HP releases its $1,099 Linux laptop for developers

HP releases its $1,099 Linux laptop for developers

Enlarge (credit: System76)

HP released its Dev One Linux laptop today. Aimed at coders, the 14-inch clamshell comes at a lower price than previous Ubuntu-based HP clamshells.

Starting at $1,099, the Dev One begins to keep costs low by opting for an AMD, rather than Intel, CPU and skipping the discrete graphics card. HP’s last Linux laptops, part of its ZBook workstation lineup, went well over $2,000 and offered up to Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia RTX GPUs.

The 14-incher weighs 3.24 lbs.

The 14-incher weighs 3.24 lbs. (credit: System76)

Linux roots

The previous workstations used Ubuntu 20.04 preloaded with software packages aimed at data scientists. However, the Dev One runs Pop!_OS, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution from System76.

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#hp, #laptops, #linux, #system76, #tech

HP’s new Spectre laptops include options with Intel Arc, less noise

The new HP Spectre x360 in "Nocturne Blue with Celestial Blue accents."

Enlarge / The new HP Spectre x360 in “Nocturne Blue with Celestial Blue accents.” (credit: Scharon Harding)

HP has revamped its Spectre x360 lineup of convertible, champfered-edged laptops with a purportedly quieter sound profile, Intel’s new Arc graphics card, and beefed-up webcams.

Today, HP released 12th Gen Intel versions of the Spectre x360 in 13.5- and 16-inch sizes.

If the 13.5-inch sounds new to you, that’s because HP hasn’t released a “Spectre x360 13.5” since 2020. Last year, its 13.5-inch Spectre was called the “Spectre x360 14.” But don’t get confused; this thin-and-light laptop still has a screen that measures 13.5 inches diagonally and uses the 3:2 aspect ratio for up to 3000×2000 resolution if you opt for OLED.

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#ars-shopping, #hp, #intel, #laptops, #tech

HP monitor’s built-in 5 MP webcam keeps you in frame

HP Z24m webcam close-up

Enlarge (credit: Scharon Harding)

A USB-C monitor is a good way to minimize the cables needed for your setup. And if that setup is for work, where webcams have become virtually mandatory, a monitor with an integrated camera lets you skip an additional cable. The HP Z24m G3 I checked out this week seems like it will be a decent option for workers who don’t need the highest-resolution panel, either because they’re content with fewer pixels or use a multi-monitor setup.

At a 2560×1440 resolution, the 23.8-inch monitor still has a good pixel density of 123 pixels per inch. USB-C with the current max power delivery of 100 W makes it a good fit for Windows-based thin-and-lights and MacBooks that can charge over the port.

I didn’t get the chance to analyze the Z24m’s image quality, but HP said the IPS panel is aimed at professional creators. It should have sufficient color coverage for working with Windows and the web while also serving Mac users with 99 percent sRGB and 90 percent DCI-P3 color coverage. Any errors should be invisible to the naked eye, as the company says the panel has a Delta E of <2.

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#hp, #monitors, #tech, #webcams

AMD doubles the number of CPU cores it offers in Chromebooks

HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook lid

Enlarge / HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook. (credit: HP)

AMD is upping the ante when it comes to Chromebooks. While still a ways off from having Chrome OS devices with the capabilities of the Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs, Team Red announced the Ryzen 5000 C-series for Chromebooks on Thursday. The top chip in the series has eight of AMD’s Zen 3 cores, giving systems that use it more x86 CPU cores than any other Chromebook. The chips aren’t just a nice idea either; HP and Acer have already detailed Chromebooks they plan to release with the chips this year.

The 7nm Ryzen 5000 C-series ranges from the Ryzen 3 5125C with two Zen 3 cores and a base and boost clock speed of 3 GHz, up to the Ryzen 7 5825C with eight cores and a base clock speed of 2 GHz that can boost to 4.5 GHz. For comparison, the highest end Intel chip found in Thursday’s Chromebooks, the i7-1185G7, has four cores and a base clock speed of 3 GHz that can boost to 4.8 GHz. You can take a look at the Ryzen 5000 C-series full specs below:

On their own, the chips aren’t that exciting. They seemingly offer similar performance to the already-released Ryzen 5000 U-series chips. The Ryzen 5000 C-series also uses years-old Vega integrated graphics rather than the upgraded RDNA 2 found in Ryzen 6000 mobile chips, which, upon release, AMD said are “up to 2.1 times faster.”

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#acer, #amd, #chromebooks, #cpus, #hp, #laptops, #tech

Report: HP is working on a 17-inch foldable PC

The Hewlett-Packard Co. logo is displayed on the back of the Envy x2 displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

Enlarge (credit: Getty)

While smartphones are having fun with the trend, PCs with foldable screens have yet to become mainstream, partially because there’s only one option readily available. But with HP expected to enter the scene, it’s possible ‘foldable OLED’ could become more common laptop lingo.

