Author: Brian Heater

Qualcomm doesn’t want you to call its Snapdragon processors ‘processors’ anymore

Take note, tech writers: as of this morning, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors are no longer processors. Henceforth, the company would like you to refer to Snapdragon as a “platform.” In a post this morning, the San Diego-based chip – sorry processor – maker has detailed why it’s replaced one p-word with another. And why it thinks you ought to, too. “[Processor] is a word that Qualcomm Technologies has embraced over the years with our Snapdragon brand, or as we say — our Qualcomm Snapdragon processor,” the company writes in a post, dropping a couple of hard Ps to prove a point. “But the word is an inadequate representation of what the technology actually is, and the solutions that tens of thousands of Qualcomm Technologies innovators have worked on.” The piece goes on to explain that “processor” simply isn’t adequate to describe Snapdragon. And it’s true that the component company is doing a lot to shift with the times, working to cram more into its products, as it embraces AR and CR and drones and adds quick charging and biometrics to its products. But more than anything, the sentiment seems to prove that branding is hard – particularly if you make the stuff that’s inside the stuff that people buy. Rarely have companies been able to break out from that box. Intel was a rare exception in the 90s, with Intel...

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GoPro will cut 270 more jobs

More tough news for GoPro as it pre-announced its first-quarter earnings earlier today. While the company announced that revenue for the first part of 2017 will hit toward the high end of guidance, the positivity was tempered by its plans to cut 270 more jobs. That number that comes in addition to the 100 it announced in January 2016 and 200 back in November, amounting to seven- and 15-percent of the company’s workforce, respectively. The job loss comes as GoPro looks to right the ship following a tough 2016 that found its stock price plummeting, in the wake of weak 2015 holiday sales and a recall of the company’s long-awaited folding Karma drone, which was pulled off the market after “a very small number” lost power while in use. The analogies are tough to avoid. As ever, the GoPro’s founder and CEO Nick Woodman put a happy face on the company’s prospects moving forward, as he addressed the difficult news. “We’re determined that GoPro’s financial performance match the strength of our products and brand,” he said in a statement issued alongside the financial news. “Importantly, expense reductions preserve our product roadmap and we are tracking to full-year non-GAAP profitability in 2017.” The statement reflects similar comments made by the executive back in January at CES, and there is some manner of silver lining for the company, as stocks rallied a bit in...

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With Alexa integration and mapping, iRobot aims to make Roomba the center of the smart home

iRobot CEO Colin Angle has been repeating for some time now that the next step in the evolution of the company’s hit Roomba vacuum is becoming a connective tissue for the smart home. This morning’s announcement from the company takes it a couple of steps closer to that dream, introducing Alexa voice integration and advances to robotic vacuum’s mapping system that lay the groundwork for future smart home upgrades. “Roombas are already becoming one of the commonly found connected devices in the home,” Angle tells TechCrunch. “The popularity of the Roomba has made it a very powerful ambassador for connected devices, but its ability to organize physical information in the home is making it a central player in allowing homes to be more intelligent. You need to be aware of where things are in order to have a home do the right thing without programming it.” The company isn’t leaning too heavily on the Alexa integration at this stage, since it’s still a bit of a ways off, arriving at some point in Q2. But it will certainly be a handy feature for those with both an Echo and 900 connected series Roomba already in their home. We caught a demo of the functionality on a recent trip to the company’s Bedford, Massachusetts headquarters, and the whole setup was as user-friendly as one would hope, asking Alexa to tell...

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FCC Chairman pledges to roll back net neutrality regulations during European address – TechCrunch

As Ajit Pai took the stage for a speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this morning, CNBC anchor Karen Tso noted that the newly appointed FCC Chairman’s top priority has been the dismantling of net neutrality, a cause, she added, that would likely make him popular with many in attendance at the world’s largest mobile show. Pai started his talk rather humbly, telling the crowd that he had flown to Europe in to “listen more than talk,” but quickly switch gears to defend his controversial moves over his first five weeks in his new role. He cited the growth of online business in his decision to deregulate the internet, noting how technology has, “enabled the democratization of the internet,” a trend that is only likely to continue as access to broadband and emerging technologies like 5G become more universal. “5G could transform the wireless world,” Pai told the crowd. “We stand on the cusp of new advancements, but it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’ll achieve this potential. 5g will require a lot of infrastructure.” Predictably, Pai sees net neutrality as a major roadblock toward achieving wider deployment, comparing regulations implemented during the Obama administration to “1930s-style regulation.” In his words, the decision has disincentivized broadband providers from investing in infrastructure for current technology and the ground necessary for a quicker roll out. His answer, naturally, is what he...

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