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Archive for May, 2009

When you think of Apple, you don’t spend too much time thinking beyond Macs, iPods and iPhones. It is interesting to consider some of the technology necessary to underpin these devices. When you think about¬† iTunes and the ability to distribute music, video, podcasts and applications it becomes clear that an important part of Apple’s business is in the hosting realm.¬† When you consider over 1 billion applications have been downloaded in 9 months and (as of Jan 2009) 6 billion songs downloaded (90% of the world’s population), you start to get an appreciation for the infrastructure that must be in place.

According to TheWHIR, Apple is planning a significant data center investment in North Carolina. The article claims that the investment is in the $1 billion range, which works out to approximately twice what Microsoft and Google typically spend on on building large data centers that power their cloud computing platforms.

Two things immediately jump to mind. First, this represents an extraordinary investment given what is going on everywhere else and it points to a company that will continue to invest in the future (sanity in the middle of madness?), confident that its market remains robust and will continue to grow. Secondly, you also have to wonder what they have up their sleeves – is this purely a consumer oriented play which is designed to meet future consumer demand for iTunes delivered content, or is Apple beginning to cast a more serious eye to things that are not so consumer-centric. Perhaps we expect some sort of enterprise push from them, maybe meandering down the road to a Content Distribution Network play?

As with everything, time will tell. And as seems to be the trend with all things Apple, it ought to prove an interesting space to watch.

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I think we all agree that we are swimming through uncertain economic waters. Companies are reducing headcount, and the employees that remain are being asked to assume more responsibility in order to compensate for lost comrades or hiring freezes that have been put in place. Many survivors will say that they are fortunate to still have a job, and point out that there are not many places to go in any case.

HR professionals are facing a series of related challenges. Not only are they managing the day to day challenges presented as a result of the economy, I think that they will be faced with a retention challenge that will not show itself for some time.

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Nokia

This is really cool. I am curious to see where this goes…
http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/cliff-kuang/design-innovation/nokia-intriguing-philanthropy-making-unused-patents-available-all

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