Lenovo made the bold first step into foldable laptops with its 13.3-inch ThinkPad X1 Fold. According to South Korean electronics website TheElec, HP’s take on foldable OLED will be bigger, with a 17-inch panel from LG Display that measures 11 inches when folded up. HP hasn’t publicly announced or commented on the rumored PC, but a couple of details make the machine seem at least somewhat plausible. For one, LG Display confirmed work on a 17-inch foldable OLED laptop design in January.

Most recently, TheElec on Monday reported that South Korean company SK IE Technology will make transparent polyimide films to cover the bendy 4K OLED panels. The publication also claimed that LG Display currently has plans to make up to “around 10,000” foldable OLED panels for HP, starting in Q3.

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#hp, #laptops, #tech

HP wins huge fraud case against Autonomy founder and CEO Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch, former chief executive officer of Autonomy Corp., departs from his extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London, UK., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.

Enlarge / Mike Lynch, former chief executive officer of Autonomy Corp., departs from his extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London, UK., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. (credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images)

After years of wrangling, HP has won its civil fraud case against Autonomy founder and chief executive Mike Lynch. The ruling, the biggest civil fraud trial in UK history, came just hours before UK home secretary approved Lynch’s extradition to the United States, where he faces further fraud charges.

The UK’s High Court found that HP had “substantially succeeded” in proving that Autonomy executives had fraudulently boosted the firm’s reported revenue, earnings, and value. HP paid $11 billion for the firm back in 2011 and later announced a $8.8 billion write-down of its value. In court, HP claimed damages of $5 billion, but the judge said the total amount due would be “considerably less” and announced at a later date. Kelwin Nicholls, Lynch’s lawyer and a partner at law firm Clifford Chance, said his client intends to appeal the High Court ruling. In a later statement, Nicholls said his client would also appeal the extradition order in the UK’s High Court.

This week’s events are the latest twist in an extradition process that began in November 2019, when the US Embassy in London submitted a request for Lynch to face trial in the United States on 17 counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy, and securities fraud. Lynch denies all charges against him. Nicholas Ryder, professor in financial crime at the University of the West of England describes it as the “Colt-45 for the US Department of Justice”—an all-pervasive and powerful move. “That’s their go-to charge. The ramifications for Mr. Lynch are significant.”

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#autonomy, #business, #fraud, #hp, #policy

HP Chromebook x2 review: A price cut away from great

HP Chromebook x2 11-inch two-in-one.

Enlarge / HP Chromebook x2 11-inch two-in-one.

For tech enthusiasts, Chromebooks can be an acquired taste. Advanced users don’t need a stripped-down operating system, and the low computing power generally disqualifies Chromebooks from being a serious, primary PC. But Chromebooks can often find a welcome spot in an enthusiast’s home as a secondary or (after the phone) tertiary device. And when that Chromebook comes in a detachable form factor with a screen that’s slightly larger than most competitors, it fits that role well.

The HP Chromebook x2 two-in-one makes a play for this space with an 11-inch display that offers more screen area than rivals like the 10.1-inch Lenovo Chromebook Duet, the 10.5-inch Microsoft Surface Go 3, or even similarly priced iPads. HP’s portable, bendable (and did we mention blue?) Chromebook is ripe for travel and less intensive tasks.

Specs at a glance: HP Chromebook x2
Worst Best As reviewed
Screen 11-inch 2160×1440 IPS touchscreen
OS Chrome OS
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Compute Platform
RAM 4GB LPDDR4x-2133 8GB LPDDR4x-2133
Storage 64GB eMMC 128GB eMMC 64GB eMMC
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 618 (integrated)
Networking Qualcomm Atheros 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5
Ports 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C), 1x microSD card reader
Size 9.9×7×0.3 inches (252.5×176.8×7.6 mm)
Weight With keyboard and kickstand: 1.2 lb; Tablet only: 1 lb
Battery 32 Wh
Warranty 1 year
Price (MSRP) $570 $680 $600
Other perks HP Rechargeable USI Pen 4G LTE HP Rechargeable USI Pen

Despite an MSRP of $600-$680, depending on the configuration, I’ve seen the HP Chromebook x2 at more appropriate sale prices of $370$400, or $480. Considering its level of power, its touchpad that demands a hard surface, and a keyboard cover that feels like a temporary solution, you’ll want to wait for that discount.

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#ars-shopping, #chromebook, #detachable, #features, #gadgetology, #hp, #hp-chromebook-x2, #tech

HP takes printer troubleshooting into mixed reality for some reason

HP claims using the mixed-reality service will ultimately save time.

Enlarge / HP claims using the mixed-reality service will ultimately save time. (credit: HP)

Whether a printer is out of ink or the paper is jammed, printer troubleshooting can be a pain. Now, with the “metaverse” just a head-mounted display away, printer repair can be easier. At least that’s what HP is claiming with xRServices, a printer repair and support feature that uses Microsoft HoloLens 2 mixed-reality headsets.

