General Tech News/Discussion Thread

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Dr. Zoidberg
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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

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NVIDIA Officially Announces Definitive Agreement With SoftBank To Acquire ARM for $40 Billion

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NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA 486.58 -1.20%), the leading designer of graphic cards, has now officially announced its acquisition of ARM, constituting the GPU maker’s largest ever bid for a rival enterprise.

As per the press statement released by NVIDIA just moments ago, the $40 billion deal consists of equity as well as cash components:

“Under the terms of the transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of NVIDIA, SBG and Arm, NVIDIA will pay to SoftBank a total of $21.5 billion in NVIDIA common stock and $12 billion in cash, which includes $2 billion payable at signing. The number of NVIDIA shares to be issued at closing is 44.3 million, determined using the average closing price of NVIDIA common stock for the last 30 trading days. Additionally, SoftBank may receive up to $5 billion in cash or common stock under an earn-out construct, subject to satisfaction of specific financial performance targets by Arm.”

Additionally, NVIDIA will also provide ARM employees equity worth at least $1.5 billion. Notably, the company intends to furnish the requisite cash for this acquisition from its balance sheet, eschewing additional debt in the process.

It should be remembered that ARM’s IoT Services Group will not be acquired by NVIDIA. As far as previous guarantees and commitments are concerned, NVIDIA noted in its press statement:

“As part of NVIDIA, Arm will continue to operate its open-licensing model while maintaining the global customer neutrality that has been foundational to its success, with 180 billion chips shipped to-date by its licensees. Arm partners will also benefit from both companies’ offerings, including NVIDIA’s numerous innovations.”

The company went on to declare:

“SoftBank and Arm are fully committed to satisfying the undertakings made by SoftBank when it acquired Arm in 2016, which are scheduled to complete in September 2021. Following the closing of the transaction, NVIDIA intends to retain the name and strong brand identity of Arm and expand its base in Cambridge. Arm’s intellectual property will remain registered in the U.K.”

The closure of this agreement is conditional on the procurement of regulatory approvals in the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and the European Union.

Interestingly, SoftBank will continue to exercise influence on the amalgamated entity through its stake in NVIDIA, expected to be under 10 percent. While the size of the deal is astronomical, it does represent a discount relative to the $52 billion that SoftBank’s CEO, Masayoshi Son, had originally demanded for ARM. Bear in mind that SoftBank had acquired ARM back in 2016 for $32 billion.

Today’s announcement caps an arduous process that involved frenetic negotiations with multiple industry players. We reported back in early August that SoftBank representatives had purportedly approached NVIDIA, TSMC (NYSE:TSM 78.82 -0.10%), Foxconn, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL 112 -1.31%), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM 113.42 0.87%), and Samsung for acquiring ARM, with a potential deal likely to emerge before the end of the current summer season. In light of today’s development, that prognostication seems to have panned out.

As a refresher, ARM designs silicon chips and licenses instruction sets that govern how chips communicate. Moreover, ARM’s intellectual property – including the company's Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) – is utilized by Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, etc. for their smartphone chips, thereby, corresponding to a market coverage of around 90 percent.

https://wccftech.com/nvidia-nasdaq-nvda ... 0-billion/

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ian
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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

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So this is something I am surprised took so long...
“I’ve given Internode at least a year to fix this - and it isn’t getting fixed - that much is clear.

I’ve now given up and signed up with Aussie Broadband and as of yesterday, I am indeed enjoying > 60 megabit per second speeds on the same site with the same hardware and the performance
change is dramatic”

A customer complaining about an ISP being shitty is nothing new.

But the person complaining is a man called Simon Hackett. he is a founder of Internode, it says a lot.

It says don’t sell your company to a worse company.
And then when that worse company sells out to an even worse one again it’s your fault the best ISP in the country became worse than Aussie Broadband.
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Skynet
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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

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Don't know what he expected, he sold out :dontknow"

He took his $105m or whatever it was and fucked off to do his own thing. He then bailed on iiNet too, who then sold to TPG who then merged with Vodafone.

