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With the recent news surrounding Autonomy, it isn’t hard to see HP as some kind of train wreck. But much of HP’s ongoing business remains relatively strong and profitable. I believe the core of HP’s problem is instability at the top, but even this is more a symptom than a cause. In my opinion, the cause lies with successive boards who thought tactically to address strategic HP problems and who put speed over quality. Let me explain.
It all started with Carly Fiorina.
For most of HP’s initial life through the 1990s, HP was a “boring” company. It had few exciting products, but it had solid financial performance. Its only real hit was a calculator. And even though folks lined up to see its Sojourn PC, it was easily overshadowed by industry darlings such as Sony and Microsoft. At that point, even Apple was getting more interest from investors and consumers.
In the late 90s, HP’s board decided the firm needed a shake up, and they brought on board Carly Fiorina from Lucent to do it. Now, in my opinion, this was a fundamental mistake. What HP had was largely a marketing and consumer product problem. The company wasn’t going under — it just wasn’t exciting consumers or investors. It didn’t need to be fixed operationally, it needed an image makeover and at least one hit product that, unlike the Sojourn, folks could afford.
This meant they needed a new CMO and likely a new head or a new product manager for their PC division. Instead, they got a new CEO, and they picked badly.
You see, over the past decade or so, there had been two catastrophic acquisition failures in the computer industry: IBM’s acquisition of ROLM and AT&T’s acquisition of NCR. Many felt these failures made it clear that telephony people couldn’t run computer companies and that computer people couldn’t run telephony companies. In addition, marketing people generally don’t have the operational background to run corporations. Fiorina was a marketing executive from a telephony company. On paper, she couldn’t be successful, and the board was fixing the HP problem at the wrong level.
Ironically, I believe Fiorina might have actually done well at the right level because she seemed to intuitively understand HP’s need for marketing and hit products. But running all of HP was beyond her. Add to this that she made herself executive chairman, which effectively made the board her subordinate, and the board couldn’t manage her. It wasn’t that she failed; it was that no one put in that position with her background could succeed.
Fiorina was clearly having problems guiding HP, and she moved to acquire Compaq without the approval of powerful board members, resulting in a proxy fight. Ironically, this proxy fight forced her and the CEO from Compaq, an ops specialist (Michael Capellas), to put in place one of the strongest integration plans ever developed, and the acquisition was successful. The conclusion was that HP needed a strong ops person. Capellas appeared ideal. But many believe Fiorina rightly saw him as a threat to her job and in her executive chairman position couldn’t be stopped from forcing him out of the firm.
She was subsequently fired, and Mark Hurd from NCR was hired to replace her–another bad choice, in my opinion. The issue wasn’t that Hurd didn’t have the right pedigree; it was that his skill was largely cutting costs. Fiorina had already cut the company heavily and had broken employee loyalty. Basically, she had isolated herself from the rank and file. While HP needed an ops person, it needed someone who could foster loyalty and rebuild the company. Instead, it got someone who had a history of being hated by his employees (Hurd reportedly had his tires slashed at NCR) and who would have been more appropriate for a firm that was failing and needed to be packaged for a quick sale.
So again, rather than getting a good COO or a builder to fix an ops problem, HP got a CEO who was a cutter. While this did improve HP’s financials, it came at the expense of HP’s long-term survival. And it restored the initial problem that HP was suffering from — the lack of exciting products.
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Yakuza Kiwami 2’s soap opera story doesn’t have quite the same impact as its predecessors, but a much-needed engine upgrade catapults the series into the modern era and makes for a much smoother experience.
