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AST Research, Inc. was a personal computer manufacturer, founded in Irvine, California, in 1980 by Albert Wong, Safi Qureshey and Thomas Yuen. AST's original business was the manufacture and marketing of a broad range of microcomputer expansion cards, later focusing on higher-density replacements for the standard I/O cards in the IBM PC. A typical AST multifunction card of the mid-1980s would have an RS-232 serial port, a parallel printer port, a battery-backed clock/calendar , a game port, and 384 KB of DRAM - marketed under the product name 'SixPakPlus'.AST Research also produced the Mac286, a pair of NuBus cards containing an Intel 80286 and RAM, allowing a Macintosh to run MS-DOS side by side with its existing operating system. These cards were announced March 1987 alongside Apple's Macintosh II line . The product line was eventually sold to Orange Micro, which developed the concept further.As PC manufacturers improved the integration of peripheral controllers on their motherboards, AST's original business began to dry up, and the company developed its own line of PCs, for the desktop, mobile, and server markets.AST was one of the members of the Gang of Nine which developed the EISA bus.In 1992 AST became a Fortune 500 company at place 431.AST computer's reliability was considered close to that of quality leaders Compaq, Gateway, and IBM. AST managed to gain a decent market share of the PC market, however, it never came close to overtaking Compaq and Dell. During 1992-1995, AST owned the largest market share in China with Legend as the largest local reseller of AST computer.In 1993 Radio Shack sold its computer manufacturing division to AST, and in 1994 they reached a deal to sell AST computers in Radio Shack stores. A year later, the electronics chain started selling IBM-brand computers instead.AST's fortunes turned south due to their strategy of sticking to only offering premium models in an increasingly competitive personal computer market, while Compaq Computer Corporation and other top-tier manufacturers slashed prices to go head-to-head with the cheapest clones. The failure of AST to recognize the movement towards the commoditization of the PC contributed to its downturn. AST insisted on developing and using its own components in the PCs it produced, instead of those of specialized OEMs. One often used saying at AST, in an attempt to dismiss such competitors, was "the best technology they have is a screwdriver."By the mid-1990s, AST had severe problems in the highly competitive PC market. Revenues for 1996 were $2.104 billion, down from 1995 revenues of $2.348 billion. AST Research was acquired by Samsung on August 11, 1996. Prior to this move, Samsung had already owned a substantial stake and provided considerable financial support to keep AST going. However, Samsung was forced to close the California-based computer maker after a string of losses and a mass defection of research talent.AST sponsored the English football club Aston Villa from 1995 to 1998. Wikipedia.

In the past few years, construction extended to the southeast of Cairo, Egypt, where limestone caves occur. The existence of caves and sinkholes represents a hazard for such new urban areas. Therefore, it is important to know the size, position, and depth of natural voids and cavities before building or reconstruction. In this paper, geoelectric-resistivity tomography, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and microgravity have been applied to image shallow subsurface cavities. Microgravity measurement was done to detect density variations in rock strata. Several gravity anomalies were found in the residual map. Semi-automated interpretation techniques including the Euler deconvolution, analytic signal have been used to investigate the depth and size of anomalous sources. Resistivity survey was conducted along three profiles over an exposed cave with unknown extensions. Results from 27 GPR profiles obtained by a SIR-2000 instrument equipped with a 200 MHz antenna were visualized in the form of horizontal time slices and vertical time sections. As a result, the cave at a depth of about 2 m and a width of about 4 m was detected using the geophysical data, which correlates with the known cave system.

AST Research | Date: 2000-02-15

computer software for management of servers and users and instruction manuals sold as a unit therewith.

