Best in Tech: 128GB iPad, Google+ Becomes #2 Social Network, CA Taxes Start Ups, and Servers Skydiving!

Here are this week’s notable stories:

Apple launches new high-capacity 128GB Retina display iPad

Apple to develop 128GB iPad“If you build it, they will come.” Does the saying apply to tech gadgets, too? Apple’s recent announcement that they will be releasing an 128GB iPad has some in the tech industry excited, while competitors–like Microsoft–are cringing.

“With twice the storage capacity and an unparalleled selection of over 300,000 native iPad apps, enterprises, educators and artists have even more reasons to use iPad for all their business and personal needs.”

Is Apple getting drawn into a ‘feeds and speeds’ race against Microsoft? Do they need to? And can Microsoft keep up?

Google+ Becomes World’s No. 2 Social Network After Facebook

Google #2 Social NetworkIf you’ve heard Google Plus is a social media ghost town, think again. The social network some claimed to be a Facebook competitor might actually be just that. Google Plus just became the world’s second largest social network, with 343 million active users, (YouTube sits third place at the moment.) Google is already King of Search–have they officially added social to their crown jewels?

“Google Plus boasted 343 million active users in Q4 2012, a 27 percent jump from the year prior to make it second among all social platforms in terms of active usage. Even better for Google, YouTube, which had not previously been tracked as a social network, was the world’s No. 3 social network with about 300 million active users.”

Are you a fan of Google+? Are you on, and if so, do you still plan to use Facebook regularily?

New server can be parachuted into extreme environments

This is amazing! Natural disasters can make for tense times when it comes to companies’ goldmine: servers. But new tests are starting to push servers to the extreme. Say ‘hello’ to server…skydiving? Read up on the ‘Bunker XRV-5241’.

“This equipment, in a transit case, will likely be parachuted into service in tactical deployments,” said John Callahan, director of marketing at NCST. The Bunker XRV-5241 can withstand a free-fall drop of around 1 meter, but for parachute deployment it needs to be packaged into the case for additional protection.”

It may sound strange, but are parachute-ready servers a necessary–and genius–idea?

California’s Retroactive Tax on Small Business Investors

California Startup TaxAthletes aren’t the only ones complaining about taxes in California. Recently, world renowned golfer Phil Mickelson lashed out about California’s new–and even higher–tax rates. He later retracted his statement, but plenty of folks agreed with him in the first place–and aren’t retracting theirs. Now, small business investors and start up companies are also feeling the pinch in the Sunshine State. Is California going too far–or is “too far” on taxes already in the rearview mirror?

“These taxpayers followed the law when they filed their tax returns,” says Gina Rodriquez, vice president of tax policy at the California Taxpayers Association, a non-profit advisory organization in Sacramento. “For [the Franchise Tax Board] to come out four or five years later and say, ‘You followed the law, but it was unconstitutional, and now we are going to hit you with back taxes and interest’—and the interest can be huge—that is just not fair tax policy.”

Is California at risk of losing its dominance of U.S. tech ventures due to an ever-increasing tax bill? Would you start a business in California?

Dell to go private — with Michael Dell heading up the buyout team

Dell announced this week that it was going back to being a privately held company via a $24Bn leveraged buyout lead by the firm’s original founder, Michael Dell. Despite a number of attempts to broaden the company’s revenue base, Dell is still heavily dependant on (declining) sales of PCs.

 “We recognize this process will take more time,” Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden told Reuters. “We will have to make investments, and we will have to be patient to implement the strategy. And under a new private company structure, we will have time and flexibility to really pursue and realize the end-to-end solutions strategy.”

Is this just a bump in the road for Dell? Can they go ‘Back to the Future’ and regain lost PC market share? Or is the PC business going the same way as the minicomputer business?

About Richard Stone

Richard Stone is Senior Solution Marketing Manager at Compuware, responsible for Mobile and Cloud-based Application Performance Management solutions.
Prior to joining Compuware, Richard has held senior marketing and product management positions at Hewlett Packard, Compaq, plus a number of other US and European IT companies. His domain expertise includes mobile computing, wireless data, cloud computing, application performance management, security, compliance, and high-availability solutions for all market segments (SMB, Enterprise, and key verticals such as Finance, Government, Healthcare, and Retail.

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