A few weeks ago I finished Yakuza Kiwami, and now I’m back in Kamurocho again. Here’s hoping this faster pace carries through the rest of the Yakuza ports, because I could get used to this. The six-month wait between Yakuza 0 last August and Kiwami in February was understandable. Ports take work, and all. But I much prefer the three-month wait between Kiwami and Kiwami 2. Hell, keep it up and we could have the whole series on PC by this time next year—and maybe Judgment, as well.Sins of the fathers
A lot changed between Kiwami and Kiwami 2. If you’ve been playing through the series chronologically, be prepared to be amazed because Kiwami 2 looks incredible. Yakuza 0 and the first Kiwami were both built on the Yakuza 5 engine, which was designed to run on the PlayStation 3. Kiwami 2 upgrades to the Yakuza 6 engine, native to the PlayStation 4, and it shows.
IDG / Hayden Dingman
Kamurocho and Sotenbori, Yakuza’s fictional recreations of Kabukicho and Dotonbori, both appear as if they’ve been scaled up slightly to feel more city-like. The streets are bustling as well, with enormous pedestrian crowds and even rare automobile traffic at times. And then there’s the neon, so much neon, reflecting off glass and the streets and the water. Of course this has a huge performance impact, and even my GeForce GTX 1080 Ti has topped out around 70 or 75 frames per second in a lot of areas, running at 1080p Ultra.
But it’s very impressive, returning to the same maps I’ve already spent 50 or 60 hours on and seeing them given renewed life. It’s a byproduct of Yakuza’s commitment to continuity, which I talked about at length after starting Kiwami. Because this is the story of Kazuma Kiryu and Kamurocho, a man and his city, told over the course of seven different games, you really get a feel for these places. You begin to have a relationship with this five-block-by-five-block square of Tokyo the same way Kiryu does. Here’s the bar where we met a naive journalist all those years back. There’s the batting cages, where we taught a young Daigo Dojima to stop relying on his father’s name to intimidate others.
It’s a very organic form of memory that Yakuza builds up over time, a rich world with characters who drop in and out of Kiryu’s life, businesses that appear and disappear, buildings that rise and fall. And it feels somehow more real than your average video game because of that.
IDG / Hayden Dingman
Kiryu has to essentially come out of retirement to save everyone again, and as you might expect it’s not as simple as it seems. Secret plots! Secret fathers! Secret Koreans! Secret teenage guilt! Secret bombs! Secret…tigers?
IDG / Hayden Dingman
To be clear, both 0 and Kiwami have their fair share of over-the-top soap opera antics as well, but 0’s plot is strong enough (especially Majima’s side) to balance it out, and Kiwami has the benefit of an entire prequel’s worth of emotional investment to carry its more loaded character moments.
At the end of the day even a bad Yakuza story is better than most games though. Kiryu’s story is less traumatic in Kiwami 2, but he still manages to deliver some excellent monologues amid the chaos. His somewhat-parental relationship towards Haruka is a constant undercurrent, an exploration of whether he can balance his personal relationships with duties that often put them in jeopardy—a particularly poignant theme in the aftermath of Kiwami and the loss of almost everyone Kiryu loved.
IDG / Hayden Dingman
The side stories are better than the main this time too, with plenty of entertaining cameos alongside more serious fare. A random guy dressed up as Fake-Kiryu is a fun one, as is a group of men behaving like…well, I wouldn’t want to spoil it. Oh, and Majima has some classic moments, even though he doesn’t show up nearly enough in Kiwami 2.
Point being there’s good stuff here, even if it’s not the main focus.Modern makeover
Perhaps the most welcome change is the elimination of loading screens. I loved Yakuza 0 and Kiwami, but every time you entered or exited a building you sat through a load, even on an SSD-equipped PC. Kiwami 2 is seamless in all but a few instances, allowing you to enter restaurants, bars, batting cages, karaoke clubs, or simply wander through the rare building interior without ever hitting a loading screen. Even fast travel is handled with just a quick fade to black and back.
IDG / Hayden Dingman
Fights are smoother as well. There are no longer lengthy preroll cutscenes before every fight to mask the transition, nor are you locked in small walled-off arenas. You transition straight into combat now, and are given a huge area to roam around in while taking on foes, giving you more than enough bicycles and traffic cones and planters to pick up and use as makeshift weapons. Then at the end, it’s straight back into the game and you’re free to proceed to your next objective.
