As Scorching Pacific Northwest Temps Underscore Effort’s Urgency

Amazon’s sustainability efforts are getting hot — literally!

Today, the internet juggernaut released its Amazon Sustainability 2020 Report, which revealed some concrete progress over the company’s year-earlier state-of-the-effort release. Most notably, the company disclosed that 65 percent of its energy needs were powered by renewables in 2020, up from 42 percent in 2019. And membership in the Climate Pledge, a pact to slash carbon emissions that Amazon helped found, has surpassed triple digits.

As if to drive home the urgency of Amazon’s sustainability efforts, the company’s Seattle headquarters — like much of…

The notion that wisdom is hidden in every transaction, every action and every reaction — even every beat of every heart — is what’s been driving the digital transformation for much of the past decade. And the benefits are seemingly boundless, with insights that can help protect bank assets and government secrets, hone drug discovery and craft marketing strategies and tactics.

Indeed, the potential for learning from data is everywhere. And the more datasets you can pull together, the greater the wisdom.

No dataset is an island
The problem is that so many datasets are either physically or virtually siloed from…

Intel CEO Bob Swan touring the company’s newest factory, Fab 42 in Chandler, Arizona. (Source: Intel Corp.)

If the first step to solving your problems is, as the old saying goes, understanding that you have them, well, Intel has taken the first step.

At the company’s annual Industry Analyst Summit last month, executive after executive, starting with CEO Bob Swan, acknowledged the chipmaker’s troubles. And not a moment too soon.

Because while the event may have been virtual, the headwinds the company now faces are very real. AMD is taking share in the PC and in the datacenter. Nvidia is trying to extend its GPU dominance in deep learning to the fast-growing AI inferencing market. Apple, one…

They might be among the world’s largest, most successful companies. But technology’s juggernauts, it seems, are always trying to one-up each other. Facebook dominates social media. Google is tops in online advertising. Amazon has the biggest cloud business. And Apple has the largest valuation.

Increasingly, though, there’s another, more unique crown the Big Four are fighting fiercely to hold. And as of today, it belongs to Amazon.

Alongside re:Invent, Amazon Web Services’ annual cloud computing conference, Amazon revealed that it is investing in 26 renewable energy projects across eight countries, that together will produce 3.4 gigawatts of capacity. The energy…

Samsung’s ruggedized Galaxy XCover Pro (Photo Credit: Mike Feibus)

The most complete ruggedized work phone — the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro — just got better, with two new reasons to consider the device for front-line workers.

This fall, Microsoft and Samsung announced that companies can use the XCover Pro’s push-to-talk button with Microsoft Teams’ Walkie Talkie function. And just before Thanksgiving, AT&T began offering the XCover Pro, which means the device is now supported on two of the nation’s three largest cellular networks. Verizon has offered the phone since it first came available in April.

AT&T also approved the XCover Pro for the FirstNet first responder network.

I’ve been…

The new Meural Wi-Fi Photo Frame, Netgear’s latest digital art offering, is a great size for either art or photos — at a more economical price than the company’s larger Canvas II models. (Photo Credit: Mike Feibus)

For some folks on your holiday gift list, you know just what to buy. Maybe you’ve had an idea for some time. Or maybe they came right out and told you what they wanted.

And then there are the friends and relatives for whom, despite your best efforts and intentions, you still don’t know what to get. Well, here’s one item that is helping me scratch a few of those head-scratchers off my list: Netgear’s latest digital art offering, the new Meural Wi-Fi Photo Frame. It’s on sale for the holidays at $249.99.

Netgear unveiled the new, more economical unit…

Ask most people what they think of when they hear the term 5G, and they’ll likely say high-speed cellular networks. And they’re right, of course. 5G networks are indeed faster — and will be dramatically faster in coming years, once carriers dedicate more bandwidth and implement more 5G features.

But for industries like healthcare, much of 5G’s game-changing potential comes not so much from its high speed, but from a raft of other capabilities, like low latency and seemingly endless capacity.

What is latency? It’s basically the time it takes to fulfill a request. So bandwidth plays a role, of…

Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop Go, available starting today, is a good mix of price, performance and pizazz. (Photo: Mike Feibus)

Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop Go is available starting today, and that’s welcome news for consumers who have been pining for the brand’s quality and aesthetic but found prices to be a bit out of reach.

The Laptop Go starts at $549, albeit with just 4GB of RAM and an anemic 64GB of storage. A capably-equipped system with 8GB of memory and a 128GB SSD costs $699. The unit Microsoft gave me to test is priced at $899, and includes 8GB of system memory and a 256GB drive. All models include a 10th-Generation Intel Core i5 processor.

True to the brand…

All the major smartwatch brands are now offering a mainstream model, now that Apple and Garmin have added newly-designed models under $300. (Photo: Mike Feibus)

Not long ago, you either paid $400 or more for the latest model smartwatch. Or you sifted through the older models on the clearance rack.

No more. Because starting this year, all the major brands are now offering models designed specifically for price points in the $250 to $300 range. Apple and Garmin, the last remaining holdouts, just released their first models built for the segment: the Apple Watch SE and Fitbit Venu Sq. And they’ve made it much clearer to see what you get — and what you’re giving up.

The clearance rack is now relegated to smartwatches priced…

Mike Feibus

Mike Feibus is president and principal analyst of FeibusTech, an industry analyst firm, and columnist for USA Today and CIO Magazine. @MikeFeibus

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