Businesses that have a HoloLens 2 and buy HP’s xRServices will be able to instantly connect to an HP engineer and ask about printer problems during “any point of their print production,” HP’s Monday announcement said.

The service targets companies that use HP’s Industrial line of printers, the massive pieces of equipment you’ll find in everything from standard offices to large warehouses. They can do things your printer at home can’t, like print 6,000 sheets an hour.

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#hololens, #hp, #microsoft, #mixed-reality, #printer, #tech

Hoping for a new PC this holiday? The pandemic may make that tough

It could be harder to get a new PC this holiday season, as supply chain issues continue hindering the market. Numbers shared by analysts today show that component shortages related to the COVID-19 pandemic are still very much affecting PC supply, as well as demand.

“The shortfall in supply of PCs is expected to last well into 2022, with the holiday season of this year set to see a significant portion of orders not met,” Ishan Dutt, senior analyst at Canalys, said in a statement. 

The biggest thing slowing the growth of desktop, laptop and workstation shipments right now is disruption to the global supply chain and logistics network, Dutt said. Manufacturers are dealing with restrictions and even lockdowns, especially in Asia. This is all leading to backlogs for PC-makers and their partners.

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#canalys, #desktops, #hp, #idc, #laptops, #lenovo, #pc-market, #tech, #uncategorized

Chromebook demand is plummeting as the pandemic eases

The 2020 Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, which had a 4K OLED display.

Enlarge / The 2020 Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, which had a 4K OLED display. (credit: Samsung)

A global deceleration of laptop sales is being linked in a new report from market research firm Trendforce to increasing vaccination rates and a corresponding decrease in remote work and remote learning. According to the findings, demand for Chromebooks slid by over 50 percent during one month since July. And notebook shipments for the remainder of the year are expected to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shifting demand from businesses.

Trendforce said that interest for ChromeOS-powered laptops within the last year had primarily been driven by remote learning. The analyst pointed to rising vaccination rates in North America, Europe, and Japan throughout the second half of 2021 as recently slowing demand for Chromebooks.

After being a “primary driver” of overall laptop shipments in the first half of 2021, Chromebook shipments dropped by over 50 percent during one month in the second half of the year. And because Chromebooks represent a “relatively high share” of HP’s and Samsung’s overall laptop shipments, the OEMs’ shipments are predicted to fall by 10 to 20 percent from the first half of the year to the second half.

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#chromebook, #hp, #laptops, #samsung, #tech

Canalys: U.S. PC sales up 17% YoY for quarter, even as tablet sales stagnate

Canalys released its quarterly U.S. PC sales today, and while the news was quite good with sales overall up 17% YoY, the growth slowed significantly from the prior quarter when sales soared to 74% pushed by the pandemic. Perhaps that is also due the widely reported worldwide chip shortage.

HP retained top spot for the second straight quarter with 21.9% of the market, up over 20% from the previous year. Apple remained in second spot with 20.6% share. It’s worth noting, however, that Apple’s growth fell -2.8% for the year.

Dell was in third place with 15.6%, followed by Lenovo with 12.4%. If you’re looking at yearly growth rate, Samsung had the highest with over 50%, but that translated into just over 6% market share.

Canalys Q2 U.S. PC marketshare chart

Image Credits: Canalys

Brian Lynch, Research Analyst at Canalys is optimistic that the pandemic-fueled growth we have been seeing in this market throughout 2020 and 2021 will continue and that consumer refreshes could be on the horizon as the economy continues to rebound.

“The commercial and education segments have exploded, triggering tremendous refresh potential. The US economy has bounced back well from its pandemic woes and small businesses are recovering, which will lead to a wave of purchasing from the segment,” Lynch said in a statement.

Overall there were 36.8 million units sold and that includes notebooks which were up 27%, desktops which were up 23% and tablets, which were basically stagnant with growth actually down 1%. Canalys attributed this drop to the education market moving away from tablets and the fact that many people bought tablets when they were stuck at home, but won’t be refreshing quickly.

In spite of this, Apple remains firmly in charge in the tablet market with 45% share, while Amazon is well back in second place with 22% followed by Samsung with 18%.

It seems clear that even though more people may be returning to in-person learning and in-office work at some point, many schools and businesses will continue to take a hybrid or even fully remote approach and that should bode well for the PC industry, especially whenever the chip shortage finally abates.

#apple, #canalys, #hardware, #hp, #pc-sales, #tablets, #tc

Contentstack raises $57.5M for its headless content management system

Contentstack, a startup that offers a headless content management system (or a ‘content experience platform’ in marketing speak), today announced that it has raised a $57.5 million Series B round. The round, which the company says was oversubscribed, was led by Insight Partners, which also led its Series A round. New investor Georgian and existing investors Illuminate Ventures and GingerBread Capital also participated. With this, the company has now raised a total of $89 million.