And this one sounds small, but if you’ve played 0 or Kiwami you know how important it is: The map is finally usable. Not only can you place custom guide markers on Kiwami 2’s map, but there’s even a skill that highlights side missions so you’re not stuck wandering at random (or more likely consulting a walkthrough for the ones you’re missing).
IDG / Hayden Dingman
Don’t dismiss them as purely technical improvements either. It’s more important than that, in a series like Yakuza that strives to create a living world for the player. Investing in Kiryu’s story is a lot easier when the game’s not constantly pulling you out of it to sit through loading screens or clumsy pre- and post-combat scenes.
There are other changes I’m admittedly not so fond of, including the new physics-based combat system. It’s very limited compared to 0 and Kiwami, and Kiryu ends up using the same three or four combos for most of the game. It’s also wildly unpredictable, with enemies ragdolling all over the place and Kiryu too often getting locked into a loop of getting up and being pummeled back down before you can react. The accompanying leveling system is pretty uninspired as well compared to 0’s “Invest In Yourself” trees, where your currency doubled as experience points.
But overall, Kiwami 2 plays better. It’s a smooth, modern-feeling experience—more even than 0 and Kiwami, which already felt eminently playable, especially given the latter was a remake of a decade-old game.Bottom line
Judging it on those merits, Kiwami 2’s been my least favorite story but my favorite to play, which makes it a bit of an oddity to review. I had a good time with it though, and I’m still looking forward to continuing Kiryu’s journey as soon as Sega gets around to porting the rest. I’m in this for the long haul.
SkreensTV makes Back to the Future II multi-screen a reality
So you’re in the mood to watch more than one TV program at once – you just use your television’s “picture in picture” mode, right? Sure, unless you want more shows than two. Or perhaps you’re in the mood to play a video game while you watch Netflix with a connected iPad through your Apple TV? What if you want to watch three things at once and browse the internet at the same time? There’s SkreensTV for that – a device that will split your TV screen up into pieces.
It’s not a hoverboard. It’s not a flying Delorean. It IS a multi-screen television device. We’re edging in on everything Back to the Future II predicted being right for the world here in 2014 – we’re only one year away from the Future in that second movie in the series, after all. We’ve even almost got the real Nike MAG shoes with power laces!
“Art off! Okay, I want channels 18, 24, 63, 109, 87, and The Weather Channel!”
—Marty McFly, Jr.
Below you’ll see SkreensTV in action. A father with interest in sports, a mother who loves QVC, a little girl who wants to watch iCarly, and a boy who wants to play Xbox One. How on earth will they ever manage?
My goodness, how could your family have ever sat on the couch before now? Finally, your family can experience togetherness. At last!
And what’s this – you can access more than just your gaming system and set-top box. You can have six different things open at once if you want. Security systems, Roku TV, Chromecast, a web browser, Twitter, DirecTV, Facebook, Cable tv. Whatever you can plug in with an HDMI cable, basically.
You control the whole setup with an app. Once you have more than one screen running, your tablet will allow you to move and adjust the screens on your TV with a tap.
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on the same display? Blasphemy! But you can make it happen with SkreensTV. And of course in that case you can listen to your individual system with headphones just so long as you’ve got them connected to your controller.
This system is part of an IndeGogo, but doesn’t at the moment seem to be part of the same sort of crowdfunding venture. It has Flexible Funding, which means it doesn’t necessarily have to meet its $200k goal to keep the cash its made during its run.
You can pre-order this device now and it would appear that it doesn’t matter how much of the IndeGogo cost is reached. One SkreensTV unit will cost you $399 USD. That’s with 4GB of internal storage and a “Founders Club Membership” which will allow you to communicate with the rest of the Founders Club community to “shaper SkreensTV and personalize [your] entertainment setup.” Sound like a winner to you?