News Article | February 8, 2000
Site: www.zdnet.com

This marks Demo's 10th year, and the joint is jumping. Sponsors say at least 1,000 people are registered. If anything, that might be an undercount; the opening session in the giant ballroom was standing room only. Chatting with Stewart Alsop, the journalist-turned venture capitalist who started Demo back in 1991, I asked how's business. "Hey, the money's great," Alsop beamed. "And when I talk to journalists, I tell them that it's really great." Same people turn up here every year. Only thing: They turn grayer and grayer. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch made a cameo appearance today as co-founder of Thelaw.com, a Web site aimed at providing legal advice to consumers. Cute idea, but I'm not sold. Koch is the pretty face here -- he's the best pitchman of the show's first day -- but he's no Felix Frankfurter. By the way, Koch thinks Hillary Clinton is going to outlast Rudy G. in the New York senatorial race. The word from the kosher pumpkin: Giuliani is his own worst enemy. Don't know about you, but I don't want to deal with any more data. I'm up to here with the "information at my fingertips" shtick. Rob Siegel of Weave Innovations evoked a fair number of oohs and ahs with the StoryBox, a picture frame appliance that lets users store and display up to 36 pictures. A lot of the bizarre stuff that gets shown at Demo winds up on the cutting-room floor, but this was one of those cool George Jetson appliances that comes down the pipe that could find a nice niche. Here's the big question: Will a large enough number of people be willing to pay $299 and the attendant $5 to $7 monthly connection fee? The place is crawling with lots of former Apple and Netscape execs. Speaking of Apple, I heard a delicious story about how screwy things were during the final days of John Sculley. The Scull-meister got a raw deal from Jean-Louis Gassee and Michael Spindler. Anyway, it seems that shortly after a big layoff announcement, one of Apple's top execs walked into a meeting with several members of the senior brass and threw a clutch of boat pictures onto the table. Pick whichever one you want except for this one, he said, pointing to a particular ritzy model. It was meant as black humor. But believe it or not, these clowns started arguing with him, thinking they deserved a fair shot at the booty. And this while thousands of pink slips were being handed out. Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen formally lifted the lid on his latest gig, Loudcloud. Among other things, Andreessen says his new company will "pour rocket fuel on Internet.com." Big statement, but is it just big hype? More about this tomorrow after yours truly breaks bread with Marky Marc. Another Netscapee, Srivats Sampath, was on stage -- this time as CEO of Mcaffee.com. As luck would have it, he was on hand to preview the company's new ad server technology just as privacy fears stirred up by DoubleClick's tracking policies continue to reverberate around the industry. Sampath says his company's product, which allows for targeted ad systems, still incorporates encrypted personal advertising profiles protecting consumer privacy. So, for example, if you work with a diskless workstation, the system would detect that and include advertisements from hard drive suppliers. But your particular identifying information would nonetheless remain hidden from any and all outsiders. If it works as advertised (no pun intended), this could be big. Ever the curmudgeon, Visicalc co-inventor Bob Frankston was on the warpath about the concentration of Internet distribution power in so few hands. Younology CEO Bonnie Lowell displayed grace under pressure when her demo crashed just as she was introducing her company's personal network alert technology. She remained cool as a cucumber and avoided a near descent into Demo hell. Lowell later had an interesting take on the way the Internet business is evolving. "You'd be amazed at how many companies we talk with don't even have products. Now that's the first question I ask." Bumped into AST Research founder Safi Qureshey, who is here as a reincarnated dotcommie. Every once in a while a product comes along that makes light bulbs go off in peoples' heads. Artie Wu of Vividence got that sort of reception with a technology that lets Web operators get targeted feedback and comments as they navigate around their sites. Former Businessland bigwig Enzo Torresi is destined to make a big splash with Kerbango, according to folks familiar with the company's Net radio product. For the Microsoft Office haters of the world, ThinkFree is peddling an interesting idea. This is a suite of software apps that looks and feels an awful lot like MS Office. Actually, this is a Web hosted service written in Java. So all you need to get going is a browser that runs on top of Windows, the Mac, Unix or Linux. All told, we're talking roughly 8MB, which the user downloads a single time. Microsoft lawyers are surely watching, and CEO Ken Rhie made sure not to get their dander up. "ThinkFree is not a replacement for MS Office," he said. "It is a true companion service to MS Office." Ahem, sure. Peripatetic software exec Mike Kolowich on life: "Things are good. I don't have to work." Josh Kopelman, the mad genius behind Half.com, the company that convinced a small Oregon town to rename itself as a dotcom, not surprisingly gives good demo. The company's not smoke and mirrors either. It launched last month and already has 1.9 million items listed for resale by its customers. The second coming of Amazon? Talk to me six months from now, but it's a terrific start. And so just how did Kopelman hit upon the Half.com publicity stunt? "We were sitting around trying to figure out how to put ourselves on the map, and that's when we hit upon the idea," he said. There were 413 towns whose names began with the name "Half." Nine weeks later, they had Halfway, Ore., in the bag. Buzz at the show is that former Lotus CEO Jim Manzi is spending a lot of time working on behalf of Bill Bradley's nomination. The good folks from Israel-based TeleVend finally debuted a technology that turns mobile devices into super credit cards. Beyond the gee-whiz experience of ordering a Coke from a cellular phone, the intriguing advantage here is how the technology defangs hacking. That's because the moment a hacker breaks in, what's he ripping off? A phone number -- which can be traced almost instantly. But since I saw a private demo by TeleVend about nine months ago, the company has been slow off the mark. In the interim, the Europeans have been pushing a similar technology into the market in a big way.

