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Google Drops Clearwire Stock, Takes Huge Loss in the Process

posted Sunday Mar 11, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Google Drops Clearwire Stock, Takes Huge Loss in the Process

Last week I covered Sprint's continuing aid for wireless company Clearwire who is currently facing some tough times. Last month, I did a recap on their entire current situation from the beginning up until now.

This week, however, we must talk about the instability of the company yet again. Reports are coming in that Google has sold its portion of Clearwire stock to Credit Suisse Group AG. Google had purchased its 29.4 million shares in 2008 for $500 million and has now sold off that purchase at $2.26 per share, or $66.5 million, well under the original purchase price. However, Google was only looking for $1.60 a share last week, so I suppose getting more than what you wanted out of it isn't a total loss. $453 million is a lot of money to lose, though.

Now, while it's a common practice for companies like Credit Suisse to pick up large quantities of shares to then resell to other interested buyers, Google dropping its stake in the company could speak volumes about the uncertainty that is looming around Clearwire's future. Google commented that, "Google periodically rebalances its investments based on its goals and its evaluation of market conditions."

After all that you've seen from our Clearwire coverage just this year alone, do you think the company will be around in 6 months? A year? Longer? We want to know in the comments section below.

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HP Sees Light Powered Computer Chips and They're Fast

posted Sunday Mar 11, 2012 by Jon Wurm

HP Sees Light Powered Computer Chips and They're Fast

HP is working on a project codenamed "Carona" that focuses on using fiber optic-like technology to address some problems that data centers and supercomputers are facing in terms of scalability and power consumption. Advancements and implementation of this technology could effectively make "electronics" so last MacWorld.

Corona will be a 265 core computer chip manufactured with a 16nm form factor that uses beams of light to connect the cores together. The cores in the chip will be arranged in 64 core clusters and be able to operate at 10 trillion operations per second, allowing the cores to communicate with each other at 20 terabytes per second! The cores would also be able to communicate with external memory at 10 terabytes per second... that's insane. Put 5 of these chips together and you're in the same league with modern supercomputers in terms of computing power. "Integrated photonics" is the key to making Corona a reality by 2017 and it focuses on using a similar technology that exists in telecommunication networks but this has to be adapted for core-to-core communication. This technology is not a reality yet but with chip manufactures shrinking optical communication devices to fit onto chips, the reality is getting closer. According to HP Lab's researcher Marco Fiorentino,

A lot of people have concentrated on individual devices. Now they're starting to build circuits. It's like going from the transistor to the integrated circuit.

Corona would be incredibly fast but how will it help increase scalability and reduce power consumption which are equally important? Read on after the break to find out.

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Germany Researches Platoon Power for Future Cars

posted Sunday Mar 11, 2012 by Jon Wurm

Germany Researches Platoon Power for Future Cars

It's been about 67 years since Germany has actively explored platooning technology but the Robotics Innovation Center at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz) brought it back to the present at CeBIT this year. Their EO prototype electric car showcased some interesting abilities and, despite its futuristic design, there didn't seem to be any futuristic weapons mounted on it just yet; so, for now, it seems we're safe.

The EO prototype is the product of only 10 months of work and is a ways away from traversing the Autobahn but it has demonstrated some pretty cool functionality. For example, the car is very versatile with regards to adjusting to its environment. Every driver finds themselves in common situations where space is limited and they are required to maneuver vehicles in awkward ways. Thankfully, the EO can shorten its wheelbase to perform tighter turns, something that would be useful for urban driving. It can also lower its center of gravity to make "high speed" driving more efficient. It's also well worth mentioning that it can rotate its wheels 90 degrees making parallel parking a cinch.

But wait, there's more! Platooning will help make sure that you never have to roam alone again, even if you book a vacation without using Travelosity. Find out more and check out a video after the break.

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Verizon's HomeFusion Internet Service Brings High-Speed to a One-Street-Light City Near You

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Verizon's HomeFusion Internet Service Brings High-Speed to a One-Street-Light City Near You

Hey, are you some of the 40% of Americans who don't have high-speed Internet? Is it because the price is too high? Are you too far out in a rural area that no service is available to you? Well, if you're the former, this news won't help you. However, the people in the latter, prepare to rejoice as we have some news this week that will brighten your day in the same way upgrading your modem from 28.8 to 56k did!

We have the details after the break.

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Rumor Mill Churns with Talks of Valve Creating a Console Called Steam Box

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Rumor Mill Churns with Talks of Valve Creating a Console Called Steam Box

While we may never see the next release of Half-Life: Episode 3 in our lifetime, Valve is rumored to be working on a new project that may make the final chapter in the Black Mesa world seem less important. Valve's co-founder Gabe Newell spoke to Penny Arcade and hinted at the company possibly making a physical console that could go toe-to-toe with the next-gen versions of the Xbox and PlayStation. Newell said, "well, if we have to sell hardware we will."

Under normal circumstances, we'd chalk this up to another Internet rumor that is merely fun to chat about on a message board, however this time there may be some proof behind this speculation.

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US Cellular Employees Enjoy Nudity

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Scott Ertz

US Cellular Employees Enjoy Nudity

Have you ever taken a naughty photo with your phone's camera? Sure you have. Well, the people who have taken those photos AND brought their phone in to a US Cellular store in Iowa might have had their photos shared around the store. That is the claim of a sexual harassment suit filed by Lisa Blazek against the company.

Apparently, the employees would look through customers' phones for nude photos, and when found, would show them to other employees. According tot he complaint,

If photos of that nature were found, they would show them throughout the store. Many times I would be called over to look at something only to find out that it was a sexual picture on a customer's phone.

It got to the point where I could no longer handle going to work. It affected me physically, mentally and emotionally. It took over every aspect of my life.

Blazek also alleges that co-workers would talk about their sexual escapades, as well as being asked to show her breasts. When she complained, her hours were changed and the harassment increased. These are all not out of the ordinary for the circumstances, but the rifling through a customer's personal property looking for dirty pictures is a little out of the ordinary, I would imagine.

With this information out in the open, I would imagine US Cellular will start receiving letters of complain from customers. I would hope they handle the situation better than Boost Mobile did a few years ago when they resold used phones with pornography on them to customers.

Have you had an experience with a wireless store or a computer store sharing your personal photos? Let us know in the comments section.

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