Telecom: un comitato valuterà l’acquisizione di 3 Italia


Come promesso, nella serata di ieri, al termine di un Consiglio di Amministrazione durato sei ore, Telecom Italia ha emanato un comunicato informativo sulle valutazioni emerse in merito alla possibile integrazione di 3 Italia e allo stato di avanzamento del progetto sulla separazione della Rete.

L’operazione che potrebbe dar vita alla fusione per incorporazione di 3 Italia in Telecom è stata subordinata dal gruppo cinese Hutchison Whampoa “all’acquisizione di un’ulteriore quota azionaria in Telecom Italia, tale da farne l’azionista di riferimento della Società“.
Una richiesta inevitabilmente subordinata a una approvazione da parte governativa, dal momento che, secondo quanto stabilito dalla legge 56 del primo maggio 2012, proprio in capo al Governo resta il potere di veto.

Proprio in considerazione della complessità dell’operazione e delle sue implicazioni, il Consiglio di Amministrazione ha dato mandato al management di verificare e definire un percorso “operativo di fattibilità per la separazione della rete di accesso” (ferma restando, naturalmente l’ottemperanza alle regole stabilite per l’operazione), mentre ha costituito un comitato ristretto, presieduto da Franco Bernabè e composto Luigi Zingales, Elio Catania, Gabriele Galateri e Julio Linares, “per verificare entro tempi ristretti l’interesse della Società alla prosecuzione del percorso“.

Researchers turn regular DVD player into cheap HIV testing machine

Autore: ExtremeTech

In medicine, having a solution is only half the battle. As we saw with the long and still somewhat ongoing battle against polio, even inventing a cure doesn’t mean you’ve cured a disease; all sorts of confounding variables will inevitably muck with the best laid plans of mice and scientists. With polio, it was a combination of geography, superstition, and cost that kept the disease around for so long, and which keeps it around in some places even today. In fact, it wasn’t until we developed groundbreaking new vaccine preparation technologies, ones that still underpin their mass production, that we started making any real progress at all.

Our war on HIV seems to be progressing along a similar course. Western medicine needed only about fifteen years or so to turn HIV from a death sentence into a debilitating chronic disease, and it spent the ten years after that slowly dialing back the debilitating part. Today, headlines trumpet news of the first people “cured” of the retrovirus, and new preventative initiatives adjust their goals from slowing transmission to halting it entirely. That certainly sounds promising — so why are there still millions of AIDS deaths every year? There’s no one reason, but probably the biggest is simply this: we can’t afford to give everyone the best, most modern treatments.

This is true in North America, let alone in Africa. Despite some truly impressive progress in recent years, particularly with respect to mother-child transmission, new infections are still at 2.5 million, annually. Aid organizations do what they can with the resources they have available, but funding can only go so far. If we want to eradicate HIV to, at least, the extent we’ve managed with polio, we need more than just solutions to the AIDS virus; we need solutions to the AIDS problem.

dsic2 Probably the most frustrating part of that problem is diagnosis, since early detection and intervention is so vital to survivability. This ought to be easy, at least compared to treating the disease, but it has proven difficult on the ultra-large scale. There have not been too many diagnostic tests that could quickly check thousands of people. This month, however, Nature Photonics brought public attention to a report in Lab Chip that claims a regular old DVD player, with a few basic modifications, could provide quick and accurate tests for HIV — and for many other diseases, as well.

The technology requires three major modifications. The first is the addition of a new photodiode, one designed to capture the sort of information we require. There aren’t currently any specifics about just what sort of diode is needed, but they aren’t expensive or difficult to install. Some hot glue and a single wire ought to be enough. After that, we need to modify the player further by loading it up with special lab software; that’s another quick, cheap fix, though one that would seem to require slightly more modern DVD players with more robust internal computers. Finally, we require specialized disposable, multilayer, semi-transparent polymer discs. These custom discs are the only glaring problem with DVD-diagnosis, as they would need to be specially made for binding a specific disease marker. For HIV, this would mean binding the CD4+ helper T-cells, and using their abundance as a reference for the presence of HIV.

