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Inside Cloud (Jan 10th, 2018)

Ford and Automatic announced an ambitious plan on Tuesday to create a new open cloud-based platform that cities can build out infrastructure communications. Called the “Transportation Mobility Cloud,” the platform aims to connect smart transportation services, as well as adjacently connected offerings under a common language. That includes tying together personal cars with vehicle-to-everything communications built in, incorporating things like bike sharing networks and public and private transportation services. “Think of it as similar to a box of Legos with configurable pieces that we can quickly rebuild to create different assets, products and services, much more quickly…” Ford’s Rich Strader said in a blog post. “As every city has its own requirements, transportation systems, traditions and needs, this box of assets enables flexibility for each one.”-TECH CRUNCH

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Apple will turn over its cloud operations in China to a state-owned local partner on February 28. The transition will satisfy a Chinese law that mandates that customer data collected on the Chinese mainland also be stored there. The data of customers living in China will be stored at a datacenter operated by Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Co., Ltd. Apple said that over the next seven weeks it will seek to make sure customers know about the coming changes, adding that the company “has strong data-privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems.” –WALL STREET JOURNAL

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Some of Intel’s data center customers are exploring using competing microchips to build out their infrastructure after the discovery of the Meltdown and Spectre flaws last week. Intel chips currently back 98 percent of data center operations but some cloud computing vendors have said alternatives could be easy to procure. "If Intel doesn't step up and do something to make this right then we're going to have to punish them in the marketplace by not purchasing their products," said Adam Stern, CEO of Infinitely Virtual, a California-based cloud vendor. While replacing old chips could be difficult, the cloud vendors could purchase different chips to expand their footprint. -CNBC

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Microsoft has acquired flash storage company Avere Systems in an effort to bolster its hybrid cloud offerings. Based in Pittsburgh, Avere provides NFS and SMB file storage for Windows and Linux clients running in the cloud, hybrid or on-prem environments. Avere uses a combination of file system and caching technologies to support the performance requirements for customers who run large-scale compute workloads. The acquisition quickly follows the launch of Amazon Web Services launching a new Linux platform that can run on client servers. –VC CIRCLE

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Nextbit intends to shut down its cloud storage service on March 1. Nextbit made the Robin, a smartphone touted as never running out of space. The cloud storage capability, known as Smart Storage, was a feature of Nextbit OS that allowed the Robin to expand local storage by syncing apps, photos and other content to the cloud. Robin users can download their data from the cloud until April 1 when it will be “purged.” The announcement is hardly a surprise. Nextbit was purchased by Razer last year and shut down phone support for the Robin last August. –THE VERGE

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