Apple US manufacturing is back in the spotlight
Apple’s Q1 2023 financial results are almost upon us, but first there’s another chapter in the ongoing “why don’t they make iPhones in the US?” saga. The Cupertino company published an in-depth piece into component manufacturing in the US today, trumpeting Apple’s $60bn spend on American component suppliers and companies in 2023.
The numbers certainly aren’t small. That spend was up more than 10-percent over 2023, Apple points out, and spread across 9,000 different American companies. More than 450,000 jobs were impacted.
The TrueDepth Camera array introduced on the iPhone X, and which powers Face ID on the iPhone XS and latest iPad Pro, is dependent on Finisar, Apple says in example. The Texas company is adding 500 new jobs as it builds out production, paid for in part by a $390 grant from the Apple Advanced Manufacturing Fund. In a new facility, it will build the vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) that TrueDepth requires.
It’s not the only example. Corning is well known for its toughened glass business, panes of which protect the touchscreens of most high-end smartphones today. It also works closely with Apple on the cutting-edge of protective glass, though, often resulting in Apple’s products being the first to feature the latest materials breakthroughs.
“Since 2011,” Apple says, “the total number of jobs created and supported by Apple in the United States has more than tripled – from almost 600,000 to 2 million across all 50 states.”
There’s a gulf between components and final assembly, mind, and it’s there that attention has been focused in recent years, not least by the Trump administration as it pressures Apple to build high-value electronics like iPhones in the US. A New York Times piece published today looks at some of the reasons that’s simply not practical, particularly exploring the lessons Apple learned when making the Mac Pro.
That professional desktop is, Apple frequently mentioned, made in the US. In the process, however, it exposed some of the challenges big and small that American manufacturing faces. A US supplier of screws, for instance, left Apple struggling to get enough components for the most expensive Mac. The company had replaced its old stamping presses with more specialized machinery after mass production shifted from America to China.
It’s not just skillsets and machinery, however: it’s also workforce flexibility. “American workers won’t work around the clock,” the Times points out. “Chinese factories have shifts working at all hours, if necessary, and workers are sometimes even roused from their sleep to meet production goals.”
Apple’s press release also comes, of course, just a day before the company’s financial results are announced. That, as Apple warned investors recently, will see it miss its previous earnings predictions. Blaming Chinese market instability, a lower-than-expected demand for new iPhones, and the US economic situation, CEO Tim Cook conceded that the most recent quarter had been tougher than anticipated.
Adding to that extra challenges of a more expensive US workforce, versus outsourcing to companies overseas where costs are cheaper, seems unlikely to feature in Apple’s production roadmap. Instead, the Cupertino firm looks most likely to continue tapping specialist firms in the US for particular components, but look to squeeze the most from margins by then shipping them abroad to actually be assembled.
configd is a system configuration daemon that runs behind Mac OS X, most users will never notice or see the core OS X process running in the background of their Macs. With that said, configd can sometimes act up and cause unusual CPU spikes and fan activity making your Mac sound like a wind tunnel. Odd configd behavior is easily diagnosed by launching Activity Monitor, sorting by the “% CPU” option, and seeing the ‘configd’ root user process sitting at the top taking up somewhere between 20-95% CPU. If that behavior lasts for a minute or so it’s usually not a big deal, temporary spikes can be normal so just let it run and ignore it, but there are times where configd can go inexplicably errant and it’ll sit around 50% CPU utilization or more for hours for no obvious reason – that is what we’re looking to resolve here.
Resolve configd High CPU Usage with Force Relaunch via Terminal
We’re going to forcibly relaunch configd by giving it a swift kick in the pants using the all-powerful ‘killall’ command. Because configd is a system process, it will instantly relaunch once it has been killed, and in every instance where configd is going crazy with processor utilization this trick solves the problem.
Launch Terminal (sitting within /Applications/Utilities/ as usual) and type the following command:
sudo killall configd
You’ll need to enter an administrator password to execute the command as super user, thus the sudo prefix. Running the command without sudo is ineffective because the process is owned by root (super user).
If you kept Activity Monitor open and sorted by CPU, you’ll find ‘configd’ disappears and when it relaunches it’s no longer sitting at the top of the list and no longer eating up inordinate amounts of CPU. Searching for the process should now find it consuming somewhere between 0% and 1% of CPU.
If you still have problems with configd after using the killall command, jump to the bottom of this article to learn more about troubleshooting configd issues.Dealing with configd without Terminal
If you aren’t comfortable with the command line, there are two other options:
Quit all running Mac applications, which you can do manually or by using this self-made app to quit everything in OS X
Reboot the Mac
Rebooting the Mac has the same effect as killing the configd process directly, though it’s obviously a bit more intrusive to your workflow. Quitting every application can help if the configd error is caused by an apps errant behavior, more on that in a moment.Diagnosing specific configd problems and learning about configd
Apple officially describes configd as follows:
The configd daemon is responsible for many configuration aspects of the local system. configd maintains data reflecting the desired and current state of the system, provides notifications to applications when this data changes, and hosts a number of configuration agents in the form of loadable bundles.
That excerpt is taken from the manual page on configd, which can be accessed by typing the following into terminal:
You can read that directly on your Mac through the command line, or through the web using the Developer Library link here.
If you want to attempt to diagnose why configd went crazy in the first place, you can look around in the following two locations for configd bundles and plist files, which may provide some hints as to what is going wrong and why:
Another option is to choose to re-run configd in verbose mode with the following command:
sudo /usr/libexec/configd -v
This will export verbose information to the OS X System Console, which can be read either from the Console app or through the command line as well. Comparing that information to what is found in the aforementioned system directories can be very helpful in diagnosing a precise cause.
General experience has shown that some apps and processes cause configd issues more often than others, some of which may include Java and Java based services like CrashPlan, certain printers where there are unresolved printing errors, and improper network configurations where a network connection is repeatedly attempting and failing. This is why sometimes quitting all apps is effective at resolving the issue, because it may end the failing repetition which is causing configd to go haywire, and in some cases where killing configd doesn’t solve the problem then removing the culprits plist file can resolve the issue once and for all. Your individual experiences and results may vary.
1. En miljard färger tack vare A-FRC-teknik.
2. Baserat på den totala volymen av 15,6 tum bärbara datorer med NVIDIA® Studio-certifiering från 8 april 2023.
3. Tekniken med flerkärniga processorer har utvecklats för att förbättra prestandan hos vissa program. Det är inte säkert att alla kunder eller program kan dra nytta av denna teknik. Prestanda och klockfrekvens varierar beroende på programbelastning samt hårdvaru- och programvarukonfigurationer. Intels numrering, varumärken och/eller beteckningar är inte ett mått på högre prestanda.
4. Upp till 32 GB minne är ett konfigurerbart tillval.
5. För hårddiskar motsvarar 1 GB 1 miljard byte. TB = 1 biljon byte. Den faktiska kapacitet som formateras är lägre. Upp till 30 GB (för Windows 10) av systemdisken är reserverade för systemåterställningsprogram.
7. HPs interna tester är preliminära och kan ändras utifrån slutliga testresultat.
8. HPs interna tester är preliminära och kan ändras utifrån slutliga testresultat. Jämförelsen baseras på prestandainformation som finns offentligt tillgänglig via konkurrenternas webbplatser per 8 april 2023.
9. Z Command-tangentbord är ett tillval. Endast tillgängligt i USA.
10. Baserat på HPs unika och omfattande säkerhetsfunktioner utan extra kostnad bland leverantörer av stationära arbetsstationer från september 2023 på HP Mobile Workstations med 7:e generationens Intel® -processorer och högre.
11. Det integrerade HP Sure View-sekretessfiltret är ett tillval som måste konfigureras vid köptillfället. Kommer andra halvåret 2023.
12. HP Sure Start Gen5 är tillgängligt på utvalda HP-datorer med Intel-processorer. Se produktspecifikationerna för tillgänglighet.
