ChangeWave: MacBook sales up in next 3 months, HP and Dell down

This month's ChangeWave survey of consumer purchases over the past and next 90 days paints a bleak picture for makers of consumer PCs and electronics. Despite strong demand for low-end netbooks that continue to gain importance -- the result of the depressed economy, the survey clearly shows yet another decline in computer spending and weaknesses in consumer electronics spending. In short, only Apple laptop sales will increase in the next 90 days, according to the report, whereas HP and Dell portables will drop as consumers opt for cheaper netbooks. When it comes to desktops, most prefer Dell but sales of desktops continue free-falling across the board as consumers turn to much cheaper netbooks, now representing better than one in six of all notebooks sold.

AMD's motherboard channel market expected above 30% in June

Citing increased demand in AMD products now that 45nm Phenom II CPUs are available, industry sources quoted by DigiTimes are saying AMD's motherboard channel market share should return above 30% by the end of June, 2009.

Kindle vs. iPod and AMD Dragon vs. Intel 32 nm: The power of marketing

Analyst Opinion - There were three big announcements this week. One of the most anticipated announcements was the Kindle 2, a product that has, as of now, failed to achieve the iPod-like potential it has. In addition, we saw AMD launch its marketing-rich Dragon platform followed by Intel, which announced it would have 32 nm processors for both desktop and mobile products in production by year end. I could have titled this column “How to drive Steve Jobs insane”, but I have to think he is sitting back and is thinking that the folks, particularly those at Amazon, just don't get it.

Global telco broadband growth slows considerably

Broadband subscriber growth entered a downturn in 2008, according to market estimates released by iSuppli today. Global subscriber growth was 9.1%, following five years of strong double-digit growth. Additions in the U.S. slowed to a crawl and were down 56%.

Google dips into the smart grid and monitoring of power usage

We are used to the sometimes dozens, often apparently unconnected, announcements coming out of Google every week. But once in a while, there is this one announcement that just reminds us just how big Google has become and how important its drive for innovation may be for our everyday life. Google’s PowerMeter is such a project and if it will grow into what Google envisions it to be, it will allow you to dissect your power bill, identify which appliance consumes how much power and how you can make your home much more power efficient.

Chip drops Boolean logic, runs seven times faster

 Researchers at Rice University developed a new microchip that promises to run seven times faster and consume 30 times less electricity than today’s “best technology”. The project, which is supported by Intel and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency could result in new processors for cellphones that would enable users to recharge their phones not every few days, but every few weeks, the scientists said.

A personal touch: Customer recognition by major companies

Yesterday, American Airlines announced that its frequent-flier customers who call in for flight information would be able to get faster service due to a new speech-recognition system. In addition, by using caller ID, the automated attendant will greet them by name during the transaction.

Netscape executive, Michael J Homer, dies at 50

Silicon Valley executive, Michael J. Homer who had a significant impact on the development of three technology venues - the PC, the handheld device, and the Internet - passed away on Sunday in Atherton California at the age of 50.

The problem with 3D: Where it works and where it does not

Analyst Opinion - Like a lot of folks I was looking forward to seeing the Super Bowl ads once again. The game was actually great, but historically, the ads have been more fun to watch than the game itself. The ads I was most looking forward to were the 3D ads heavily sponsored by Intel and DreamWorks. It was a good catch for Intel, because HP, DreamWorks, and AMD used to be the team of record and Intel replaced AMD in what is clearly one of the more high profile partnerships in IT. DreamWorks recently indicated it was going to go 100% 3D. The heavily promoted ads promised to give a first taste.

IBM to build massive 20 Petaflop supercomputer for NNSA

 What happens in the supercomputer world is a seemingly distant topic for most of us, yet it impacts all of us in many ways through new opportunities for scientists and hopefully accelerated research results.  Recent advances in supercomputing are simply breathtaking, and the computing power they'll soon possess is awe-inspiring.

Gartner: Seven years needed for mass cloud computing acceptance

 The research and advisory company Gartner reported yesterday on what it believes is a necessary seven year cycle between now and mainstream cloud computing acceptance - and even eventual commoditization.

Google Maps photographer hits baby deer - recorded on Google Street View

 Making its way around the blog circuit recently are a series of Google Street View photos taken from Five Points Road located in Rush, New York. The photos show that the Google Street View driver and photographer hit a baby deer, and then recorded the entire event for everyone who uses Google Maps to see.

Congress now expected to approve a DTV switchover delay this week

 On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives should complete congressional action on a bill which would delay the switch from analog to digital television from February 17 to June 12. It would seem that this matter is constantly discussed as of late, and the more it is talked about the more confusing it becomes.

NASA tracks regional "Green Changes"

 The changing appearance of Earth's green surface strata on a regional scale recently got a serious examination courtesy of NASA and some high resolution aerial photos from the private sector. These tools of choice allow time-lapse sequences from compiled satellite images and close-up photos, which reveal trends seen in the disappearing green.

Mars Rover works through a technical bump in the road

 On Sunday, the Mars rover Spirit didn't carry out the instructions it received. Spirit has been on the surface of Mars for 1800 days. On Sunday, the rover reported it had received its instructions okay, but the pictures it sent back showed that it hadn't moved as it should.

Boeing preps fifth of six 787 planes for test flights

Boeing today said that it has resumed the production of its 787 Dreamliner planes yesterday. The fifth plane designated for test flights is the first to carry General Electric GEnx engines.

Putin rejects Dell's offer of aid

 At the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, Vladimir Putin, the prime minister of Russia, took questions from attendees. The first question from Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell, met with an unexpected "boot to the head". He asked the prime minister in what ways technology companies could aid Russia in making the best use of its technology interests and talent. To put it mildly, Putin was not impressed with the question.

Professional videos could come to YouTube via new agreement

 YouTube is close to closing a deal with talent provider William Morris Agency, which would mean that company's clients would star in productions designed specifically for YouTube's format on the web. Production companies could bypass "straight to video," going instead "straight to YouTube."

Professor claims personal robots coming "very soon"

 Iowa State professor Alexander Stoytchev believes personal robots will become part of our lives in the near future. He and his team are working with robotic controls to produce life-like movements in arm-wielding robots.

Report: U.S. Tech Sector job cuts highest in five years

 It was reported today that in 2008, 186,955 workers in the U.S. technology sectors lost their jobs. This is the highest loss in five years, according to consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.