Misleading layoff news

July 27, 2009

Verizon reported weak Q2 results today due to shrinkage in their wireline unit.  So of course they announced more layoffs, which is just standard operating procedure for a CFO wanting to reassure The Street that costs are being contained and profitability is being restored next quarter.  Whether those cuts actually materialize no one ever checks.

So you end up with a scary “Verizon to Cut 8,000 More Jobs” headline on the Journal‘s and other front pages.

Meanwhile we learn that they are aggressively adding FiOS TV and broadband customers, and the rumor is they are hurrying to launch their LTE network in early 2010, perhaps for Apple’s tablet, which you would think requires serious capital investments and manpower for deployment.  So you have to wonder what the net effect is on jobs.  Definitely not 8,000 fewer.

And of course Microsoft is opening dozens of stores, and 7-Eleven is planning a major expansion this year, including 600 stores in Southern California alone.  But you would never see this headline on the front pages: “7-Eleven adding 5,000 jobs”.

I’m beginning to think Steve Jobs should have been the least of our worries about Apple.

First Jon Rubinstein goes to Palm to develop the Pre.  Now George Blankenship goes to Microsoft to help setup their stores.

Who will be next?

OpenCL

December 27, 2008

GigaOM concisely explains the what, why and how of OpenCL.

OpenCL is a programming framework that allows software to run on both the CPU and the graphics processor of the computer. This means programs will run faster and offer more performance on a machine’s existing hardware

Nividia pushed CUDA for scientific computing while AMD tried to push Close to the Metal (now Stream). But as sending tasks to the GPU became easier, the software and hardware providers realized an open standard that wasn’t linked to a particular chip vendor would be the best option. So earlier this year Apple offered OpenCL to the Khronos Group, a standards-setting organization, and Intel, Nvidia and AMD joined forces to create a standard that would work on multiple chips.

The standard was released 12/9, and of course will be supported in OSX Snow Leopard, which some say will be ready ahead of schedule in Q1 09 (hear that MS?).

My question is, does Apple do this already (using proprietary libraries) in iPhone and AppleTV? or will they do a software upgrade soon which is, in effect, a hardware upgrade?

OK, another question: Where is MS in all this now that Intel, AMD and Nvidia are behind it?  Will they come up with their own proprietary extensions just for PR reasons (instead of leveraging their partners’ work)?