Tag: mike magee

United bans lithium ion batteries

United AirlinesUnited Airlines said it will stop carrying cargo of lithium ion (li-ion) batteries, following tests.

United is the second US airline to announce it would cease shipping quantities of li-ion – last month Delta made a similar decision.

The tests were carried out by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the BBC. The FAA filled a container with 5,000 batteries and a small heater. The heat ignited fires in other batteries with temperatures soaring to 600 degrees Celsius. Then an explosion blew open the container door.

A second test had a similar effect.

Li-ion batteries are known to be very volatile. Some years ago, Mike Magee’s INQUIRER carried dramatic pictures of a laptop exploding at a Japanese conference, pictures which hit news outlets worldwide.

Other airlines are expected to follow United and Delta’s move.

Obituary: Dave Evans – 1950 to 2014

It’s going to be difficult to say how much I miss my dear friend Dave Evans, who died last Saturday, after fighting hard with cancer for way too long, but I’ll have a bash.

I first met Dave in 1989 when he worked at ICL Today and I was editing PC Business World.  Both were IDG publications, although ICL Today became Fujitsu Tomorrow.

But we only really met properly at an Ingres launch in some giant castle in Shannon, Ireland. Ingres had shipped in must have been hundreds of journalists and proceeded to treat us to so much booze that out of the hundreds of hacks, only five turned up to hear at the very early press conference that Ingres had been bought by a company – a company that time forgot. Dave was there.

At that time, Dave worked, I believe, for Fujitsu Tomorrow but it wasn’t long before Computer Weekly noticed his talent and snapped him up as its features editor.  John Riley writes eloquently about this in a Facebook post on news of his death:

”Dave was a beautifully fluent writer who could somehow always conjure up compelling copy out of the most unpromising leads. It’s fitting that he was the first journalist in the UK (maybe the world!) to order a beer electronically (at the Mondex e-cash card press launch in 1995.”

I am unsure how Dave E’s next gig became Computing – the VNU rival to Computer Weekly. But there we renewed our acquaintance because Dave was the acting, some might say, re-enacting features editing at the ‘Ting.

At that time I was working on the VNU Newswire and regularly, at say 11AM, there’d be a knock on the door and Dave would say: “Fancy a cup of tea, Mike?”  A cup of tea meant a visit to the John Snow in Broadwick Street and I’d watch him strike out yards of copies from freelancers on paper, and then use his antique Psion Organiser to write entire features of his own.

Back in 2001, I was sitting in a pub in central London with Dave and Tony Dennis  – it was a Monday – when a call came through on my mobile telephone device. Sun Microsystems’ general counsel complained about a story we’d written. Dave whispered to me: “Tell her you’re with your lawyer, and he’d like to speak to you.” I said OK and handed him the phone. He said: “Why don’t you eff off you effing idiot,” and then hung up. That was the kind of delightful guy he was.

Before his tech journalism, Dave Evans was a mainstream journo, working at the Currant Bun, the NoW, the Daily Mail and doubtless many other publications in Fleet Street. In a strange coincidence, we found ourselves in Fleet Street on 9/11 as it’s called. I had a meeting and went down to see the second plane crash into the second tower. Dave had met loads of important people in the course of his Fleet Street journalism job.  Imagine it!

But this is my overwhelming feeling about dear Dave Evans. He was a deeply compassionate and kind man, went completely out of his way to make people feel welcome, and was a top readable journalist with both wit and wisdom. He was also a very dear dear friend of mine, I love him, and I will miss him. He is survived by his wife Ann, his daughter Carla and his son in law, Ed..

His funeral will be at Beckenham Crematorium, on the 24 September 2014 at 1:30PM, followed by a wake. Ann and Carla would prefer donations to any cancer charity rather than flowers or cards. If you are going to attend, please email scottishplay2011@gmail.com.

Server revenues up. A bit

bummerA report from IDC said EMEA server revenues showed a slight uptick in the first quarter of this year – up 1.5 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

The EMEA server market generated $2.8 billion in the first quarter – that’s $44 million more than the same quarter in 2013 and amounting to 537,800 units.  That’s 22,000 units less than in 2013 and that’s because virtualisation and integrated systems are making their mark.