“In the last year, we have helped leading companies in industries such as retail, financial services, gaming and travel to create personalized experiences for their customers in order to drive revenue, improve customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty,” said Neha Sampat, founder and CEO of Contentstack. “This round of financing demonstrates that our strategy is paying off, including our core beliefs around equality, customer care and product innovation. During a remarkably challenging year, our team delivered impressive results and we are excited to continue this growth trajectory by delivering the best agile CMS platform for a digital-first world.”

The company says it saw its customer base grow over 150% since closing its $31.5 million Series A round in October 2019. Among its new customers are Broadcom, Chico’s FAS, HP, La Perla, Leesa Sleep, McDonald’s and NBC.

In recent months, Contentstack launched a new user interface for these customers and the company argues that Georgian’s focus on AI and machine learning will allow it to bring more of these modern technologies to its platform as well.

“We are big believers in Contentstack and the leadership team, especially after our conversations with global brands revealed how important Contentstack is to these organizations and how beloved the product is by both business and technical users,” said Emily Walsh, Lead Investor at Georgian. “Now with access to our technology platform, Contenstack can not only gain operational efficiencies but also supercharge the innovation, experience and support it offers to customers and partners. We are excited to help Contentstack customers leverage AI to gain business advantages through new insights and automation.”

The company plans to use the new funding to accelerate its investments in this technology, fuel its international growth and expand its partner ecosystem.

#artificial-intelligence, #broadcom, #ceo, #content-management-system, #contentstack, #financial-services, #hp, #illuminate-ventures, #insight-partners, #machine-learning, #mcdonalds, #tc

U.S. PC shipments soar 73% in the first quarter as Apple falls from top spot

With pent up demand from the pandemic, Canalys reports that U.S. PC shipments were up 73% over the same period last year. That added up to a total of 34 million units sold. While Apple had a good quarter with sales up 36%, it was surpassed by HP, which sold 11 million units in total with annual growth up an astonishing 122.6%.

As Canalys pointed out, the first quarter tends to be a weaker one for Apple hardware following the holiday season, but it’s a big move for HP nonetheless. Other companies boasting big growth numbers include Samsung at 116% and Lenovo at 92.8%. Dell was up 29.2%, fairly modest compared with the rest of the group.

Overall though it was a stunning quarter as units flew off the shelves. Canalys Research Analyst Brian Lynch says some of this can be attributed to pent up demand from 2020 as people moved to work and school from home and needed new machines to get their work done, but regardless the growth was unrivaled historically. “… Q1 2021 still rates as one of the best first quarters the industry has ever seen. Vendors have prioritized fulfilling US backlogs before supply issues are addressed in other parts of the world,” Lynch said in a statement.

Canalys Q1 2021 PC sales by vendor.

Image Credits: Canalys

Perhaps not surprisingly, low-cost Chromebooks were the most popular item as people looking to refresh their devices, especially for education purposes, turned to the lower end of the PC market, which likely had a negative impact on higher priced Apple products, as well contributing to its drop from the top spot.

That’s where Samsung and other Chromebook vendors really shined. The firm reports that over the last year Chromebook sales shot up 548% with Samsung leading that growth with an astonishing 1,963% growth rate. Asus, HP and Lenovo all reported Chromebook sales rates up over 900%.

Those numbers include desktops, notebooks, tablets and workstations, but it was the notebook and tablets that get the bulk of the action here with notebooks up a whopping 131% YoY. While tablets didn’t grow at the same rate, sales were still up 51% with 11 million units sold in the quarter.

The company does not expect the market to slow significantly in the coming quarters with continued demand in the education market. While parts shortages, particularly in the chip market, continue to dog the industry, this will only continue to feed demand in the coming quarters, according to the firm.

#apple, #canalys, #chromebooks, #computers, #hp, #pc-sales, #tc

HP outlines ambitious diversity goals

HP today announced a series of ambitious goals aimed at driving “a more diverse, equitable and inclusive” tech industry.

The tech giant, of course, is not the first company to have made strong claims about its intentions around diversity. As former TC reporter Megan Rose Dickey reported extensively, diversity and inclusion as an idea has been on the agenda of tech companies for years now. 

HP Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown says diversity and inclusion is something that the company has been focused on since its 1939 inception. Today, HP has roughly 50,000 employees globally with 31% of its leadership roles and 22% of its technical roles currently held by women – numbers that appear to be higher than most industry averages.

In order to further improve these numbers, HP announced three goals that Slaton Brown says the company is determined to achieve by 2030: 50/50 gender equality in HP leadership (defined as director level and up); greater than 30% technical women and women in engineering; and meet or exceed labor market representation for racial/ethnic minorities. 

I talked with Slaton Brown to get more details on the goals themselves, how the company plans to achieve them and what it plans to do to hold itself accountable. 

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.


TC:  Tell me more about the genesis of these goals and what HP has done up until now to achieve more equality – whether it be with regard to gender, race or ethnicity – within the company?

