In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology news:
- Uber is going for more cash
- IBM’s new Power servers unveiled
- Some dings for self-driving cars in California
- The “Sims” creator launches app for visual story telling
- T-Mobile brings back BlackBerry phones
- Uber looks for more cash – lots of it
Dow Jones Venture Wire reported Monday that Uber is looking for more cash – as much as $2 billion.
If successful, the new round would raise Uber’s valuation to $50 billion/
“Uber Technologies Inc., the world’s most highly-capitalized private startup, plans to raise yet another large round of funding,” Venture Wire reported.
“The ride-sharing company has briefed investors on its plans to raise about $1.5 billion to $2 billion.”
- IBM’s new servers
IBM may have sold its x86 server business to Lenovo, but it’s still a big player in the industry with higher-end products. And in Las Vegas on Monday, IBM rolled out its latest Power Systems that target cloud computing and big data.
The word from IBM:
“New IBM Power Systems, IBM Spectrum Storage, IBM z Systems and Big Data storage solutions for Hybrid Clouds:”
- IBM Power System E850 – Introducing the industry’s first 4-socket system with flexible capacity and up to 70 percent guaranteed utilization. The E850 is an ideal solution for cloud service providers or medium and large enterprises looking to securely and efficiently deploy multi-tenancy workloads, while speeding access to data with larger in-memory databases with up to 4TB of installed memory, optimized for the peaks and valleys of business needs.
- IBM Power System E880 – In conjunction with our latest enhancements to the E880 that allow it to scale to an unprecedented 192 cores, IBM testing has shown that critical data-intensive business workloads like IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration exhibit ideal linear scaling all the way up to this capacity. That means that cloud deployments will experience reduced loss of efficiency when scaling at this level — a capability that does not exist on commodity hardware.
- IBM PurePower System – Quick-to-deploy compute, networking and storage converged infrastructure with advanced security capabilities. Securely deliver insights in the cloud; managed with OpenStack and adaptable to changing needs, PurePower offers rapid implementation and ROI with up to 12X greater workload density than select competitors and a virtualization hypervisor with zero documented vulnerabilities.
- IBM Spectrum Control Storage Insights – Building on its $1 billion investment in IBM Spectrum Storage, this new software-as-a-services solution provides data management as a hybrid cloud service to optimize on-premises storage infrastructures. It provides clients with individual views into storage consumption at the department or application level. Deployed in as little as 30 minutes, Storage Insights simplifies storage management by improving storage visibility and applies analytics to ease capacity planning, enhance performance monitoring, improve storage utilization by reclaiming under-utilized storage and lower the cost of storage up to 50 percent per GB by optimizing data placement.
- IBM XIV GEN 3 – New system designed for cloud with IBM Real-time Compression that dramatically reduces total cost of ownership. IBM XIV grid architecture integrated proven real-time compression technology can store 50 to 80 percent more data and with little or no application impact. This IBM unique enterprise storage capability dramatically reduces the cost per effective usable capacity. Combined with low cost of management, industry leading power efficiency, and patented Real-time Compression, IBM XIV Gen3 has shown in large deployments an average of 42 percent lower total cost of ownership over three years than HP 3PAR.100000 equivalents.
- Big Storage Technology – A technology preview of a new active cloud archive service for clients to store large amounts of data and easily retrieve it on demand, at the lowest cost possible. This enterprise grade cloud service is being piloted with our service partner Iron Mountain, and design partner clients with a variety of business use cases.
- Rocket’s Mainframe Data Access Service on Bluemix: Provides clients a simple, seamless and secure connection to data on the IBM z Systems mainframe for development of new mobile and hybrid cloud apps through Bluemix. Starting in June, clients can access a no-charge trial of the service, which provides universal access to the data, regardless of location interface or format, including VSAM, ADABAS, IMS, CICS and DB2, SMF, Tape and Sys Logs, and allows access to that data through methods developers prefer, including MongoDB APIs, JDBC, web services, SQL and the REST protocol via z/OS Connect.
- Self-driving cars getting dinged in California
Of the nearly 50 self-driving cars rolling around California roads and highways, four have gotten into accidents since September.
That’s when the state officially began permitting the cars of the future, which use sensors and computing power to maneuver around traffic.
Three accidents involved souped-up Lexus SUVs run by Google Inc. The fourth was an Audi retrofitted by the parts supplier Delphi Automotive.
Google and Delphi said the accidents were minor and their cars were not at fault.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles would not comment about fault, saying the accident reports it received are confidential.
The Associated Press learned that two of the cars were in self-driving mode, while the two other times the person who must sit behind the wheel was in control.
- App for mobile visual story telling
The iconic designer behind the simulation video games “Sim City” and “The Sims” wants people to tell stories visually on their mobile phones.
Will Wright has created a mobile app called Thred. The idea is to “explore and share visual ideas with friends” – through “threds” of images and links. For some, this can mean a collection of Internet jokes; for others, travel photos and articles. If you give Thred permission, it will access your phone’s photos and track your location so that you can post a thread of the day’s meals, or the snapshots of flowers you shot on a Sunday trip to the botanical gardens.
It’s a bit like Instagram-deluxe. Instead of just one photo, Thred lets you share a bunch. Instead of just filters, you can add text, links and stickers to your pictures.
“I’m fascinated by how much this has become a part of my life,” said Wright, 55, holding his iPhone as he showed off the app recently in a Manhattan coffee shop.
- T-Mobile, BlackBerry make up
After a high-profile breakup, T-Mobile is offering BlackBerry phones again. The BlackBerry Classic will be available in U.S. stores and online next week for $440, payable in installments.
This comes a year after BlackBerry decided not to renew its U.S. licensing deal with T-Mobile, saying the companies no longer had complementary strategies. BlackBerry CEO John Chen complained then that T-Mobile had emailed BlackBerry users an offer to switch to a competitor’s smartphone.
The companies didn’t address their fallout in Thursday’s joint announcement. Rather, they said they are “in the business of listening to their customers.”
Just recently, T-Mobile began targeting business customers. BlackBerry is popular with some businesses for its security features.
Last week, T-Mobile launched a promotion aimed at luring customers from Verizon, the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier.