Apple Ends Production of Its 27-Inch Thunderbolt Displays

Today's topics include Apple's decision to drop its Thunderbolt display, President Barack Obama's appearance at Stanford University to discuss global entrepreneurship, a report that Google wants to commercialize its Spanner database, and the formation of IBM's Watson Health medical imaging collaborative.

Apple is ending production of its own 27-inch Thunderbolt computer displays and the product will be phased out as soon as its current inventory runs out, which means the company won't have a monitor in its product lineup. The demise of the Thunderbolt external monitor, however, could mean that Apple is preparing to announce a new 4K or 5K Retina replacement model that would better match its high-end computer models that already feature 4K capabilities, according to a June 23 story by The Verge.

The Thunderbolt display, which retails for $999 and has been available from Apple since July 2011, is a thin-film transistor active-matrix LCD display with 2560 by 1440p resolution.

President Barack Obama visited the Stanford University campus June 24, meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on stage at Memorial Auditorium before about 1,700 audience members to discuss the issue of product innovation and entrepreneurship worldwide.

Young business owners from Kenya, Peru and Egypt shared the stage for about an hour with the president and with Zuckerberg, founder of the world's largest social network. In total, 170 countries and 20 governments were represented at the White House-sponsored Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

The president listened to the stories of how the entrepreneurs got the ideas for their businesses and the hurdles they had to overcome in getting started. Each talked about legal issues, government red tape, institutional biases and cultural problems they had to solve before and after they began doing business.

Google is reportedly considering commercializing Spanner, a highly scalable, globally distributed database technology that the company has been using internally for the past several years to deliver many of its core cloud services.

Engineers from Google's Cloud Platform Group are apparently working on how to turn the technology into a product that outside developers can use to build their own applications, The Information reported this week. One of the biggest obstacles facing the company as it embarks on its mission is finding a way to decouple Spanner from Google's proprietary hardware and network technology to create that will work just as well on other cloud infrastructures.

IBM this week announced the formation of a Watson Health medical imaging collaborative comprised of 16 leading health systems, academic medical centers, ambulatory radiology providers and imaging technology companies. Anne Le Grand, vice president of imaging at IBM Watson Health, said the goal of the collaborative is to bring cognitive imaging into daily practice to help doctors address breast, lung, and other cancers along with diabetes, eye health, brain disease, heart disease and related conditions such as stroke.

"We want to bring cognitive imaging into daily practice so that doctors are more efficient, as there is a shortage of doctors coupled with a misdistribution of physicians," Le Grand, told eWEEK. "We want to improve doctors’ diagnostic capabilities and treatment plans."

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