Slaton Brown: It’s foundationally something that we’ve always been focused on. We’re now at a place where I think going into COVID and quarantine last year and the impact that the George Floyd murder had on us as a nation really allowed us to do the double click down into racial equality and the systemic and structural discrimination that exists. 

From that, we were able to then stand up our Racial Equality and Social Justice Task Force. One of our goals has been to increase the representation of Black and African Americans in particular at HP. And also look at what we would need to do to increase the opportunity of Black and African American suppliers and vendors who work with and partner with HP. And then ultimately, how can we impact the communities locally and nationally – whether it’s from policy and legislation to working with municipalities in order to provide bias training and things like that. So all of that was stood up, and now a year later, we’ve made some great progress. 

HP Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown / HP

We have also launched our Human Rights Initiative. We’re looking at standing up for equal and human rights. We’re really focused on how we go after climate action and human rights.

TC: It sounds like that you are committing to a variety of things in terms of more balance among leadership and technical talent in terms of gender, for one. So it’s not just about race. But I’d like to hear more specifics on these particular goals and what you have done historically to work toward greater diversity and inclusion.

Slaton Brown: When we separated in 2015 from HP Co. We were very intentional about creating a diverse board of directors, first and foremost. And so today when I think about our board composition, we’re made up of I think it’s about 45% women, 35% ethnic minorities and over 60% total minorities with just our board of directors alone. We’re one of the most diverse boards in the tech industry. Now why is that important? The importance of building or standing up a board of directors is because they help with the vision of the company and help guide the strategy for the company.

That was one of the first things we did, and when I came into this role at that time, my goal was to embed diversity, equity and inclusion into everything that we do. 

TC: How are you holding yourselves accountable?

Slaton Brown: We’re really talking about answering all the way up to the board of directors on what we’re doing – our dashboards, our matrices that we pulled together will go to our board of directors to say, ‘Here’s what we said we’re going to do, how are we tracking, and then ultimately what was the impact.’ And so that’s what we’re building today. I consider that the infrastructure. So from the board of directors down cascading to your executive leadership team, ensuring that we have a strong narrative built.

By having this goal, we can then drive the actions, the programs, and then the implementation through our infrastructure and an ecosystem to achieve those goals. That includes things like working with organizations like the Society of Women Engineers, the Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Asian Engineers. And not only working with them, but building and investing in them so that we build the partnership in order to get to that pipeline.

TC: Can you be more specific in terms of what you mean by meeting or exceeding labor market representation?

Slaton Brown: I can see where that would be confusing. First, what it doesn’t mean is trying to match the demographics of the overall population, but rather to the labor market in the tech industry. For example, we’re at nearly 4% of having African Americans in a leadership position. Our goal is to achieve hiring at or more than 6% by 2025.

TC: What if you’re not getting enough women or minorities to apply for these leadership and technical roles? Would you rule out qualified white males, for example?

Slaton Brown: We are standing up for equal human rights. What we’re focusing on is also accelerating our gender, racial equality and social justice efforts. Part of that is looking at how do we increase our pipeline? And, how do we increase the talent pool? 

I would submit there is not a shortage of talent. It’s about how do you get to the talent? It has traditionally been through top tier schools such as Stanford and MIT. But you know what? Smart people and great talent are everywhere. People are sometimes financially challenged and so they may go the community college route, and then they might move into some of the top tier schools. That’s one means in addition to HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities).

For example, we’ve stood up a very good program in the HBCU space to ensure that students that have not traditionally had the opportunity to compete for certain positions have that opportunity and not only have that opportunity, but have the ability to travel to HP sites to see where they would be likely interning. Our goal is to have a 100% conversion rate in terms of converting interns into full-time hires based off of performance, of course. And so it is a holistic or an end-to-end approach.

Okay, so now you’ve made these goals for women and for ethnic minorities and the white guy might say, ‘I’m left out.’ I think the interesting thing about that is that within the tech industry, the white male is the majority. What we’re doing at HP is building a powerful culture of inclusion and belonging. So we’re still getting white guys, but we’re also getting very talented women, and US ethnic minorities, as well, in addition to veterans and people with disabilities. 

It’s about where you go, how you show up as a brand of choice – which is a goal of ours: to be a destination of choice for the underrepresented group – and  then how you welcome them. It’s the attraction, the hiring, the retention, the investment you make in their learning and development, and then in promotion, as well. And so those are some of the things that we’re doing.

TC: What are other ways you are fighting for human rights?

Slaton Brown: This announcement is around how we’re doubling down on our workforce, workforce empowerment, and that is about how we do things is just as important as what we do. And that’s about respecting human rights, and making it a priority. Our commitment to our supply chain workers is to ensure that our vendors are not contributing to the modern day slavery, or bringing in people with degrees and education and then bringing them into a system that charges them charges them ginormous fees and takes their passport.

We want to ensure that we create an environment, and create visibility and a resilient supply chain to ensure that that doesn’t happen, that we respect human rights, and that our manufacturing suppliers are contributing to that, as well.