IDC said that there’s a negative trend in the market amounting to a 20.3 percent decrease in vendor revenues when you compare the 4th quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of this year.

“Despite a strong push for additional capacity in megadatacentre customers and renewed focus on tower and rack volumes by the largest OEMs, the macro trend in the X86 market continues to point to value as the only real growth opportunity,” said Giorio Nebuloni, research manager for enterprise servers at IDC Europe.

He said the blade market shows strong growth in the higher end market with higher aversage selling prices.

The X86 server market accounted for $1.72 billion in Q1 – that’s 81 percent of total values. Non X86 vendors generated $541 million, amounting to 3,810 units in EMEA.  This bit of the market is showing a decline.

The top dogs in the EMEA region were HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu, Oracle and the ubiquitous “others” – as this IDC chart demonstrates.

Intel thinks anthropologist will fix its business

bummerGenevieve Bell and another 100 or so social scientists are trying to save Intel’s “flailing business”.

Bell, an anthropologist and an Intel fellow, and her team, are racking their brains to figure out what gadgets people will use in the future, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

We told Intel years ago it should bung StrongARM chips into small, portable devices that consumed little power.  But Intel can be rather hard of hearing.

The Mercury News reckons that Intel’s fate is in the 200 pair of hands in Bell’s team seeing as PCs ain’t what they used to be.

The newspaper quotes Bell as saying she couldn’t imagine being in a better place, while another researcher is quoted as saying that Intel “is highly attuned to long term thinking”.


TechEye hacks launch tech comedy site

sod-the-net-ce330Techeye hacks Nick Farrell and Nermin Hajdarbegovic have launched a “news for nerds” site which aims to “take the Nintendo” out of everything to do with science, technology and this horrible industry.

Sodthe.net covers news which is part satire, part true, or complete satire. Farrell and Hajdarbegovic are long-term inmates of Mike Magee’s growing stable of tech magazines, which are game changers in that they are closer to blogs than orthodox technology magazines and occasionally use swear words.

“What we realised was that while some people wanted technology news presented to them in the style of an Intel press release, others wanted to be entertained,” Farrell said.

Farrell and Hajdarbegovic wondered what would happen if you did only that in one magazine and just dropped every pretence of being serious about it. That is probably why they decided to launch the site in August, the worst possible month for anything tech-related.

The pair are freelancers working for Fudzilla, TechEye, ChannelEye and anyone else who will give them money. Farrell has been a “serious journalist” for 29 years and written silly stuff for the last eight. He is also a veteran INQster, which means he’s not new to tech lunacy. Hajdarbegovic is a former graphics designer and currently news editor at Fudzilla.

The aim is to get a close knit community of fundamentalist geeks who will populate the site with deranged comments of their own and click the adverts.

“It is very important that people click the adverts or we will be really f****“ Farrell added. “Did we mention that people are supposed to click on the adverts?”

ChannelEye reviews the Venetian, Vegas

The Venetian, Las VegasI’ve never been to Venice, but I’ve been to the Venetian, Las Vegas before, although only visiting it rather than living in it.  In it?  And despite the tacky first impression of  gondolas, an artificially lit St Mark’s Square and accordian playing maidens in the lobby, there is more to this hotel than meets the eye.

I was staying at the Venetian because I was covering the Hewlett Packard Global Partner Conference and even though I was only there for two nights, I have decided that I like it. I like it a lot.  And it’s the people who work at the Venetian that make the place.  The check in lady was friendly, welcoming and efficient – the room was pleasant and bigger than the first flat I lived in – the staff were uniformly helpful, even when they weren’t wearing uniforms and went that extra mile.

Venetian, Las VegasAnd when I say that extra mile, I can tell you that if you are not fit, you will be fit even if you’re only staying for two nights. You will walk for miles and miles and miles, oh yeah. I was staying at room 9-525 and to get to the lift, sorry elevator, you are talking more than just a leisurely saunter. And when you get to the ground floor, it’s another trek to get, through the casino, to the Sands conference centre where the HP gig was on-going, or going on, as we’d prefer to say. The old Sands convention centre was awful – the new one ain’t too bad at al.

On the way to the casino, you will be entertained by nice lasses playing accordions and if you look up there’s a heap of paintings on the ceiling while your little legs attempt to make the grade.