I don't know what he expects. I never met him, but I did see him give a speech at the first Internode party I ever went to.

I can tell you first hand, Internode isn't the same as it was 9 years ago. But I still have a job, so...

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Dr. Zoidberg
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Hawq
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Dr. Zoidberg
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ian
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Apple will counter that by removing the charging port altogether.
What remains unclear is HOW they will get around it... Either with wireless charging, or making iPhones non rechargeable single use, buy again products.

And since it's Apple, it's 50-50 which direction they will choose.
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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

Post by pixel »

The weird thing is that the new iPads already have USB-C ports, so Apple is only willing to switch on one product line at the moment

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All I know is it's stupid.
Apple introduced Lightning before USB C was made, and has been on phones for what? 9 years now. And it's only the second plug apple has fitted to iphones after 30 pin.

If anything they should be forcing EVERYONE ELSE to use lightning connectors. A: Because they're older than USB C ports and B: I've found the ports themselves to be more robust being less prone to wiggle loose and hold up as usable after many many years even when the phones are fucked and the cables are falling apart, the ports are always good.

USB C ports fall apart after about 2 years of heavy use and you gotta wiggle shit to make them work...

So you have apple with 2 standards for the entire time they've made phones, and the rest of the smartphone market who's used Mini USB, and then Micro USB, and Now USB C.

and they're introducing a bill for Universal chargers?

And what about in 10 years when USB C is rendered useless due to apples Magsafe Ultimate... the whole union will be held back simply because USB C is the standard despite better things being available.

Apple do many, many things wrong, but they pretty much ALWAYS nail powering their devices.
If I should Die Hard Arcade before I Alan Wake.
PREY the Lords of Lore my Soul Calibur to Take
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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

Post by pixel »

Apple nailed the port and connector design for power, while simultaneously shooting themselves in the foot by requiring an auth chip and fumbling around with data transfer speeds. QC is another great thing with Apple in control of manufacturing, whereas USB-C is the wild west.

I really enjoyed the 30-pin connector during a golden era in 2005-10 when Belkin made an car FM transmitter that both charged the iPod and grabbed audio digitally from that one connection.

That said, I've had good luck with my Samsung phone's USB-C connection with a reputable cable from Amazon.

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Dr. Zoidberg
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Amazon Alexa is a “colossal failure,” on pace to lose $10 billion this year

Layoffs reportedly hit the Alexa team hard as the company's biggest money loser.

Amazon is going through the biggest layoffs in the company's history right now, with a plan to eliminate some 10,000 jobs. One of the areas hit hardest is the Amazon Alexa voice assistant unit, which is apparently falling out of favor at the e-commerce giant. That's according to a report from Business Insider, which details "the swift downfall of the voice assistant and Amazon's larger hardware division."

Alexa has been around for 10 years and has been a trailblazing voice assistant that was copied quite a bit by Google and Apple. Alexa never managed to create an ongoing revenue stream, though, so Alexa doesn't really make any money. The Alexa division is part of the "Worldwide Digital" group along with Amazon Prime video, and Business Insider says that division lost $3 billion in just the first quarter of 2022, with "the vast majority" of the losses blamed on Alexa. That is apparently double the losses of any other division, and the report says the hardware team is on pace to lose $10 billion this year. It sounds like Amazon is tired of burning through all that cash.

A division in crisis

The BI report spoke with "a dozen current and former employees on the company's hardware team," who described "a division in crisis." Just about every plan to monetize Alexa has failed, with one former employee calling Alexa "a colossal failure of imagination," and "a wasted opportunity." This month's layoffs are the end result of years of trying to turn things around. Alexa was given a huge runway at the company, back when it was reportedly the "pet project" of former CEO Jeff Bezos. An all-hands crisis meeting took place in 2019 to try to turn the monetization problem around, but that was fruitless. By late 2019, Alexa saw a hiring freeze, and Bezos started to lose interest in the project around 2020. Of course, Amazon now has an entirely new CEO, Andy Jassy, who apparently isn't as interested in protecting Alexa.