TC:  In press materials, the company claimed to be the first Fortune 100 tech company to commit to gender parity in leadership.” Hopefully you’ll be setting an example and others will follow.

Slaton Brown: Well, it’s a huge goal and so some of the strategies and best practices that we’ve put in place really is not just about bringing women in as a checkbox exercise for us, but to really establish a new standard.

Our goal and our vision is to become the most sustainable and just tech company in the world. And so we can’t just say that we have to do it. And that’s what I love about the culture of HP – it’s moving from the talk, and really showing the actions in which we’re going to get to that place of being sustainable and just by 2030.

#diversity, #hiring, #hp, #personnel, #talent, #tc

Instreamatic, which inserts interactive voice ads into audio streams, raises $6.1M Series A round

Interactive voice advertising startup Instreamatic, which can insert interactive voice ads into an audio stream, has raised $6.1 million in a Series A funding led by Progress Ventures led the round, joined by Accomplice, and Google Assistant Investments.

SF-HQ’d Instreamatic lets brands that advertise through streaming music apps and podcasts (for instance) have interactive voice-based dialogues with consumers. So instead of an audio ad playing in a one-way experience (as all adverts currently do), the listener can talk to, and interact, with the ad.

For example, when an Instreamatic advert says “Hello! Need help sleeping?” the microphone on the device it’s playing on opens, and the listener can respond however they like. If they say “Yes” then the brand’s voice (perhaps it’s a mattress brand) will respond with “Then we will sing you a lullaby”. If the user doesn’t respond then the ad experience is over and the content resumes playing. There are also more complex versions of this scenario. The key is that Instreamatic knows what happened and can tailor future ads to match the listener’s past engagement. Here’s an example.

The company says its technology can understand the ‘intent and tone’ of consumers’ natural responses to take the next action.

The upshot is that this AI-fueled voice ad could be coming to an audio stream near you soon. And with audio exploding following the pandemic, the platform is likely to benefit.

CEO Stas Tushinskiy, CEO, Instreamatic said in a statement: “Consumers don’t like being fed annoyingly repetitive ads. Brands are under ever-increasing pressure to make those moments meaningful while supporting strong ROI demands. On the publisher side, audio and video platforms need a better way to prove their audiences and ad inventory deliver their promise to brands. Our voice AI infrastructure, deployed by brands such as IKEA, Infiniti, and HP and across platforms like Pandora and Gaana, is empirically demonstrating that conversational marketing benefits brands, consumers, and publishers alike.”

Instreamatic says its voice ads can reach an average of 12% engagement, with some campaigns reaching 19%. These figures are quite unusual for the online advertising industry – the average CTR of mobile advertising is 0.6%.

The company says that a recent campaign by Infiniti saw 5.5% of listeners who declined the offer in the first conversation ask to receive more information about the vehicle after the second (and more personalized) chat.

Instreamatic also says it can achieve what it calls ‘continuous dialogues’ with consumers, not dissimilar to an Alexa or Siri device.

Because of the platforms complexity, Instreamatic also says it can build up a profile of the user based on an individual consumer’s previous interactions with a brand, allowing it to customize future campaigns.

So far brands that have used the platform include Pandora, Salem Media, Gaana (the Indian streaming music service), as well as a recent deal with Universal Electronics to expand voice ads into the smart-TV industry. It is also working with Triton Digital, one of the larger audio ad networks.

 
“Consumer demand for audio and video content, and the ubiquity of smart devices delivering that content on-demand, continues to accelerate,” said Nick MacShane, the founding partner at Progress Ventures, the venture capital arm of Progress Partners, a full-service merchant bank. “What hasn’t caught up is how brands and publishers can effectively engage those audiences in the same medium and analytically prove the ROI of their audio and video platform ad spend.”
 
A competitor to Instreamatic is AdsWizz, which, instead of voice, allows users to shake their phones when they are interested in an ad. But its interactions are obviously, therefore, more limited.

According to Juniper Research, the voice-based ad market will grow to $19 billion in the U.S. by 2022, growing the market share from the $17 billion audio ad market and the $57 billion programmatic ad market. Voice assistant usage is booming. Some estimates put it at over at 3 billion right, and half of all searches are expected to be done via voice. Some 55% of teens use voice search daily.

As well as Tushinskiy, the Instreamatic team also includes cofounder Simon Dunlop (former CEO/Founder of Bookmate, a subscription-based reading and audiobook platform, and Zvuk; Victor Frumkin (co-founder at Zvuk, a mobile music streaming app in Eastern Europe and Bookmate); Ilya Lityuga, CTO, one of the original team members at RuTube; and Andy Whatley, U.S. radio industry veteran.

