Thursday, February 7, 2013

Micron Introduces New Memory for Ultrathin Devices

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Micron announced this morning that it was unveiling a "reduced-height" module and connector solutions to support the ever-expanding ultrathin computing market.

Micron officials said their new single-sided small outline dual in-line memory module is built using components that consume less power in standby compared to existing technology. The new SODIMM is aimed at providing memory solutions for the burgeoning market of Ultrabook devices, tablets and other thin and light devices.

"Given the depth and breadth of ultrathin devices currently on the market, coupled with consumer demands for sleek, lightweight designs, Micron's objective is to offer solutions that meet the specialized power, portability and battery life needs," said Kris Kido, Micron's director of Business Development, Computing Devices. "Micron's unique single-sided SODIMM form factor meets those requirements and leads the way for future developments in this growing segment."

Mass production of the SODIMM's is expected to ramp up this spring.

In August 2012, Micron CEO Mark Durcan reminded attendees of the City Club that the Boise-based company reported net sales of $8.7 billion in 2011.

"Micron's [research and development] building at our Boise campus opened with a $150 million investment that will soon total a cumulative investment of over $500 million," said Durcan. "I think it's fair to say that it's the preeminent R and D center in the world."

But Durcan added that 68 percent of Micron's revenue comes from Asian markets, 21 percent from the Americas and 11 percent from Europe.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

B-Launched Accelerates Two Boise Start-Ups

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 3:07 PM

All four B-Launched teams assembled to before the panel of local entrepreneurs.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • All four B-Launched teams assembled before a panel of local entrepreneurs.

Two teams ready to launch Boise's next generation of industry stepped closer to reality today, when a panel of judges awarded start-up prizes totaling $55,000.

Be Free Village, awarded first place and $20,000, plans to market allergy-minded foodstuffs to local businesses. Cray Say, with plans to market an app to aid shoppers, was selected for second place and $10,000. The remaining $25,000 will be awarded before the end of the year.

B-Launched is designed to find big ideas, pairing members of Boise Young Professionals, an offshoot of Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, with local mentors to design and build the Treasure Valley's next software company. Be Free Village plans to move forward immediately using the award.

Continue reading »

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Graph of the Week: Patents in the United States

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Which Idaho county outpaces all others for utility patents approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office? If you guessed Ada County, home to 400,000-plus residents and big companies like Simplot and Micron, you'd be right.

Utility patents are also referred to as "patents for invention," issued by the USPTO for new processes, machines and more. They're issued for everything from smartphone interfaces to washing machine designs.

But you probably couldn't guess just how many inventions and ideas Ada County residents and businesses have patented. That's why Boise Weekly presents our third installment of Graph of the Week, a regular series that looks to give context to a pile of data.

As the graph below shows, Ada County ranked 11th among all American counties for the number of utility patents awarded to businesses and individuals, with a total of 5,186 patents between 2006 and 2010.

By comparison, the Idaho county with the second-largest number of patents was Canyon County, with 357, ranking 194th nationally.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

To B-Launched or Not to Be, That's the Competition

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Boise's next big idea could be hatched today, or to be more accurate, be launched.

Boise Young Professionals, a program of the Boise Metro Chamber, is hosting a unique competition this morning at the Chamber headquarters, as part of its B-Launched program. Five teams of young professionals have no more than 30 minutes to pitch new software concepts before a blue ribbon panel. Today's pitch is the culmination of a 90-day development phase in which the software ideas were fleshed out.

Today's competition will whittle the field down to the top two teams, who will then enter another 90-day stage to build a prototype. Ideally, at least one of the software innovations could be launched into the marketplace by next summer.

"A competition like B-Launched is unheard of," said Faisal Shah, one of the mentors of the program. "It's innovative and it's about job creation."

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Siri Having Problems for a Third Day

Posted By on Sat, Nov 5, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Something apparently has Siri's tongue.

For a third day, Siri is suffering intermittent failures that is preventing Apple customers from using the much-touted voice-activated virtual assistant for the new iPhone 4S.

When it's working, Siri lets users schedule appointments, dictate texts and do Web searches with voice commands. While Siri had moments on Thursday and Friday when it was restored, it quicky became unavailable again.

What has been most troubling for some users is that Siri primarily depends on a network connection when a number of tasks, for instance, linking to a user's callendar or playing music stored on an iPhone, wouldn't seem to require access to the Internet.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Video: Siri Hacked onto iPhone 4

Posted By on Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM

It didn't take long. A self-proclaimed hacker has grabbed the much-touted Siri feature from iPhone 4S and moved it over to an iPhone 4. Apple chose to offer Siri, a talking personal assistant, only on its new iPhone 4S.

But Steve Toughton-Smith, who identifies himself as a developer, got Siri running on his iPhone 4 with "no problems," using files from an iPhone 4S, some validation tokens and a 20-step process.

Toughton-Smith even posted his successful hack on YouTube.

[ Video is no longer available. ]

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Idaho in Line to Improve Rural Broadband Access

Posted By on Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 12:03 PM

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding for 126 new broadband infrastructure projects in rural and tribal areas in 38 states, including Idaho Wednesday afternoon. The $1.2 billion dollars used for the program, which comes from funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is expected to increase broadband access to 1.2 million customers nationwide.

