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Micron Cuts DRAM and NAND Flash Output as ASP Falters

Micron has revealed plans to cut production of its DRAM and NAND flash products by 5% to combat its average selling price (ASP) falling by 20% in the quarter ended February 28, 2019. Oversupply in both sectors led to the sharp fall in pricing and was "worse-than-expected DRAM and NAND pricing." Micron DRAM revenues experienced a "decrease 30% sequentially and 28% from a year earlier to account for 64% of its total revenues in the second quarter of its fiscal 2019." Micron's NAND revenue slid "18% sequentially and 2% on year to account for 30% of company revenues in the fiscal second-quarter 2019. ASPs went down about 25% from the first quarter." Micron expects revenues to drop another 17% in fiscal Q3 2019. Micron bought back 21 million shares of its common stock. Thanks @workshop35 !

Looking into the fiscal third-quarter 2019, Micron expects revenues to register another sequential drop of about 17% to US$4.6-5 billion, with gross margin sliding to 37-40% from 50% in the prior quarter. "Micron continues to execute well across a range of product, operational and financial initiatives against the backdrop of a challenging market environment," said Micron president and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. "These initiatives and our focus on high-value solutions, cost competitiveness and innovation will enable us to emerge even stronger as the market environment improves."

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 22, 2019 5:16 PM (CDT)

PlayStation Introduces State of Play Broadcast

Last year, Sony dropped out of E3 for fairly nebulous reasons, and canceled their annual Playstation Experience event. The announcement left many wondering what Sony would replace the events with, and today, it seems that the company took some notes from their competition. Mirroring the periodic Nintendo Direct streams and Microsoft's Inside Xbox broadcasts, Sony will debut their "State of Play" broadcast on Monday, March 25, at 4:00 PM Central Time. Thanks to cageymaru for the tip.

State of Play will give you updates and announcements from the world of PlayStation. Our first episode will showcase upcoming PS4 and PS VR software, including new trailers, new game announcements and new gameplay footage. You can watch live on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter or Facebook worldwide, and we'll be offering up the VOD edition shortly after the episode airs. And this is just the beginning! State of Play will return throughout the year with more updates and announcements. See you Monday!

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 22, 2019 10:38 AM (CDT)

Samsung Introduces Next Generation HBM2E

At NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference, Samsung unveiled an even faster version of their HBM2 memory. A stack of "Flashbolt," as they call it, can deliver up to 410 GBps of bandwidth, which they claim is 33% faster than previous offerings, and a single package can hold up to 16GB of memory. Samsung says the new memory is aimed at "supercomputers, graphics systems, and artificial intelligence (AI)" applications, though they didn't mention just what GPUs or accelerators will make use of it in the near future.

"Flashbolt's industry-leading performance will enable enhanced solutions for next-generation data centers, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and graphics applications," said Jinman Han, senior vice president of Memory Product Planning and Application Engineering Team at Samsung Electronics. "We will continue to expand our premium DRAM offering, and improve our 'high-performance, high capacity, and low power' memory segment to meet market demand."

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 20, 2019 9:35 AM (CDT)

Florida Introduces "Stop Social Media Censorship Act"

A senator in Florida is brewing potential legislation making censorship illegal on the biggest social media platforms: Senate Bill 1722, otherwise known as the "Stop Social Media Censorship Act," would fine Facebook, Twitter, and other such services with a userbase of more than 75 million $75,000 for deleting content under the guise of hate speech or other "nebulous" reasons.

"Citing this act as the "Stop Social Media Censorship Act"; providing that the owner or operator of a social media website is subject to a private right of action by a social media website user in this state under certain conditions; prohibiting a social media website from using hate speech as a defense; authorizing the Attorney General to bring an action on behalf of a social media website user, etc."

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 3:05 PM (CDT)

AMD's 7nm Navi GPU Rumored to Launch Roughly a Month after Ryzen 3000

Contradicting earlier rumors of an October launch, the Wccftech gang is claiming AMD has told partners its 7nm Navi GPU will launch "exactly a month" after the debut of its next-generation Ryzen processors. With the conundrum of low yields somewhat out of the way (based on the availability of the Radeon VII), the author is confident AMD will have no issues getting the card out within the third quarter this year.

I have been told that AMD’s Navi GPU is at least one whole month behind AMD’s 7nm Ryzen launch, so if the company launches the 3000 series desktop processors at Computex like they are planning to, you should not expect the Navi GPU to land before early August. The most likely candidates for launch during this window are Gamescom and Siggraph. I would personally lean towards Gamescom simply because it is a gaming product and is the more likely candidate, but anything can happen with AMD!

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 2:15 PM (CDT)

Parents Blame Elementary School's Cell Tower after 4th Student Diagnosed with Cancer

"It just seems like coincidence is no longer a reason for all this illness": four students at California’s Weston Elementary have been diagnosed with cancer in the last three years, and San Joaquin County parents are now convinced the cause is a cell phone tower located in its schoolyard. While the district’s tests have shown "the tower is safe and meets federal regulations," many are fighting to get it removed.