#artificial-intelligence, #assistant, #ceo, #co-founder, #cofounder, #eastern-europe, #europe, #gaana, #hp, #ikea, #instreamatic, #juniper-research, #marketing, #mobile-advertising, #online-advertising, #pandora, #partner, #rutube, #sirius-xm, #smart-devices, #social-media-marketing, #tc, #triton-digital, #united-states, #voice-search

3D printer waste can be recycled into truck parts, Ford finds

Slowly but surely, car companies are beginning to make themselves more sustainable. We most often hear about this in the context of using clean energy to power the production lines and assembly plants that put together new electric vehicles, but it shows up in smaller examples, too. Take Ford, for example. Working with HP, it has come up with a use for plastic waste left over from 3D printing, which it’s now using to make truck parts.

Like many automakers, Ford has been getting more comfortable with additive manufacturing. 3D printing lends itself well to producing low-volume parts that would otherwise be too expensive to make due to the cost of creating tooling. But in this case, some of those printed bits will actually end up in production vehicles—sort of.

Ford, working with HP (which supplies the Blue Oval with some of its printers), has started recycling 3D printed parts and powder and is using the plastic to make fuel clips for the F-250 truck. The waste plastic, along with similar waste from the dental company SmileDirectClub (which apparently has 60 3D printers making 40,000 aligners a day), gets sent to a company called Lavergne that turns it into plastic pellets that can then be used in injection molding machines. Those pellets are then used by one of Ford’s suppliers, ARaymond, to make the fuel clips.

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#3d-printing, #cars, #ford, #hp, #plastics, #recycling

Spectral raises $6.2M for its DevSecOps service

Tel Aviv-based Spectral is bringing its new DevSecOps code scanner out of stealth today and announcing a $6.2 million funding round. The startup’s programming language-agnostic service aims to automated code security development teams to help them detect potential security issues in their codebases and logs, for example. Those issues could be hardcoded API keys and other credentials, but also security misconfiguration and shadow IT assets.

The four-person founding team has a deep background in building AI, monitoring and security tools. CEO Dotan Nahum was a Chief Architect at Klarna and Conduit (now Como, though you may remember Conduit from its infamous toolbar that was later spun off), and the CTO at Como and HiredScore, for example. Other founders worked on building monitoring tools at Elastic and HP and on security at Akamai. As Nahum told me, the idea for Spectral came to him and co-founder and COO Idan Didi during their shared time at mobile application build Conduit/Como.

Image Credits: Spectral

“We basically stored certificates for every client that we had, so we could submit their apps to the various marketplaces,” Nahum told me of his experience at Counduit/Como. “That certificate really proves that you are who you are and it’s super sensitive. And at each point at these companies, I really didn’t have the right tools to actually make sure that we’re storing, handling, detecting [this information] and making sure that it doesn’t leak anywhere.”

Nahum decided to quit his current job and started to build a prototype to see if he could build a tool that could solve this problem (and his work on this prototype quickly discovered an issue at Slack). And as enterprises move from on-premises software to the cloud and to microservices and DevOps, the need for better DevSecOps tools is only increasing.

“The emphasis is to create a great developer experience,” Nahum noted. “Because that’s where we started from. We didn’t start as a top down cyber tool. We started as a modest DevOps friendly, developer-friendly tool.”

Image Credits: Spectral

One interesting aspect of Spectral’s approach, which uses a machine learning model to detect these breaches across programming languages, is that it also scans public-facing systems. On the backend, Spectral integrates with tools like Travis, Jenkins, CircleCI, Webpack, Gatsby and Netlify, but it can also monitor Slack, npm, maven and log providers — tools that most companies don’t really think about when they think about threat modeling.

“Our solution prevents security breaches on a daily basis,” said Spectral co-founder and COO Idan Didi. “The pain points we’re addressing resonate strongly across every company developing software, because as they evolve from own-code to glue-code to no-code approaches they allow their developers to gain more speed, but they also add on significant amounts of risk. Spectral lets developers be more productive while keeping the company secure.”

The company was founded in mid-2020, but it already has about 15 employees and counts a number of large publicly-listed companies among its customers.

#akamai, #api, #ceo, #computing, #conduit, #cto, #enterprise, #funding, #fundings-exits, #hp, #jenkins, #klarna, #machine-learning, #recent-funding, #security, #security-tools, #startups, #tel-aviv, #travis

PC sales finally saw big growth in 2020 after years of steady decline

A promotional shot for Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga laptop, one of the new 2021 laptops meant to capitalize on growing traditional PC sales.

Enlarge / A promotional shot for Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga laptop, one of the new 2021 laptops meant to capitalize on growing traditional PC sales. (credit: Lenovo)

During the Consumer Electronics Show this week, research firm IDC released a report on worldwide traditional PC sales in 2020, and it tells a rosier story than we’ve been used to in recent years. In the fourth quarter of 2020, PC shipments grew 26.1 percent over the same period last year.

That means 13.1 percent year-over-year growth overall, and the best year and month for PC sales in quite some time. In total, 91.6 million traditional PCs were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2020. “Traditional PCs” in IDC’s report include systems like desktops, laptops, and work stations. For years, sales of these kinds of computers were declining at worst or growing negligibly at best even as other, newer computing gadget categories like smartphones, smart speakers, and tablets grew relatively rapidly.