The Potlatch Telephone Company based in North-Central, Idaho will receive more than $2.6 million to bring high-speed DSL broadband service to un-served populations.

Vilsack cited the creation of new employment opportunities in the planning, construction and maintenance steps of each new project.

“We anticipate the investment we announce to date will create 5,000 immediate and direct jobs,” Vilsack said. “In the long haul, expanding broadband access will have a profound impact on economic opportunity in communities across the country.”

The projects are expected to impact on 1,900 elementary and secondary schools—representing almost 5% of all American schools— in rural areas serving over half a million students.

“Schools with limited course offerings will be able to expand them through distance learning, advancing education and better preparing students for a very challenging 21st century economy,” Vilsack said.

Vilsack also noted first responders, healthcare workers, farmers and ranchers, distance learning students, and small business owners in rural areas will also be impacted.

“We anticipate and expect that expanding broadband will help small business owners in rural areas to be able to strengthen distribution channels, increase efficiencies and have access to global marketplaces,” Vilsack said.

To see the full list of projects, visit the USDA website.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Boise Courts Google for Real High Speed Internet

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 6:33 PM

I just tested our bandwidth here at BWHQ and got a pokey 1.58 megabit per second download speed. We use Fiberpipe for our ISP and happen to be across the street from a Qwest switching station.

A recent commenter at suggested the Japanese get more like 28 megabits per second.

Google wants to build an experimental 1 gigabit per second fiber optic network in one or more communities across the country. That means we can blog 1,000 times faster, for one. It also means we can do things online that aren't even imaginable right now.

This is how the Goog describes it:

In the same way that the transition from dial-up to broadband made possible the emergence of online video and countless other applications, ultra high-speed bandwidth will drive more innovation—in high-definition video, remote data storage, real-time multimedia collaboration, and others that we cannot yet imagine. It will enable new consumer applications, as well as medical, educational, and other services that can benefit communities. If the Internet has taught us anything, it's that the most important innovations are often those we least expect.

In other words, with high speed internet you might just pee your pants. And no one would know. It's that fast.

Take it from James Kelly:

That's got Boise economic developer Cece Gassner thinking. Since Google announced the test project, Gassner has received some 50 e-mails encouraging the city to throw its hat in the ring.

"We have a pretty temperate climate and a relatively easy terrain to navigate," Gassner said. "With the natural need in this area for better broadband service ... I think it would be a great addition to Boise"

Gassner is filling out an application on behalf of the city, but anyone can nominate their city here.

Google will accept applications through March 26. They are looking to roll out fiber to between 50,000 and 500,000 consumers and businesses in one or more towns as part of the test.

I'm still figuring this all out, but last week we wrote about federal broadband grants that appear to be overlooking many small, worthy, innovative projects in favor of existing ISPs. It's clear that Google's move is a direct challenge to those existing ISPs, going directly to interested city and county officials to make their best pitch for why super-high-speed internet would unleash a flood of innovation.

Google wants us to do a little jig though, producing little videos and executing little social media strategies to get their attention. Seattle and many other cities are interested in being picked, so Gassner is planning to at least set up a Facebook page for Boise soon. Anyone else out there have some ideas? Anyone else peeing their pants yet?

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gov.'s Innovation Summit offers food for thought

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 4:03 PM


I just got back from the Idaho Dept. of Commerce’s 2009 Governor's Innovation Summit today on the fourth floor of the Stueckle Sky Center at Boise State, where I caught the presentation by the panel on higher education and research.

Through floor-to-ceiling windows, the Stueckle Center affords a ridiculously incredible view of the city. While the higher ed/research discussion was a bit dry, if I'd had the time, I'd have sat through the entire summit just for that view.

The higher ed. panel was manned by the state's university presidents: Dr. Robert Kustra, president of Boise State; Dr. Arthur Vailas, president of Idaho State University; Dr. M. Duane Nellis, president of the University of Idaho; Dr. Jerry Beck, president of College of Southern Idaho and Dr. Harold Blackman from CAES (the Center for Advanced Energy Studies.) One unifying theme coming from the education heads was the idea of cross-pollination: sharing information and resources not only among the universities but between departments within them, i.e. law students should be working with business students on patent regulations. Funding, of course, popped up as well as the need to put kids on a trajectory to college long before high school. They also discussed basic research and development versus applied R&D in conjunction with work within the infrastructure of the government, public arenas and education to maintain and foster growth in Idaho's tech sectors.

The council is made up of a number of business managers including Jefferson Jewell, managing director of Blackfin Technologies (Boise); Robin Woods, president of Alturas Analytics (Moscow); Douglas Sayer, founder of Premier Technology (Blackfoot); Steve Hodges, president of M2M Communications (Boise); Jason Stolworthy, commercialization manager for Battelle Energy Alliance (Idaho Falls); Mark Warbis, director of communications for Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter; Donald A. Dietrich, Commerce Director; and Milford Terrell, a member of the State Board of Education.

Though free and open to the public, less than 100 people sat in the audience—including only one kid who looked like a student (he was the only person in there with a backpack). Most of the attendees wore suits and bore name tags that identified them as business owners or members of government agencies. While not the most exciting event, the Innovation Summit—and the announcement that Micron received a cool $5 mil in stimulus funds for work on LED technology—did serve as a reminder that technology is still high on Gov. Otter's list of priorities. I think he should add "build more places like the Stueckle Center" to that list.

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