stake in Sony Ericsson and makes it a part of its broad range of consumer devices.” Dice News
Call It a Comeback: Nokia’s Windows Phones Attract Attention: Beleaguered Nokia has launched a bit of a comeback with the announcement of the first two phones equipped with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 (Mango) OS. The Lumia 800 and the lower-end Lumia 710 are “gorgeous pieces of hardware” with The Lumia 800 featuring a 3.7-inch AMOLED ClearBlack display with 800 x 480 pixels, a single-core 1.4-GHz Qualcomm S2 SnapDragon processor, an 8-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture — but no user-facing camera and no video chatting. On the software side, Nokia Drive is being hailed as an excellent turn-by-turn driving guide. Information Week
Upcoming Tech Events
Apps World North America
November 1-2—New York
Apps World North America brings together many of the region’s top app developers, network operators, OS vendors, brand and marketing managers, and technology providers looking to connect, build partnerships and network while becoming educated and inspired by the latest developments within this exciting industry.
Seattle Interactive Conference
Organizers expect up to 3,500 attendees from across the U.S. to focus on e-commerce, social media, interactive advertising and gaming. It’s billed as the single most important conference to showcase the Seattle area as a hub for online technology, creativity and emerging trends.
The International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD)
November 7-10—San Jose
ICADD is devoted to technical innovations in design automation. Four days of keynotes, tutorials, exhibitions and workshops.