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Oh, look! A fidget tool

posted: 28 Mar 2017

When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!

While serving a sentence in the conference room can be hellishly dull, you can zen it out by keeping your hands busy under the table (not that kind of busy, gross). This Stress Spinner helps you refocus on what matters most—that weird mole on Dave’s neck. Ahem, productively getting through the meeting, that is. With a smooth ceramic center bearing, you can spin it silently to help ease your wandering mind and hone back in on the waves of corporate synergy.

After enough practice, you’ll be able to pull it out of your pocket already spinning without missing a beat. Pick up this Stress Spinner for 66% off, just $19.99.

Explore other Best-Sellers in our store:

Ian McDonald returns to the harshest mistress in L

posted: 28 Mar 2017

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Jenny Nicholson's "Top 10 Reasons I Won't Do ASMR"

posted: 28 Mar 2017

I get a huge kick out of the videos of the always-entertaining nerd whisperer Jenny Nicholson. If you haven't seen her channel, check it out and watch as she sits on her bed, surrounded by sci-fi plushies, and shares her quirky, sometimes labyrinthine, and often convincing theories and opinions on sci-fi and fantasy films, comic books, novels, and other nerd media fodder.

In her latest video, she answers many requests she's apparently had for doing ASMR videos by explaining ten reasons why her answer is no. But she delivers her ten reason AS an ASMR video, right down to tapping, scratching, and scrunching things as she talks. One of her ten reasons made me laugh out loud:

"I just don't know how I'm supposed to take myself seriously when I'm crinkling bags for an hour."

For those unfamiliar, ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is an intense tingling sensation some people claim they experience when they hear certain soft voices, pleasant repetitive sounds, or while watching someone doing a particularly mundane, repetitive activity.

I'm sure Jenny is going to get a lot of grief from ASMRtists for seemingly making fun of them, but I would hope they'd have a healthy sense of humor about it all. Several commenters who claim to experience ASMR said that they laughed at her reasons for not doing it. I do not have ASMR, but I do enjoy listening to some ASMR audio as I'm going to sleep and I'm fascinated by the whole phenomenon and the numerous, surreal, and just plain bizarre videos people are producing in the genre. An hour of nothing but crinkling bags? Andy Warhol would be so proud.

Louis Grabher's personalized auto license plate de

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Mr. Grabher's personalized plate, GRABHER, has never been a problem until this year's renewal. The BBC reports that the Nova Scotian motorist was refused permission to plate up his own name—of fine German vintage—by the local transport department. He blames Trump.

"I've never once had anybody come up to me and say they were offended," Mr Grabher told CBC News.

"They would look at it and say, 'Am I reading this right?' And I would go, 'Yes.'

"And they would go, 'Is this your last name?' And I would go, 'Yes.' And they would always just give a little chuckle."

Mr Grabher said he thinks he's being punished for Donald Trump's obscene language.

Tokyo travel tips, day 2: Yoyogi park

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Carla and I took a one-week trip to Tokyo. It was my sixth visit to Japan's capital, and it was my favorite so far. For the next few days, I'll be writing about recommended things to do there. See them all here. [caption id="attachment_516200" align="alignnone" width="680"] Image: Wikipedia/Pawel Loj[/caption]

I don't think you're supposed to fry onigiri, at least not the triangle-shaped ones that you buy at convenience stores in Japan. But that's what I did when I made breakfast in our Airbnb on our first morning in Tokyo. The onigiri weren't wrapped in seaweed, and they didn't have a filling. Instead, they were mixed with "mountain vegetables" and pressed into triangles. I heated them up in a skillet with butter, and the outside got crispy brown. They went well with the scrambled eggs I made. (I ended up buying this rice mold on Amazon so I can make them at home.) One thing about Japanese eggs - the yolks are a deep orange color. I don't know why, but they were delicious. [caption id="attachment_516202" align="alignnone" width="680"] Torii gate at Yoyogi Park[/caption]

