Category Archives: Tech News

IBM Grabs Open-Source Red Hat for $34 Billion

The eight-striped wordmark of IBM, the letters “IBM” in City Medium typeface. Introduced in 1967. Trademarked by International Business Machines Corporation.

Declared the third largest tech merger in history, and the largest for a software company, IBM and Red Hat have come to a deal in which IBM will purchase Red Hat for $34 billion. IBM says the merger will improve their cloud-based products.

The deal involves IBM getting all the issued and outstanding common stocks of Red Hat for $190 each share in cash. That surpasses by $70 the price of the stock just three days prior, $116.68 a share.

“The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market,” said IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, Ginni Rometty.

“IBM will become the world’s number one hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses.”

Most companies can’t progress due to the limits presented by closed platforms that prevent them from making the transformation to cloud computing. Red Hat solves the problem for IBM due to its open platform configuration.

IBM earned it reputation as a computer hardware company, but it has recently made cloud computing a priority for its growth strategy, like Amazon and Microsoft. The company has been changing their focus to include more analytics, mobile and security.

Red Hat will continue to run its business independently as a separate unit of IBM. Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst and the management team already in place will continue as is, joining IBM’s senior management team, with Rometty leading the team.

“Today is a banner day for open source,” said Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s vice president and president of products and technologies. “The largest software transaction in history and it’s an open source company. Let that sink in for a minute. We just made history.”

Red Hat was founded in 1993, launching its famous version of Linux OS one year after. It became a pioneer of the open source movement that grew to counter closed source companies like Microsoft which based their strategy on keeping their source codes secret.

The company is based in Raleigh, North Carolina with a presence in 35 countries with about 12,000 employees. It is one of the most well-known open-source firms with customers paying for custom-made software solutions. In fiscal year 2018 the company saw a net profit of $259 million on a turnover of $2.9 billion, which was an increase of 21 percent over 2017.

Dr. Alan Mendelsohn: Pioneer of Cataract Surgery in South Florida

Cross-sectional view in grayscale of right human eye.

In 1987 Dr. Alan Mendelsohn was a newly minted graduate of the fellowship training program at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami. That year he opened his ophthalmology practice in Hollywood and was excited to be a part of what was then a new breed of ophthalmologists who pioneered the practice of out-patient cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is an out-patient procedure today, but until this moment in history eye doctors admitted their patients into the hospital for three days: the night before the surgery, the day of the surgery, and then one extra night after the surgery. There are several advantages to reducing the length of hospital stays, including: reducing the extra bother and expense; and more importantly, lowering the risk of contracting hospital induced infections. Out of hospital cataract surgery was an attractive alternative right from the beginning.

Dr. Alan Mendelsohn was at the cusp of this new model for cataract surgery. For the next ten years this was standard practice. Then, in the mid to late 1990s another revolution transformed the field of ophthalmology: “No Stitch” cataract surgery. Phaco surgery, short for Phacoemulcification, allowed eye doctors like Alan Mendelsohn to remove cataracts in a far quicker and safer way, resulting in better eyesight overall. In addition, the risks of edema, infections and inflammations were drastically reduced.

Today Dr. Mendelsohn’s practice is experiencing a third revolution: Laser-assisted cataract surgery. This type of surgery not only eliminates the cataract, but also can correct for low or moderate levels of astigmatism. This problem can be either improved or completely eliminated in many cases, resulting in a visual acuity improvement unprecedented from this type of surgery in the past.

Bitcoin’s Value Doubled in August

Bitcoin reached its highest price in its short history when it doubled in value in just one month.

During the month of August Bitcoin went from a price of $2788 on August 1st, 2017 to $4564 on August 31st, and it wasn’t finished heading for the stars quite yet. On September 2 bitcoin reached a high of $4780, before it started to crash, losing about 15% in just a bit over a week. As of September 11th, one bitcoin costs $4106.

Overall this year bitcoin has grown by 358%, starting slowly in January, but then really taking off in March this year, when it began climbing from just under $1000 on March 24th, and just kept going.

Listen to one commentator’s analysis of this investing phenomenon. Is it a bubble, or isn’t it?

 

Employees of Wisconsin Company Volunteer to Get “Chipped”

Three Square Market, often called 32M, held a party last week to celebrate the inauguration of something completely new: workers who voluntarily agreed to have microchips inserted into their hands for the convenience of buying snacks in the cafeteria, opening doors with a mere hand-wave, and easy login to their computer.

The Wisconsin-based company somehow convinced 41 of its 85 employees to introduce the chip into their flesh, saying that although it is a new and unusual phenomenon in the US, in Europe the practice is much more prevalent.

The company also asserts that the chips are encrypted, and do not have a GPS function as other types of microchips have, so that no one will be able to track the movements of the employee-cyborgs. On the other hand, for some talented hackers encryption is not a serious obstacle to access to computer systems if there is enough of a desire.

One observer, sociology professor at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Noelle Chesley says that she foresees the implantation of chips into employees will go from nuts to normal over the next few years.

Seven Billion Dollar Deal Could Bring 50,000 Jobs to US

The top and side of an iPhone 5S, externally identical to the iPhone 5. Photo courtesy of Calerusnak

Two high tech giants, Foxconn and Apple, are considering a deal to build a panel factory in the United States at a cost of about $7 billion and could create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs. Chairman Terry Gou of Foxconn said that an investment by Foxconn’s Sharp division will depend on the terms negotiated for the deal at the state and federal levels.

The announcement of the deal comes close on the heels of President Donald Trump’s inaugural address in which the new president promised to make “America First” as the backbone of his policies leading the nation. Trump stated in his speech: “We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.”

One of Trump’s campaign promises was to try and persuade Apple to bring the manufacture of iPhones to US shores. Trump said that he was optimistic that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, had his “eyes open” to the possibility. Foxconn is the biggest producer of iPhones.

Gou said that Trump-style protectionism was inevitable, but he is unsure how Americans will feel about spending hundreds of dollars more for a phone that does not work any better than a less expensive model that was made overseas.

Gou vowed to increase his investments in China. Apple is also dependent on China, not just for production, but also for sales. Last year China made up 22 percent of Apple’s total revenue, some $46.4 billion.