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World’s biggest tech buy complete

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Dell Technologies has announced the completion of the acquisition of EMC Corporation. The merger, is said, creates “a unique family of businesses that provides the essential infrastructure for organisations to build their digital future.”

The combination creates a $74-billion market leader with an expansive technology portfolio that addresses complex problems for customers in the fast-growing areas of hybrid cloud, software-defined data center, converged infrastructure, platform-as-a-service, data analytics, mobility and cybersecurity.

Dell Technologies serves 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and comprises several market leading businesses. The two largest, and most well-known, are the Dell client solutions business and the Dell EMC infrastructure solutions business – both of which are supported by Dell EMC Services. In addition, Dell Technologies contains Boomi, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware.

This structure, according to a Dell Technologies statement, “combines the focus and innovation of a startup with the global scale and service of a large enterprise.

“Dell Technologies’ scale will enable it to deliver more innovation and investment in R&D, sales and marketing, services and support and deliver more efficient and cost-effective solutions for customers. Furthermore, while the company will publicly report its financial results, it is privately controlled, enabling it to better focus investments on its customer and partner ecosystem over the long term.”

Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, said, “We are at the dawn of the next industrial revolution. Our world is becoming more intelligent and more connected by the minute, and ultimately will become intertwined with a vast Internet of Things, paving the way for our customers to do incredible things. This is why we created Dell Technologies. We have the products, services, talent and global scale to be a catalyst for change and guide customers, large and small, on their digital journey.”

Dell Technologies “blends Dell’s go-to-market strength with small business and mid-market customers and EMC’s strength with large enterprises and stands as a market leader in many of the most important and high-growth areas of the $2 trillion information technology market”.

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase, commented, “Financial services is one of the first-movers in embracing technology to better serve our customers, and the next wave of digitalization continues a trend that’s been occurring my whole lifetime. As one of the world’s biggest users of Dell and EMC, we spend approximately $9 billion a year on technology, including infrastructure as well as cloud computing, big data analytics and cybersecurity.

“We make sure we spend wisely and select our partners very carefully. I’ve known Michael Dell for 30 years. He’s top notch, ethical, and deeply cares about everyone he works with – both internally at his company and across the industry. I’m thrilled for Michael and the new company, and we are eager to see everything they create in the future.”

Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce, added: “Salesforce’s partnership with Dell and EMC has been instrumental in pushing innovation across the industry. Michael is an incredible visionary and one of the most important leaders in our industry. He has been an amazing partner contributing to our success. Now with Dell Technologies, he is once again reshaping the technology industry.”

As part of today’s announcement, the company unveiled its new branding. A video along with additional information on the new brand is available here.

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CES: Most useless gadgets of all

Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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