After breakfast we walked to Yoyogi Park in Shubuya. This 40-foot torii gate was just a few minute's walk from our Airbnb. As soon as we passed under it, we felt like we were far away from the hubbub of Tokyo and had entered a quiet forest. As it was early in the morning (the time difference between LA and Tokyo made it easy to wake up at 5am) there were few people in the park. We walked along a wide, tree-lined path until we reached the huge Meiji shrine. This Shinto shrine was built in 1921, destroyed in WWII air raids, and rebuilt in 1958. Visitors are invited to write prayers on small wooden placards and hang them on hooks in the courtyard

We also visited the Meiji Jingu Inner Garden, which is in the park. It costs about $6 to enter, and is well worth the price. It's been around since the early Edo period (1603-1867) and was garden of various lords and the Imperial Family. Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) liked the garden so much he wrote a poem about it:

Deep in the woodland of Yoyogi, the quietude creates the illusion of seclusion from the city.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

There's also a pond, a teahouse (closed), and a well that was made by Katō Kiyomasa (1561 – 1611), a famous samurai and a playable character in Pokémon Conquest.

After that, we walked to Harajuku and strolled through the narrow winding streets. I'll write about that tomorrow!

Gaff card deck has 40 magic tricks

posted: 27 Mar 2017

http://amzn.to/2mKmut5

Gaff cards are playing cards that have been doctored ion one way or another so you can do magic tricks that would be very difficult or impossible to do with an ordinary deck. I got The Blue Gaff Deck a few months ago and I love it. There are some amazing tricks you can do with it, and because they have the familiar Bicycle backs, no one will know that you are using gaff cards (as long as you don't flub).

You can do 40 different tricks with the deck (and it comes with a DVD so you can learn them all). My favorite is the B-Wave, which is worth the price of the deck: https://youtu.be/39IcQIjuSzc

Miele's networked disinfecting hospital dishwasher

posted: 27 Mar 2017

The Miele PG 8528 is a "washer-disinfector" intended for hospitals and other locations with potentially dangerous pathogens on their dirty dishes; it's networked and smart. And dumb. (more…)

Ikea vs Superfans: how paranoid trademark lawyers

posted: 27 Mar 2017

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Crowdfunding a subscription to Ms. for every state

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Rudy Rucker writes, "Isabel Rucker and friends are promoting a GoFundMe project to give an Ms. subscription to each of the elected officials in Wyoming. Why? To raise awareness of women's issues. Wyoming has the largest gender pay gap in the country, has the smallest percentage of women in its state legislature, is among the costliest for childcare, and faces continuing cuts in publicly funded family planning and in women's health services." (more…)

Trump approval hits new low

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Gallup's latest poll reveals that Trump's approval rating is at an all time low of 36%. This is probably his bare rock base, who would cheer him for repealing the Bill the Rights (except for the 2nd Amendment) on the grounds that it was Unconstitutional.

"I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here's

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Megan Phelps-Roper was born into the Westboro Baptist Church. In this TED Talk, she explains what ut was like in the church and why she left.

What's it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing ... everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America's most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp ways we can learn to successfully engage across ideological lines.

Shaun Cassidy sings "Rebel Rebel" (1980)

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Today, Shaun Cassidy is a successful TV producer. In the 1970s he was better know as the little brother of David Cassidy. In 1979 Shaun hired Todd Rundgren to produce his album Wasp. I don't think the album did well, but is has some great tracks on it, including a cover of David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel," "So Sad About Us' (Pete Townshend), "The Book I Read" (Talking Heads) ,"Once Bitten Twice Shy" (Ian Hunter), "It's My Life" ( Animals) and "Shake Me Wake Me" (Four Tops).

It was his last album.

Here's the whole album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vmy5yorlrI

Orson Welles interviews Andy Kaufman (1982)

posted: 27 Mar 2017

https://youtu.be/xrGlWAFy1LU

I was expecting this to be a train wreck, but Orson Welles (in an unusually ungrumpy mood) did a terrific job of interviewing Andy Kaufman, who was always a tough nut to crack. Welles basically took over and did most of the talking and was very funny.