Once you’ve got your modded DVD player and custom CD4-binding discs, you’re ready to go. Loading should be as easy since the setup can take untreated blood straight from a patient, and then the process begins. The DVD reader’s laser shines down through the blood and disc to be recorded by our new photodiode, and as the disc spins we create a record two-dimensional picture of the light that makes its way through to the other side. Thanks to the centrifuge-like spinning of the disc, only bound T-cells should remain to block the transmission of the laser. More dots means more T-cells, means the patient is less likely to carry HIV. That’s not a perfect test, of course, and wouldn’t detect HIV in the absolute earliest stages of infection, but it could still notice drops in T-cell counts months before the patient would otherwise begin to notice health effects.

This technique need not be limited to HIV, but that’s where a dramatic price drop would have the most immediate and powerful effect. Of course, every branch of research will benefit from a low-cost solution to a traditionally cloistered experimental process, especially for seat-of-the-pants assays. We might not be publishing too many papers in Science that rely on DVD assays for proof, but the preliminary research that justifies such high-budget experiments could be made far quicker and cheaper with a $ 200 basement alternative to flow cytometers, which do much the same job and regularly cost $ 25,000 or more.

It’s unfortunate that the assay discs must be made anew for each desired target cell or molecule, and it’s currently unclear whether the discs will be reusable. Still, with a purported 1 µm resolution, this tech could revolutionize frontier aid work, and empower researchers everywhere with real, low-cost solutions today.

Now read: World’s smallest blood monitoring implant talks to your smartphone

OCZ working on 20nm SSD refresh

Autore: Welcome to Fudzilla

Both Vector and Vertex to get it

Ever since we heard a rumor regarding OCZ’s Vertex 5 series SSDs, we have been asking around and once again our sources came through and gave us a clear picture of what we can expect from OCZ pretty soon.

The rumor from Nordichardware was somewhat accurate, as OCZ is indeed working on a new Vertex SSD with 20nm MLC NAND flash memory. According to our sources, we will also see a new controller that, although based on Barefoot 3 design, is a new, or to be precise an optimized respin that will feature some sort of power saving opimization. It is still not clear if the performance would benefit from the respin.

The name Vertex 5 is not carved in stone as our source points out and although it has been mentioned a couple of times it might also end up to be Vertex 4.20, something that OCZ already did with the Vertex 3. Until the boxes go out to printing the name can be changed easily.

In addition to the new Vertex 4, our sources point out that OCZ will eventually come up with a new Vector as well and as you could have guessed it will be a Vector with 20nm NAND flash chips.

It is also not clear on what kind of effect will these two new SSDs have on pricing of previous models but according to our sources we might see it, or even them, as soon as next month.

We will certainly keep an eye out for further updates.

Wind investe 1 miliardo di euro sulle reti del futuro


Wind investirà 1 miliardo di euro in cinque anni per le reti di prossima generazione“, ha annunciato oggi Maximo Ibarra, amministratore delegato di Wind (nella foto a lato), operando “insieme a Huawei e Sirti“. Il roll-out di Wind nel 4G avverrà nella seconda metà del 2013 in alcune città ma anche in luoghi di particolare interesse quali aeroporti ed università.

È ormai impreciso parlare solo di rete mobile, ha proseguito Ibarra: “fisso e mobile sono integrati e aumentare la capacità mobile richiede comunque investimenti sul fisso“.
Con un certo interesse si segnala la scelta di Sirti, grande realtà italiana con competenza sulle fibre ottiche e profondamente radicata sul territorio. “L’accordo con Wind e Huawei ha per il nostro Paese un’importanza di indubbio valore strategico perché crea infrastrutture competitive per un’Italia digitale“, ha detto Stefano Lorenzi, amministratore delegato di Sirti.
In assenza di un catasto nazionale delle infrastrutture è strategica la conoscenza acquisita dalla sua azienda, che si sposa con la competenza tecnologica e con la capacità di gestione e controllo dei processi. Per quanto possa sembrare strano, negli ultimi anni un contratto del genere ad un’azienda italiana è stato l’eccezione e non la regola.
Wind offrirà così una nuova e trasparente user experience di navigazione, rendendo accessibili servizi e contenuti multimediali in mobilità con una tecnologia di ultima generazione“, ha ripreso Ibarra, “in un generale potenziamento della sua rete mobile“. Anziché sbandierare presunte velocità massime, la scelta di Wind sarà di specificare nei contratti con l’utente la velocità minima garantita. Si tratta di una procedura diversa rispetto alle consuete, illusorie promesse che generalmente vanno in direzione opposta.