The report says that while Alexa's Echo line is among the "best-selling items on Amazon, most of the devices sold at cost." One internal document described the business model by saying, "We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices."

That plan never really materialized, though. It's not like Alexa plays ad breaks after you use it, so the hope was that people would buy things on Amazon via their voice. Not many people want to trust an AI with spending their money or buying an item without seeing a picture or reading reviews. The report says that by year four of the Alexa experiment, "Alexa was getting a billion interactions a week, but most of those conversations were trivial commands to play music or ask about the weather." Those questions aren't monetizable.

Amazon also tried to partner with companies for Alexa skills, so a voice command could buy a Domino's pizza or call an Uber, and Amazon could get a kickback. The report says: "By 2020, the team stopped posting sales targets because of the lack of use." The team also tried to paint Alexa as a halo product with users who are more likely to spend at Amazon, even if they aren't shopping by voice, but studies of that theory found that the "financial contribution" of those users "often fell short of expectations."

In a public note to employees, Jassy said the company still has "conviction in pursuing" Alexa, but that's after making huge cuts to the Alexa team. One employee told Business Insider that currently, "There's no clear directive for devices" in the future, and that since the hardware isn't profitable, there's no clear incentive to keep iterating on popular products. That lack of direction led to the internally controversial $1,000 Astro robot, which is basically an Amazon Alexa on wheels. Business Insider's tracking now puts Alexa in third place in the US voice-assistant wars, with the Google Assistant at 81.5 million users, Apple's Siri at 77.6 million, and Alexa at 71.6 million.

Are all voice assistants doomed?

We have to wonder: Is time running out for Big Tech voice assistants? Everyone seems to be struggling with them. Google expressed basically identical problems with the Google Assistant business model last month. There's an inability to monetize the simple voice commands most consumers actually want to make, and all of Google's attempts to monetize assistants with display ads and company partnerships haven't worked. With the product sucking up server time and being a big money loser, Google responded just like Amazon by cutting resources to the division.

While Google and Amazon hurt each other with an at-cost pricing war, Apple's smart speaker plans focused more on the bottom line. The original HomePod's $350 price was a lot more expensive than the competition, but that was probably a more sustainable business model. Apple's model didn't land with consumers, though, and the OG HomePod was killed in 2021. There's still a $99 "mini" version floating around, and Apple isn't giving up on the idea of a big speaker, with a comeback supposedly in the works. Siri can at least be a loss leader for iPhone sales, but Apple is also hunting around for more continual revenue from ads.

Source: Ars Technica

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ian
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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

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Just give me cheap books again you bastards!

Since Amazon opened up locally I've only shopped with them 2 times and had one prime membership to watch Grand tour...

Shut down the boondoggle Alexa and give us cheap shit again instead.
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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

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ian wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 3:01 am Just give me cheap books again you bastards!
Books? What the heck are books? Nobody reads books anymore, you just download them.

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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

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Print is dead.

Maybe nobody reads because since Amazon came to Australia $50 worth of books became $138 and priced $1 lower than the local bookstore.

What's the point in a $1 saving when I can go to the store and have it instantly and not need to wait for next day delivery?
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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

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The only problem with this is that a bookstore is of finite size and therefore has a finite selection of books. Thus there may not be the book that you need. Whereas Amazon has a wider selection than any bookstore. It really depends on more than instant gratification.

Personally I usually cannot be bothered going to the library because I can download a copy from Library Genesis. Recently I wanted to reread a chapter of a book that I had put away in my bedroom. I was comfortable on the lounge and couldn’t wait until I needed a piss so I downloaded the book and read the chapter I wanted. Now that’s lazy.

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Post by pixel »

Looks like Bluray is on its way out


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ian
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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

Post by ian »

But there's no new optical format to replace it yet...
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Dr. Zoidberg
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Re: General Tech News/Discussion Thread

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ian wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 12:50 pm But there's no new optical format to replace it yet...
Funnily enough, I saw this the other day:


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