Star Wars Rebels season three finale

posted: 27 Mar 2017

This weekend saw Star Wars Rebels season three draw to a close. This was an exciting episode, but very little resolved.

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An inflatable pillow to make flying in coach toler

posted: 27 Mar 2017

This simple, inflatable pillow provides the lower back support I wish a coach airplane seat would.

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Celebrity voice impressionist switches actors in f

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Ross Marquand (Walking Dead) is also a great voice impressionist. Here he is impersonating actors delivering lines for movies they never appeared in: John C. Reilly in Taxi Driver, James Gandolfini in The Godfather, Jack Nicholson in Taken, Brad Pitt in Jaws, and so on.

Russian cat won't let go of bread bag

posted: 27 Mar 2017

YouTube description translated from the Russian: "Cat Boris lives in a shelter. He and the other tails looking for a home! Dear friends, we are a haven for cats. We are located in St. Petersburg."

[via]

Halestorm's kinda metal ode to metal

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Somehow I ran across this music, I liked it, and it wasn't recorded 30+ years ago!

I've been enjoying Halestorm's 2015 release Into the Wild Life.

Excellent beer bottle blowing cover of Michael Jac

posted: 27 Mar 2017

The Bottle Boys blow like nobody's business. (via Laughing Squid)

How America's obsession with hula girls almost wre

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Over at Collectors Weekly, Lisa Hix has just written an incredibly in-depth history of the hula, from its roots as a sacred dance to its kitschy personification as a dashboard doll. For her piece, Hix spoke with Constance Hale, a hula dancer herself, whose new book, The Natives Are Restless, focuses on authentic, 21st-century expressions of the hula.

Snip:

In his journal, Captain Cook described the Hawaiians’ hula: “Their dances are prefaced with a slow, solemn song, in which all the party join, moving their legs, and gently striking their breasts in a manner and with attitudes that are perfectly easy and graceful.”

In The Natives Are Restless, Hale explains, “To be sexually adept and sensually alive—and to have the ability to experience unrestrained desire—was as important to ancient Hawaiians as having sex to produce offspring. The vital energy caused by desire and passion was itself worshiped and idolized.”

Cook and his men—and the merchants, whalers, artists, and writers who followed—mistook the hula’s sexually charged fertility rituals as a signal the Hawaiians’ youngest and loveliest women were both promiscuous and sexually available to anyone who set foot on their beaches. In her 2012 book Aloha America: Hula Circuits Through the U.S. Empire, historian Adria L. Imada explains how natural hospitality of “aloha” culture—the word used as a greeting that also means “love”—made Hawaiians vulnerable to outside exploitation. To Westerners, the fantasy of a hula girl willingly submitting to the sexual desires of a white man represented the convenient narrative of a people so generous they’d willing give up their land without a fight.

Contrary to this fantasy, the people populating the eight islands of the Hawaiian archipelago weren’t so submissive. In fact, the chiefs reigning the islands of Mau‘i and Hawai‘i had been attacking and raiding each other since the 1650s. But contact with the Western world was something they were unprepared for, and the introduction of Western diseases like smallpox and measles began to weaken and decimate the islands’ native populations.

Trip out on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" c

posted: 27 Mar 2017

When Pink Floyd took the stage on their mid-1970s "Dark Side of the Moon" tour, they performed in front of a stunning video cut-up created by British animator Ian Emes. Above are screen projections from the 1974 French tour. Below, a reel from the 1975 North American tour. (The album audio was added by someone else later.) From Wikipedia:

Emes' first major work, 'French Windows', was started while he was subsequently a student at Birmingham College of Art and finished while he was unemployed. It was set to the Pink Floyd recording "One of These Days". After it was shown at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery, it was screened on the television programme The Old Grey Whistle Test, and thereby came to the attention of Pink Floyd. The band invited Emes to give them a private screening, and afterwards to make films to be projected during performances of The Dark Side of the Moon. His animation for their song "Time" is on Pink Floyd's Pulse DVD. He subsequently worked with Roger Waters, making live action film for his performance of The Wall – Live in Berlin.

