Daily Cuppa: Western Digital recovers, Apple avoids NFC

Daily Cuppa: Western Digital recovers, Apple avoids NFC

Summary: And in other stories that happened overnight, Microsoft unveils its SkyDrive Android app, IBM's Watson is close to becoming a Siri competitor and a French communications company bets on Fibre to the Home.

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The news doesn't stop while we sleep, so let's get you up to speed with what happened overnight.

While there's still plenty of speculation about what the US Apple v. Samsung battle will mean for the other ongoing cases around the world, the UK is not likely to have its mind swayed by the recent events. A UK litigation lawyer has stated that there is no legal overlap between the two cases and that, try as Apple may to use the US case as leverage, there is no legal basis to have it heard.

There's also some solidarity around what might, or rather, might not appear in Apple's next iPhone. It looks like the device will not ship with Near Field Communications (NFC) hardware, which many were hoping for in the previous model. If true, it's a curious move, considering everyone else is already moving towards contactless payments. Maybe Apple knows something that we don't.

But speaking of phone features, the lack of NFC might pale in comparison to what could come next. IBM's Watson — the speech recognition genius that won a game of Jeopardy against seasoned pros — is getting to the point where advancements in technology and a decrease in its power requirements mean that it is almost mobile-ready. While it doesn't look like IBM will be announcing a Siri competitor yet, IBM's current work is pretty amazing ,when you consider Watson's tech used to be large enough that an entire room was needed for it all.

And still on hardware, hard drive manufacturer Western Digital hasn't just recovered from the flooding disaster in Thailand last year, it's set a new company record for revenue for the last quarter and taken the market lead back from rival Seagate. It's good news for anyone that was hurt by the lack of supply, with the overall market up 8 per cent, compared to Q1 2012. Perhaps we'll soon start to see prices returning to normal.

But perhaps you won't need all that storage, given that everything is going mobile and cloud. Microsoft is pushing its SkyDrive cloud-storage solution in a big way, having already rolled it out for Windows, Mac, iOS and Windows Phone. It has now also released its app for Android devices. It doesn't appear to be a port of the iOS app, with the company designing it to "feel natural" for Android users.

Over in France, it appears that Fibre to the Home (FTTH) has another supporter. The nation's second largest broadband company, ISP Free, has taken out a €200 million loan, €130 million of which will be spent on continuing its fibre network. This latest loan is in addition to one the company previously took out for its FTTH network, of €150 million.

Topics: Apple, Cloud, IBM, Microsoft, Samsung, Storage, NBN

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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  • Re: But perhaps you won't need all that storage...

    And where exactly are “mobile” and “cloud” going to get their storage from, exactly?
    ldo17