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AWS wants to rule the world – TechCrunch



AWS, once a nice little side hustle for Amazon’s eCommerce business, has grown over the years into a behemoth that’s on a $27 billion run rate, one that’s still growing at around 45 percent a year. That’s a highly successful business by any measure, but as I listened to AWS executives last week at their AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, I didn’t hear a group that was content to sit still and let the growth speak for itself. Instead, I heard one that wants to dominate every area of enterprise computing.

Whether it was hardware like the new Inferentia chip and Outposts, the new on-prem servers or blockchain and a base station service for satellites, if AWS saw an opportunity they were not ceding an inch to anyone.

Last year, AWS announced an astonishing 1400 new features, and word was that they are on pace to exceed that this year. They get a lot of credit for not resting on their laurels and continuing to innovate like a much smaller company, even as they own gobs of marketshare.

The feature inflation probably can’t go on forever, but for now at least they show no signs of slowing down, as the announcements came at a furious pace once again. While they will tell you that every decision they make is about meeting customer needs, it’s clear that some of these announcements were also about answering competitive pressure.

Going after competitors harder

In the past, AWS kept criticism of competitors to a minimum maybe giving a little jab to Oracle, but this year they seemed to ratchet it up. In their keynotes, AWS CEO Andy Jassy and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels continually flogged Oracle, a competitor in the database market, but hardly a major threat as a cloud company right now.

They went right for Oracle’s market though with a new on prem system called Outposts, which allows AWS customers to operate on prem and in the cloud using a single AWS control panel or one from VMware if customers prefer. That is the kind of cloud vision that Larry Ellison might have put forth, but Jassy didn’t necessarily see it as going after Oracle or anyone else. “I don’t see Outposts as a shot across the bow of anyone. If you look at what we are doing, it’s very much informed by customers,” he told reporters at a press conference last week.

AWS CEO Andy Jassy at a press conference at AWS Re:Invent last week.

Yet AWS didn’t reserve its criticism just for Oracle. It also took aim at Microsoft, taking jabs at Microsoft SQL Server, and also announcing Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, a tool specifically designed to move Microsoft files to the AWS cloud.

Google wasn’t spared either when launching Inferentia and Elastic Inference, which put Google on notice that AWS wasn’t going to yield the AI market to Google’s TPU infrastructure. All of these tools and much more were about more than answering customer demand, they were about putting the competition on notice in every aspect of enterprise computing.

Upward growth trajectory

The cloud market is continuing to grow at a dramatic pace, and as market leader, AWS has been able to take advantage of its market dominance to this point. Jassy, echoing Google’s Diane Greene and Oracle’s Larry Ellison, says the industry as a whole is still really early in terms of cloud adoption, which means there is still plenty of marketshare left to capture.

“I think we’re just in the early stages of enterprise and public sector adoption in the US. Outside the US I would say we are 12-36 months behind. So there are a lot of mainstream enterprises that are just now starting to plan their approach to the cloud,” Jassy said.

Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy says that AWS has been using its market position to keep expanding into different areas. “AWS has the scale right now to do many things others cannot, particularly lesser players like Google Cloud Platform and Oracle Cloud. They are trying to make a point with the thousands of new products and features they bring out. This serves as a disincentive longer-term for other players, and I believe will result in a shakeout,” he told TechCrunch.

As for the frenetic pace of innovation, Moorhead believes it can’t go on forever. “To me, the question is, when do we reach a point where 95% of the needs are met, and the innovation rate isn’t required. Every market, literally every market, reaches a point where this happens, so it’s not a matter of if but when,” he said.

Certainly areas like the AWS Ground Station announcement, showed that AWS was willing to expand beyond the conventional confines of enterprise computing and into outer space to help companies process satellite data. This ability to think beyond traditional uses of cloud computing resources shows a level of creativity that suggests there could be other untapped markets for AWS that we haven’t yet imagined.

As AWS moves into more areas of the enterprise computing stack, whether on premises or in the cloud, they are showing their desire to dominate every aspect of the enterprise computing world. Last week they demonstrated that there is no area that they are willing to surrender to anyone.

more AWS re:Invent 2018 coverage

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Jeep’s Wild Wrangler Magneto 3.0 Concept EV Is Going Out With A Bang



To go with that, Jeep has added Dynatrac 60 front axles (5.38:1 ratio) and Dynatrac 80 rear axles (5.38:1 ratio), along with 20-inch off-road beadlock wheels and 40-inch mud terrain tires. The whole thing is lifted by three inches compared to a standard Wrangler. The result, the automaker says, is an EV that excels in off-road situations, not least because of how controllable the power delivery is.

“When you’re rock crawling, you need to be very neat and clean with your driving,” Mike Allen, Jeep Design Chief, says, “especially if there’s a cliff next to you, you need to be very controlled with that.”

To help, Jeep has added a power selection switch. On the one hand, you can have the maximum 650 horsepower and 900 lb-ft of torque; alternatively, the standard setting tamps it down to a more conservative 285 horsepower and 273 lb-ft. Allen says the range is around 150 miles, though that — nor charging times —was never meant to be the Magneto concept’s focus.

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The Best Mods & Upgrades That Can Give New Life To A C4 Corvette



Replacing your restrictive and likely corroded factory exhaust with a new cat-back exhaust is one of the best power adders that you can do to your C4 Corvette. The term “cat-back” refers to the section of the system that is downstream of the catalytic converter, a device that removes harmful emissions from exhaust gases.

An aftermarket exhaust with modern muffler technology will reduce backpressure, allowing more air to flow into the engine, which increases horsepower. According to the popular aftermarket exhaust manufacturer Corsa, a cat-back system for the L98 engine (the most common C4 engine) adds 14 horsepower and 16 foot-pounds of torque to an otherwise stock powerplant — all while adding a deep, muscular exhaust note that’ll make your C4 sound like a Corvette should.

Returning to catalytic converters for a moment, they’re typically long-lasting but may eventually fail by becoming contaminated, clogged, or overheated, leading to decreased horsepower. In the process of installing a cat-back exhaust, it’s worth inspecting or proactively replacing the catalytic converter itself. High-flow performance converters are available which will boost horsepower beyond the cat-back exhaust alone, yet still keep your vehicle compliant with the emissions guidelines of the EPA and local authorities.

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6 Easy Ways To Unlock Your Android Phone Without A Password



For years, fingerprints have been the de-facto phone unlock method because of the method’s incredible convenience and relative security. While a bad actor can, in theory, replicate your fingerprint, and while some Android phones have had fingerprint reader bugs, the majority of the time it’s secure enough to trust while allowing you to access your device in less than a second.

Many modern Android phones utilize an under-display fingerprint sensor that uses either an optical light sensor or ultrasonics to analyze registered fingerprints, while others place a trusty capacitive sensor on the back of the phone or the power button.

Importantly, optical sensors are the easiest of the three to fool in the event someone gets access to your fingerprint. Law enforcement can be especially aggressive should they invent a reason to search your device, having once tried to use a dead man’s finger to do so. However, Android stores fingerprint data in a Trusted Execution Environment, an encrypted section of the phone’s memory that cannot be accessed by the main CPU or by apps.

Setting your fingerprints up can be a bit of a hassle, as some Android phones can be finicky. It may be a good idea to register the same fingerprint twice if you find that your phone’s fingerprint sensor has a hard time recognizing your preferred digit.

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