As a result of his work for Pink Floyd, Linda McCartney asked Emes to animate Wings' "Oriental Nightfish". He has also made animations for concerts by Mike Oldfield, and directed The Chauffeur for Duran Duran.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3npoz5A4yU

Weird laws from around the world

posted: 27 Mar 2017

(NSFW language)

Funny: In Florida, it's unlawful to have sex with a porcupine. Sad: In Russia, it's illegal to tell minors that gay people exist. (Sam O'Nella)

Monkeys helped man who mysteriously vanished in th

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Tourist Maykool Coroseo Acuña, 25, was lost in the Bolivian Amazon for nine days. He says that he was only able to survive thanks to "a group of monkeys, who dropped him fruit and lead him to shelter and water every day." And that isn't even the strangest part of the story surrounding Acuña. From Elizabeth Unger's fascinating article in National Geographic:

(Tour organizer Feizar Nava) had invited the tourists at the lodge to participate in a Pachamama ceremony—a tradition involving coca leaves, candles, and cigarettes—to thank Pachamama, or Mother Earth, for giving them permission to enter the forest.

When Maykool was asked to join the ceremony alongside the group, he had refused, Feizar said. And when a guide had returned to his cabin to check on him, he was nowhere to be found. The amount of time that had passed between when Maykool was last seen and when someone went back for him was only five minutes.

Panicked, Feizar and his guides checked every inch of the lodge. Maykool wasn’t there. The group headed out into the rainforest with flashlights. They searched until five in the morning, to no avail. Maykool seemed to have completely vanished.

“It’s because he offended the Pachamama.” Feizar said. “He didn’t want to participate in the ceremony.”

"Lost Tourist Says Monkeys Saved Him in the Amazon" (Nat Geo)

Escalator malfunction leads to injuries and arrest

posted: 27 Mar 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-W4-BIqFws

After an escalator malfunctioned and reversed its course at high speed, sending shoppers sprawling into a mall concourse, two engineers called in to investigate were themselves arrested and charged with tampering with evidence.

Why were the men arrested?

Officials had called in the two technicians, who work for Otis Elevator Company, to assist in investigations hours after the incident. The escalator had been shut down and all personnel involved in the investigation were ordered not to touch it. Late on Sunday night however, officials discovered that the escalator's auxiliary braking system had been reactivated, reported local media. Newspaper Apple Daily said the reactivation could have affected the escalator's computer data records. Officials ordered police to arrest the two men on the spot.

It's important that we realize there's nothing remotely funny about that video of screaming humans piling up at the foot of a haywire escalator.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJxNaAfAYF0

The Registry

ICO fines Flybe, Honda for breaking data rules. Th

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Protip: Don't ask customers if they want to be contacted by email… by email

The Information Commissioner's Office is baring its teeth as we rocket towards the EU's General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect.…

Supermicro rack-wrangles a fix for a few data cent

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Server, storage and networking wrap

Orchestrating, deploying and managing thousands of servers, storage shelves and switches can provide a persistent PITA*. Server white box supremo Supermicro has a Rack Scale Design (RSD) fix for service providers, telecoms, and Fortune 500 companies dealing with this.…

People may have been wrongly sent back to prison o

posted: 28 Mar 2017

'G4S has introduced further quality checks'

Offenders may have been wrongly sent back to prison because of faulty electronic tags supplied by G4S, the government admitted today.…

Nuns left in limbo after phone line transfer hell

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Judge Brennan fines Eircom after litany of screwups

A judge has hit Irish telco Eircom with a €16,500 fine, after the former incumbent left a nursing home for retired nuns without phone service for weeks, then overcharged the sisters for the privilege.…