IDC notes that the last time the market saw this kind of growth was way back in 2010, when modern multitouch smartphones were still building momentum and Apple’s very first iPad had only just launched.

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#acer, #apple, #ces2021, #dell, #desktops, #hp, #idc, #laptops, #lenovo, #notebooks, #pc, #tech, #workstations

Feast your eyes on the all-new, all-electric GMC Hummer EV

GMC has a new all-electric version of its classic Hummer oversized SUV. This thing is a beast, as you might expect, with an advertised 350-mile range and a 3-second zero to 60 mph time. It’s a bit ridiculous to be honest, which is kind of what the Hummer has always been about so that makes sense.

Alongside a teaser, GMC released a number of press photos of the 1,000 HP bruiser, so take a look below. It definitely looks like a Hummer – which may or may not be your cup of tea.

 

#automotive, #gmc, #gmc-hummer-ev, #greentech, #hp, #hummer, #tc, #transport

GM details 12 upcoming electric vehicles from Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet, and Buick

General Motors is on track to deliver 20 electric vehicles by 2023, the company said in its latest sustainability report. That includes models for nearly all of its brands, including Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet, and Buick.

Most of these vehicles utilize GM’s new modular EV architecture called Ultium. With this platform, GM says some vehicles will have a range of 400 miles, acceleration of 0-60 in 3 seconds, and come in front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel-drive configurations.

What follows is a look at 12 of these forthcoming models. Specific details are missing, but the list provided by GM’s sustainability report illustrates an automaker going all-in on electric.

Cadillac

  • Cadillac Lyriq: Previously announced, supposedly will be Cadillac’s first electric vehicle with a price of around $75,000.
  • Three-row SUV that GM says will emphasize interior space and cargo capability.
  • A small crossover like Cadillac’s current XT5
  • A full-size, three-row SUV “that builds on the DNA of the brand’s highly successful Escalade.”
  • Cadillac Celestiq Statement Vehicle: Previously announced, supposedly will be a handmade, ultra-luxury vehicle with a price tag around $200,000.

GMC

  • GMC Hummer Truck: Previously announced, 1,000 HP electric truck.
  • GMC Hummer SUV that’s similar to the Hummer Truck, but configured like an off-road SUV.

Chevrolet

  • An electric Chevy pickup truck with a range of over 400 miles on a charge.
  • Mid-size SUV for the American market
  • An aggressive Chevy Bolt electric crossover that includes GM’s Super Cruise self-driving.

Buick

  • A “conventional crossover” that maximizes interior space and cargo
  • A Buick Crossover that “feature more expressive proportion with a greater emphasis on form and athletic fashion.”

To build the vehicles listed here, General Motors says it is on track to allocate more than $20 billion of capital and engineering resources to its electric and autonmous vehicle programs between 2020 and 2025.

#cadillac, #cars, #chevrolet, #general-motors, #gmc, #hp, #hummer, #tc

Canalys finds PC demand surged in Q1, but shipments lagged due to supply issues

As workers moved from office to home and students moved to being educated online, demand for new PCs surged in Q1, but Canalys found that shipments actually dropped 8% in spite of this, due to COVID-19 related supply chain problems.

The 8% drop was the worst since 2016 when shipments dropped 12%, according to the firm. Companies were looking to get new machines into the hands of employees who normally worked on desktop machines in the office, while parents were buying machines for children suddenly going to school online.

Rushabh Doshi, research director at Canalys says that products were flying off the shelves in Q1, but the PC makers couldn’t keep up with demand as supplies were limited due to a number of factors.

“…PC makers started 2020 with a constrained supply of Intel processors, caused by a botched transition to 10nm nodes. This was exacerbated when factories in China were unable to reopen after the Lunar New Year holidays.

“The slowdown in supply met with accelerated demand, as businesses were suddenly forced to equip a newly remote workforce, placing urgent orders for tens of thousands of PCs. Children, too, needed their own PCs, as schools closed and lessons went online,” Doshi explained in a statement.

Lenovo and HP owned the lion’s share of the PC market in Q1 with 23.9% and 21.8% share respectively. Dell was in third with 19.6%. Apple was well behind in fourth place with just 6% of worldwide market share.

Only Dell projected positive growth with a modest 1.1% annual rate. All others were projected to be negative with Apple projecting the sharpest drop at -21%.

The good news is that from a revenue perspective, at least for the short term, these companies could command higher prices due to high demand and low supply, but overall the year looks bleak for PC makers, as Canalys predicts the rest of the year will see a further drop in sales as companies cut back on purchases, and consumers also likely limit purchases with so much economic uncertainty and demand satisfied for the short term.

#apple, #canalys, #dell, #hardware, #hp, #lenovo, #notebooks, #pcs, #tc