Frequenze, normativa e qualità
Questo ulteriore e considerevole investimento segue quello per l’acquisto delle frequenze LTE“, ha poi ripreso Ibarra. Per quanto riguarda le frequenze sulla banda a 700 MHz che dovrebbero essere disponibili a breve, ad una domanda in conferenza stampa Ibarra ha risposto che “sono indispensabili, ma parallelamente serve una normativa adeguata” e comunque non ai prezzi di concessione che alcune volte sono stati richiesti. Resta vivo l’interesse per le evoluzioni dello scorporo della rete nazionale – anche in ottica Infostrada – e alta l’attenzione per l’unbundling, dove – sostiene sempre l’Ad Wind – AgCom potrebbe fare qualcosa in più di quanto si sente.

Roberto Loiola, Vp di Huawei, accoglie “con particolare favore la decisione di Wind di investire in Italia con grande spiegamento di tecnologie avanzate di rete fissa, mobile, IT e convergente, nella banda larga mobile e nel cloud computing“.
Tali investimenti consentiranno la realizzazione di “una rete più veloce e di qualità superiore, garantendo una migliore customer experience a cittadini e imprese“.

Un valido modello
La trattativa è stata particolarmente interessante anche come modello operativo, vista l’entità degli investimenti e il personale coinvolto, svariate migliaia di operatori tra tutte e tre le aziende. L’intera operazione è stata possibile ricorrendo alla normativa vigente del raggruppamento temporaneo d’impresa tra Huawei e Sirti. In questo modo, inoltre, le competenze resteranno in Italia.
L’ingente investimento costituisce un nuovo, significativo segnale dell’impegno comune verso l’Italia anche in tempi di difficile congiuntura economica“, ha proseguito Loiola.
Siamo molto soddisfatti dell’innovativo modello di partnership definito con Huawei“, ha proseguito Lorenzi, perché esprime il valore della sinergia tra un partner tecnologico globale e un’azienda italiana di servizi che mette a beneficio di questa importante operazione la propria copertura e conoscenza capillare del territorio creando le condizioni per ottimizzare la rete di backhauling e consentendo un’ottima interconnessione dei siti radiomobili con la razionalizzazione dello sfruttamento delle infrastrutture esistenti”. E “servizi” vuol dire “occupazione”.

ET deals: $499 for Dell’s Inspiron 15R laptop with Core i5

Autore: ExtremeTech

We are right at the slowest part of the PC upgrade cycle. We’re almost a year into the introduction of the last Intel platform (when manufacturers introduce their new models based on Intel’s latest chips). That means we are at least several more months away from availability of Intel’s 2013 refresh and as we’ve heard in the headlines lately, PC shipments have dropped precariously.

Not all PC manufacturers are just resting on their laurels though, waiting for Intel to come to the rescue with faster chips. Dell already had a popular product with their Inspiron 15R laptops, but a few months ago they introduced a refreshed model that brought both prices and size down.

dell-inspiron-15r-5521-views-300pxThe standout change with the new 5521 model is its size, coming in an impressive 17% thinner than the prior 15R models. That means this full-size 15.6-inch machine measures just 0.98-1.23 inches thin and 5.12 lbs. This is nearing ultrabook measurements and an impressive size for a 15.6-inch laptop that even keeps its DVD burner.

They didn’t compromise features either, as you get two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI output, a media card reader, 802.11n WiFi, and Bluetooth. You do lose the VGA port that was found on the prior 5520 model, though you could adapt HDMI to VGA if so desired.

A recent revision of the Ivy Bridge Core i5 CPU is powering this model. The Core i5-3337U is a low voltage chip that was introduced earlier this year and clocks between 1.8GHz and 2.7GHz with dual cores. While this chip is clocked quite a bit lower than the standard Core i5, it also comes in at almost half the power consumption.

It’s hard to argue with a thinner, lighter machine that stands to offer long battery life and sufficient day-to-day performance. While this machine won’t render your next CAD drawing or play Battlefield 3, it looks to be a solid on-the-go machine that doesn’t compromise much. Dell even still includes on-site service in their one year warranty too.

What really makes it compelling is the $ 499.99 price tag, which you’ll get thanks to $ 89 instant savings and a $ 100 stackable coupon. Not only does this look to be a great all-around machine, but it is very gentle on the budget.

Click here to start at Apply coupon code HCV9LCWDGXR7WZ for total $ 189 instant savings. This deal ends April 15 or sooner.