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Seagate overhauls advanced NAS lineup with Business Storage servers

If you haven't heard of Seagate's BlackArmor NAS servers, including the 220 and the 440 models, you didn't miss much or you have missed everything. Almost four years since first introduced, they are now obsolete.

Seagate announced today the replacements, a totally new line of network attached storage servers for small businesses or professional consumers, called Business Storage NAS. The new servers promise to offer a lot more, with faster speeds, better cloud integration, and a host of features.

The storage vendor says the new servers offer powerful backup solutions for Windows, Mac (with native support for … Read more

Sony sees revenue rise, losses decline as turnaround hopes gain

Although Sony has watched its troubles mount over the last few years, the company had a strong fourth quarter, leading some to wonder if the worst is behind it.

During the fourth quarter of 2012 (Sony's fiscal third quarter), the company generated $22.4 billion in revenue, representing a 6.9 percent gain over the same period in 2011 (PDF). And although the company still lost $124 million during the period, that was far better than the $1.7 billion it lost in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Sony's improved performance came by way of its mobile products … Read more

Foxconn to employees: Hey, you should join the union

Foxconn Technology Group is implementing a plan to increase employee participation in its labor union, the company said today in a statement obtained by CNET.

"As a part of efforts to implement the Action Plan that was developed together with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) following the assessment they conducted in early 2012, Foxconn is introducing measures to enhance employee representation in the Foxconn Labor Union and to raise employees' awareness of the organization," the company wrote today in a statement.

Apple brought in the FLA last year to inspect Foxconn's facilities and determine if there were … Read more

HP Elitebook Folio 9470m review: Touchless

Windows 8 in a business laptop: well, it needed to happen sooner or later, but in the case of the Elitebook Folio 9470m, the execution feels premature and expensive. It's a shame, because the 9470m is a direct descendent of last year's HP Folio 13 ultrabook, a device I considered at the time to be among the best in its class and recommended to everybody.

A lot has changed in a year. Thin ultrabooks have given way to touch-screen, often convertible/tablet devices. And among ultrabooks, there are tons more to choose from. Touch isn't necessary to … Read more

Apple shares slip toward $500 on iPhone 5 demand worries

Apple's stock today dallied with the $500 mark, and not in a good way.

Shares of the iPad and Mac maker closed the day at $501.75, down more than 3 percent, after spending much of the day floating in the $503 range. In the waning moments of the trading day, Apple shares had trended downward as low as $500.07 before rallying in the final five minutes.

As trading on the Nasdaq got under way this morning, Apple did very briefly hit $498.51 a few minutes after the opening. The share price had been slipping notably in … Read more

Shutterfly picks up cloud-based image-storing site ThisLife

Shutterfly announced today that it has acquired cloud-based image-storing service ThisLife.

ThisLife is a lesser-known service for users who want to store photos and videos on the Web. Upon uploading videos or images to ThisLife, users can organize them into events or categories and share them with others. Shutterfly didn't say how much it acquired ThisLife for, but the company noted that the deal will enhance its own services.

According to Shutterfly, in the coming months, it will incorporate ThisLife's storage and sharing features into its own platform. Users will be able to add photos from a host … Read more

Get a NeatDesk document scanner for $249.99

This is an update of a deal I wrote about many moons ago. Like, 19 moons.

If you're still chasing that pipe dream known as the paperless office, you know that half the battle is digitizing all your paper documents. It can be a major hassle, especially if you're working with a flatbed scanner (i.e., one that lacks an auto document feeder).

That's what makes the NeatDesk such a cool tool: it quickly batch-scans documents, receipts, and business cards, then organizes them into digital filing cabinets. Though it's been around for years, there's no … Read more

Consumer electronics trade group wants startups... badly

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has launched a new membership category to try and bring more startups into the consumer electronics fold.

The CEA -- which represents thousands of consumer electronics firms -- has created the new $95 membership category as a means of "fostering innovation" in a stagnant economy.

Regular membership fees begin at $850 per year and can go as high as $40,000, depending on a company's annual revenues. Membership includes free registration for the Consumer Electronics Show.

The trade association says it can better serve both "new and established" companies with … Read more

Google puts businesses' interiors inside search results

Google is making it even easier to take a virtual visit to business interiors without leaving home.

Launched in September, Google Business Photos presented Google Maps users with 360-degree panoramas of the inside of businesses, a handy tool for scoping out the interior of a business before going there in person. However, the images were often hard to find.

Starting today, the Web giant began posting the photos to its Web search results page, presenting them along with the business results that appear to the right of requested results. As with the maps product, a simple click on the "… Read more

Former Windows boss lands teaching gig at Harvard

Steven Sinofsky, who recently left Microsoft after running the Windows division for six years, tweeted this morning that he will teach at Harvard Business School this spring.

"Excited to return to @HarvardHBS to teach again this spring!" Sinofsky wrote. "New perspectives, recharge, share experiences, write."

In response to a question on Twitter, Sinofsky said he intends to teach "product development" as well as write articles about the topic.

Sinofsky has some history at Harvard Business School. He served as a "visiting scholar" there in 1998. He also co-authored a book on organizational … Read more