Once in the casino, it’s another hike to get to the Sands conference centre and once you’re there there are floors and floors and floors and floors. But when it looked like I was getting lost, I just had to ask the staff and they sent me the right way on my safari.

Venetian: bar in the casinoOn the last day, I was due to be picked up at 5:45PM to make my way back to Blighty.  On the way back from the conference centre, I stopped by the bar in the casino.  I have got to tell you the barman working there (pictured) was one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, and I can tell you I have met a lot of bar staff in my incredibly long life. I was fiddling around with Facebook on my StupidPhone and the barman said: “Talk to me! Stop playing with Facebook and talk to me!”  I talked to him. What a friendly and professional guy.

And so to the denoument of my stay at the Venetian hotel.  I had ambiguous instructions for where my pick up was supposed to, er, pick me up. I asked the bell hop, Luke from Kansas, to give me a hand to the pick up point.  We got to first one pick up point that didn’t work. Then we had to hike across the hotel to another which didn’t work either. Luke stuck by me.  In the end, one of the guys fired up his bus just to take me, on my own, to McArran airport, at no charge. So thank you driver Michael, and your fiancé, Linda, looks beautiful.

I would say what makes this hotel are the people that work in it. I have spent many hours in hotels and, also assessing corporations. The Venetian is a happy ship, that much is clear. I couldn’t fault the place, largely because of the pleasant people – in good moods – that work there.

PS I haven’t been paid for this review.

What HP really told its dear partners

HP Global Partner ConferenceLet’s face it, us journalists are like a dangerous bacillus for vendors. Although the press are important to HP, we must be kept in isolation, and any HP execs that come anywhere near us must be inoculated beforehand and go through extensive health checks afterwards to ensure they haven’t been contaminated.

So in the ICU unit at this week’s Global Partner Conference, we were kept carefully away from the 2,000 partners invited to the glittering jamboree at the very glittering Venetian hotel in swinging Las Vegas.

We attempted to visit a server briefing but we were ejected by an HP bouncer because he noticed that we were wearing a red badge – red standing for warning, of course.

It was hard to prevent us chatting to sources close to Avnet, Ingram Micro and Tech Data, however, and to sundry HP employees who hadn’t been inoculated. Because these chaps and chapesses haven’t been press trained, we will have to not name them and describe them as “sources close” to the companies. And we can relay the undoubted fact that although folk from the big distributors welcomed Meg Whitman’s pledge to be nicer to the channel, they will believe it when they see it, if you get my meaning.

We hacks didn’t get invited to the Gen8 Petting Zoo, which is a shame. We would have loved to see HP petting the channel. Nor did we learn about the new compact servers (need three pedestals), the future HP Smart Update Manager (SUM), the future HP BladeSystem interconnect and we weren’t briefed on HP’s Smart Storage Futures (power, monitor, internet).

We do know that Synnex is HP’s largest North American distributor, delivering over $3 billion sales every year. It’s HP’s number one distie and has over 45 percent channel share. A Mr Eric Doyle, from the Intel Corporation, delivered the message that Intel, HP and resellers are “better together”.  This Eric Doyle is different from UK hack Eric Doyle, who had a package waiting for him in reception. Confusion arose. The UK’s Eric Doyle was being asked to pay $7 to collect the Intel package. We didn’t see Intel’s Mike Magee there, either.

Dan Forlenza from HP and Aaron Arvizu from Intel impressed on delegates the importance of the enterprise tablet revolution. Those would be HP tablets with Intel chips inside, then. Scott Wiest, from HP, invited the resellers to “ignite new opportunities” with X86 servers and how to migrate IBM and Oracle Sun servers to HP ones, instead.

Ray Carlin from HP told partners that while there have been many predictions of the demise of bricks-and-mortar shops, lots of people still want to go into real shops. As ChannelEye knows only too well, people like to go into shops to eye up the goodies but fewer and fewer are buying there and after they’ve taken a dekko, go online to buy the kit instead.

All in all, the event was a very revealing snapshot of how HP treats its partners.  We were successfully confined to sealed test tubes and shipped out of Vegas with due despatch and without the plague breaking out in a widespread kind of a way.