13. HP Sure Sense kräver Windows 10. Se produktspecifikationerna för tillgänglighet.
14. Lägsta vikt. Vikten varierar beroende på konfiguration.
15. Mätt vid gångjärnet.
16. Internettjänst krävs och säljs separat.
18. Baserat på standarden i IEEE 1680.1-2024.
20. Högtalarhöljet innehåller 5 % havsbunden plast efter vikt.
21. Baserat på Davinci Resolve GPU-tester som jämför HP ZBook Create G7 (Intel® Core™ i9-10885H 8C CPU, NVIDIA® Quadro® RTX 4000 med Max-Q Design, drivrutiner 443.31, 32 GB, 1920 x 1280-bildskärm, 1 TB NVMe med Windows® Professional® 10) och MacBook Pro 16 (Intel® Core™ i9-99801HK 8C CPU, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M-grafik, 32 GB, 3072 x 1920-bildskärm, 1 TB NVMe med den senaste versionen av macOS).
22. Baserat på Arnold GPU-tester som jämför HP ZBook Create G7 (Intel® Core™ i9-10885H 8C CPU, NVIDIA® Quadro® RTX 4000 med Max-Q Design, drivrutiner 443.31, 32 GB, 1920 x 1280-bildskärm, 1 TB NVMe med Windows® Professional® 10) och MacBook Pro 16 (Intel® Core™ i9-9980HK 8C CPU, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M-grafik, 32 GB, 3072 x 1920-bildskärm, 1 TB NVMe med den senaste versionen av macOS).
23. Baserat på Adobe Premier GPU-tester som jämför HP ZBook Create G7 (Intel® Core™ i9-10885H 8C CPU, NVIDIA® Quadro® RTX 4000 med Max-Q Design, drivrutiner 443.31, 32 GB, 1920 x 12801-bildskärm, 1 TB NVMe med Windows® Professional® 10) och MacBook Pro 16 (Intel® Core™ i9-9980HK 8C CPU, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M-grafik, 32 GB, 3072 x 1920-bildskärm, 1 TB NVMe med den senaste versionen av macOS).
24. Baserat på Geekbench GPU-tester som jämför HP ZBook Create G7 (Intel® Core™ i9-10885H 8C CPU, NVIDIA® Quadro® RTX 4000 med Max-Q Design, drivrutiner 443.31, 32 GB, 1920 x 1280-bildskärm, 1 TB NVMe med Windows® Professional® 10) och MacBook Pro 16 (Intel® Core™ i9-9980HK 8C CPU, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M-grafik, 32 GB, 3072 x 1920-bildskärm, 1 TB NVMe med den senaste versionen av macOS).
25. Ångkammare för värmeavledning finns endast tillgängliga i konfigurationer med NVIDIA RTX-grafik.
26. ZBook Create är certifierat och tillgängligt med en Ubuntu-förinstallation.
NVIDIA®, NVIDIA®-logotypen, NVIDIA Turing™ och NVIDIA® GeForce® är varumärken och/eller registrerade varumärken som tillhör NVIDIA Corporation i USA och andra länder.
Microsoft och Windows är antingen registrerade varumärken eller varumärken som tillhör Microsoft Corporation i USA och/eller andra länder.
Intel, Intel Core, Xeon är varumärken som tillhör Intel Corporation eller dess dotterbolag i USA och/eller andra länder.
Thunderbolt och Thunderbolt-logotypen är varumärken som tillhör Intel Corporation eller dess dotterbolag i USA och/eller andra länder.
Adobe Premier Pro är ett varumärke som tillhör Adobe Systems Incorporated.
© Copyright 2023 HP Development Company, L.P. Informationen i detta dokument kan komma att ändras utan förvarning. De enda garantier som gäller för produkter och tjänster från HP beskrivs i de uttryckliga garantier som medföljer produkterna och tjänsterna. Inget i detta dokument kan tolkas som ytterligare garantier. HP ansvarar inte för tekniska eller redaktionella fel eller utelämnanden i denna text.
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