"I wouldn’t send my kids there at all, it absolutely is dangerous," said Eric Windheim, an electromagnetic radiation specialist. "Children are still developing and their cells are still being divided. It’s the worst possible time in their life to be exposed." He says it’s not just a cell tower, it also transmits wireless frequencies. "Instead of only going 300 yards like regular Wi-Fi, Y-Max can go 30 miles," he said.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 16, 2019 10:00 AM (CDT)

911 Calls Raise Concerns Over Amazon Working Conditions

Amazon's warehouses don't have the best reputation as is, but according to a recent article from The Daily Beast, working conditions inside the facilities could be worse than previously thought. The report alleges that, between October 2013 and October 2018, emergency workers were summoned to Amazon warehouses for "suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts, and other mental-health episodes" at least 189 times. The reports only covered a quarter of Amazon's sorting and fulfillment centers across the U.S, and The Daily Beast is quick to point out that the records are "not evidence that Amazon staffers experience suicidal episodes more often than other American workers, in or out of a warehouse," but they clearly imply that harsh conditions are exacerbating existing mental health issues on a large scale. Check out some of the calls below:

The Daily Beast spoke to six current or former Amazon employees who had mental-health crises that required emergency assistance at the warehouse. They said much of their at-work stress stemmed from the performance quota. A former employee in Etna, Ohio, said that it was sometimes physically impossible to stay on pace. "Even if it isn't your fault, they ignore any explanation that you could give." He was constantly fearful that he would receive citations for falling short. "Once you have enough write-ups, you're out the door," he said. "There goes your livelihood... There was a constant sense of, 'did I screw that up, did I screw that up, did I screw that up?'" he said. "[It] stays with you and almost becomes a permanent anxiety."

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 11, 2019 11:17 AM (CDT)

Controversial Game Pulled by Steam after Outcry

Valve announced it would not be shipping one of its most controversial titles to date Wednesday, proving its "lax" policies still have limits. An official statement on the Steam blog suggests games may be assessed on a case-by-case basis, the fate of which could be directly proportional to how much negative media attention they generate. UK politicians have called for a government review of Steam.

While the game hadn’t officially launched yet, its product page was offensive enough to catch attention and widespread condemnation. A Change.org petition gathered nearly 8,000 signatures calling for the game’s removal from Steam. Valve, the company that owns Steam, delisted the title on Wednesday saying, "After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think ‘Rape Day’ poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won’t be on Steam."

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Posted by Megalith March 10, 2019 5:55 PM (CDT)

US Military Changing "Killing Machine" Robo-Tank Program after Controversy

The US Army is clarifying its "ATLAS" (Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System) program after initial reporting of its ground combat vehicles sparked fears of autonomous machines that would kill without human interaction. Back in 2007, the agency toyed with small, machine-gun tank robots called SWORDS but was forced to end the program after the robot "began to behave unpredictably, moving its gun chaotically."

The response seems to have spooked the Army, which is now changing its request for information to better emphasize that the program will follow Defense Department policy on human control of lethal robots. They are also drafting talking points to further the new emphasis. The robot’s ability to identify, target, and engage doesn’t mean "we’re putting the machine in a position to kill anybody," one Army official told Defense One.

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Posted by Megalith March 10, 2019 3:30 PM (CDT)

Whole Foods Cuts Workers' Hours after Amazon Introduces Minimum Wage

Amazon’s $15 minimum-wage increase didn’t turn out so well for Whole Foods workers: one employee claims the retailer has negated wage gains by reducing schedule shifts across many stores, cutting a lot of work. "My hours went from 30 to 20 a week. We just have to work faster to meet the same goals in less time."

The Illinois-based worker explained that once the $15 minimum wage was enacted, part-time employee hours at their store were cut from an average of 30 to 21 hours a week, and full-time employees saw average hours reduced from 37.5 hours to 34.5 hours. The worker provided schedules from 1 November to the end of January 2019, showing hours for workers in their department significantly decreased as the department’s percentage of the entire store labor budget stayed relatively the same.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 10, 2019 12:20 PM (CDT)

Ubisoft Will Prevent Third-Party Digital Stores from Selling "The Division 2" after Release

According to a statement issued by Gamesplanet, Ubisoft and Epic Games have decided to ban third-party game-key vendors from selling The Division 2 after its official release. Post March 15, the title will only be available for purchase on Uplay and the Epic Games Store, so fans who want to save a bit of money may want to visit their preferred vendor straight away. The Division 2 will have a 50GB day-one patch for disc buyers, and the PS4 version weighs in at 100GB.

Needless to say that we are against this anti-consumer move from both Ubisoft and Epic Games. It’s one thing securing a game to launch exclusively on your launcher but to prevent all third-party digital stores from selling keys? That’s a new low in our opinion. Bad move Epic Games, especially when your boss, Tim Sweeney, was whining about UWP and how anti-consumer it was compared to Win32.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 10, 2019 12:05 PM (CDT)

Philadelphia Passes Ban on Cashless Stores; Amazon Go Plans Said to Be in Jeopardy

Amazon plans to open a chain of cashierless convenience stores across the country, but don’t expect them in Philadelphia: the city has just signed off on legislation banning cashless stores. While the convenience of technology has convinced many retailers to shift to credit cards and mobile payments only, Philly’s leaders opted for the opposite, citing their 26-percent poverty rate and poor consumers, some of whom do not even have bank accounts.

Nearly 6 percent of residents in the Philadelphia region do not have access to credit or bank accounts in 2017 and roughly 22 percent were considered "underbanked," according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Amazon warned Philadelphia officials behind closed doors that a ban on cashless stores would force it to reconsider its potential plans for Amazon Go stores in Philadelphia. Emails obtained by the Inquirer showed that the web giant also lobbied city officials to try to carve itself out of the cash requirement.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 09, 2019 1:05 PM (CST)