Amazon’s Kindle Fire Is an Aggressive Entry into the Tablet Market: Destined to show up under a few million Christmas trees, Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire, priced at an appealing $199, goes far beyond the e-book category from which it evolved and includes many tablet functions, including the ability to download Android apps. Also included: an innovative browser called Amazon Silk that offloads some computational work to Amazon’s own cloud infrastructure. The Kindle Fire is really a storefront for Amazon, featuring the Kindle store, Amazon MP3, and Prime Instant Video. Nearly all of Amazon’s recent efforts — Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon Cloud Drive, Kindle Cloud Reader, and streaming deals with Fox and NBCUniversal — were set up for this launch. TechCrunch
New iPhone Will Ring on October 4: “Let’s talk iPhone” is the theme of an event to be held at Apple HQ. Questions about the iPhone 5 that need answers include whether it will be available from Sprint and whether it will have 4G connectivity. The iPhone 5 will be the first iPhone unveiled by the company since Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple. New CEO Tim Cook is expected to lead the festivities. Network World
Google+ Opens to All and Enjoys a Traffic Surge: In it first week as a social network open to all comers, Google+ experienced a whopping 1,269 percent increase in visits. The site received 15 million U.S. visits, up from 1.1 million the week before, and the stats don’t include mobile users or visits from the Google toolbar. Studies show that Google+ is still crowded with early adopters as opposed to regular folk, but at least now it seems more welcoming and accessible. ReadWriteWeb
Nokia Will Lay Off Another 3,500: Less than six months after laying off 4,000 workers, troubled mobile phone manufacturer Nokia says it will lay off an additional
3,500 employees worldwide by the end of 2012 as it realigns and consolidates its manufacturing in Asia. Nokia also announced that it will create a Locations and Commerce business to expand its work on services that can be delivered via mobile platforms, and offices in Boston and Chicago will be involved in that effort. TechCrunch
Google Offers to Help 3,000 Homes Go Solar: Google announced that it will provide $75 million to build 3,000 residential solar electricity systems across the country. The company is creating a fund with a San Francisco company called Clean Power Finance that local solar installers will use to help buyers finance the installations, with little or no money down. Instead, they will pay a monthly fee roughly equivalent to what they were paying their local utilities for power. The Google brand will not be on the panels, but Google will get the benefit of federal and state renewable energy subsidies. SiliconValley.com
New York State Gets $4 Billion Private-Sector Tech Investment: IBM and four other technology companies will invest $4 billion in computer-chip research in the state of New York and hire thousands of people to do the work. Big Blue, which will invest $3.6 billion, will be joined by Intel, Samsung, GlobalFoundries, and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. It’s possible that 2,500 high-technology jobs and 1,900 construction jobs will be created, while 2,500 existing jobs will be preserved. The state itself will spend $400 million over five years as part of the new research deal. The New York Times
Engineer Salaries on the Rise: Salaries for engineers are increasing despite the weak economy and a higher-than-normal unemployment rate in the sector. According to the IEEE-USA, median income for all engineers went up from $113,500 in 2009 to $118,000 in 2010. That’s 3.96 percent. For software engineers, the median salary grew from $104,000 in 2009 to $109,000 in 2010, a 4.8 percent increase. Computerworld
Upcoming Tech Events
Interop New York
October 3-7—New York
Interop drives the adoption of technology, providing knowledge and insight to help IT and corporate decision-makers achieve business success. Through in-depth educational programs, workshops, real-world demonstrations, and live technology implementation in its unique InteropNet program, Interop provides the forum for the most powerful innovations and solutions the industry has to offer.
Seattle Interactive Conference
This event celebrates the convergence of online technology, creativity, and emerging trends in one of the world’s most innovative cities. SIC brings together entrepreneurs, developers and online business professionals from throughout the U.S. and beyond for a powerful combination of in-depth presentations, networking opportunities, and uniquely Seattle social events.
October 6—Rosemont (O’Hare), IL
At this one-day conference attendees will learn the tangible benefits and risk of moving to the cloud, the differences between the various types of cloud computing, how to determine which type of cloud computing is right for their enterprise, how to leverage cloud computing so IT can dedicate resources to enterprise innovation, and how to plan for security/compliance/data risks.
World Financial Information Conference 2011
October 8—San Francisco
Leaders from Silicon Valley and Wall Street will discuss the latest technology impacting our industry. Panelists will explore the impact of cloud computing in the financial markets, discuss what firms are doing today to leverage the cloud for business efficiency. and opine on cutting edge applications to provide insight into future opportunities.