DevOps hype? Sometimes a pizza really is just a pi

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Differentiating between commercial partners, coevolution and clutter

Opinion  Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Four friends are sitting on a sofa, and one says to the others, “I’m hungry, I want to learn how to make pizza.”…

Microsoft beefs up Skype for Business as Amazon Ch

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Corporate comms face-off

Microsoft is rounding out its Skype for Business Cloud PBX.…

Google and pals plough $27m into tiery-eyed storag

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Adding better public cloud facilities to users' hybrid world

Avere, the filer and public cloud storage accelerator supplier, has scored a $27m E-round of funding, with Google proper providing some of the funds.…

World+dog had 1.4 BEEEELLION of its data records e

posted: 28 Mar 2017

That's 86% up on 2015... and it's mostly identity theft

Almost 1.4 billion data records were compromised worldwide during 2016, a whopping increase of 86 per cent compared to the year before.…

Brit telcos will waive early termination fees for

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Good news for those posted to Benbecula or Mount Pleasant?

British military personnel will no longer face swingeing cancellation fees on broadband packages if they are posted abroad.…

Making business value the object of the exercise

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Beyond Big Data

Promo  On 27 April at 11am we're broadcasting live with a studio full of experts focused on the challenges of data-enabled workflow - that is the notion of integrating data into business workflows to improve performance and increase competitive advantage.…

Mobile network Three inks Cisco Jasper deal, eyes

posted: 28 Mar 2017

It's a connected land grab of things

Mobile operator Three has announced a deal with Cisco Jasper, the switchzilla's newly acquired IoT arm.…

Firefox Quantum: BIG browser project, huh? I share

posted: 28 Mar 2017

What Mozilla's browser rewrite means to... Mozilla

Open source insider  Mozilla has been rolling out a major change to Firefox during the last year, the results of what the company calls its Electrolysis project. Electrolysis gives Firefox something Chrome has had for years now – multiple processes (in the best case scenario that's per tab). The change is a boon for speed – somewhere Firefox has been lagging lately – and it improves stability and security.…

Miss Misery on hacking Mr Robot and the Missing Se

posted: 28 Mar 2017

He's both the sharpest tool AND two spanners short

Stob  Are you lolling dolefully? Then I'll continue. The TV show Mr. Robot deals with the life and adventures of Elliot Alderson, a twenty-something New York devop and cyber-vigilante. He and his circle of chums, seeking to inflict revenge on a mega-corporation for a hushed-up industrial accident, stumble towards bringing e-civilisation to a sticky end.…

As of today, iThings are even harder for police to

posted: 28 Mar 2017

iOS 10.3 lands, complete with heavily encrypted Apple File System

Apple today released iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2 and tvOS 10.2 (14W265), the first two of all of which bring some pleasing extra functionality to iThings, But the main attraction in the new release is Apple File System, because it adds comprehensive encryption to the iPhone and Apple Watch.…

Community vid reveals demos of vSphere-on-AWS clou

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Right-click to vMotion VMs between on-prem and AWS

VMware's revealed some demos of its planned hybrid cloud service running inside Amazon Web Services.…

If you can't beat AI, join it: Boffinry biz baron

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Computers wired into our minds. What could go wrong?

Three years ago, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, mused that artificial intelligence represented humanity's biggest existential threat.…

CompSci boffins propose scheme to protect privacy

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Queries indicate your intentions, so they're worth hiding

From stock searches to map directions, any time a user queries a database, they tell the database owner something valuable.…

AWS emits EnginFrame 2017 for cloudy HPC

posted: 28 Mar 2017

Simpler cluster config

Amazon Web Services' 2016 acquisition of NICE Systems is bearing fruit, with AWS lifting the lid on the next iteration of a high performance computing service called EnginFrame.…

