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Tech News: Intel and ARM Prepare for Battle as Microservers Take Over Data Centers


Plus, a fund manager sues Apple for "cash problem," Microsoft and Symantec unite to bust a cyber crime ring, Yahoo and Google team up on ads, and FreedomPop lets customers share bandwidth.

This column brings you the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on technology from around the Web every day. What fun!

Link: Greenlight's Einhorn Sues Apple, Seeks Bigger Payout
"Fund manager David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital sued Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), saying the company needs to do more to unlock value for shareholders.

"Einhorn, a well-known short seller, is long Apple shares and said in a television interview on Thursday that while he admires the company, it has a "cash problem" that it needs to fix.

"Greenlight filed suit in federal court in New York to force Apple to modify a proposal in its proxy, which Greenlight believes does not conform to regulatory rules."

Link: Microservers Are Taking Over the Datacentre -- and Intel, ARM Are Ready for Battle
"Driven by the booming demand for new datacentre services to support mobile and cloud computing, shipments of microservers are expected to more than triple this year.

"Microservers contain one or more low-power microprocessors and usually consume less than 45 watts in a single motherboard. The machines share infrastructure such as power, cooling and cabling with other similar devices, allowing for an extremely dense configuration.

"Peter Lin, senior analyst for compute platforms at IHS, said pressure on datacentres to serve more smartphones, tablets and mobile PCs means some aspects of server design are becoming increasingly important – such as ease of maintenance, expandability, energy efficiency and low cost.

"Already a number of vendors are positioning themselves for the coming battle for microserver supremacy, including chip companies Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) and AMD (NYSE:AMD); server makers such as Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and HP (NYSE:HPQ); and OEMs including Quanta Computer (PINK:QUCPF) and Wistron (TPE:3231).

"But the most fierce battle for the microserver space will be between Intel and ARM. Intel first unveiled the microserver concept and reference design in 2009, ostensibly to block rival ARM from entering the field."

Link: Micrsoft and Symantec Just Busted a Major Cyber Crime Ring
"It sounds like the plot of a movie: two major software corporations join together to shut down an evil global cyber crime operation and engage in wacky hijinks along the way. While the latter can be neither confirmed nor denied, according to an exclusive report by Reuters, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) did shut down servers that had been controlling hundreds of thousands of PCs without their users being any the wiser.

"Bamital botnet's-the major cyber crime operation's-main attack involved hijacking search results, among other schemes, that would allow them to fraudulently charge businesses with online ad clicks. The over 18 ringleaders from around the world registered websites and rented servers using pseudonyms. This allowed Bamital to redirect users' search results to the fraudulent websites, where they would be able to benefit from any subsequent clicks.

"Technicians raided data centers with US federal marshalls in tow and were able to persuade operators to take down a server all the way in the Netherlands."

HuffPost Tech
Link: Yahoo, Google Team Up on Ads
"Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is counting on rival Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to help accelerate its revenue growth.

"As part of a nonexclusive arrangement announced Wednesday, Yahoo's website will begin drawing upon Google's massive online advertising network to show marketing messages related to the content that's being perused.

"Google Inc. already distributes similar ads to thousands of websites, a service that has helped establish it as the Internet's most prosperous company."

Link: FreedomPop Lets Customers Share Their Bandwidth; Raises Another $4.3M
"FreedomPop on Thursday launched its promised data sharing program, allowing its customers to share or trade megabytes like a broadband currency. The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) also revealed it has gone back to its investors for a another $4.3 million infusion, which FreedomPop COO Steven Sesar said would carry it through the rest of its beta trials before it launches nationwide later next year.

"Sesar said you can think of the broadband sharing feature like a 'family plan on crack.' Instead of sharing your pool of monthly megabytes or gigabytes with just the wife and kids, though, FreedomPop customers can request bandwidth from or award bandwidth to any other customer using FreedomPops' social networking tools.

"The broadband sharing program is the latest twist in FreedomPop's distinctly anti-carrier approach to mobile data. As we've written before, FreedomPop doesn't see much value in selling consumers data plans. Instead it wants to sell them services over what it considers a commodity pipe – it wants to be the water-slide amusement park, not the water utility."
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