News Article | January 27, 2013
Site: thenextweb.com

Samsung has big plans for its cloud-based Music Hub offering. In addition to rolling it out across the company’s own range of connected devices, the intention is to then expand it more widely to support hardware by other manufacturers too, the company tells us. Music Hub is a cloud-based service combining a user’s own library with Spotify-style streaming, radio and discovery features. It’s essentially a rival to traditional music stores, online radio, streaming services and cloud locker services all in one package. It’s currently only available on the Samsung Galaxy S III and Note II, but TJ Kang, SVP for Samsung Media Services told The Next Web today that the plan to expand its availability goes beyond just the company’s own hardware. Kang, who is in Cannes, France to speak at Midem‘s Visionary Monday event tomorrow, said that initially, the plan is for Music Hub to come to Samsung’s own phones, tablets, smart TVs and potentially even other devices such as its Android-powered connected refrigerator. Music Hub is currently available in six countries but its geographic reach is set to be expanded during 2013. However, he acknowledged that customers tend to own hardware from a variety of manufacturers and that expanding Music Hub to support these devices would make life easier for them. Music Hub is already available as a download on Google Play (supporting the Galaxy S III and Note II), so expanding it to non-Samsung devices (at least on Android) should be easy when the company decides to make that move. What’s interesting here is that this would move Music Hub on from being just a nice value-add for Samsung customers and pitch it as a direct competitor to Amazon, Google and other companies offering cross-platform music services that provide combinations of downloads, streaming and cloud lockers. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers will go for it. By way of comparison, Sony offers the Music Unlimited streaming service on its own hardware and on desktop computers, Apple iOS and non-Sony Android devices, and yet you don’t tend to hear that mentioned in the same breath as Spotify and Rdio. The current version of the Music Hub is the result of Samsung’s acquisition of Silicon Valley-based mSpot in May last year. Kang says that integration of mSpot features took just twenty days from the deal being announced, and this was the first acquisition by Samsung’s Set business (which produces the company’s consumer electronics lines) since it bought PC manufacturer AST Research in 1997. So, the company is clearly serious about Music Hub, which is a solid offering in comparison to its rivals. Kang tells us that the timing for a wider rollout of Music Hub for Samsung hardware depends on securing territory-specific deals with music labels and the release schedule for the company’s future flagship devices during 2013. He could give no timeframe for availability on other manufacturers’ hardware, but simply said that such availability was the company’s goal. You will be able to watch TJ Kang’s talk and the rest of Midem’s Visionary Monday, livestreamed here on The Next Web tomorrow during the European daytime. The event starts at 11am CET.

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