Redmond takes a small step towards opening Service

posted: 27 Mar 2017

No runtime yet, but two developer repos have landed

Last year, Microsoft offered up its first public beta of Azure Service Fabric for Linux. This month, it quietly took another step with the fabric by partly open-sourcing it.…

nbn¬トᄁ builder prioritises easy premises, because

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Don't criticise CEO Morrow for keeping the build moving

Stop me if you've heard this one: nbn™, builder and operator of Australia's national broadband network (NBN), is being accused of polishing its rollout figures by fast-tracking areas that are easy to service.…

Samsung plans Galaxy Note 7 fire sale

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Flaming phablet stockpile to be refurbished, resold, rented and/or broken up for parts

Samsung's revealed it will soon start selling the Galaxy Note 7 again.…

Green software blacked out Australian State

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Wind-turbine-ware defaults didn't handle exceptional weather events

Something good is going to come out of last year's “Black System” in the Australian State of South Australia: the global wind power industry has learned how to do better modelling for systems under attack from repeated failures.…

Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable ¬タモ yup,

posted: 27 Mar 2017

First step, smart bulbs and sensors

Analysis  Ikea has just announced the entry of smart home technology into the mainstream with a new range of lights that can be activated by motion or smartphone app.…

Angular framework's grand ambition: Not breaking a

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Google's web app scaffolding seeks recognition as platform

Angular, the popular web application framework, reached version 4.0.0 last week, having skipped version 3 entirely.…

FYI Docs.com users: You may have leaked passwords,

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Just call it Doxx.com

Thousands of netizens inadvertently shared passwords and other highly private information with the rest of the planet – via Microsoft's publicly searchable Docs.com service.…

LastPass scrambles to fix another major flaw ¬タモ o

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Ormandy sets snowflakes off over disclosure

For most of us, Saturday morning is a time for a lie in, a leisurely brunch, or maybe taking the kids to the park. But for some it's bug-hunting time.…

Astroboffins clock thriving stellar nursery nestle

posted: 27 Mar 2017

First time star formation seen in such extreme conditions

Astronomers have for the first time found stars forming within the violent outflows of material ejected from a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy.…

Astroboffins stunned by biggest brown dwarf ever s

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Yeah, we're talking hundreds of light years

Pic  Astronomers claim to have identified the largest and purest brown dwarf ever seen, measuring in at a record-breaking 90 times the mass of Jupiter. And it's hovering fairly nearby in the Milky Way.…

Robo-Uber T-boned, rolls onto side, self-driving r

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Autonomous car was not at fault, apparently

Uber's taken its nascent fleet of self-driving cars off the road after one rolled in an accident.…

Ex-military and security firms oppose Home Sec in

posted: 27 Mar 2017

'We are in real trouble if we apply blunt weapons to this'

UK government ministers calling for increased surveillance abilities in the wake of last Wednesday's terrorist attack have encountered opposition from a somewhat unexpected quarter.…

Happy Motherboards day: Here's some (Optane) memor

posted: 27 Mar 2017

No benchmarks available from 2D launch of 3D XPoint memory

Hot on the heels of the Optane DC P4800X data centre SSD announcement, Intel makes a move on PC motherboard memory.…

DevOps brings your teams to delivery faster and wi

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Start with DevOps today across all platforms, tools, and methodologies used

Promo  DevOps is a fast-growing market trend, but one that is still not universally understood. Specialist software vendor Clarive has produced an essential eBook guide for organisations interested in DevOps projects but unsure of how to approach them.…

Northamber's Phillips ponders non-exec role after

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Profitability? Not just yet...

Northamber chairman David Phillip signalled his intention to take more of a backseat as he announced interim results that suggested profitability remains just tantalisingly out of reach for the veteran distie for now.…

Micron making mucho memory moolah

posted: 27 Mar 2017

Quarterly results show a boomtown rat raking in dollars

DRAM and flash fabber Micron had a damn good second fiscal 2017 quarter, raking in increased revenues and a $0.9bn profit on the back of strengthened DRAM and NAND prices.…